Part 4: Domain ownership

You have probably heard this before: business owners (and sometimes even non-profit organizations) have lost control of their websites because they trusted their developers too much and did not ask the right questions.

Hiring a web developer (or an agency) is a big decision and you better be sure that before you allow someone to manage or develop your website, they are open, honest and care about your business and its image.

This series of articles is intended to showcase steps you can take to prevent this misfortune from happening to your business.


We will start with a list of a few things you must consider in order to prevent being held hostage when hosting your website online.

4. Domain ownership

Purchasing (and searching the availability of) the domain is one of the first steps to take before developing your website. Once it’s done, you own the domain. And though you may face technical challenges and be unversed in matters such as these, you should set the domain up yourself. If you feel that you cannot do it by yourself, ask or hire someone to do that with you, side by side, so you can make sure that you’re the one that will OWN the domain after you buy it.

Of course, it’s much easier to ask the developers to buy your domain, but, if you do that, you may end up not being the owner. If this happens, there can be dire consequences if for whatever reason your relationship deteriorates with the developer. If they’re both the owner of the domain AND they want to harm your business, they may sell the domain, so that you have to buy another one, or hold your site, the one you “used to own”, hostage.

To remedy this, you can buy domains through Google at or, though be prepared for some domains to not be available – the early bird catches the worm!

This is the fourth article of the “Is your web developer holding your website hostage?” series. We will continue part 5 on July 10, where we will be talking about analytical data concerns that you might have.

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