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Why do people let their domain names expire?

 8:01 pm on Jul 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why, why why do people let their domain names expire?

When I host sites, I have a line item in my contract to specify whether they will renew or if they want me to handle it.

I have had four clients in the past three months that have let it expire. Then I just met with someone today that almost completely lost their domain because their previous designer handled the registration and he died and they didn't know how to renew it.

Just because it's cheap, it doesn't mean it doesn't have value.



 4:57 pm on Jul 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

The most common situation I see is someone changes their email address to avoid spam and doesn't think to update their domain name account. So they never get the notices. This is a royal pain, you have to fax proof of identity and offer up your firstborn to regain control of the domain.

The other is as you say, many business owners are simply intimidated by the Internet and allow a less than mindful or even nefarious developer to "handle everything." When the site is built, the checks stop coming, the developer has no reason to remember this project, so poof it goes. Ultimately in this situation the developer is to blame or at least responsible, as they should have set the domain owner as the administrative and billing contact.

Lastly, related to the above, a project is poorly constructed and doesn't effectively provide the site owner with sufficient leads or sales to make them even notice, so they just give up.


 5:12 pm on Jul 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep, been there/done that with the changed e-mail issue. For us, it was a .co.kr domain, so it wasn't registered with our regular registration company (which I check a couple of times/month for expiring domains, plus they are excellent at sending out expiring alerts). The e-mail used to register the domain initially receive so much SPAM that I deleted it (never even thought about that domain being tied to that e-mail address).

I also have a database with all our registered domain names, sorted in order of expiry. I sent 1 message about it to the person in charge a couple of months before the expiration, then promptly forgot the issue. But of course I didn't follow-up after that, so I don't have much of a leg to stand on for complaining about it. It's my fault, pure and simple, for not following up further.

Oh, and we've also had clients to whom we've sent numerous reminders and called several times, but would never give us a decision about renewing. If they were good clients, we went ahead and renewed and just billed them. We had one client who went with another company for hosting, but their new company never got around to transfering the domain before the expiratation, so we renwed another year for them. One year later, their new hosting company still couldn't get their act together, and no one seemed to care, so we just gave up and let it expire.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 5:19 pm (utc) on July 11, 2007]


 7:58 pm on Jul 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

This could be because they no longer want the domain. Say I register a domain, then find out at a later date the domain no longer suits my needs, I cancel it rather than keep paying out on that domain.

I always re-register my domains as that way I know they never expire.


 9:56 am on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

... someone changes their email address ... So they never get the notices

This is very common. We send postal reminders to get round this very issue.


 10:20 am on Jul 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have had four clients in the past three months that have let it expire.

How about registering it for 10 years or so, then you don't have to remember much of anything for such a long time.

[edited by: Habtom at 10:35 am (utc) on July 12, 2007]


 7:45 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

^ ^ Actually there's an Achilles heel to that. So much can happen in 10 years . . . they **really** forget. They can even change computers several times, "yeah I have a domain name . . . somewhere . . . . don't even remember what it is. . . " :-)


 2:37 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

They can not make money from old domain name or company closed.


 3:17 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another reason for expiring domains can be that the domains were registered via a reseller that went out of business.


 3:34 pm on Jul 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've personally lost a few domain names by not being organized enough. I now have a management system that alerts me when time is getting near to renew, so that's no longer a problem.

Of course, I've also let some names go intentionally because there was zero value in keeping them.


 12:48 am on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well there was one time where I let a domain name expire because I have no use for it anymore. Another time I let a domain name expire was because I couldn't transfer it to my own registrar because of a domain lock and the previous registrar was uncooperative in unlocking my domain, that was years ago.

I've learnt my lesson the hard way. Now all my domains are handled by either myself personally or by someone that I know personally and can trust.


 1:14 pm on Jul 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

One problem is that most domain name subscriptions expire by default unless renewed. Why? This is not how most subscriptions work. Most subscriptions (think gyms) are renewed by default unless cancelled. This is easy enough to set up with Direct Debit or a standing order.

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