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Protecting your domain:

Bevi's guidelines for registrars and web-hosting

A colleague on a technical webdev list brought up an interesting point: one of his clients had used the same company to register their domain and host the website.

Later, when they wanted to move to a different web-host, the company put up several barriers to prevent them from leaving, one of which was holding the domain (the URL name) hostage.

I've had several serious problems with clients' sites when both the domain registration and web-hosting were in the same company's hands.

If there's a problem with payments or service — or in two cases, if the company goes belly-up without warning — then everything gets thrown into a legal logjam.

I believe that my website and my domain are the most important parts of my branding image and marketing campaigns, and therefore, I make every possible effort to protect them.

They are critical for my business's survival.

So these are the guidelines I give my clients to protect their web assets, based on my 15 years of experience in webdev:

Split domain registration from web hosting.
That way if there's ever a problem with hosting, the client still has complete control over the domain and can quickly move the site to a new host.

Always make sure that the domain is owned by its rightful owner.
Some registrars hold ownership in their name, not yours or your client's. (see next 2 items)

Use a registrar company that's in your country.
I'm located in the US so I use only US-based registrars, which gives me some legal ground when I need it. Well, hopefully, that is. At least I can always track them down and bang on their door! Or create a www.XYZ-Company-Must-Die.com website.

They have to list a phone and physical address.
If a registrar's website doesn't list their physical address and phone number, I don't use them. Think about it: why should they be hiding themselves? And how are you going to be able to contact them when you need tech support?

Bad Experiences with Bad Apples

Two of my clients had to forfeit their domains because they were being held hostage by foreign registrars in Germany and Australia. In the Australian case, the registrar held ownership of the domain and then demanded $10,000 to renew it, a huge increase from the $2.99 my client had originally paid for registration.

When we threatened legal action, they boldly replied something like "up yours, 'merkins. Just try to come and get us."

Although it was a decent URL name for marketing purposes, my client eventually gave up and forfeited it. The Australian registrar squatted it and put it up for sale, which I think was their goal from the very start — steal marketable URLs and sell them off for thousands of $$.


Just my thoughts.

Any from you?Leave a comment on our Facebook page.

— Bevi Chagnon
August 15, 2009


Update: I've had it with GoDaddy.com

I've never liked Bob Parson's business tactics (he's the founder and owner of GoDaddy.com).

But he's gone too far this time and I'm reconsidering my original August 2009 recommendation (see below).

Up until now I tolerated the hooters-focused ads and sleazy comments about women.

But in late March 2011, Bob Parsons posted a video of himself killing an elephant in Africa, and local villagers hacking up the dead animal's carcass. www.elliotsblog.com/bob-parsons-hunting-problem-elephant-in-zimbabwe-2072

Parsons says he did it to help the villagers defend their fields from the elephant herd. But come on, other safer and less cruel tactics could have been used to do that.

I don't want to give any more money to Bob Parsons because I think he is a very shallow human being.

I will no longer use GoDaddy for my or my clients' domain registrations. And I will imeediately remove my domains from GoDaddy.

If you would like instructions for moving your domains from GoDaddy.com, see


— Bevi Chagnon
April 5, 2011


Bevi's recommended registrars

I know I'm going to get tons of comments describing how awful these guys are, but hear me out.

There are plenty of horror stories about registrars' abusive business tactics, including about my 2 recommendations below.

But here's why I think they're your safest bet.

The registrar war is raging and everyone is trying to flush out their competitors. It's shake-out time.

The guy with the deepest pockets is going to last the longest and capture the market in a couple of years.

With $2.99 registration fees, it's only a matter of time before the little guys drop out and go belly up. $2.99 isn't enough money to cover the costs of providing good registrar service.

The two registrars below have solid, time-tested business people heading up their enterprises. They run their businesses well, and they turn a profit as opposed to running in the red.

These guys lead the pack now and I think they're going to be there at the finish line...and that's who you want managing your precious domain name. You don't want it caught in legal limbo when a smaller registrar looses the shake out.

My recommendations:




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