Over the last couple of months, I’ve visited more than one site only to discover a message that says something like “This domain registration has expired. If this is your domain, please click here for information on renewing.”
Can you imagine waking up to that message one day? Or having visitors to your site get it when they come to read your blog?
Unfortunately, although most of us probably have automatic renewals set up on our domain names, things get in the way of those renewals all the time — an expired card, a missed setting, emails that are sent to spam, etc.
Missing your renewal doesn’t mean that you automatically lose your domain. Most registrars offer a short grace period, allowing you to renew it at no extra cost (although it will still take a few hours to get you back online), followed by a 30-day period during which you can reclaim your domain by paying an additional redemption fee. However, having your site down — and worse, having it down with a message that it’s expired — hurts your traffic and authority.
There are a few of ways to avoid this situation:
1. Set all of your domains to renew on the same day so that you only have one date to keep track of rather than multiple.
2. Renew your domains as soon as you receive the first reminder email about your upcoming renewal.
3. Set a reminder in your calendar several weeks before your renewal date and manually renew your domains then.
4. Renew your domain for two years and then add an additional year each year so that you never come close to expiry. (As an added bonus, this has SEO benefits as well, as Google’s algorithm rates domains with longer registrations higher).
The main point is that you don’t want to rely solely on automatic renewals because there are too many factors that put your domain at risk if you do!
What steps have you taken to protect your domains?