Everyone wishes they could own their domain names indefinitely. However, the longest you can register a domain name is for 10 years. This is a good thing, though. Otherwise, all the people who snatched up all the good domain names back in the late ’90s would have left the rest of us with slim pickings. But whenever that renewal date comes around, business owners start to think about where the business can cut expenses. Are you considering to let your domain names expire? This article might make you feel otherwise.
What happens to your domain name when it expires?
Once you let your domain name expire, you may have a grace period to renew it again without an additional fee depending on the top-level domain. Suppose you still don’t renew your domain during the grace period. In that case, some top-level domains will provide a redemption period, in which you can pay a redemption fee to recover your domain name before it is released to the public.
Once your domain has passed through all of the cycles and is released, anyone can register it again. There are services explicitly created to register popular domain names upon availability. These services, called drop catching services, dedicate their servers to securing highly anticipated expired domain names, usually at an auction price. Speaking of auctions, the startup world’s favorite domain, .ai domain, has a similar system. However, instead of a drop catching service, the .ai domain registry auctions your domain name off. The moral of the story is–no expired domain name is safe.
Security consequences, loss of money, and loss of brand reputation
We all know the obvious repercussions of your domain name falling into the hands of a cybersquatter or competitor. A competitor could take over your domain name and redirect it to their own website to cannibalize your sales. A cybersquatter could impersonate your website to steal personally identifiable information from your customers and sell it on the black market. Business owners fail to consider what else these bad actors can get access to with your domain name. When you let your domain name expire, either accidentally or deliberately, you not only lose your website but any services connected to it.
Security consequences for letting your domain names expire
Many online services use your email for signing up, and not all of them offer two-factor authentication for login, which increases the risk of someone hacking into your account. The effect of neglecting to renew your domain name could permit cybercriminals to access or reset passwords for your online services by using your domain-based email address. This tactic allows someone to quickly regain access to your account with a password retrieval to your company’s email address. All of this because you let your domain name expire.
Loss of money
Letting your domain name expire can be a costly mistake. Customers are often first to notice when something is wrong with your website because it directly impacts their experience with you. If your company offers a service, your customers will not have access to their dashboard – causing a customer service nightmare. Website downtime causes your business to lose money by spending additional resources on customer service, not to mention the loss of sales while your website is unreachable. If you don’t renew your domain name while you have the chance it will be released to the public where anyone can register it again. Many companies, including major companies like The Dallas Cowboys, end up paying thousands or even millions of dollars to get their website back after letting their domain names expire.
Loss of brand reputation
Owning multiple variations of a domain name can help your business establish an online presence, grow into new geographical locations (with the use of country domains), and protect your brand across the Internet. Without proper domain name management, a comprehensive domain portfolio could become overwhelming. This is when things fall through the cracks. If your domain admin neglects to renew your domain names, your entire business will pay the price. For a company that deals with life or death scenarios like Sorenson Communications, your service’s malfunction because of an expired domain name can cause clients to lose trust in your business.
Final takeaway: don’t let your domain names expire
Letting your domain names expire means more than losing your website, but all of the services connected to it as well. Aside from the obvious consequences, your business has a lot more at stake when it comes to online security, profitability, and brand reputation. We don’t take this lightly, which is why we highly encourage our clients to utilize the auto-renew feature inside your 101domain account.