An existing client approached me to build a new website for a business they had recently purchased. Repeat clients mean we’re doing something right, right? Anyway, the requested website was to replace the ageing one under the existing domain name.
The business had no doubt been developed over years and marketed using the domain name in question. Signage, business cards, advertisements, brochures and a other marketing materials all bare the business’ domain name. Furthermore, in addition to the huge quantity of happy customers who return religiously, a plethora of related industry websites list it. To change it would be time consuming, costly and ultimately confusing.
However, it was discovered that the domain name and website were not specifically mentioned in the recent business transaction, although one might reasonably assume that it should have been.
It further transpired that the previous business owners did not, in fact, own their business domain name. Apparently, a ‘friend’ had registered it on their behalf and along with the website, maintained it for them.
Can you see where this is going? No? You wouldn’t be the only one but it still happens with alarming regularity.
The official ‘owner’ of the domain name and website is the aforementioned ‘friend’, as it was he who registered it in his own name. The business simply paid this character for the services he offered.
And so we learn that this unscrupulous web design/domain/hosting provider/cowboy has spotted a way to make a few more bucks by holding the domain name to ransom and demanding an outrageous sum for it’s release.
The dodgy practice of cowboy web developers using their own name when registering domain names for their clients, stinks, plain and simple. It should be illegal. If there is ever a fall out or dispute, your online presence could disappear overnight and with it your business.
Domain names are so cheap these days and very simple to register that there is no reason not to register it yourself. Even if offered a free domain name, ensure that YOU will be the registered, legal owner. Here at Bendigo Web Design, free domain names are offered to new website clients but are always registered in the client’s name. For those of you who need a domain name and would like assistance, we are always willing to assist in the process.