We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some new people during our Digital Marketing Forums recently and one topic that has come up again and again, is losing domain names. Losing your domain name can be a really tragic event with lasting repercussions on your brand, so it’s best to ensure that this does not happen to you! Fortunately, not losing your domain is actually quite simple, you just need to follow a couple of easy steps:
When you register your domain, during the process, it asks you to provide your contact information. Make sure this is up to date and you use an email account you will actually check! Each year, your domain registrar (place you registered the domain: GoDaddy, Name Cheap, Network Solutions, etc) will send you an email asking you to verify the information is correct. These do occasionally go into your spam folder, but not recieving these emails could actually be a sign that the email address listed for your domain registration is incorrect.
If you want to check what you entered, you can do that here: https://whois.icann.org/en. Whois will also tell you where the domain was registered if you forgot. If it doesn’t populate for you, it may mean that you paid the extra money for the privacy protection.
To update your contact information you just need to login to the domain registrar. If it’s not clear how to update your contact info for your domain, call the domain registrar to ask.
Domain names are relatively inexpensive so if you plan to be using the domain for a while, there is no harm in registering it for multiple years, even 10 or 20 years if you just don’t want to dealing with it for a while. Registering the domain name many years ahead also gives you a boost in your SEO (search engine optimization) since it is clear to search engines there will be a website on it for a long time to come. Additionally you can turn on auto billing so when your domain fees are due, it will automatically charge the credit card on file. Just be sure to check on the domain at least once a year to ensure you’ll know when it does finally need to be re-registered.
Don’t just check on your domain when the domain registrar emails you. Set a reminder on your calendar once a year to login to your domain registrar and make sure that your contact information is correct, the credit card number is still valid and everything looks good. You should schedule this a month or two prior to the date your domain was first registered. Scheduling an annual check can give you peace of mind and ensure you hang on to your domain.
If your domain does expire, there is actually a 40 day grace period where you can get it back, you may just have to pay some steep fees (usually around $80) depending on how long it’s been expired. If you go beyond the 40 days, you could always try to re-register it once it comes back on the market. If the website had decent traffic, someone will probably buy it up and try to resell it. In that case, it could be hard to get it back for a reasonable amount.
The best thing to do is make sure you don’t loose it in the first place by implementing the tips above. If you find yourself in this bad situation, and you don’t know what to do, we can help. Give us a call at (207) 221-5822.