I’ve been registering domain names for more than 20 years and over that time, I’ve learned a few things that will assist you when registering any domain name. If you anticipate using a domain name for a long time, register if for several years when you first purchase it. You can feel reassured that your domain will not expire every year because you’ve locked it in for 2+ years. With domain names so cheap, it benefits you to purchase other domain names to preserve and prevent losing them even though you have no plans to use them now.
1. ____ Know WHERE your domain names are registered. If in doubt, you can go to WHOIS.net, enter the domain name you own, and search for the company name on the line that reads, “Registrar URL:.” Call the support department for that company for any assistance. If the company is unable to help you, check your eMail records for a domain name purchase receipt. By the way, never delete any domain name purchase eMail receipts … EVER!
2. ____ Know WHEN your domain name(s) will expire. When it’s time to renew a domain name, don’t hesitate and re-register it ASAP! If you lose your domain name because it expired it becomes available for real estate for anyone to purchase before you can renew it again. Don’t risk losing your web business by neglecting to re-register your domain name.
3. ____ Know that there is a 2-week GRACE PERIOD once domain names expire to re-register them without penalty. The best advise is to re-register your domain name(s) before it expires to avoid the grace period, which is not always guaranteed. There can be an estimated $80 fee per domain name if you seek renewal for a domain name AFTER the grace period and, again, a higher risk for losing it altogether.
4. ____ If you lose a domain name, quickly BACK ORDER it on your domain registrar. ReallyCheapNames.com (my domain-selling company) allows you to do that. This gives you the best shot at being the first person to purchase an expired domain name, particularly your own. Although it works 99 percent of the time, don’t delay or count on this.
5. ____ Look through all the domain names in your account, monthly, to REVIEW ones you want to keep or cancel. Make note of all expiration dates for renewals.
6. ____ Make sure all your domain names have your CURRENT contact information. Don’t risk someone claiming ownership to your domain name.
7. ____ Make sure the ADMINISTRATOR contact information for every domain name has YOUR current contact eMail address. You don’t want to lose your domain name due to bad information.
8. ____ Turn all your domains on AUTO-RENEW. This ensures that your domain names get renewed automatically even if you forget to do it. When you review your domains, you can uncheck the auto-renew option for any domain you plan to expire.
9. ____ TRANSFER all your domains to one single registrar. This is important! It’s hard to manage them when they are scattered among numerous registrants. Transfer all of them to a single domain registration company for the price of one year’s registration per domain.
10. ____ Keep your domain name in YOUR NAME, not your webmaster’s name. Webmasters have a tendency to want to control all files and information. What happens if the webmaster deserts you? How will you recover your domain registration or renew them if there’re not registered in YOUR name? If a company or webmaster asks you to point your name servers to them, DO NOT DO IT.
11. ____ DO NOT register your domain name with the same company that hosts your website. Why? If you ever have problems with the hosting company or decide to terminate services, you’ll feel relieved that you didn’t register your domain name with them. For example, register your domains at ReallyCheapNames.com, but host them with another company such FatCow. It’s a good business to keep them separate.
12. ____ Make sure your eMail contact information is UP-DATED for you so you can get eMail receipts so expiration notices can reach you.
13. ____ MAINTAIN current credit card information wherever you register your domain names. You don’t want to lose your domain names because your credit card expired and your domain names weren’t renewed.
14. ____ Know where to get help with domain names as needed! For example, if you register your domains at ReallyCheapNames.com, you can call (480) 624-2500 for 24/7 support with any of your domain names.
Check out this warning I have for you:
The company where you originally registered your domain name will rarely, IF EVER, send you a renewal notice through the U.S. mail service. The registration company will only use eMail to communicate with you. If you receive a notice of domain name renewal and receive a request for money via the postal system, you should report it as fraud for further investigation. If you are uncertain about who your registration company is, search your eMail records to verify it.
DOMAIN NAME EXPIRATION LETTER
Sample Wording From Scammers
SUMMARY / RECAP
When securing a domain name, thoroughly check it out through www.whois.net to ensure that there is no bad history associated with it. For example, suppose you select a name only to learn that it was previously used by someone who was banned from Google searches.
Take responsibility for your domains names — where they are registered and when it’s time to renew them!
As a convenience, set them up on auto-pay when you initially register your domain name so you don’t have to worry about them expiring and losing them. Remember, they are the lifeblood of your business and making money online!