What to do if your domain expires
You need to be concerned about more than just the food in your fridge expiring.
Let’s talk about something that could be extremely detrimental to your business should the date pass you by: your business domain name, also known as a URL.
Depending on the plan you chose when purchasing your business domain, the domain name has a time limit.
Domain names are an important piece of your business brand, from registration information to account login, and of course main point of contact.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know when your domain name is due for renewal?
- Do you know where your domain name was purchased through, or is registered at?
- Do you have the account information on hand that is necessary to initiate the renewal?
- Do you know who the main contact within your organization has served as the main point of contact between your business and the domain registrar?
If the answer is no to any combination of the previous questions, we’re here to help.
By writing this blog post, we hope to educate businesses about the upcoming domain expiration, so that you may be prepared to renew and maintain your business website.
Who is my Domain Registrar?
Do you know who your domain registrar is, who purchased your domain name from?
Is it GoDaddy? Network Solutions? Or something else you just can’t remember?
Don’t stress—a helpful solution is to run a WHOIS search.
In a WHOIS search, you can input your domain name and view information regarding your domain such as who your registrar is, who the main contact was who created the account, and even what servers your website is hosted on.
Creating privacy settings upon registering your domain may prevent you from seeing all information, however, you can see your registrar information, which is absolutely invaluable if you forget where you purchased your domain.
Whenever you buy a domain for the first time, you’ll want to check that you’re buying from a reputable, trustworthy, authorized registrar.
In general, domains fall within the same price range, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
If you need any assistance in the future (say, if you forgot where you purchased your domain), many domain registrars offer excellent customer service.
If a situation arises that requires a higher level of service, as with any investment, you want to be sure that you will be well taken care of.
What Happens When my Domain Expires?
A domain that has expired (and a potential penalty fee determined by the registrar) is nothing to laugh about.
As your website’s domain name is your business address, so is the name of your website.
The moment your website becomes inactive, it will be immediately withdrawn from the web, thus eliminating any chance for foot traffic to reach your site.
As soon as a domain expires, users of your site, new users, or even potential customers are unable to view your site – even if your site is still appearing directly in Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
This is detrimental to your website, your visitors, and your ranking on Google.
Furthermore, once your domain expires, it enters a grace period indicative of the reseller and their own terms and conditions—once this period ends, the domain is made available for sale to the general public or to companies.
If someone decides to buy a domain name one day, they can put it on backorder so when it becomes available, they are able to purchase it immediately.
Don’t let someone else, or even a competitor, grab your domain name.
After the domain itself is officially taken off the market, the integrity of your overall business brand is compromised.
Should your domain expire and be bought by someone else, are you willing to take the risk of having to rebrand?
How to Renew an Expired Domain
The first thing to do is to set the record straight. You’ve got time to renew your domain. Don’t lose hope.
Many of our clients use GoDaddy for their domain names, so here are the steps you will need to take to renew your expired URL:
- Log-in to your account. Navigate to godaddy.com, and sign in with your business account information. Forgot your account? Simply click “I forgot” and the customer service team will help you recover your account.
- Click “My Products”
- Click “Manage All”
- Under the “Domains” menu, click “Expired Domains”
- Select your expired business domain name.
- Select the desired length of registration for your domain.
- Click “Finish” to complete your renewal.
How to Avoid Having my Domain Expire
It is important that you have your own domain name. If your domain was set up by a previous web services provider, it’s possible that they are responsible for managing your URL and its renewal. You should own and be able to control this integral part of your business, just like you do with other aspects of your company’s property. It is recommended that you transfer your domain name into your own registrar account if your domain is not within a controllable and accessible account.
Don’t worry about renewing your domain again by setting up auto-renewal with the registrar.
Following are the steps you would take to renew your domain if you purchased it through GoDaddy:
Navigate to “Account Settings,” click “Renewals & Billing,” and then click “Auto Renew.”
In the previous example, GoDaddy was the provider we used to demonstrate how you can find expired domains and easily renew them.
In the long run, keeping an employee within your organization responsible for domain management will help keep your business on track.
If your domain name is managed by someone within your company, having a plan should that individual leave the company can save you a lot of time and aggravation down the road. You will need to ensure your domain will not be compromised if the direct contact leaves your business.
It is recommended that business credentials are used when purchasing a domain name and setting up an account with the registrar so that access to the domain (particularly as it nears expiration) is hassle-free and eliminates the possibility of your business website going down.
Take Responsibility of Your Domain
You are responsible for renewing your domain name, not your website design company.
You should consider it an essential component of your business.
At Emerging Business Systems, we assist our clients in purchasing / taking ownership of their own domain names.
It is all too common for new customers to encounter problems obtaining control of their domain when transitioning to Emerging Business Systems for a new website. Fortunately, we’re here to help you!
Need help with taking control of your domain?
You can reach out to us if you need assistance with anything we’ve covered here, or if you want a fresh new website to showcase your business to the world.