One of the key benefits of domain registration is that it helps form a longer term strategy around brand protection for both your trademarks but also generic business area, but it can often a trap for new players or trusting business owners. Many business owners are very careful to register a few variations of their domain but unless its the .com or .com.au version of your domain there is very little value in most businesses owning every possible domain unless you are in a competitive niche like travel and you can secure generic domains like “cheap holiday” you don’t need stress too much.
There are a lot of web hosting and domain registration companies but there can be benefits in registering everything in the one place as I do with StudioCoast my web hosting company. There is a good reason why I use and recommend for both my own projects but also encourage my clients to use them for their domains/hosting as they offer both quality and reliable ASPnet Hosting at a similar price point to those offering Linux hosting, but that is not the only reason I recommend them. StudioCoast earn their real credit in helping protect your brand from being hijacked with a number of security features enabled automatically during their domain registration process and these security measures has saved both myself and a number of my clients from scammers who try to move your domain registration away to another provider for a sharply higher renewal rate or just as part something more fraudulent.
The dozens less than reputable companies like the Domain Renewal Group, Domain Registry of America, Domain Registry of Europe and dozens of variations undertake what is known as domain slamming where they send out notices under the guise of domain renewal but hide massive fees and costs if you do take their offer. These less than reputable companies like to pray on both unsuspecting individuals and businesses via pushy phone calls, official looking renewal letters and now an increasing number of aggressive emails pushing clients to move registration to another provider. The new range of emails actually step the reader how to move their domain away from their current provider which is a big concern seeing how many people fall for the scam.
One of the biggest reasons you should avoid these offers is that you don’t know who is controlling the company and who might gain control of your domains, you should never action one of these requests as it will place you in a very difficult situation and can lead a blackmail situation should you want to gain back control of your domain combined with often huge legal costs and transfers fees they may charge you. I receive about 2-3 of these letters/emails each month directly or forwarded by clients/agencies seeking some advice and I make and I try and make it very clear do not respond, unless your existing registrar sends a letter you need to ignore these requests. If you want to look at the cost of registration for 1 year for a .com domain they start around $20 and spike to $45 with the fraudulent expiry notices.
- StudioCoast $20
- WebCentral $33
- MelbourneIT $35
- Domain Renewal Group $45
It’s no secret that there are hundreds of places you can register a domain but advising sticking with a trusted domain registrar like StudioCoast as they are one of the few Registrars to automatically enable Registrar Lock to prevent your domain being stolen through these fraudulent transfers which can also often be initiated by anonymous requests. The other benefits of enabling registrar lock is that it prevents your domain against accidental changes and even higher security features like EPP transfer protection are automatically enabled on every domain StudioCoast register for free.
So how do you know if your domain has been protected? You will be able to see the following message when you check your WHOIS record.
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Even if you domain provider charges for the Domain Lock/Protection feature it is advisable to add it and just hope that your registrar is not also charging $24.95 for other items that are provided free automatically such as domain name certificates which prove your title of ownership over the domain. You should be reading this article and thinking about contacting your registrar to ensure that your domain is protected as if you are serious about projecting your brand you need to be proactive now to save yourself from pain later….