Akira Studio blog - Web Design London Ontario

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Domain names: who pays for yours?

 

domain names wide

Your company domain name is one of the most valuable digital assets your company has.

It defines your online identity in terms of your website address and your email accounts.

But miss your domain name renewal payment and your domain name will stop working - and so will your website and your email...

 

Domain name ownership

You never actually own a domain name; you licence it from a domain registration company. That means that every year, you need to renew your registration, and that involves a small but crucial payment.

Miss that payment and your domain name will lapse. Your website will stop working, your email will shut down, and you’ll be left scratching your head wondering what went wrong.

Who pays the bill - and when

This is not an issue if you bought your domain name and your new website through us at Akira. We look after your website and your domain name, so we’ll pay the bill!

However, if you had a website before you came to us, and didn’t transfer your domain name to our care, it’s probably still registered at a registry company such as GoDaddy, 1and1, 123Reg or similar. And if you don’t pay their bill, and your domain name lapses, we can’t restore it until you pay that renewal charge.

Watch that credit card expiry date…

Most times that we’ve come across this issue, it’s been because the domain name fees were originally paid by a credit card. The original credit card had then expired, so the payment wasn’t made, and the reminder emails got ignored by new staff members who didn’t recognise their significance.

Domain names at Akira

If your website is hosted with us at Akira, by far the easiest way to avoid this happening is to transfer your domain name into our care. We’ll pay the domain name registration fees every year on your behalf, and then invoice you, so you won’t miss a payment. We can also set you up with secure, IMAP email services either through our own system or using Google’s popular GSuite.

Call us or email us for full details, and we’ll guide you through the domain name transfer process. It’s very straightforward, and even easier if you can remember the login to your online account for your original domain name providers!

How do domain names work?

Domain names are like phone numbers. They direct enquiries to a specific location on the web, such as a website or an email inbox. A domain name is used in place of a string of numbers known as as an Internet Protocol address, usually known as an IP address.

Just as telephone numbers are routed through an exchange, so there needs to be a record of what domain name points to what IP address. For domain names, this is the Domain Name System, or DNS. Your internet router in your office or home usually has one or two favourite DNS sites pre-programmed that it consults to look up these addresses.

Who owns a domain name?

Nobody actually owns a domain name. When you register a domain name, you’re actually signing up with two different organisations:

  1. The main registry for domain names in your country. That’s Nominet UK, or The Canadian Internet Registration Authority - CIRA.
  2. Your domain name registrar company, such as Webnames, GoDaddy, etc.

Registration with your national organisation simply entitles you to be a domain name holder, that is, to be able to use a domain name for a set period of time.

Registrar companies for domains

Your registrar company is the company that manages the domain name on your behalf. They usually have an online dashboard where you can administer details of your domain name, such as the registered user, etc. It’s also where you can define the final destination for your domain name, such as your own website. You pay the registrar company the domain registration fees, and they in turn pay Nominet/CIRA their fee.

Domain names should be registered in your name (or your company name). It’s very important this is correct, as Nominet and other national providers check this data against other public sources of information such as Companies House and physical street addresses.

When we take on your domain name, it remains registered in your company’s name but will show our company address and be “Registered through: Akira Studio Ltd”. Remember, if you transfer your domain name to us, we’ll do all the techie stuff to make it happen and pay those all-important renewal fees on your behalf.

Confused about domains?

Call us and talk through your situation. We’ll advise the best ways to manage your domains with minimal fuss - and no missed renewals!

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