Do You Own Your Digital Business Real Estate
Your business probably has a domain, email addresses, SSLs and ton of other places you live your digital life. But do YOU have control of them, or does another company or employee own it?
Own Your Digital Real Estate
There are several things you should own in your digital life. Among the main reasons for having control of this is when it needs to be renewed, YOU get the notice and can choose to do the update or not. What you should “own” is :
- Domain – your domain is your home. It is where your customers are looking for information, so make sure you have leased the domain and are the administrative contact.
- Social Media Accounts – social media is getting more prevelant in your life, for better or worse. But it’s where many people live on the internet, so if you are posting and driving traffic from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, create the account yourself and have control of it.
- SSLs – If you are using an SSL, and you should, again lease the SSL yourself instead of through your host, developer or other company.
WordPress Plugins – Many websites lean on plugins to achieve certain tasks. Not renewing the plugin can cause the site to lose functionality.
- Email Accounts – Whether you like to admit it or not, companies rely more on email than phone calls. Know, and own the location that hosts your email. Get admin rights as well.
- Google Analytics Account – did you know Google Analytics accounts and information are not transferable? That’s right… if your previous developer or marketing team created the GA account there’s a good chance if you ever want to move it or take control of it yourself you get to start over. So create your own account and move now.
Some digital items are not critical or even beneficial to own yourself. Things the you can “own” but it’s ok for your marketing or technical team to own as well are:
- Admin access – Many relationships are known to be “over” prior to announcing it’s done. Having admin access to the site, or at the very minimum READ access, will allow you to download the files and databases in advance to something catastrophic from happening.
- Hosting – it’s unusual for many small companies to lease their own server space since it can be expensive and put the management back on you as the business owner to handle when it goes down needs updating or has other issues.
- Google Ads – Most of the time Google Ads are managed by marketing teams and can be accessed by the business owner and the marketing agency.
- Social Media/Review Management – Admin access can be given to marketing teams or management companies, and it can also be revoked just as easily.
With “owning” these pieces of your digital comes some great responsibility. If you choose to log into ANY of these items, make sure you do not make changes unless you are prepared for the possible issues. In many cases data and files may not be backed up and if deleted or edited it can be costly, or even impossible to recover.
I’ll use this to issue my standard warning of back up, back up, back up. Own your backups. Save your backups. Download and backup your social media posts and other info. Keep your email server backed up.
Backups are normally portable and in an emergency you can set up a new server and site in days, not weeks. But if you don’t “own” your domain you are relying on someone else to point towards the new host, which can be an issue. By owning it yourself you still may need help but you just need to find THAT person instead of relying on a negative relationship to accomplish the task. Own your own digital real estate.