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Who really owns your domain name?

paper with the word 'deed' at the top

Domain name ownership is a serious matter.

When it comes to your business, your domain name is an essential part of your brand. Can you imagine if you lost your domain name? That would be devastating to your business.

I see so many businesses who come to me looking to redesign their website only to find out they don’t technically own their domain name, their web developer does.

Luckily I’ve never worked with anyone whose previous developer refused to give up the domain name, but I’ve heard some horror stories from some of my colleagues.

Make sure you personally own your domain name. Not your web developer, an employee or business consultant.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to compare your domain name with the deed for your house. You could live in your house for years, but if somebody else’s name is on the title, deed and paperwork, they own the house, not you. Let’s hope that you always have a nice and friendly relationship with them because if things go south you may find yourself on the street.

How can you tell if you own your domain name?

Do you pay a bill to a reputable domain name registrar usually once a year?

That’s really the easiest way to find out. Look through your billing records and see who you are paying money to. You want to see Godaddy or another reputable domain name registrar, not a local company or the people that made your website.

Sure you could look up your contact information on, but that doesn’t tell you for sure that you have 100% ownership.

If you don’t see a registrar showing up in your records then you don’t own your domain name. Talk to your web developer (or whoever you think owns it) and tell them that you would like it transferred to you.

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