Our Client's Domains are not Our Domains

June 12, 2007

If I had a dollar for every time we were handcuffed from helping a client or potential client because we had no access to their domain, I'd be well on my way to a venti double cappuccino at Starbuck's.

Some significant percentage of the time (like in this morning's fiasco), the problem lies with the mistake that many freelancers and inexperienced firms make by moving a client domain into a registrar account that holds other client domains. Such an arrangement makes it impossible to simply "hand over" the domain to the client, or to the client's newly-chosen webmaster. Understandably so, no person or firm in their right mind would want to give the "keys" to controlling any number of their clients' domains to one of those clients, or, heaven forbid, to a "competitor".

Complicating this whole scenario is that the average client understands practically nothing about the whole world of domain registration, DNS, or even web hosting. It's all a big, dark cloud; one, in their mind, impossible to make sense of. Too often the folks to which they entrust these matters don't even understand it all.

So I send out this message to freelancers and firms alike. This won't solve the world's ills, but it will, at least, remove one obstacle standing between the world's current state of chaos and our own personal visions of Utopia:

Please, don't treat your client's domain as if it were your own. The domain belongs to the client, and our responsibility, in many cases, is to manage it as our client would if they were knowledgeable enough to effectively do so. Do not dump all your clients' domains into a single registrar account to which only you and your chosen peeps have access. Keep the domain or domains belonging to a single client in a single account, ready, at the drop of a hat, to hand back over to your client or their chosen representative. Make yourself look good by making this process simple, as it should be.