When Domain Names Expire

What happens when your domain name expires? What happens if you forget to renew it?

Nope, it's not the end of your web site's world as we know it. You'll be given a chance to pay, even if you were delayed in renewing your domain name.

Of course, while payment has not yet been received, your old web site will no longer be accessible. Your visitors will be puzzled, and then they will realize that you haven't paid the renewal fee.

In addition, your old web address will now issue a 301 redirect to the new "you haven't paid" page. What this means is that search engine robots which see the 301 (a.k.a. permanent) redirect will think your site now lives (permanently) in the new page.

So if you domain is www.example.com and it redirects to www.yourregistrar.com/examplecom-has-not-paid.html then the search engines will just keep visiting the has-not-paid page, because they will see the 301 or "has moved permanently" redirect code.

How long will your domain registrar wait for you to pay? About 30 days. But that's not a fixed period. Don't be surprised if it takes much shorter. If you take too long, you may end up paying an additional $100 redemption fee.

And if you wait even longer, then someone else may eventually grab your domain name.

And when that happens? They'll have control over the email messages that used to get sent to you. I hope they don't redirect your visitors to some questionable site, if you know what I mean.

Bottomline: Monitor your domain names and don't let them expire (unless you really want them to). Otherwise, be prepared to lose online goodwill as well as visibility in the search engines.

[ First posted on 02/20/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]



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