For what length of time should you register a domain name?

I used to recommend that my clients register/renew their domain names for more than one year, preferrably for as long as their domain registrar allowed. You want to own the name indefinitely, right? You might as well lock it down indefinitely and save a couple dollars in the process.

I’ve changed my recommendation: Only renew a domain name for one year at a time.

Why? How many people are in the same job ten years down the road? Five years? Not that many.

A domain name’s administrative point of contact email address will likely disappear when that person leaves the company. Then the credit card will eventually expire. When it’s time to renew the domain name, the renewal email messages will vanish. No one will see them and the domain name will not automatically renew. Then the pain starts. I’ve see it happen more than once!

I know you’re supposed to review domain contact information every year to make sure it’s accurate. But unfortunately it doesn’t always happen.

Although you might save a couple dollars by registering a domain for multiple years, I suggest you do it one year at a time. It’s not worth the risk of letting the valuable domain ownership fall through the cracks.

To check your domain name’s expiration date: http://who.is

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