A recent post by Ed over at Oz Domainer got me to thinking about this particular topic a bit more. Who is managing your domain names, and in particular, who is making sure that they get renewed?
Domain names are a vital asset for your business online. Whether you use a single domain name for all your business dealings, or whether you have a number of them, it is extremely important that they are managed properly, otherwise you could find your website isn't accessible, your email doesn't work, and you are losing potential business.
I manage about 25 of my own domains, and at TerraMedia I also manage a number of domain names for clients. Recently one client had an issue where neither their site or email was working. After much digging around to try and uncover the cause of the problem, we discovered their domain had not been renewed. Fortunately, their domain had not been picked up by someone else so we quickly renewed it for them and now manage it for them as well. Keeping your domain name registration renewed means you stay connected.
It's easy to wonder how someone could let this slip through, but it happens very often.
In this case, the email address that was used for the domain registration no longer existed, so they did not receive a renewal notification letting them know that the domain was about to expire.
Regardless of the reason though, this shouldn't have been allowed to happen, but fortunately there wasn't too much damage. As Ed highlighted in his blog, townsville.com.au recently expired and was sold in auction after it expired for $17,000! As you can see, a domain can be quite valuable. It's unlikely that the previous owner will be able to get this one back very cheaply, all because for whatever reason, the renewal fee wasn't paid when the domain was due to expire. $45 for two years for a .com.au domain is not much at all in comparison to $17,000.
Not all domains sell for as much as townsville.com.au, but it's important to consider that Townsville is a popular holiday destination within Australia and get's thousands of searches relating to it on Google and other search engines each day. This makes it a very valuable domain name to own as it will likely earn quite a bit of money just from advertising placed on it, as such it's unlikely the original owner would get it back for less than $17,000.
As part of our domain name registration services, we receive an email every morning with a list of domain names that expired over night, Saturdays and Sundays there are usually only a few domains, but the rest of the week there are up to 50, sometimes more domains that have expired each day. From that list there is almost always 1 to 5 domain names that would be very valuable to own, and a large number of them look like they have probably been mistakenly allowed to expire.
How do you avoid your domain expiring by mistake?
The questions you need to ask in your business to make sure your domain isn't allowed to mistakenly expire are:
- Who is/was looking after the domain name?
- Do they still work for you?
- Does the email address used for the domain registration still exist?
- Is it checked regularly?
- Do you receive a copy of renewal notifications as well?
- Is it included in your budget?
- If it is renewed automatically, are the credit card details still valid?
- Is the automatic renewal checked to ensure there have not been problems?
At TerraMedia the way our domain management service works is that we notify you when your domain is due to expire soon, if the registered email address is no longer correct, we look up your new email address or give you a call to let you know it is due to expire soon. If your domain gets to the expiry date without being renewed. We hold it for you, to give you a bit longer to pay the renewal fees without losing access to your email or your website.
Contact us today if you would like us to manage your domain names for you and make sure that your domain doesn't expire without you knowing about it.