I went to the URL for a local company I’ve done business with for years. The site had disappeared because they had let the domain name expire.
Fortunately, I had the owner’s cell phone number to let him know so that he could renew the domain name. But if one of his competitors had registered the domain name before he got it, that would have been a disaster.
And he doesn’t know how much business he’s lost while the site was down.
So, how did this happen?
Like many website owners, he thought that both site hosting and domain name registration were a single thing, not two separate expenses. When he recently renewed the site’s hosting plan, he failed to pay to renew the domain registration fee.
How do you avoid this fiasco? Here’s a few tips.
- First, register your domain name for a longer period of time (e.g. 10 years).
- Second, using a contracts manager, add a reminder for when the registration is about to expire so that you can ensure it’s timely renewed.
- Third, set up registration for auto-renewal with auto billing. However, you can’t solely rely upon this because your payment method (e.g. credit card) may no longer be valid when the current term expires.