An expired domain? Arggh!
From time to time I’m asked to assist with restoring a website where the domain has expired.
These are typically very stressful situations for the business. The domain expiry will not only stop the website from working, but more importantly stops the business emails from working – an absolutely critical business communications medium.
Given modern business communication is largely underpinned by emails this means the business can’t receive or respond to client enquiries – often they can’t even send an email to say sorry our emails are down…
Usually in these situations the domain ‘owner’ forgot to renew their domain, often not realising that the domain registration and webhosting are two different services often from different suppliers each with their own fees.
Its also worth noting that you don’t own the domain you licence it through AUDA appointed domain registrars so if you don’t renew your licence, any other eligible person can potentially seize your domain.
Domain Rescue Service
I’ve recently become aware of Domain Rescue domainrescue.com.au a WA based business that ‘drop catches’ expired domains and then contacts the ‘previous licencee’ (Registrant in domain-speak) offering to restore the domain for them.
This is a great service and would help prevent accidentally expired domains from falling into the wrong hands and I commend Domain Rescue for setting this up.
My only issue is their renewal fee of $129, when the going price number for a domain registration/renewal is around $60 and even down to $38 for 2 years for some domain registrars. Still, it’s better than being confronted by a domain stalker demanding $1,000’s to get your domain back and/or the ensuing legal battle costs.
How much does a domain cost?
If you think you are paying too much for your domain .AU Australian Domain Registration Ltd (AUDA) lists approved domain registrars as a great place to start pricing & service comparisons. Don’t forget to factor-in any transfer costs your current registrar may levee too! caveat emptor (buyer be ware)
Be aware also that dot com domains are not managed by AUDA and there’s much less rigour behind domain ownership and renewal so even more caution is required if you are using a dot com domain for your busines website.
Expired domains and Google SEO
Google quickly removes expired domains from its search results and consequently sales leads cease and in this case it took 21 days to restore the previously dominant ranking position. That’s 21 days with their ‘virtual showroom’ closed!
Just imagine what it costs the business in lost sales leads…
Risk management for domain renewals
Having ‘control’ over your business domains is a no-brainer. You wouldn’t risk loosing other elements in your branding so don’t take risks with your domain.
Ensure that the domain contact email for renewals goes to a valid email address checked by someone in the business who is acutely aware of the importance of this notice if they receive it. This notice is usually (but not always) viewable through a ‘whois’ – an internet enquiry to check the details of your domain.
Try this whois to see who the contacts are for your domain: https://dig.whois.com.au/whois/
If present, the renewals will be sent to the billing contact.