Get Your Domain Back!

Get Your Domain Back!

It’s no surprise that your website domain is incredibly valuable to your company.

It’s a part of your intellectual property, essential to your digital marketing efforts and helps drive revenue. The surprising part is that the majority of companies don’t own their own domain.  

Most companies entrust their domain name to an external person, usually from their IT company. Placing trust in the hands of your IT provider or an agency seems to be a logical decision. Who better to trust than your ‘partners’ who are investing their time into your company with you. Unfortunately, this can go horribly wrong.


When the Unexpected Becomes Reality

The common phrase,“it will never happen to us” is used often when discussing this topic – but what if it does, are you prepared?

South Africa’s leading independent insurance brokers found out first hand why their domain names are more important than initially assumed. Their IT guy held their domain name, meaning that it was registered under the name of the IT company. Upon a disagreement between the partners of the IT provider, they closed their doors, and simply shut down their server. This resulted in undelivered emails and claims, no contact with customers or shareholders, no website and a lot of very stressed employees.

Now, you probably thinking “but they can’t just shut down their online presence”, well, they can. The insurance company had no rights to their own domain. The person whom the domain name is registered under held all the rights. This person has control of your online services and has the ability to shut down your web services. Or lose the domain altogether.

In this case, the insurance brokers were unable to get hold of the IT company, meaning that, until they could figure out a solution, they were ‘non-existent’ on any online platforms. After a number of days, they eventually got control back – unfortunately, they still haven’t changed who holds their domain, therefore, history is bound to repeat itself without a lesson learnt.

As seen in the image above, this is an example of a company that does not own their own domain name. This means that their IT company (who does own their domain) has complete control over any social presence as well as their server. Ensure that the ‘Registrant Name’ is your name (being the clients) and the ‘Admin Name’ is the IT company or the agency.

More than just a Facebook page

Your website is important, very important in fact, but, what about your other platforms. Having control over your website is great but in this digital age, your social media platforms are just as important as your website.

Although page creators can be deleted as main administrators, this does not mean that you are simply able to take control of your Facebook page if that person were to leave. Enter, Facebook for Business.

Ensure that it is company policy that your company Facebook pages are migrated into Facebook for Business, with the master account being someone who controls the company. If that doesn’t happen, a Page creator will have full control your company Facebook page, and if they should leave the company or no longer be a service provider, you could lose control over the asset.

If it is an agency that is creating your page, allow the Agency access to your page through the Facebook for Business ‘Partners’ feature, rather than leaving them as Owners of your Page. TNNG has been the owner of many of the world’s biggest brands’ South African pages, even though we are not the lead agency on their account. Their legal departments will search and protect their global use of domain names, but not worry about Facebook page ownership. Daft.

From the image above, it can be seen that the Business Facebook Page is owned by The No Nonsense Group – ideally, this should be own by the client in order for the client to have legal rights over their Facebook Page.

You will register your trademark, but then let another company take control over your domain and another one to take control over Facebook Page – by control we mean ‘own it’. Don’t let this common mistake impact your business. Make sure your business is the legal owner of your digital assets.

Contact us to find out more about how to protect your online presence.

Talicia Dalais
Junior Creative Copywriter