Renew Your Domains Before You Lose Your Identity

February 22, 2016

When I started this blog more than a decade ago, I vowed there were a few topics I would avoid. One of those topics is politics. So while I’m about to tell you a story that involved US politics, I’m writing purely about something that happened online that I want you (or your company) to avoid.

There are a number of candidates wanting to be the next US President and they are spending millions of dollars to campaign, including an online presence. It is quite common that candidates will purchase a domain name with their name in it. Such was the case with one candidate who had the name “jebbush.com”.

When you purchase a domain name, you can select how many years to purchase. At some point, your time will expire and someone else can purchase your domain name if you fail to renew it. That was exactly what happened to jebbush.com recently as it was all of a sudden redirect to the site for Donald Trump. A few days later the name is no longer connected to any site.

In the last year, even microsoft.com expired. Thankfully the person who purchased it didn’t do anything nefarious and only ask that Microsoft reimburse the cost of the renewal.

Years back there was a site for a local philanthropic organization raising money for kids. It was registered by one of the organization’s members who later died. There was no way for the group to renew it since they had no access to the account. When the name expired, it was pointed to an adult site. Not good at all.

Below is a list of some of the domain names we own along with information about those domains.

domain-names

You’ll note that the earliest that any of the names expire is in 2019. I try to avoid any of my domain names to even get within a single year of expiration. As you move across the table, you’ll see a checkmark in the column labeled “Auto-Renew”. Just in case I forget to renew a domain, GoDaddy will automatically renew it for me.

So I encourage all of you who own domain names to login to the account at your domain registrar and verify that your names are renewed for at least a few years so that they don’t accidentally expire and fall into the hands of someone else.

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