Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

When I was a little kid, my dad liked to watch the evening news. He was also a runner, and he had a stopwatch exactly like the one on 60 Minutes (I remember thinking that was so cool).

Anyway, there was a public service announcement on every night with a voice that said, “It’s 10PM – do you know where your children are?” (why I was even up at 10PM at that age, I have no idea, but that’s another story…). It served as a reminder to parents that it was getting late and their kids should probably be inside by now. It ran for over 20 years, so it must have been effective.

So what about you – where are your children?

By your children, I don’t mean that literally. I mean your online children. When you have an online business, you have many “children” – your website, your blog, your social media profiles, your email accounts, etc. You probably spend a lot of time caring for them, nurturing them, and helping them grow, don’t you? You’re a good parent.

But what about the forgotten child?

You know, the quiet one – the one who never gets into any trouble. That child is your domain. Have you checked on it lately, or is it sitting silently all alone in a corner? Do you know when it expires? Most people don’t. Most people don’t even think about their domain until they get an email reminder to renew, or until they get up one morning and their website is gone.

That happened to one of my clients this week – he called me in a panic because his email wasn’t working and his website was down. I checked it and sure enough, the domain expired. He freaked – “How did this happen? What do I do?????” He couldn’t even remember where his domain was registered, and he certainly didn’t have his login info.

Luckily, he caught it in time, and I could help.

One of the many “extra” things I do for my clients is hold onto their domain and hosting records – so that we have them in situations like this. When we had initially built his website he had given me that information, so it went right into his file for safekeeping. It turns out that his contact information was out of date, so he had never received the reminder email, and the credit card on file had expired so auto-renew was not an option.

Once we logged in, it took five minutes to renew his domain, and in a few hours he was able to see his site and get his email again. If he hadn’t caught it when he did, he could have risked losing the domain completely. *whew!*

So take a minute today to check on your children.

Don’t let this happen to you. Check contact information, expiration dates, automatic renewal and payment settings, etc. Be a responsible parent and make sure all your kids are taken care of.

Image credit: William Warby

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