The Danger Of Not Owning Your Funeral Home Domain NameApril 2nd, 2015
The internet has changed the way that businesses do everything. A traditional storefront with your name on the sign used to be the only thing you needed to draw families in to your funeral home and build a good reputation in your community. But now you’re now expected to have social media pages, websites, online review pages, and any number of other online profiles that are the latest social media trend. (Who can even keep up with all of them?!)
But listen up ﹘ while there are a ton of benefits to using online tools like Facebook or Yelp!, there’s two important pieces of online real estate that you simply must have to thrive in the digital world… and they go together. You need a website, for the many, many reasons we have listed in the past. And you need the item that leads people there: a custom domain name.
Not only are there a number of business benefits that come with owning your funeral home’s domain name, but there are also many dangerous realities that come with NOT owning it. Read on to learn how to protect your funeral home.
Understanding Domain Names
A domain name is the address that you type into a web browser in order to get to someone’s website. For instance, funeralOne.com is our domain name. It’s the location on the internet where our website and blog live.
You can choose a custom domain name by using any name, word or phrase, and registering it at domain registration site. Or, if you choose a web hosting service like f1Connect, we will take care of the hassle of registering your domain name for you. One of the best options for a business domain name is the actual name of your business. (Example: SmithFuneralHome.com.)
Why You Should Own Your Funeral Home’s Domain Name
In a digital world where businesses are defined by their presence online, owning your funeral home’s name in a domain address is just as important as choosing the name of your funeral home. Why exactly is it so important? Let’s break it down:
- A domain name establishes your online brand identity. When people visit your website, or see a link to your site on social media, the domain name they see is what they will identify you as. Your goal is to make your domain name easy to remember, and make people think of your business when they read it. For example, if your funeral home’s name is “Smith And Sons Family Funeral Home”, SmithFamilyFuneral.com is a domain that people will be able to remember and share from memory. SASFFH.com will be quickly forgotten, and does not give your website an easily identifiable name.
- Your domain name helps people find you in search engines. When you own your funeral home’s domain name and someone searches the name of your funeral home in search engines, it is likely to come up as one of the first results because the name matches the search phrase. For example, if a family types “Smith Family Funeral Home” into Google, the website SmithFamilyFuneral.com will come up as one of the top results, because it matches their search phrase. SASFFH.com would appear much lower in the results, making it harder for the family to find your website. The SEO (search engine optimization) advantages of a custom domain name are very high.
The Danger of NOT Owning Your Funeral Home’s Domain Name
While the above reasons for owning your funeral home’s domain name are very beneficial for your business, there’s an even more important reason why you should purchase a custom domain name ﹘ it could be dangerous for your business not to.
The thing is, when you “purchase” a domain name for your funeral home, you don’t actually own it. It’s similar to how you purchase a phone and are given a phone number for that phone, but you don’t actually own the number. You pay to use it. The same goes for a domain name ﹘ you lease the name for as long as you pay for it. And herein lies the trouble.
Imagine that you’ve spent time building a beautiful funeral home website and you park it on SmithFamilyFuneral.com. Your families come to this domain in order to read about your services, people come to your blog on this domain to read your recent articles, and it’s the first domain that pops up on Google when someone looks up “Smith Family Funeral Home.” Now imagine that, like many people in the world, you get really busy and forget to renew the registration of your domain name. Before you know it, the domain name becomes available for anyone to purchase, and another person scoops up SmithFamilyFuneral.com to use for their own purposes. Boom ﹘ everything you have built, created and promoted is now leading to someone else’s website.
And unfortunately, this isn’t the worst case scenario.
Here are some other things that are threatening your funeral home’s domain name:
- Domain Flippers: There is a whole group of people online who are dedicated to tracking soon-to-be expired domain names, and then they snap them up as soon as someone forgets to renew their subscription. Once they’ve purchased your domain, they will offer to sell it back to you at a very handsome (and often outrageous) price tag.
- Domain Squatters: Similar to flippers, domain squatters will purchase recently expired domain names that have a lot of people coming to their website, and they will place ads on the domain name and profit from the people coming to your domain, who are expecting to see your website.
- Domain Hijackers: One of the worst things that can threaten your domain name is a domain hijacker. These are people who don’t even wait for your domain name to become expired, and take advantage of people that have easy passwords on their domain registration websites. They will break into your account, transfer the ownership of the domain to their own email address, and will lock you completely out of your domain – sometimes taking your web content with them.
Scary, right? Who would have thought that the internet could be full of such dangerous domain pirates. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself from domain expiration and the domain attacks we mentioned above.
How To Protect Your Funeral Home Domain
Now that you are fully aware of the threats that are out there, you can take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Be obsessive about your domain name’s expiration. Know when your website will be expiring, double check that you are signed up for notifications about your domain, and make it a yearly task to double check your domain status. Because you can sign up to use a domain for 2, 5 or even 10 years at a time, your domain’s expiration date can easily slip your mind ﹘ don’t let it.
- Regularly check the billing information on your account. Even if you’re strict about keeping your domain name active and up-to-date, you may forget to do the same for your billing information. Make sure that you are constantly updating your domain billing information if you get a new credit card, or you change addresses. You don’t want to lose your domain due to a simple billing error.
- Make sure YOU own your domain name. We get it ﹘ some of this information is super intricate and complicated. You may be tempted to just hand it off to the resident tech guru at your funeral home, or just pay your web developer to take care of it for you. This is fine, but if you do this, double and triple check that the domain is being registered in your name, and your contact information is being used. If you use a web designer, get it in writing that you own your domain. You need to protect yourself, as you never know when a business relationship could go south.
- Choose complex passwords for your account. The best way to protect yourself from account hijackers, in all account instances ﹘ not just domain names, is to create complex, hard-to-remember passwords for your account. Your password should be 8-10 characters, include letters, numbers and symbols, and include capital and lowercase letters. There are many password generators out there that will help you achieve this.
f1Connect Is On Top Of Domain Protection
Are you totally overwhelmed by all of this domain name information? We get it. And we want to make your life easier. When you use a f1Connect website for your funeral home, we take care of all of your domain details for you. We will renew your domain name long before it expires, we will make sure all of your billing information is up to date, and the best part ﹘ you will always retain ownership of your domain. Plus, we take care of all of the costs that are associated with domain registration and renewal, so you don’t have to worry about a thing! We offer domain purchasing and retaining support for f1Connect websites on any package level, that way you can rest assured and feel protected, as your domain is in safe hands with f1Connect.
For more information, check out funeralOne’s all-in-one website platform, f1Connect, by clicking here or calling us at (800) 798-2575 ext. 5!