Every day there are hundreds of domain names which expire and are sold to the highest bidder at auction.
Many of these domains are deliberately left to expire, but unfortunately for the owners, sometimes the domains have unknowingly expired.
It can happen to anyone – even me!
Believe it or not, this almost happened to me today.
One of my content clients called me to let me know that my website (shanemoore.com.au) was down. I found this a little strange since I knew that other websites of mine on the same server were working fine, so the first thing I did was a whois search on the domain.
The result shocked me, as I saw that the domain had expired four days prior!
Thankfully domain owners are given around two months grace on their domains, so I was able to pay the renewal and fix the problem instantly.
How did it happen?
It happened in the same way that it happens to most other people. I had an old email address listed as the contact for the domain name, and therefore I never received the renewal notice.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to ensure that the email address listed on each of your domains is current and actively checked.
It is also important to use a generic company email address rather than an individual employee’s address. Many companies have lost domains as the email address used for the domain was for a person who has since left the company. The email address is either cancelled or no longer checked, and therefore no one in the company gets the renewal, leading to the domain expiring and being lost.
I couldn’t finish this article without mentioning a couple of well known examples within the domain owners community.
One of the best stories is that of hardware.com.au. This fantastic domain was owned by Bunnings, however they let it expire and it was subsequently snapped up by bitter rival Masters for just over $30,000.
This was an example of the email address being that of a former employee.
Another great example was investmentproperty.com.au. This domain was allowed to expire by it’s previous owner, and was snapped up by an astute buyer for a massive $125,000. Losing a six figure asset due to a missed renewal is not good!
Register your domains using an email address which you know will be available and monitored regardless of staff movements, and check your valuable domains from time to time to ensure that they are still active and have the correct contact details.