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Keeping Control of your Website

Andrew Metcalfe —

Websites are great at connecting us with our communities, but we are aware that some parishes have endured some real difficulties with them. This ranges from losing control of them if a key person moves on, or losing the site altogether if a domain name subscription lapses and is then on-sold. Is this you? We can help...

The above scenarios have happened already, including one unfortunate occurrence where a church website domain was on-sold to an overseas service provider of objectionable material.

We have been asking our information technology provider (OneCall) if they may be able to offer something for parishes who want to make things more secure for themselves. They say:  

OneCall offers Domain Name Hosting services for $40.00 plus GST per year per domain name. We would be happy taking on hosting for additional domains, but would prefer the billing relationship for the domains to be through the Diocese (if individual parishes would require separate invoices, then we'll need to get OneCall trading accounts set up for each Parish).

Here are the answers they have given to our questions:

  1. Would this be difficult – or hard – to do with Domains that may be held by another provider (could a Parish essentially keep their own domain name)?

Domain name hosting can only be provided by a single Internet provider, so if you wanted OneCall to host these, they would need to be transferred from their existing provider to our hosting service. That would then mean that future changes made to individual Parish domain configurations would need to be managed through us. Thankfully, configuration changes on an Internet domain are usually not something you do very often.

  1. How would an existing Parish go about transferring a domain to you?

We would guide the transition for you. Usually, the domain name holder would contact the current registrar to advise that they wish to change, and then the current registrar manages the transition to the new registrar for you. The transferral of registration typically wouldn't affect services that rely on the domain name. (please note, Registrar refers to registrar of the domain, not the Diocesan Registrar!)

  1. Would it be possible to link any Parish domains with the Diocese so that there can be authorisation for assistance if something went wrong e.g. a key person moved on)?

Yes - in fact we would prefer this. That way we only have one invoice to raise, and only have to interface with a small number of users with the authorisation to request changes to domain configurations (i.e.: members of the Diocese).

If anyone wants to explore this further, please contact Andrew Metcalfe 03 488 0821. If there is interest in this, we will talk more with OneCall and get together a process to help do this for you.