I’ve been registering domain names for more than 20 years. In that length of time, I’ve learned a few things that will assist you and to watch out for when registering any domain name.
- If you plan to use a domain name for a long time, when you purchase it, register if for several years. You can feel reassured that your domain will not expire every year because you’ve locked it in for a period of 2 to 10 years. With domain names so cheap, it benefits you to purchase really important domain names for several years to preserve and prevent losing it.
- KNOW exactly 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 domain name registrar where the line reads, “Registrar URL:.” That should tell you where your domain name is registered. Then, call the support department of that company for any assistance. If that doesn’t work, look through your eMail records for a domain name purchase receipt. By the way, never delete any domain name purchase eMail receipts … EVER!
- KNOW exactly when your domain name(s) will expire. When it’s time to renew a domain name, do not hesitate re-register it ASAP! If you lose your domain name because it expired it becomes available for sale and someone else can purchase it before you can renew it again. There goes your web business! So, plan ahead. Know when your domain names are due for registration.
- KNOW that there is a 2-week grace period once a domain name expires to re-register the name without a penalty. The best advice is to re-register your domain name(s) before they expire 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 high risk that you will lose your domain name(s).
- If you do 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.
- Look through all the domain names in your account monthly, to review the ones you want to keep and those that you’re willing to cancel. Make note of those coming up for expiration and remember to renew, renew, renew.
- Make sure all your domain names have your current contact information associated with them. You don’t want someone else to claim ownership to your domain because it has the wrong information associated with your domains.
- Make sure the ADMINISTRATOR contact information of every domain name you own has YOUR current contact eMail address. You don’t want to lose your domain because it had the wrong contact information on it.
- 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.
- Transfer all your domains to one single registrar. This is important! Put all of your domains under one roof. Don’t keep multiple domains scattered among different registrars. It complicates the job of managing them. You can transfer each domain you own to a single domain registration company for the price of one year’s registration per domain. Do this and you’ll relieved to know where all of your domains reside — are under one roof.
- Keep your domain name in your name, not your webmaster’s name. Webmasters have a tendency to control your life if you let them. What happens if the webmaster drops off the face of the earth — with your domain name registry. How will you recover your domains or renew them if they are not registered in your name? Even if a company or webmaster asks you to point the name servers to them, DO NOT place the domain name with them as well.
- DO NOT register your domain name with the same company who you host with. Why? If you ever have problems with the hosting company, and want to leave them, you will be glad you didn’t also register your domain name with them as well. For example, register your domains at ReallyCheapNames.com, but host them with another company like BlueHost.com, JustHost.com or HostGator.com. It’s a good business practice to keep these separate.
- Make sure your account has the most up-to-date eMail contact information for you so you can get eMail receipts and expiration notices from the company where your domains are registered.
- Keep your credit card information up to date 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.
- Know where to get help with your domains when you need it! For example, if you register your domains at ReallyCheapNames.com, you can call (480) 624-2500 for 24/7 support with any domain you own.
Take responsibility for your domains names — where they are registered and when it’s time to renew them. As a convenience to you, set them up on auto-pay upon registration 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.