We have seen this way too many times. Clients come to us trying to move to our services only to find they actually do not have control of or even access to their own domain.
What are the risks of not owning your domain name?
Most times, what happens is the web developer buys the domain name in your behalf. But allowing this to happen has grave consequences.
If a web developer buys the domain for you, it is going to be in their name which means they own that domain, not you. And since he owns it, you are at his mercy. He can ask excessively high fees just to make simple changes.
Your relationship with him could go sour and hold your domain hostage. He could die, disappear or quit and there would be nothing you can do about it. This could ruin your business.
You can try to take back your domain name. But only a few successfully does.
What you can gain from owning your domain.
Your domain name is a part of your business identity. It is just right that you should own it.
You should have full control over it. You should be able to change it, transfer it or point it to another server if you want.
Sure, you can give access to your web designer if needed. But if, for some reason, your relationship ends, you can simply find someone else.
Not sure if you own your domain name?
If you are not sure if your domain is under your name, a good thing to do is to head to https://whois.org/. Type in your domain name and it will tell you who it is registered to.