b'SMART OPERATIONSKeep Your Website Domain Registrations CurrentOne of my clients called me yesterday, simply change the registrant information certain where your domain name is reg-when I was able to congratulate him on (name, email address and other contact istered, know that it is locked to preventthe impending sale of his business, a small information) to that of the new owner transfer, and know its expiration/renewalmarina on a lake in northern New Eng- rather than fully transferring the owner- date, do yourself a favor and perform aPeterland. He asked for advice on the transition ship of the domain to a new account or a whois lookup. Go to https://whois.com/Pelland of the businesss website, and I told him newregistrar. Whenactualtransferof and enter your domain name. Confirmhow he needed to ensure that the regis- ownership is necessary, I have had trans- that YOU are listed as the registrant, nottrant information for his domain name fers complete within minutes, and I have your webmaster or your hosting serviceswas updated at the time of sale. The regis- also had transfers that have dragged on for provider. This should list your name andI recently had some work done on my trant is the owner of a domain name, even months or failed entirely. your business name and address, alongcar, where I left the shop my wifes key fob though nobody actually owns their do- Who Owns Your Domain Name? with your email address. You should alsoratherthanremovingmyownfroma main name. Think of it as a long-term In another recent instance, I was con- confirm that the domain status includescrowded key ring. A few minutes later, the lease (from 1 to 10 years) that you enter tacted by the new owner of a campground the words Transfer Prohibited, Updateshop called to tell me that the battery was into with a domain name registrar (the in Pennsylvania who is looking to replace Prohibited and Delete Prohibited. Ifdead in that little-used key fob, requiring equivalent of a rental agent, in this in- the website that she inherited from the for- the information is outdated or incorrect,that I drive back to the shop and take my stance.) That lease may be renewed in- mer owner. Upon doing a whois lookup, update that information without delay.own key off of the key ring anyway. Do- definitely, as long as you keep up with I immediately learned that not only had Iftheinformationinyourwhoismain name registrations are somewhat your payments. the domain name registration not been lookup is not recognizable, you may besimilar, where we give little thought to When selling a business, it is much eas- updated at the time of sale, but that the paying for a so-called private registration.something that we do not use on a regular ier and more efficient to leave the domain former owner never owned the domain That is probably the most commonly pur-basis, but that lack of attention can sud- name registration with the current regis- name in the first place! The domain had chased domain name registration add-denly become important. trar. If possible, it makes more sense to been owned for nearly 10 years by the dis- on, usually incurring an annual fee of $5count hosting services provider that the or $10. In almost all instances, a privateprevious owner had been using, registered registration is a waste of money, and it willwith one of its sister companies. In the at- prevent you from confirming your do-tempt to rightfully transfer ownership, the main name registration details withoutpark owner is at the mercy of the website logging into your account. When you ac-host that they would like to leave. tually do log in, you might be surprised toIn yet another recent instance, I was findlike the new campground ownerscontacted by the owners of a campground in Pennsylvaniathat your webmaster orin Alabama that has never had a website. hosting company is the actual registrantThe owners are interested in a website (owner) of your domain name. If that isnow, but the most logical domain name the case, this is something that needs to(the name of the park dot com) was regis- be corrected immediately. You also wanttered earlier in the year by the owner of a to confirm that the email address associ-local tattoo parlor who apparently dabbles ated with your name is not an old AOLin websites. I casually reached out to the email address that you have not used inowner of the domain on behalf of the years, or that your domain is unlocked campground, but he never even returned which is roughly equivalent to the care-my call. In this instance, the campgrounds lessness of leaving your parked car un-only option is to seek out the next best do- locked on the streets of a major city.main name but realizing that confusion After the registrant, a second impor-with that most logical domain name is tant piece of contact information associ-likely to haunt them for years to come. ated with a domain name registration isProtect Your Existing Domain Name the administrative contact. This will mostProtect your existing domain name(s) often and correctly be the contact infor-from potential hijacking. Unless you are mation for your current webmaster. Theimportant things are for this to be up-dated if you change webmaster and forthe associated email address to be valid,since the administrative contact is theone to approve (or decline) changes toyour domain name registration. I haveseen instances over the years where thereis a falling out with a webmaster/admin-istrative contact, a situation that can reallyput a domain name in jeopardy. Thoughthis does not happen often, it usually in-volves a webmaster who is an estrangedfamily member or a local webmaster whothinks he is owed money or who decidesto become vindictive should you decideto take your business elsewhere.Take a moment to confirm that all ofthe information associated with your do-main name registration(s) is correct andup-to-date, avoiding an encounter withlast-minute surprises when you are readyto sell your business or otherwise need tomake a change. While you are at it, checkthe batteries in your key fob.PeterPellandistheCEOof Pelland Advertising, a company thathe founded in 1980 that has beenserving the family camping industryfor nearly 40 years. His company spe-cializes in building fully responsivewebsites, along with producing a fullrange of four-color process print ad-vertising,forclients.LearnmoreaboutPellandAdvertisingathttps://pelland.com/ or see its ad inthis issue. WCM10 -October 2020Woodalls Campground Management'