When Domain Names Expire

So you're happily blogging along when suddenly, you discover your site no longer exists. Perhaps your domain name expired?

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When you rely on your web host to register your domain name for you, it becomes quite easy to forget when you need to renew your domain name. Usually, your initial registration is good for two years, so you can understand why some people will suddenly forget to renew.

It becomes quite critical, too, if your domain name expires soon after an important blog event. For example, Fr. Stephen Cuyos delivered an invocation during the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards, which caused quite a few strong reactions from some bloggers.

Traffic rose as people shuttled between www.StephenCuyos.com and the sites of those in favor of or against having such a prayer during the 2007 PBA, and now that I'm trying to see what else Fr. Stephen has to say, I'm greeted with a domain has expired page.

Here are some tips to ensure you don't forget to renew your domain name:

1. Register your domain name yourself.

2. Log in at least once a month, just so you see your list of domain names and their expiration dates.

3. Establish a good relationship with your domain name registrar.

4. Tell your trusted online business partner about your domain names, so that in case you are unable to handle renewals, there's someone who can help. Think: Business Continuity Planning.

5. Print an updated list of domain names and their expiration dates, and paste that into your paper-based planner.

6. Keep thinking of new ideas, to help inspire you to think of new domain names. This will force you to log into your domain name control panel at least once a month.

7. Switch on email alerts, so that your registrar can give you advance notice (sometimes, as early as 90 days).

Which reminds me, I'll need to renew a couple of domains soon...

One last tip: Blog about domain names, to help keep you and your web sites on your toes. :-)

[ First posted on 04/07/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]

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