Digital Documentation – Protecting Your Virtual Property for Peace of Mind

Written by Marie Mushing

Being in the website design business it is important for me to know the details about my client’s website, hosting and domain and so often new clients come to me and know nothing about their virtual property. Many do not legally own their domain name or hosting account because it was set up in someone else’s name. When your domain or hosting is not in your name and email it can create a myriad of issues. It is also creating unhealthy stress when it stops you from moving ahead.

Let me tell you a story. A few years back one of my clients had websites, domains and a web person that took care of it all under his own hosting account. Suddenly they were not able to contact this person. It took months before they got a response, and it was from a relative that was taking care of closing the person’s business because they had died suddenly many months before when they first lost contact. Now normally this would not be an issue if everything was in their name but in this case, nothing was, and it took quite a bit of time to recover everything. They no longer had a website or email for their business and were losing possible income during this period.

The person that helped another client originally, hijacked her domain name because it wasn’t in her name… or the client that was still trying to get domains back three months after leaving the last company even though he paid for them and had to register a new domain for the new website. I pursued this relentlessly during this period and eventually did get it resolved.

Can you just imagine the stress these clients went through knowing that their digital property was no longer in their control!

Now speaking for most professional web hosting companies, this is never an issue if it originally wasn’t registered with their client’s name and email. They immediately make the changes needed so the client can move without any stress. However, the domain and hosting should always be in the client’s name and email right from the time of the registration.

I gather this information from clients as soon as we agree to their website if it is for an existing domain and/or website. If their digital property is not in their name, I explain why it is important and help them with the process. This creates peace of mind for the client knowing they are not on their own to try to navigate the system to make these changes.

There are ways to check to make sure your domain name is in your name. Go to and look up your domain name. You can see who the domain registrar is, when the domain expires, where your website is hosted and if it is not hidden by privacy protection, you can see the owner’s information. If it isn’t you or you don’t know, you should find this out.

This is done by contacting the person that set it up for you to make sure you have:

  • Access to your website for editing.
  • Access to the hosting account for billing etc.
  • Access to your domain to ensure it is in your name and that you know when it expires.

Once you have all this information into place, it is easy to create a digital document that can be printed and put into a file into a safe place for when it is needed for reference.

For clients that need help with this, I am always happy to help with the process as I am committed to ensuring clients own and have rights to their digital property and peace of mind knowing it is easily accessible.

Marie Mushing
Website Design and Consulting

Marie has been assisting clients with their website design needs for over 25 years. She believes that educating her clients about their website and security and how to use it to maximize their marketing efforts is as important as the design process. Through education, potential clients are able to make informed decisions about digital needs. She also offers support for those looking for networking referrals.

Marie Mushing contributes to the Wild About Wellness Community online where members passionate about holistic health and wellness come together to share information, educate and contribute for the purpose of learning and growing. You are invited to explore the site with a free 1-month membership. Get your 1-month free membership HERE.