One of the scariest and most frustrating things that can happen to any website owner is discovering that their domain name has expired. Considering that most domain names are specifically used for business purposes, losing a domain name can incur huge losses to the owner- years of hard work gone down the drain.
The good news is, if a site owner finds out about their domain expiration during the period commonly referred to as “Auto-Renew Grace Period”, then it’s possible to easily renew the domain at no extra charge. For the auto-renew grace period, you have approximately 45 days to renew your domain.
During this time, no one can purchase your domain name.
And then comes the 30-day Redemption Grace Period where you can reacquire your expired domain name. However, your domain registrar may charge a redemption for the service, which can cost up to $100 or more depending on the registrar.
Failure to reacquire your domain name after the final 30-day redemption grace period means that your domain will be placed at a public auction. At this time, you have no control over your domain, and anyone can purchase it.
Sounds awful, right?
Well, now you understand how letting your domain name expire can be risky, and why you should avoid it at all cost.
How do you know if your domain has expired?
You or your site’s visitors will not be able to access your site on the web. Also, functions like email service or subdomains that are associated with your domain will also stop functioning. Simply type your domain name on any search engine to verify.
Reasons Your Domain Name Might Expire
Most site owners often make the mistake of overlooking the fact that domain name registration is just a temporary thing. Of course, the moment you purchase it, it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it for many years. But keep this in mind- your domain name isn’t yours to keep permanently, especially if expiration occurs and then, you will have no control over it.
There are a number of reasons why your domain name might expire:
• You’ve switched off domain renewal reminder notices from your registrar- With your extremely busy life, it’s easy to forget your domain’s renewal date. That’s understandable, which is why your domain registrar will send you a few notices before your domain expires. Unfortunately, if you have switched off the domain renewal reminder notices via email, then it’s possible that you’ll completely forget all about it. As a general rule of thumb, never turn off these email notifications. They will save you from the inevitable risk of losing your domain once it expires.
• You have not enabled auto-renewal- During the initial domain registration, your domain registrar will provide you with the option to auto renew your domain prior to the expiration date. Unless there is an issue with your billing information, your domain will keep renewing year after year.
• You waited too long to renew- As we discussed earlier, the more you delay in renewing your domain, the higher the risk of expiring.
What to Do If your Domain Name Expires?
As discussed earlier, in the event your domain expires without your knowledge, you have a few options;
One, take action quickly and renew the domain during the grace period. Most domain registrars often set a grace period of 25-45 days. This is more than enough time for you to renew the domain.
If you fail to renew the domain during the renewal grace period, your registrar will change your domain name status to Registrar Hold. This is usually a 30-day period where your registrar will charge you a redemption fee to reacquire the domain. The fees can be hefty but it’s well worth it. You cannot compare it to the total value of the site you’ve put all your sweat and blood in for years.
Be sure to reobtain your domain name before the grace period to avoid losing it forever.
How to Prevent Your Domain Name From Expiring?
There are a few important things you should do to prevent your domain name from going into expiration;
• One, set up Auto-Renew so that your credit card will be automatically charged every year your domain is up for renewal. This will prevent loss of your domain just in case you forget.
• Always keep your credit card information up-to-date. By this, it means always ensuring that your credit card is active, unexpired, and with available funds to enable autorenewals.
• Always read your emails from your hosting and domain registrar.
• Ensure that your contact information with your hosting and registrar is up to date.
• Buy more than one year at a time.
• Set reminders in advance so you have time to renew.
Beware of Scam Domain Registration Notices
Domain renewal scams have been running around for a while and you should stay vigilant to avoid falling prey.
Technically, these scams often involve email addresses sent to you by fraudulent individuals informing you about your domain name’s expiration. They will often include links where you will supposedly pay your domain renewal fee.
To avoid falling prey, completely ignore these messages and don’t click on any links. Often, you will find these emails in your Spam mail.
Wrapping It Up
The worst thing you can do as a business owner is allowing your domain to expire. Considering that domain renewals are extremely cheap, there is no reason why all your hard work and money should go down the drain.
Always ensure that your domain renewals are done before the expiration date. You can even choose to buy more years, so you don’t have to keep renewing every year.
LightHouse Graphics specializes in several areas of online presence, including website design, social media management, and content creation. If your business needs assistance in these areas, contact us. We’d love to work with you.