Domain Name Renewal

October 30, 2005 by Diane Vigil in

Domain names — mysite.com — are registered via a domain name registrar; they are not "purchased" in the usual sense that one buys things. Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis, though you can opt to renew for multiple years.

Renewal is usually is usually done through the registrar from which you've registered your domain name, e.g., Network Solutions or GoDaddy.com.

Warning #1: domain name owners may receive a "renewal notice" from a registrar other than the one where their domain names are registered. This is the domain name equivalent of telephone companies who try to switch you from your service provider to their own service. In the case of the telephone provider, the attempt to switch you to their service is usually pretty obvious.

Not so in the case of unscrupulous domain name registrars, who count on the fact that (a) most people find Internet stuff confusing enough, and (b) some people just send bills received off to the accounting department for payment.

We recommend that clients renew their domain names online through their domain name registrar rather than by mail. In this way, you can check to see whether your domain name really is up for renewal, and can ensure that it isn't switched unwittingly to a provider who, after all, may have used trickery to switch the service to itself.

Warning #2: again, domain names are registered, not bought, and must be renewed on a yearly basis unless you've already paid for multiple years. The grace period for renewal is generally a pretty small window of weeks, if not days; if you don't renew and pay on time, then your domain name will (not "may") be put back on the market. If someone registers it, then all the visitors going to your website (via your domain name) will end up at someone else's website. Moral: renew your domain names on time.

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