Web designers, Clients and their Domain Names

What the Problem is?

Mostly in India and moreover all over the world, it’s a rampant practice followed by so called web designers to register their client’s domain names with their own (web designers and not clients’) details. This is a complete lose-lose situation for clients. So called web designers’ first motive is to ensure that they take control of their clients’ domain names so that the client has no choice but to stay with the same designer, or lose his domain name in the process.It is not a web-designer’s job to register a domain name for a client. Most would do it as an additional service or as a whole package deal. Whatever the case be, the domain name needs to be registered in the client’s name. Sometimes, a client has to change his domain name from .com to .net to .in to whatever is available just because the designer/company won’t give him his domain controls, which is plain wrong.  Most of the time clients thinks they have the total control of their domain name while the designer fool him with giving just hosting (FTP) controls.

The other side to the story is that some service providers don’t allow domain names to be transferred away. This makes the designer as well as client helpless at times. Rediff is one such example. There is nothing one can do but to stay away from Rediff as Rediff won’t allow transferring out the domain name. Not only Rediff but there are other companies too having same kind of tactics to keep their customers with them for life.

Why or How this Happens?

This practice is mostly due to un-educated client. I know many such companies, who do register their client’s domain in their name. In some cases even if they use client details they’ll use their own email id to register the domain name. And, email id provided at the time of registration is of utmost importance. If one is to transfer away the domain then this email id is used to send Transfer Authorization requests and all. Hence, be cautious when you register your domain name with someone or ask someone to register a domain name for you.

The Solution!

Make sure that at least Registrant and Admin Contact details of the domain should be yours, including email id. Also make sure to keep using the email id using which you have registered your domain name as long as you have that domain registered or update it as soon as you change your email id.

  1. Register your domain with a company who doesn’t hinder you from making changes in Registrant details or Admin Contact Details. Some companies let you update everything except Registrant details. If you insist then they have a long legal process to follow. Hence, it’s better to avoid such companies.
  2. Insist or better ask about a control panel for domain name before registering your domain and check what facilities they do have in the control panel. Is it just a form to change your name servers or a full-fledged control panel to let you manage all aspects of your domain name?
  3. If you are already stuck with a company holding your domain name then search your old emails / accounts for any correspondence done or payment made for the domain name. Warn the company in writing for legal action you are planning for and if you don’t hear a positive response then don’t hesitate to take legal course.

This is all what you can do at minimum to ensure that you don’t loose your domain to someone else.

Recently I was going through a friend’s weblog and found an article related to the topic. In fact title of this article and most of the content has been taken from that weblog only 😉


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