Domain names are now part of our everyday lives. Technically, a domain name is a simpler alias for the IP address for a web server, but to most of us it is just our website address, and a fundamental part of our business image, off- and online.

Here are a few tips and some pitfalls to avoid in your domain name management.

Is it yours?

Duh! Of course it is, I’m using it! Over the years, a surprisingly large number of domains I checked for clients or training attendees were actually registered to the web development or hosting companies they originally dealt with. Although this was likely due to carelessness rather than malice on the part of these service providers, it is worth checking that your domain is registered to you / your business.

Services such as Domain Tools are great for this: you should be the Registrant for your domain name; check also that contact details are accurate.

Domain Name Renewal Scams

Between clients’ and my own domain names, I have received dozens of convincing, official looking letters warning that domain names are about to expire, offering related names or similar. Some are so convincing and subtly threatening, it’s difficult to ignore them.

Another sharp practice is that of contacting businesses when they register a new business name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO), to offer related domain names for sale at well above market rates. Again, the layout and wording of these letters is designed to scare and confuse the recipient. Example letter received by a client of mine.

To avoid falling prey to such scams, make sure that, for each domain name you own, you know the renewal dates and the domain registrar.

Domain Hacks

These are fun! A domain hack involves creative use of often lesser-known top level domains to create a short version of your business or brand name, for example youtu.be, del.icio.us, blo.gs. Check out this explanation and list of examples and be inspired!

Cash rich?

Check out the world’s ten most expensive domain names:

1. Insure.com, sold to QuinStreet for $16 million in 2009.
2. Sex.com, sold for $12-$14 million in 2006.
3. Fund.com, sold for $9.99 million in 2008.
4. Porn.com, sold for $9.5 million in 2007.
5. Business.com, sold for $7.5 million in 1999.
6. Diamond.com, sold to Ice.com for $7.5 million in 2006.
7. Beer.com, sold for $7 million in 2004.
8. Israel.com, sold for $5.88 million in 2004.
9. Casino.com, sold for $5.5 million in 2003.
10. Toys.com, sold to Toys ‘R Us for $5.1 million in 2009.
Source: The Most Expensive Journal

I am a digital marketer who has recently returned home to Ireland, following a two-year stint working in Silicon Valley, California. I am an avid traveller, reader and oenophile, always happy to connect with new people, online and IRL. All content (c) Karen Henry 2010-2016