Feb 22, 2016 • Jessica Jones
We’ve posted about quite a few topics concerning domain names - the importance of choosing and securing your domain name, being aware of your domain registration details, verifying the email address associated with your domain, choosing a domain registrar, being aware of domain name related scams and whether your domain registration details affect your SEO. We’ve got a lot to say about domains - but that shouldn’t surprise you; your domain name is the central element of your web presence and is crucial to your brand.
The point I’m going to emphasize in this post is a very simple one that has been touched on in many of the above articles. Once you’ve registered your domain and built up your web presence around it, DON’T LET IT EXPIRE.
If you let it go for long enough, you could lose your domain permanently. Even if you reactivate it quickly enough to avoid any risk of actually losing the domain, though, there are multiple issues that will result. During the time that your domain is expired visitors to your site will see a page generated by your registrar, usually one explicitly stating that the domain is expired. What kind of an impression does this give of your business? Visitors may wonder whether your business has closed. Even if they know that you’re still in operation, they’ll come away with an impression that your business is disorganized and incapable of staying on top of a very simple, very important task. This is, obviously, not the impression that you want them to have.
Not only will an expired domain cause your website to go down, but if you have email addresses that use your domain, those will cease to function as well. Emails sent to you or any of your employees using that domain will be bounced back to the sender. For many businesses, loss of email use for even a brief time could result in real problems.
Need more motivation to avoid this situation? Having your site go down will cause your SEO to take a hit. Google isn’t a fan of non-responsive websites, so any extended period of downtime could result in negative changes to your search engine results.
There are plenty of excuses you could give for allowing your domain name to expire - you didn’t see the email reminders, the email reminders were going to an outdated email address, you got busy, you forgot that the credit card on your auto-renew was expired, you don’t understand the details of how your web services work - none of them change the fact that, as a business owner, ensuring that your domain name remains active is your responsibility. Your domain is a valuable business asset and letting it expire could result in both loss of business and damage to your reputation and online presence.
Make a note of your domain’s expiration date, set yourself a calendar reminder for a week (or more!) before it expires and make sure it gets done. If you’ve put someone else in charge of the task, follow up to make sure they haven’t forgotten. If you’ve got your domain set up to automatically renew, make sure your payment information is up to date.
Domain name renewal is a task that you have to perform annually at most. If you know that you have trouble staying on top of it, make it easier on yourself. You can renew a domain for multiple years at a time. A year of renewal generally costs about $15, depending on the registrar you use, which means that for approximately $150 you could free yourself of this concern for a decade. As an added bonus, Google likes it when domains are registered for longer periods of time - it shows that the business is legitimate and has invested in longevity. The boost to your SEO probably won’t be enough for you to notice, but it never hurts to have another positive factor in your favor.
This is an easy one, folks. Sometimes it’s the easy ones that end up tripping up far too many people - don’t be one of them! You got this. Now go renew that domain!