How to maintain an Asset Register for all your online assets28-Feb-2011 I see lots of business owners in a panic when unexpectedly they need to renew expired hosting, Security Certificates or Domain names and it is only after the site is down for hours or sometimes days that they realise they didn't renew something.
This often happens when the client has not kept the registrar up to date, things change, companies move, old email addresses are not used plus the original registration might have been done by the person who built the website and the client has not maintained the contact details for that asset and therefore does not receive any renewal notices. To make it worse, while the site is not working and you may be losing money if it is an e-commerce site it can take quite some time to conduct the identity checks required to authorise the renewal if you don't already have access.
An easy solution is to keep an asset register for all you online purchases.
Prevent Domain Renewal ScamsThis will also prevent you being scammed as I saw the other day I received a letter from Domain Renewal Group for one of my clients. It looked like an invoice for the renewal of the domain name.
After a quick Whois lookup I knew that the domain name in question was NOT registered with them and therefore they had nothing to do with the registration of the domain name.
They were also charging more than double what it costs to renew this domain. The unknowing client nearly paid the money and possibly had the domain name transferred out of his preferred supplier.
If you know who your assets are registered with then you will know if you receive a scam or bogus renewal notice and you will never be caught out scrambling to renew an already expired asset.
Example Asset RegisterBasically an asset register is just a list of your assets and the associated information located in one place. It doesn't have to be complicated a simple Word file or Excel Spreadsheet will do just fine. The important thing is that you keep this document secure.
This is a very confidential document and care needs to be taken as to who has access to it. As you can imagine if someone gets hold of this then they could cause lots of damage.
On that note, any passwords you have make sure they are all unique and have high security levels, see my article on password security here.
It is also a good idea to set reminders in your calendar so you know when they are due for renewal, the important thing is to know what has been purchased in your name and know how to access and manage all assets.
After delivery you the client own the web site. It is your responsibility to manage and pay all upkeep costs, such as hosting, fees for merchant facility and other ongoing e-Commerce fees.