The food in your fridge isn’t the only thing you need to worry about expiring.
That’s right, let’s talk about an expiration that could be truly detrimental to your business, should the date pass you by—your business domain name, also known as a URL.
Your business domain name is time sensitive, depending on the plan you opted into upon purchase.
As a critical piece to the puzzle of your business brand, your domain name is something that you must keep track of—from registration information, to account log-in, and of course main point of contact.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer is no to any combination of the previous questions, we’re here to help.
Through this blog post, our hope is to help educate businesses about the inevitable domain expiration, so that you may be prepared with all that is necessary to renew and keep your business website on the world wide web.
Let’s get down to business.
Unsure as to who your domain registrar is, who exactly you purchased your domain name through?
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.
WHOIS searches will allow you to input your domain name and then view specific information regarding your domain such as who your registrar is, who the main contact who created the account was, and even what servers your website is hosted on.
Do note: if you implemented privacy settings upon registration with your domain you may not be able to see all information, but you will see registrar information—which is the most valuable, should you happen to not recall where your domain was purchased.
When making your initial domain purchase, you’ll always want to do your research to confirm that you are buying from a reputable, trustworthy, authorized registrar.
Most domains fall within the same general price range, but as they say—you get what you pay for.
Many domain registrars have spectacular customer service and are happy to help should you ever need help in the future (like if you forget entirely as to where you purchased from).
As with any investment, you want to make sure that you will be well taken care of should a situation which needs a higher level of service arise.
An expired domain is nothing to laugh about (and neither is the potential penalty fee, as determined by the registrar).
The domain name of your website is like the building of your business office.
Without an active domain, your website will be immediately pulled from the web—therefore, removing the opportunity for any foot traffic to enter your site.
When a domain expires, frequent users of your site, new users, or even potential customers are unable to view your site—even though the link may still be displaying directly in the google search engine results page (SERP).
This is bad for your site, your users, and for your report with Google.
In addition to your returning and prospective user’s inability to go to your site, your domain upon expiration enters a grace period, indicative of the reseller and their personal stipulations—upon the end of the period, the domain is then available for sale and can be purchased right away by another individual or business.
Keep in mind, domains are always available for backorder—meaning, at any point in time that someone decides that they would like to buy your domain name one day, they can place it on backorder so when it becomes available they can purchase immediately.
Don’t let someone else, or even a competitor, scoop up your domain name.
Once the domain itself is officially taken off the market, the integrity of your overall business brand is then threatened.
Is the risk of having to rebrand a risk you are willing to take, should your domain expire and get purchased by someone else?
First thing’s first. If your domain expires, remain calm—there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
For example: many of our clients use GoDaddy for their domain names, and here are the steps you would want to take to renew your expired URL:
Be sure that your domain name is in your own account. If a previous web services provider set your domain up for you – its possible that they are the ones with control over your URL, and therefore over its eventual renewal. Just like any other aspects of your business’s property - you should own and be able to control this integral piece of your business. If your domain is not within an account that you control and have access to, a domain name transfer into your own registrar account is recommended.
Set your account with the registrar for auto-renewal and you need not worry about renewing your domain again.
To keep consistent, should you have bought your domain through GoDaddy—to renew your domain you would take the following steps:
Navigate to “Account Settings,” click “Renewals & Billing,” and then click “Auto Renew.”
Though for the previous example we referenced GoDaddy, most domain providers have a very similar process and organization so that you can find expired domains and easily renew.
Your domain name is critical for your business—so keeping it under the direct supervision and responsibility of a dedicated employee within your company will help you in the long run.
Keeping track of who is… keeping track, of your domain name and having a plan in place should that person ever decide to move on from your company can save you a great deal of time and aggravation. Should the direct contact of the domain name leave your company, you’ll need to guarantee that access to your domain doesn’t leave with them.
Purchasing a domain name and setting up an account with the registrar should always be done with business credentials that are accessible by a team or higher leadership, so that access to the domain (especially as it nears expiration) is hassle-free and rids the possibility for downtime of your business website.
Your domain name’s renewal is your responsibility, not that of your website design company.
It is an essential component to your business and should be treated as such.
At Brave River, we assist our clients with purchasing / taking ownership of their own domain names.
All too often, new clients run into obstacles obtaining control of their domain when transitioning to Brave River for a fresh new website. But the GREAT news is...we are here to help!
If you would like assistance with anything we’ve outlined here, or if you’re ready to take your business to the next level and want a fresh new website to show off to the world—we’re here to help.
For over 18 years, Brave River has helped businesses and organizations make a smooth transition from previous web companies, and can provide you with professional hands-on assistance for obtaining your domain name in the event that it was purchased through a third party.
Let’s get started today—transform your business dreams into a reality with the help of Brave River.
Call us at 401-828-6611.