A couple of recent incidents from the world of politics on either side of the Atlantic have highlighted why it's so important to stay on top of your domain names.
In the run up to this week's general election, UKIP launched their Scottish manifesto in Falkirk (albeit just 3 days before the polls open). Unfortunately they hadn't registered the domain name used on all of their promotional material. This comes on the heels of the incident in January where their main website disappeared apparently due to an issue of some sort with their domain.
In the states, two candidates for the presidency have suffered similar fates. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina failed to secure carlyfiorina.orgby the time she threw her hat into the ring which meant that somebody else could and used it to highlight the number of redundancies she made whilst at HP.
Another presidential hopeful, Ted Cruz, failed to register tedcruz.com which is currently in the hands of somebody who doesn't seem to be on the same page politically.
This doesn't just apply to the world of politics - whatever your business it's important that you have control over any relevant domain names, otherwise you have no control over who does. You might not even be ready to launch a website, you might not even know if you want one (hint: you probably should!), but it's never too early to register domains. In fact, if you're a start up, you'll want to check whether the relevant domains are available before you settle on a business name.
There's recently been a massive increase in the numbers of global top level domains that can be registered. Instead of being restricted to things like.com, .org etc you can now have a web address ending in all sorts from .ninja to .design. They're not especially common yet, but over the next few years you'll be seeing more and more of these online and if there's one relevant to your industry it's worth staking your claim now. Even if you don't plan on launching a website for some time, having an email address set up on a domain specific to your business is much more professional than using a free service like Gmail or Outlook. You can even tie your new email address into your existing online in boxes so you'll only have to check your mail in one place.
When you register a domain name, you don't get it indefinitely and there'll come a time when its up for renewal. Whilst there's a grace period after expiry where nobody else will be able to register your domain, any kind of downtime where your site and associated email addresses are out of use will have an impact on your business, so it's important to stay on top of your domain renewals to ensure that you don't have any interruption you service.
If you're planning a website or starting up a new business, choosing the right domain name can have a real impact on your performance. Get in touch to discuss how I can help.