When you set up a new website, you are making a very large investment in a very important part of your new web experience. What am I talking about? Your domain name:  .com, .net, .org — name for your site.

I can’t stress to you how important it is that you set up your domain name properly from the get-go. It is crucial that it is set up in a way that you will ultimately have access to your domain name no matter what happens.

Here’s  the usual scenario:

Very important, very busy business owner is too busy to find out about how to purchase one of these domain name things so they delegate it to “Someone Else” within the company. “Someone Else” purchases the domain name for them. But what does “Someone Else” use for contact information? THEIR personal email — not the email that goes directly to the business owner.

By and by “Someone Else” leaves the company for one reason or another. Hopefully it was an amicable split — because guess who is the only one now who has access to YOUR domain name? Yep: “Someone Else.”

And “Someone Else” doesn’t work for you any more! Bummer.

Here is another scenario:

You took the time to purchase your domain name yourself and used your own email. Yay! You did this part right. But then, down the line, you switch ISP’s and your email changes. You forget that your domain name is registered under your OLD email which you no longer have access to. Bummer again! Remember, if you switch emails, update your domain name before you make the switch so you can verify the change through your old email — that’s where the verification email will go.

The really big downside to both of these situations is this:

You are not getting renewal information if your domain name can’t find you! ICANN doesn’t care who owns a domain name. So if yours expires and someone else purchases it you will be out of luck. Think of all that money you spent in developing your website and marketing your website and having brochures, and business cards printed with your domain name that now belongs to someone else! And if you tattooed your domain name across your forehead Oh boy! Now your tattoo.com points to someone else’s site. Most likely a site belonging to scab who now wants to sell Viagra using your old domain name. And short of offering that scab a bunch of cash for your old domain name (and believe me, it won’t be cheap) you have lost that domain name forever.

Be careful. Protect your investment.