Countless times I’m asked to rescue a domain from a rogue developer. Often the web developer will register the client’s domain in their (web developer) name. They develop the website, launch it, everything works and the customer is happy. What more can you ask for?
Next time the customer wants to revamp the website and contacts a different developer, the original developer now has the domain hostage. How can that be? The original registration was done in the name of the first developer. The business owner has no idea of any of this. Only when it becomes a problem and needs to make changes. The legal owner of the domain is the developer, and they hold all the chips. They can severely hamper your website, not to mention your email.
My advice. Make sure the domain is owned by you, although the developer was the one that registered it. Make sure you don’t let your domain lapse (another common mistake) by renewing in a timely manner. And make sure you maintain ownership and control of your domain, while giving your developer access to it in order to make changes.