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Since domains are basically ‘leased’ on an annual basis – there is a chance that they could expire, which would remove your ‘rights’ to that domain. Entire companies of fraudulent people are patiently waiting to snatch up your domain before you have a chance to recoup your losses.
At that point, there is no option for recovery – other than to pay the price domain kidnapper is requesting (technically a digital-hostage situation), or to pick up your pieces and move on to another domain name. Neither situation is satisfactory by any means, so it’s best to plan – and understand the process so you don’t accidentally let your domain lapse in registration.
How to avoid expiration of your domain name:
- When you purchase the domain, make sure to set a calendar reminder for 2 weeks before the expiration.
- During purchase, you should have the option to pick how many years you’d like for the registration to cover – with a default option of either one or two years.
- Use Google Calendar, Outlook, or another ‘reminder tool’ to give you a heads-up when the domain is about to expire.
- Change the time you renew to a memorable date.
- Log into your domain registrar website – and pay in advance on a specific date, and pay multiple years when possible. Many registrars offer this service at a discounted rate.
- Have someone manage the domain registration process for you.
- This is probably the easiest route, as you don’t need to remember anything – but the same goes for domains as it does for your website – you have to trust the person doing the account management, as they are the last line of defense between you having a domain name for an extended period of time – or losing it overnight, due a lapse of judgement by your provider.
- This isn’t supposed to scare you into thinking your current provider doesn’t have your best interests, but everyone makes mistakes.
- Set up auto-renew.
- Most registrars will have an ‘auto-renew’ option, which allows them to charge a card that they have on file – preventing your domain from lapsing.
If you don’t have auto-renew in place – make sure to choose another option above, to ensure your domain doesn’t lapse.