A domain name simply put is a unique address used to access a website. It maps the string of text you type to a numeric IP address where your website resides. Domain names are managed by domain registries, which manage and allocate these unique web addresses. Your domain name is one of the most important components of your business’ online identity so it should be one of your highest priorities to ensure that your domain name is protected and up to date.

In addition to providing access to their website, most corporations also use their domain name in their email address as an extension of their online presence and brand. This means that if a company’s domain expires, a company not only loses access to and ownership of their website and their online identity, they will also operationally lose access to email. Email would cease to function, and the corporation would no longer have the ability to send or receive emails. Take a moment to think about how often you use email in your position and how detrimental to your business’ operations it would be if that access were lost.

There are other repercussions associated with losing your domain. For example, if your website crashes due to the domain expiring, it might lose its hard-earned rankings in search engine results. Also, if your domain expires, the domain is then available for purchase by anyone, including your competitors and bad actors at large. They can then extort thousands of dollars from you to re-sell you the rights to your domain. Should a competitor purchase your domain, your entire brand can be jeopardized. All the work you have put into marketing and building your company’s reputation could potentially be lost.

While losing your domain can be catastrophic, keeping ownership of your domain is easy. Most domain registrars such as Network Solutions and GoDaddy allow you to register your domain from one to five years. And while they offer to “auto-renew” your registration, we advise you not to rely on this to maintain control of your domain. Your credit card on file could expire and fail in the auto renew process or if there is any delay or lapse on the registrar’s website that could lead to you losing your domain. It is always best to renew and renew early.

If your domain expires, most registrar websites offer a small grace period. GoDaddy, for example, gives its users up to five days before emails and websites stop working, and up to 26 days before the domain goes to their auction. If you find yourself unable to renew your domain online, no matter the registrar, give their customer support team a call to see how they can assist you. Most will allow you to pay over the phone to halt expiration.

Given the importance of your domain, and the painful downsides associated with letting it expire, we recommend you pay the small renewal fee early for the maximum amount of time up front. Better yet, we offer domain tracking and renewal as a preventative service for all of our clients. If you would like for us to take care of this service for you, give us a call! We can be reached by phone at 888-353-1763, or by email at info (at) hybridge.com.

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