I've seen far too many friends and colleagues accidentally lose their Website domain names by forgetting to renew them in a timely manner. This can have catastrophic results, but it doesn't have to happen to you. In fact, it can be easily avoided by following my list of seven simple steps.
Why not take a few minutes right NOW to reduce the likelihood of losing your domain name?
Seven Easy Steps to Protecting Your Domain Name
Step 1: Identify who your domain name registrar is.
If you are not sure who your registrar is, use a WHOIS directory like Allwhois to determine the name of your registrar (the company you registered the domain name with).
Step 2: Determine your registrar's contact information.
Using the WHOIS record information, make note of the email and phone coordinates for the registrar (sometimes listed under "Technical Contact") and file this information in a safe place. And the registrar has to have a Website, so make sure you bookmark it.
Step 3: Confirm your domain name expiry date.
Also using the WHOIS record, check to see what "Renewal" date is listed. This is your expiry date and you MUST renew your domain name before then.
Step 4: Schedule an automatic annual reminder to renew your domain name.
Using your electronic calendar, day planner, or PDA, configure it to remind you to renew your domain name 60 and 30 and 15 days prior to the renewal date. Don't rely on your registrar to do this - this is YOUR responsibility.
Step 5: Renew your domain name before it expires.
This sounds obvious, but when you get the reminder message you configured for yourself, take action right away. Call your registrar's toll-free number or visit their Website to renew your domain name. In most instances, it only takes a few minutes to renew your domain name using a credit card, and the cost is usually in the $10-20 range.
Step 6: Verify that your renewal has been completed.
Wait 24 hours after renewing, then check the WHOIS record again to make sure your domain name's expiry date has been updated to reflect your recent renewal. Even if your registrar sends you emails confirming this, make sure you check the WHOIS record yourself to make sure.
Step 7: Doublecheck your reminder.
After successfully renewing your domain name, make sure you've put a reminder in your calendar, day planner, or PDA to renew your domain name prior to its next expiry date.
By following these seven steps, you can help ensure that you don't forget to renew your domain name, which in my experience is the number one reason companies lose their domain names.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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