Domain Names – Important Information
Domain names – the name of your web site – is an important business asset that you need to look after.
We’ve had a couple of instances lately where web site clients have asked us why their emails have stopped working. When we’ve looked into this, we’ve seen that they haven’t renewed their domain name which means their web site isn’t visible and their emails aren’t working.
We always ask clients to ensure they buy or already own their own domain name when they start working with us – that means they are in control of it but are also responsible for renewing it.
When you let a domain name lapse, the registrar (who you buy the domain name from) usually gives you a 30 day grace period – so you won’t notice any changes immediately. But as soon as you go over the 30 day period, you are then in the ‘redemption period’. That is giving you a last opportunity to renew your domain name. After that, there is a 5 day period called ‘pending delete’ before it goes back on sale to anyone who wants to buy it.
Registrars are required to send you two renewal reminders one month and one week before (and within 5 days after) the expiration of a domain name. When one of our clients contacted their registrar and asked why he hadn’t received a reminder, the registrar said they had sent out 3 reminders – but to an old email address that the client no longer used. So it’s very important that you keep your registrar email address up to date!
Depending on your domain name, you may be charged additional fees to remove it from the redemption period – for example, a .com domain costs USD150! It’s not a good idea to let the domain name lapse in the hope of beating this renewal cost – there are lots of organisations out there that do nothing but monitor expiring domain names. Their systems automatically purchase valuable domain names the very second they expire and can then advertise it for hundreds of pounds rather than the regular price you originally paid.
If you are unsure when your domain name is due for renewal, then you can easily check. Go to https://whois.net/, type in your full domain name and it will tell you when it is due for renewal.
Please don’t ignore any domain renewal reminders from your real registrar – you pay us for your hosting space but you pay your registrar for the rights to use your domain name.
- Set a reminder in your calendar for the domain renewal in case of email issues;
- Consider using auto-renewal of your domain name and make sure your payment details are kept up to date;
- Beware of spoof emails that aren’t from your real registrar – they may be tempting you to move away but aren’t offering any real benefits;
- Don’t forget that if your domain expires and a competitor snaps it up then that could be very bad news for your business.