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Domain renewal: the essential guide for small businesses

By Thomas Costello - August 29, 2013

In July Computerworld UK reported that the National Australia Bank, the banking group which owns both UK based Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, failed to renew the domain names on the UK subsidiaries DNS servers. The error, which left some customers without online banking services for a number of days, has since been confirmed by NAB, who acknowledged that even though they did remember to renew both UK domain names a number of months ago, they had overlooked the renewal on its DNS servers.

It may seem an easy mistake to avoid, however, the NAB are the not the first big corporation to have had issues relating to the renewal of domain names. In 2012, The Register suggested that the Russian government forgot to renew their rt.com domain name on the state owned Russia Today publication and in 2003, software giants Microsoft failed to renew their hotmail.co.uk name.

Whilst forgetting to renew a domain name might seem like an easily avoidable mistake, it tends to occur more often than people may otherwise realise. Whilst there are a number of explanations as to why businesses may allow their registrations to run out, it is normally caused by human error.

It is vital that small business appreciate the damage that overlooking the renewal of a domain name can have on a business. Every business can learn from these errors and can adopt simple steps to ensure they do not suffer similarly:

Consolidate domains: It is best practise to consolidate your domains with a single provider and ensure that this supplier has up to date contact details.

Use automatic renewal: 123-reg offers businesses the option of renewing your domains automatically at the time of renewal. Automatic renewal gives you peace of mind that your domains are protected.

Adjust your spam filters: Make sure that you have changed your spam filters so that your registrars’ emails are always getting to you, ensuring that you are always aware of any changes to your account or billing.

Keep email and payment details up to date: Make sure that your provider has the most up to date payment and contact details so that when your domains are up for renewal, this process can be completed without issue.

For small businesses especially, the internet provides great opportunities. A businesses website is the first stop for all potential customers, and the expiration of a domain without prior warning, can have serious repercussions for small businesses.

For this reason, 123-reg now offers a domain management service to help small businesses manage their domain service. BrandFortress, which launched earlier this year, delivers an easy Web 2.0 interface and expert account management for small business – taking the headache out of owning, managing and recovering domain names.