Every week more lawyers switch to LawLytics from law firm website design, hosting and SEO companies. There is one large company, which also happens to be the largest of them all, that, according to many of our clients, holds attorneys’ web domains hostage. If you are with them, you may be in for a rude surprise when you decide to leave.

Owning your own website domain is fundamental to your firm’s control and continued enjoyment of your firm’s website. Without owning the domain, it’s like you’re borrowing or leasing land. Here are 5 indications that you may not have control over your domain. In a future post, we’ll look at how to get your domain back if this is you.

  1. You signed a long-term contract (1 year or more) with a major law firm website design company.
  2. You either gave them your password to your registrar account if you already owned your domain (this would be your GoDaddy, Register.com, Enom or other registrar), or they registered your domain for you.
  3. You don’t have access to log in to your registrar account (try your old password that you gave them and you may be surprised that you are locked out).
  4. Your long-term agreement has a clause that they take control of your domain and will only release it when you fulfill the entire contract by paying them everything you originally agreed to.
  5. You check the whois record and you are not listed as the owner or the administrative contact for your domain.

If this is you, don’t lose heart. Literally thousands of attorneys appear to have fallen for this (what we see as predatory) tactic. It’s important to start the process of regaining control of your domain as early as possible so that you will have the freedom to switch law firm website or marketing providers on your own terms.