So You Think You’re A Designer? Part One
There are many so-called web designers in Tucson that don’t deserve the title. Over the past six years, we have seen many a web designer come and go by having the opportunity to serve their unhappy clients. While anyone with even a little computer skill can throw a web site template out into the abyss that is the internet, it is the small things that form the vast canyon between those who are professional web designers and those who are merely pretending. One of the most serious problems that inexperienced web-designers can cause is the loss of control over domain names.
Registering Domain Names to the Wrong Person
A full explanation about the misunderstood power of domain names is beyond the scope of this article. To put it simply, a web domain is gold. Not only is it the main way for businesses to be reached via the internet, it quickly gets plastered all over letterhead, business cards, and other business materials. The power of the person listed as the “registrant” of any web domain is all encompassing because such a person can change the place a web site points or shutdown the site altogether. Why then would a company let their web designer list themselves as the registered domain owner? Often, web design clients don’t even know that it has been done.
Many times we have seen clients who have had their sites held hostage because their web designers were listed as the domain’s official owner. Other times, a web designer will disappear and leave their client with no way of making web site changes or even renewing their domain when it expires. While it can be understood that some web designers would want to ensure payment for services by doing this, it is completely unprofessional and unnecessary if web design contracts are properly written. Companies looking for web design services should make sure that domain names are NEVER registered in any name except the company name.
Although some web design companies are just sloppy, others attempt to use the domain name registration as a method of controlling their customers for the long term. Especially if a company has a successful and well visited web site, they are less inclined to push the issue and change designers or web registrars for fear of having their site offline. If a designer tries to make it difficult to cancel services or switch web design companies, it pays to keep trying. As infuriating as it can be, it is often much cheaper and less time consuming to pay the designer a small fee to have the domain transferred and registered properly. The alternative is an expensive legal process that begins with the filing of a formal complaint with the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The bottom line is that preventing an improper domain registration from ever happening is the very best approach to ensuring that a web site will live a long and prosperous life on the internet. As with all technology related subjects, a little education about the process and a fair amount of vigilance go a long way. If this has ever happened to you, we want to hear from you! As always, if you have further questions or would like to talk to us about getting your company’s site launched, visit our web design pages and feel free to Contact Us!
Be sure to tune in next time when we will continue the discussion about what makes a web designer great. We will point out other flawed practices and hopefully help you avoid a web design nightmare.
Happy Web Designing!Share
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