CIRA's product support team knows the ins and outs of domain names. We've recently launched a support section on our website to assist Registrants with common domain name questions and through a series of blog posts, we would like to share some of the lesser known domain registration tips.
When you finally find and register the perfect domain name, you might go ahead and create your own custom email address with it. Once you have your shiny new personalized email address set up, naturally you'll want to put your firstname.lastname@example.org email address to rest and start using your custom email address for everything, like showing it off on your business cards and adding it to the contact information displayed on your website.
But there's actually one thing we'd recommend you not use it for: the contact information for the domain name itself.
Let's explore this in a bit more detail.
About domain name contact information
When you register a domain name, you need to provide some basic information like a phone number and email address so that CIRA or your Registrar can get in contact with you regarding the management of your domain name. For example, we send email reminders when your domain name is about to expire. It's crucial that you register your domain name with accurate information – this information is all CIRA and your Registrar have to be able to contact you in a secure way.
Tip: Register your domain name with accurate contact information.
.CA WHOIS privacy for individuals
For individuals, the contact information provided when you register is not displayed on the .CA WHOIS. This means you don't need to worry about people using your WHOIS contact information to spam you (as is the case with some other TLDs) or purchase additional privacy protection services from Registrars.
Changing your domain contact information
Let's say you get a new phone number and after you're done with your “new phone who dis?” texts you want to update your domain contact information because you're a responsible Registrant.
CIRA, as the .CA Registry, does not make any changes to domain information – you'll need to edit the information with your Registrar account or get in touch with them to update your contact info. Once you've been in touch with your Registrar, the changes you make to the information will be forwarded to us (the Registry) automatically, and our records will be updated accordingly.
Tip: Keep your contact information up-to-date through your Registrar.
What email should be associated with your domain contact information?
As I mentioned before, it can be tempting to use your new customized email address everywhere. However, there's one thing we'd caution against: using your domain-specific email as your Registrant and/or Administrative contact. Why? It can impair your ability to effectively manage your domain name.
For example, when a .CA domain name enters into the redemption grace period in the life cycle, the domain ceases to function and anything associated with that domain name also becomes no longer active. This, of course, includes your email.
So if you've been busy playing HQ or binging Black Mirror and your domain lapses, you'll find that the email on file is not functioning. You will not have the ability to renew your domain name or communicate with your Registrar. They rely on the admin email for authentication!
Additionally, if your domain name enters the Redemption Grace period of the domain life cycle, you're forced to use an unrecognized email address in your communication with your Registrar and they might not respond as there is no way to verify that you are the rightful Registrant for this domain.
Admittedly, this is not a common scenario and if you make note to renew your domain name before it expires, you will never have to worry about this. But it's just an quick tip to follow that could make your life easier someday.
Final tip: Don't go meta and update your domain contact information with a custom email that uses that domain (i.e. don't use email@example.com for amazingdomain.ca contact information). Use an alternative, personal email address instead.