Technology helps keep on top of domain renewals, but you have to keep on top of them, too.
I’m pretty good about renewing my domain names. I’ve never lost a domain through expiration on accident. But I have a number of domain names coming up for renewal in the next month or two.
Over the weekend I got a little scare that sprung me into action to get the renewals taken care of.
If you use DomainSponsor, you sometimes receive e-mails that say “[DOMAINSPONSOR] Domain Update”. These e-mails are usually sent when you submit a domain to the system that is already listed by another user (or vice-versa). This can happen because you bought or sold a domain and another user added it to the system.
Over the weekend I received one such e-mail that read:
We have finished processing a request to move domains out of our account to another publisher:
The following domains have been removed from your portfolio:
My heart sank. I would never let that domain expire, and I haven’t sold it. I quickly looked at the whois and saw that it was listed under Moniker’s privacy service. Then my computer froze up as I tried to open WatchMyDomains to look for the expiration date.
Long story short, I never owned LatinoHomeLoans.com — I own the singular version (LatinoHomeLoan.com). Somehow the plural version got entered into DomainSponsor. This may have been my mistake when adding through the old TrafficClub system last year.
But once my heart rate stabilized I decided it was time to straighten out my domains and get the next couple months’ worth of renewals taken care of. Here are a couple tips to keep on top of domain renewals:
1. Turn on auto-renew by default. It’s much better to accidentally pay $10 to renew a domain you didn’t want to keep than to lose a domain you meant to renew.
2. Use a program to track your domains. I use WatchMyDomains Pro.
3. Renew domains for many years in advance. This advice applies to any domain you think you’ll hold onto for a while. Go ahead and pay for several years worth of registration. DomainNameWire.com is paid through 2014. Not only does it protect your domains, but you can renew at today’s prices. .Com registration prices increase next month and will likely increase for the next three years. Oh yeah, and Google likes domains that are registered for multiple years.