It’s downright scary when you go to your dance studio’s website and it’s down. Or you hear from a dancer or parent that it’s not there… eek. Almost always, a downed website is a case of an expired domain name (website address).
Knowing who maintains your domain name and when it expires will give you peace of mind and ensure that your website stays right where it should – in front of the eyeballs of your customers and prospects.
Do you know who maintains your domain name? Here’s an easy way to check!
WHOIS (pronounced as the phrase “who is”) is a system used to find out information about the ownership of a domain name.
To quickly figure out who maintains your domain name, go to www.whois.net and simply put in your website address. When you see the results, the piece of information you’re looking for is “Admin Name”. The person maintaining your domain name is the person or company listed in that section.
A) If you are one of our website customers, and you see ‘Studio of Dance.com‘ (or Stacey Marolf), then we are the ones who maintain your domain. You’ll receive a renewal reminder from us one month prior to your domain expiration.
B) If another company or person is listed (other than yourself or us), they are the ones who maintain your domain name. Hopefully, they’re terrific about letting you know when your domain is about to expire so you can renew. A smart thing to do is go back to your Whois listing and search for the ‘Registrar Expiration Date’ field. This tells you when your domain name will expire.
I would highly recommend putting a reminder in your own phone or office calendar so you can make sure this important component is taken care of. Make the reminder for a few weeks prior to the domain’s expiration to ensure you have enough time to take care of it (this goes doubly if the person/company maintaining your domain name is difficult to get a hold of).
C) If you see your own name, then either you registered it yourself, or someone did so on your behalf. It’s up to you to maintain your domain name. If this is your situation, look at your Whois listing again for the ‘Registrar URL’ field. This will tell you who your domain registrar is.
If you maintain your own domain name, pay attention to those domain renewal reminders!
It’s incredibly important. Now that you know who your domain name company (registrar) is, keep your eyes out for domain name renewal reminders from them. When they send you a domain reminder, don’t hesitate – go ahead and renew immediately. You’re going to have to anyway, and delaying just increases the possibility of forgetting to do so.
Forgetting to renew results in your domain name lapsing, and when that happens? Your website will go down! Or worse – someone can grab your released domain name and either use it themselves or charge you a boatload to get it back. (Don’t get me started about those stinker companies who make money in this fashion… grrr.)
NOTE: Make sure the company sending you a domain renewal is the actual company your name is registered with. There are a few companies that send (usually by mail) a notice to renew your domain name. The renewal notice from your legitimate domain registrar should come by email and be the company listed in your WhoIs listing’s ‘Registrar URL’ field.
When Renewing your Domain Name – A Bonus Tip:
The next time you renew your domain name (no matter who maintains it), I’d strongly recommend renewing for 5 to 10 years, instead of one.
- It’s excellent for your SEO (search engine optimization).
When search engines recognize your domain name has been registered for a longer number of years, they see the business as a valid, long-term business and are inclined to reward them with higher placement in search results.
- Your price is locked in. If the domain renewal price goes up, it won’t affect you. You won’t have to worry about it for years!
- Domain registration is typically inexpensive, and it’s so worth it to register for a longer number of years and avoid the pain of renewing each year!
Knowing who maintains your domain name can give you peace of mind about your website. I hope this helps clear up any questions you may have about the topic. If you do have other questions or concerns, please let me know in the comments below. You’re likely not the only one, and I can put Q and A’s in a future blogpost.
Are you tired of your studio’s website? Ready for a website overhaul? Please take a look at our dance studio website design portfolio, and see whether we’re a good fit!