Domain Buyer, Beware!

The perils of webhosting were probably not at the forefront of your mind when you bought the domain for your business or nonprofit.  Maybe you went with the latest email solicitation you got, or maybe you went the one that offered the lowest annual price – after all, webhosting is webhosting, right?  Minneapolis certified public accounting firm Foreman & Airhart now knows better.  Read on to find out how their webhost went AWOL and brought on a ticking time bomb leading to website shutdown.

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Mark Foreman, owner and CPA

Urgency Before Emergency

“We weren’t able to get ahold of her,” explains accountant Cole Swenson of his initial attempts to contact their webhost.  An email had popped up for owner Mark Foreman at Foreman & Airhart about their domain name being up for renewal.  The solution seemed simple: renew the domain and carry on business as usual.  But soon enough, the reality hit them.

“Having web presence is an important thing,” says Cole.  The company was now at risk of losing their website, and with it, their stellar reputation as an always-dependable accounting firm.  Tech Guru VP of Operations Micah Thor agrees, “If you don’t have a website, you’re out of business quickly.”  If your domain host loses, sells, or locks down your domain, you’re at risk of facing significant problems.  “It’s the same as your online business being shut down.  People will see an ‘under construction’ page and their emails to you will bounce back.”

Cole called Micah to tell him about the pinch the company was in.  “Tech Guru always has answers and our backs,” Cole says.  “They’re there to calm everything down when it gets hairy.”  Micah was persistent in trying to get through to the person in charge of the domain.  In what felt like an 11th-hour miracle, Cole finally reached her and got her talking to Micah.  “The day the domain was to expire, everything came into place,” says Cole.  “We didn’t lose the domain, and we didn’t lose any information on the website.  The only time we shut down was for a few hours – we had to move to another host.”


Avoid Domain Damage

How can you prevent this from happening to you?  “Work with reputable companies that have been around for more than 15 minutes,” says Micah.  Don’t neglect the importance of the trust you’re putting on your domain host.  It’s like handing someone your organization’s physical mailing address and phone number and saying, “Here, keep this safe for me.”  To have someone walk away with the information would be the equivalent of boarding it up your store and calling it quits!

Cole is grateful for Tech Guru’s help during a stressful time a their office.  “Had we not had Tech Guru, I don’t know how it would have worked out,” says Cole.  “I wouldn’t have known how to get in touch with this person or what to ask.”  Foreman & Airhart can go back to doing what is does best: serving medium to small businesses and individual tax clients with bookkeeping and payroll, wealth management, tax preparation, and financial statement compilations.

Looking for your your dependable IT service provider in Minneapolis?  Tech Guru knows the importance of being a reliable IT company.  “We manage reliable IT and we manage your vendors,” says Micah.  Next time, leave it to the masters of domain.

Dan Moshe helps business owners in the Minneapolis area with all things tech, and is the CEO of the Caring IT company Tech Guru.  He cares about your business as much as you do!