- Feb 28, 2019
- by Paris Backston
Your domain is an essential part of your website. It helps solidify your brand, and becomes synonymous with everything you do as a company. If you’re new to running a website, you’d be forgiven for thinking a domain is set for life. However, it’s vital to renew your domains before they expire.
Ensuring that your domains stay active and valid at all times is important. This is especially pertinent when your domain hosts your business’ website, or key services such as email. Fortunately, renewing your domain is pretty simple – if you know how to go about it.
In this post, we’ll explain why renewing your domain is important. We’ll also offer some advice on how to do so as an A2 Hosting customer. Let’s get to it!
Why Your Website’s Domain Matters
Every website is identified by its IP address. This series of numbers helps your computer connect to your website’s server, just like a domain. In other words, it’s the literal address of your website.
However, remembering IP addresses would be incredibly complex, so we use domains/URLs to identify our sites instead.
Like an IP address, a domain is completely unique to each website. Purchasing and registering a domain is actually one of the very first things you’ll do when creating a website.
Ultimately, your domain forms the basis of your entire brand’s identity – essentially giving your site a ‘name’. Your customers will use it to refer to your site, and it will quickly become synonymous with practically everything you do.
This is because your domain will likely be used everywhere, such as your social media platforms and company branding. Displaying a high-value domain enables you to establish authority, credibility, and professionalism.
In turn, this tells your customers you are established and legitimate – and they may trust you more easily as a result. This is huge for securing conversions, so your domain could actually become a major contributor to your site’s success.
3 Reasons to Renew Your Domains Before They Expire
A lot of thought goes into crafting an effective domain, so the last thing you want to do is lose it. Failing to regularly renew your domain could mean just that – as well as some other major issues. Let’s look at three reasons to keep your domains up to date.
1. You Can Keep Your Existing Domain
Perhaps the most obvious and damaging consequence of not renewing your domain is losing it all together. As soon as it completely expires, your domain is essentially free for anyone to take.
After a domain expires, it will enter a ‘Redemption Grace Period’. This gives you 30 days to reacquire your domain name. Most domain registrars will charge a redemption fee for this service, although the cost varies.
What’s more, changing your site’s domain will also have a knock-on effect with regard to your business cards, social media accounts, and other branding elements. As we said, your domain is a key branding element. As such, you’ll want to keep it the same if possible.
However, losing your domain doesn’t just mean an impact to your branding – other areas of your business are at stake. For example, many third-party services (such as Google AdSense) will be linked to your domain. As such, you’ll have to adjust them all if you’re forced to switch.
2. You’ll Ensure That Your Website Is Always Up
Despite the presence of a grace period, an expired domain’s nameservers are changed to ‘parking pages’ in many cases. All services connected to that domain will then stop working – including your email.
Even the most temporary spell of downtime could seriously damage your site, particularly when considering User Experience (UX). For example, letting a visitor see a parking page could make them question your site’s legitimacy.
This is also true for any potential clients who attempt to visit your site – for example, consider a potential client being met with a parking page. This isn’t a positive presentation of your business. As such, failing to renew your domain could lead to many lost opportunities.
3. Your Search Engine Rankings Will Be Protected
Parking pages can also have a hugely negative impact on your search engine rankings. Of course, crafting an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy can be incredibly time-consuming. Losing your ranking is a huge backwards step, and it could take a while before you’re able to undo the damage.
The web crawler Google uses has no way to establish whether a site is dead, or simply experiencing some downtime. It will instead try to re-crawl your site to see if it’s live again. While this is happening, your website will most likely experience a drop in its current ranking.
While this doesn’t mean your site is permanently dropped from the Google index, it’s estimated that search result rankings will drop an average of 30% after just six hours of downtime. This means you’ll have to put in some serious SEO overtime to get back to your original position.
How to Renew Your Domain
Fortunately, renewing your domain is a pretty simple process. There are two ways to do it – manual and automatic. Let’s start by exploring how to manually renew a domain purchased here at A2 Hosting.
Start off by logging into the A2 Hosting Customer Portal. From the menu bar, select Domains, then Renew Domains:
From the resulting list of domains, select the domain you wish to renew. You can then choose your preferred renewal length period from the drop-down list, accompanied by the cost.
When you’re ready, simply click Add to Cart to complete the renewal process:
If you feel you’re likely to forget to do this manually, you can also set up automatic renewals. Again, after logging into the Customer Portal, navigate to Domains from the menu bar and select My Domains from the drop-down list:
Here, find the domain you want to set up automatic renewals for, and click the associated ‘down’ Arrow icon. Next, select Auto Renewal Status:
To enable automatic renewals, click Enable Auto Renew:
If you ever need to disable the auto renewal status, you can also do this here too. At this point, the renewal of your domain is complete!
Renewing your domain before it expires is a simple task, but is also easily forgotten. Failing to do so in time could have a negative impact on both your website and your business. Fortunately, by renewing it early or setting up auto renewals, you can avoid any complications.
In this post, we’ve identified three reasons you should always renew your domain before it expires. Let’s recap them:
- You will avoid losing your existing domain, and the brand identity that comes with it.
- Your site will remain up at all times, avoiding any potential downtime.
- You’ll avoid damaging your hard-earned spot in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Image Credit: JE-SHOOTS-com.