Blog & Company News

Apr 20, 2011

Don’t Pull a ‘Dallas Cowboys’

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="383" caption="Don't pull a 'Dallas Cowboys'"][/caption] It’s known that the Dallas Cowboys are among the most profitable sports franchises in the world, but as you might remember from last season’s performance, they’re not always perfect. When it comes to running a successful sports franchise, it’s the details that matter—on and off the field. Off the field, the Cowboys franchise took some serious ribbing last year when its website domain name expired.1 Believe it or not, domains “accidentally” expire all the time. People inadvertently let their registration lapse and in some cases, they lose their domain names for good. So don’t pull a “Dallas Cowboys.” You might be more than just embarrassed, especially if you run an ecommerce site.

A Lesson in Domain Afterlife

Most people don’t know what happens to a domain after it expires. It’s a little more complicated than people might think. Let’s go over the typical stages of domain expiration, in chronological order. The terms “domain” and “domain name” are used interchangeably. 1. Grace period. Depending on your registrar, this could be anywhere from a week to 30 days. You can renew your domain during the grace period without penalty, but your domain may be routed to a parked page in the meantime. 2. Redemption period. This period can also vary among registrars, but it’s usually 30-40 days. During the redemption period, you retain the domain. You might, however, be charged a fee to buy the name back. 3. Deletion period. This can last anywhere from a couple of days to a week. During the deletion phase, your domain cannot be renewed until it has been released to the public. At that point, you’ll be competing with others who may want your domain as well as with “bots,” which are programmed to snatch up domains as soon as they’re released for the sole purpose of selling them back to the previous owners for excessive profits.

How to Avoid a ‘Dallas Cowboys’

Follow these simple steps: 1. Update your email address with your registrar. The web-hosting company or other registrar will send a renewal reminder to whatever address you have listed as your “admin” contact. If you registered your domain through The Small Business Authority, for example, you’d receive multiple email reminders before your domain expired. 2. Know your domain’s expiration date. If you don’t know when your domain expires, find out and put it on your calendar. 3. Renew now. You can renew your domain in advance for up to 10 years. If you can swing the cost, you won’t need to worry about your domain for a decade. 4. Check your website regularly. You might be wondering how, with a grace period and a redemption period, anyone would not realize her domain expired. Well, when was the last time you pulled up your domain on a web browser? Make it a habit. Not only will you avoid losing your domain, but you’ll also catch any other issues your website might be experiencing. For more information, visit: 1. “Dallas Cowboys forget to renew domain name …