Domain Name Renewal

Keeping track of domain name renewal deadlines is an important task for a webmaster or website owner. If the deadline passes without a domain name registration renewal taking place, the website's label can be purchased by someone else, perhaps even a business competitor. Companies often spend a great deal of time and money on promoting their websites, including the online names which can become identified with a particular brand or business. The company's investment needs to be protected by keeping track of deadlines and renewing the website's name prior to its expiration. Even private individuals often spend a great deal of thought and effort to come up with relevant names for the personal websites they create. Perhaps a personal site starts out as a creative means to share one's love for embroidery. But as time goes on, the site evolves into a gathering place for others who are also interested in needlework. The website becomes a respected resource for the hobbyists. It would be very frustrating if the website lost its identity because someone neglected to renew the domain name.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit corporation which has been given authority by the United States government to oversee, coordinate, and manage the Domain Name System (DNS) for the internet, including policies concerning initial registration and domain name renewal. The DNS provides an important benefit to consumers because words and combinations of words are much easier to remember than complex sets of numbers. Basically, the DNS allows users to choose words to replace the unique Internet Protocol (IP) address, a string of numbers that is the actual format for identifying the hosting computer for the website. When a user types a website address into the address box, the name is associated with the IP address and the appropriate website is then accessed by the user.

Certain companies, known in the industry as registrars, offer both domain name renewal and initial registration for websites to consumers. These are sold in one-year increments, though more than one one-year period can be purchased at a time. Some registrars offer discounts for initial registrations of two or more years. The longest period of time that can be purchased is ten years. The consumer has the choice of changing registrars, but not until at least sixty days have passed since the initial registration. Most registrars offer additional services and provide discounts and incentives to customers who purchase them. Some of these services may include website design, hosting of the site, and e-commerce options such as marketing aids, shopping cart features, and SSL certificates and security. Registrars may offer a service that helps consumers keep watch for someone failing to meet a domain name registration renewal deadline. This type of service might be important for someone who wants to start a business using a website label that has already been taken. The individual can list desired names with some registrars who will let the person know if it isn't renewed. These registrars may keep lists of expiring names that the individual can then track.

Many times a domain name registration renewal occurs even though the actual website has not been designed and is not being utilized by the owner. Some individuals purchase a multitude of domain names that they think will be of some value to another person as a type of investment. They hope that the other person will want the site badly enough to pay an additional cost for it. This practice is sometimes referred to as cybersquatting. The organization mentioned earlier, ICANN, as part of the authority given to them by the federal government, has established dispute resolution policies. For cybersquatting issues, an expedited administrative procedure has been established that is less costly and less time-consuming than lengthy and expensive court trials. However, when questions of trademarks and copyrighting issues arise between two parties, litigation in court is usually necessary to sort out the claims.

Some companies offer appraisal services for determining the value of a domain name. But caution is needed to avoid fraudulent buyers whose only motive is to get the seller to utilize the services of a specific appraisal company. In this scam, the so-called buyer either owns the appraisal company or receives a percentage of the business he refers to the company. Savvy consumers pay attention to their transactions so that they do not become victims. As the psalmist advised: "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance" (Psalm 112:4-6).

Other potential scams involve domain name registration renewal deadlines. In one such scam, the fraudulent registrar company sends fake invoices to website owners encouraging them to renew the domain name. If the invoice is paid, the domain is transferred to the unscrupulous registrar, even though this transfer may not have been made clear to the website owner. In a similar scam, the fraudulent company obtains the owner's credit card information and authorization to complete a transaction. However, the fraudulent company will not complete the domain name renewal process. Then, a few weeks later, the website owner discovers that he still owes for renewal to the original registrar. Experts suggest that owners protect themselves by not responding to emails they receive about renewing domain names. Instead the owner can go directly to the registrar's website and complete the renewal transaction. If necessary, the owner should not hesitate to contact the registrar by phone to ensure that the website is protected from scammers.

Expired Domains

Every business that plans to sell on the web needs to start by looking at expired domains. These are website addresses that companies do not renew for whatever reason. They are a good purchase to make because they are already known among Internet users. The other option, however, is to create a new name or purchase preregistered domains for sale. Some of the top businesses in the market have easy to remember web addresses that are drilled into consumer's minds through consistent and clever advertising. A great domain name ensures an Internet company's success in the competitive Internet market. Any good Internet vendor knows that a great website address can lead to more traffic and more sales. It should be easy to remember, easy to spell and easily associated with the product or service it represents. Both existing and expired domains are constantly coming up for sale on the Internet so finding available domains is as simple as using a major search engine. Whether it is an expired one or not, the perfect website name can be far easier to find if one knows how and where to look for it on the Internet.

The company name is the best place to start when deciding on a domain name because it will be the easiest for potential customers to remember. However, avoid lengthy web addresses. These are not only harder to remember, they are often typed in wrong. If the address doesn't work, the visitor may not think to check their spelling. Instead, they only assume that the website is down. After deciding on the website name, decide on the best extension. The name extension can now be a number of things. There is .Com, .Org, .Biz, .Gov and .Net to name a few. Non-profit organizations usually use .Org while government establishments use .Gov. Select the name and extensions and visit a general domain name site. They will usually allow a search for the best name. Sometimes the address is available because it is expired. Keep in mind that although, one .Com name might be taken, a .Net name could be available so test all available options.

Some businesses don't want a name based on their company name, but rather a name derived from the product or service that their website offers. This is usually a good idea since that would be what the consumer is really looking for. In addition, it will help the website get a greater number of hits on search engines, especially if the address is previously expired. Search the best names and test out each extension as well. Bare in mind that some site names will already be registered, but available to buy from the parties they are registered to. Keep in mind that it may be more expensive to acquire a name this way. With a little creativity, one might be able to come up with another name that is just as good. No matter what name they choose to buy, it's best to be sure that there are no copyright issues involved. If the website name sounds or looks too much like a competitor's, their lawyers will step in, resulting in possible monetary costs and having to change the website name. Be careful and honest in every business effort. Don't try to steal away customers by stealing names and trademarks. "Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not" (Proverbs 29:24).

Annually, a website name can cost anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on which company it is registered with. Although general domains for sale are inexpensive, expired domains can be more expensive because they are more sought after. Some expired domains go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other domains for sale are on auction websites and also go for thousands of dollars. These names are usually more common or easier to remember, which makes them most appealing to online vendors. The length of term also affects the cost of the website name. The longer the term, the lower the annual rate. Vendors should only select a domain for two years or longer if they are sure that the company will continue to use the name for that period. A company that plans to change their name frequently may want just select a year term. Otherwise, they'll spend more money than they needed to. Don't be tempted to accept some package deal with one company and get hosting, email as well as the website name all at once. It could be a good deal, but should the company's hosting services be unsatisfactory, it will be hard to dump their services and transfer a good name to a new hosting service.

When it comes to looking at domains for sale, seek out the best deal. First, decide the number of domain names needed and the limit on spending. Some businesses prefer to have more than one website name that connects to the same site, possibly increasing traffic to their site. Those interested in expired domains should take the time to consider any extra cost. Look at domains for sale, expired or not, to see if any can work for the business website. Many major domain websites also sell expired names. Simply use a major search engine to look at the available options. Usually, expired names are offered up for auction or offered by the administrator after the name is not renewed. No matter what website name they choose, it should be one that helps the website succeed honestly and fairly.

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