Domain Name Rip Off
Do you really own your domain name or is it technically someone else's?
A domain name is something along the lines of yourbusiness.co.uk or .com If you don't yet have one for your business chances are you will in the future. But purchasing and using one can be a minefield.
When you register a domain name you have to go through an agent because every name/address has to have an active IP address associated with it, it has to point to a server somewhere.
There are a few options open to you when you register a domain name. You could simply have it parked for later use or if you currently have a web site then you could go for a full hosting account and web server space.
Either way you have to be careful about what you are signing up to. Firstly you need to know that the domain name will be registered in your name. An obvious necessity you may think, but thousands of domain names have been registered in the names of the registering agents and not their clients.
If you currently have a .uk domain registered then check here: http://nnh.co.uk/net/services/domain-search/index.html See if you really own it. If the name stated is not your own then gather the receipts together proving that you paid for this registration, and contact the agent you used, demand this be rectified. If they ask for payment refuse as this domain SHOULD have been registered in your name in the first instance.
If in the future you had to prove that this domain was owned by you, it could prove difficult. Even the relevant domain registration body's (Network Solutions .com - Nominet .uk) are unlikely to listen to your pleas for help as YOU ARE NOT THE REGISTERED OWNER.
And if you consider the fact that your chosen name may in the future be worth a considerable amount of money, I recommend you check and rectify now.
Secondly, exactly what are the costs for registration? A .com domain will cost you $70 USD and a .UK £80 GBP +VAT for the first two years. There may also be costs above this from the agent for processing or hosting services.
Have you seen advertisements for .uk domains at £9.99 or even free? Well it is possible to obtain a domain cheaper than the governing registration body fee. How is this possible? This is possible because the agent is buying in bulk, e-paper work, so the charges from the registration body are dramatically reduced.
Great you may think, but not all may be rosy. Remember YOU GET NOTHING FOR NOTHING. The Internet is not always the free lunch it is made out to be.
You will be tied into a contract with the agent, as they will be your administrative contact with the governing body. They will be invoiced and then they will invoice you. Read the small print, exactly how much are they going to charge for these services? Also remember your domain has to be stored somewhere. You may be happy with their hosting and support but if not, how much is it going to cost you to move that domain name in the future.
Always read the small print and then read it again! Thirdly, moving your domain name. As already stated you may be happy but if not what is their attitude to domain name moving. Will they be helpful and co-operative, answer your e-mail requests will they answer the telephone - some don't.
When you register a domain name you will receive a certificate from the relevant domain registration body. If not then you are cutting corners that could cost you more in the end.
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