I run across small business owners everyday that put all of their web assets, including their domain name, in the hands of a web designer or consultant. Websites are easy to replace, valuable domain names are not. Make sure that you have ultimate control over your domain name or risk losing it or suffering some serious downtime if your web host goes belly up.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust your web designer, I’m just saying that for many small businesses, your actual domain name may be one of your businesses most important assets and you should treat it as such.
First a couple points that may need to be clarified.
Your domain name is just that, control of the name – bobsmith.com for example. Your domain host is another element altogether and is probably your web host. You assign who hosts your domain name by controlling your domain name. Many web designers or hosts will set all of this up for you including registering your domain name – you need to separate your domain name control from your domain host and keep it secure.
If you do not ultimately control your domain name – meaning you can’t log in securely and update your domain’s records, here is my recommendation:
Set up a free account with GoDaddy.com and ask your web host or designer to transfer administrative control of the domain to your GoDaddy account #. Once this is done you can use features at GoDaddy to give your IT person or designer access to make technical changes for instance, if you wanted to move to a new web host, but you need to control your domain name.