Let’s say you just purchased a new house. What would you do with the keys? My guess is that you probably wouldn’t misplace or throw them away. Unfortunately, many people do exactly that with their domain name information.
Your domain is a crucial hub for all of your marketing and business operations: web, email, custom software applications, business cards, postcards, television ads and public relations. Everything in some form or another points to your web site address.
Since domain registration costs are anywhere from $10 – $35 per year, it isn’t worth the expense or hassle to let the domain expire.
Save your registration information
Yes, I understand that you probably have way too many usernames and passwords with bunches of different sites. And I’m not going into a lecture about password security here. That said, make sure to actually store your username, account number, password, related email address and registrar provider in a safe place.
What happens when your domain expires?
Some registrars will give you a grace period of a few days or weeks, but once your domain hits the expiration date, expect any services related to the domain (web site, email, etc.) to stop working. And to add insult to injury, many domain registrars will point your domain to a link page with paid advertisements (Google AdWords) based on the keywords for your domain – which means that your competitors might actually show up as links on your domain!
If you catch it quickly, most registrars will let you renew without a penalty, but if you dawdle too long, you may have to pay a reactivation fee which could be anywhere from $25 to hundreds of dollars.
What you should do right now:
- Determine who the domain registrar is (Network Solutions, Register.com, GoDaddy, etc.) using http://whois.domaintools.com/
- Locate and test your account information (username & password) with the registrar.
- Update your contact information. Don’t use an email address that is at the domain that you are registering. Use a domain that is very permanent or through a web-based service like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo.
- Set your technical contact on the domain to your web developer or hosting company. When the domain registrar sends an notice about the domain expiring, all of the contacts on the domain receive the email notices.
- Extend the life of your domain. If your domain is set to expire within the next year, add at least 1-2 more years. Some registrars offer deals for 10 years of registration for less than $100.
- Put a note on your calendar with the URL for your registrar 90 days in advance of the renewal.
- Print a copy of your domain registration information.
Free offer: If you email me [howard (at) wwwcomm (dot) com] with your domain name, I will send you a report that shows your current domain record and give you a quick suggestion as your best course of action with your domain name.