Why in the world should I care about understanding domains? I’m not an IT person, I’m a [fill in blank].
Understanding domains is important for more than your tech team for a number of reasons, not the least of which is so you don’t get taken advantage of.
Having even a basic understanding of domains will help you to communicate with others who do need to deal with them. The more you know, the better you can convey what you want, or when you need it by. It can also help you to recognize when someone might be taking advantage of you. For instance, if you know how to change your DNS or add a CNAME record yourself, than you’ll know someone is blowing smoke when they try and tell you it will take them hours to get it done.
Understanding domains will help you to better evaluate strategic moves whether at the business level, the marketing level or the product level. This will also help you to understand what issues you may run into or what steps you should take to avoid issues. For instance, imagine your marketing department has come up with a great new name and campaign for your latest product? What’s one of the first things you should do? See if the domain is even available. Honestly, this should be done even sooner in the process but I digress. It’s scary to me how many companies completely develop and launch products without a second thought only to find afterward that the domain is already registered and they’re unintentionally sending traffic to a completely unrelated company or product, or worse, a competitor.
It seems like an obvious question, but do you know what happens when domain is not renewed (or is not configured correctly)? I’m not referring to the details of what happens at the registrar level, but what happens at the other levels. Your website goes down. Possibly your email goes down. You potentially lose customers who suddenly can no longer find you, or can’t find you for the first time. Sometimes registrars will put up some kind of a notification alerting visitors or a place holder page such as coming soon. But more often than not, especially on misconfigured or non-configured domains, they may put up a page advertising that your domain may be for sale or use it to host relevant Google AdSense links (or similar). As these ads are often automatic and keyword based, you may drive traffic to your competitors.