I had a wonderful meeting with some of the people at St. Andrew’s Tacoma today, and in the conversation with them I remembered something that I should pass on about domain names. When you get your domain name from wherever you decide to get it, make sure it is registered to your organization and address. I had run into a situation where a member of the church went on their own to register a domain name and set up a website, all in their name and address. Later the person moved out of state and when it came time to renew two things happened: 1) the church wasn’t notified that the renewal was due, since the notice didn’t go to the church which made the domain name up for grabs when it expired and 2) trying to move the domain name to a different hosting site became a logistical nightmare, since it was registered in the person’s name, not the churches. We had to contact the person, they had to send a letter with a photo copy of their driver’s license with their old address to the church and the hosting site giving permission to move the site and give ownership to the church. Suffice to say, it was a major hassle.
So when you register your domain name (and set up your hosting site for that matter as well), register it with the particular church as the owner and the church’s mailing address as the billing address. You will probably be asked for a contact person on the account, which can be a person of your choice, but just make sure they aren’t the ones who own the account. If your contact person changes, that is a minor problem and one that won’t affect the account ownership. You will have to give a valid email address initially, but you can edit that information afterwords to have the address go to an email address of your choice at the domain of the church. More about email aliases in another post.