Your domain name defines your online identity, but the wild thing is you only control your name for a specific period.
You are essentially leasing the domain name for one year and must pay an annual fee to renew your license.
So what happens if your registration expires, and you failed to renew?
You will lose the domain and face the problems that come with losing the name your readers and customers use to identify you on the web.
Such disastrous consequences may make you wonder whether it is possible to make your domain name registration permanent and avoid the issue of expiration entirely.
In this article, I will show you how to buy a domain name forever, and the limits to such strategies.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is Needed To Buy A Domain Name Forever
- How To Buy A Domain Name Forever: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Similar Tutorial Types To Check Out
- Wrapping Up
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions people are asking about permanent domain name ownership on Google:
What Happens If You Stop Paying For A Domain Name?
When your lease expires, and you fail to renew your domain, you will be given a grace period of 30 days.
If you still fail to renew, your domain will be made available to the public and any 3rd party can place a bid for expired domains.
Do Domain Names Expire?
Yes, they do.
Your ownership of the domain name is contingent on you paying renewal fees each year to your domain registrar or web host.
Do You Have To Keep Paying For Your Domain Name Each Year?
Most web hosting companies require an annual renewal, but the rules of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) let you lease a domain for a block period of up to 10 years.
What Is Needed To Buy A Domain Name Forever
Here are the tools and resources you will need to successfully implement the strategies I will outline in the next section:
- Domain Name — opt for a name that is simple and yet memorable enough that people will never confuse your brand with that of your competitors. Domain registration of a new name should cost between $2 to $20 per year, but purchasing premium domains, especially popular ones, will cost you a lot.
- Domain Name Registrar — companies like GoDaddy, NameCheap, Domain.com, and BlueHost are registrars that lease domain names out to the public.
How To Buy A Domain Name Forever: Step-By-Step Instructions
I will first point out that it is practically impossible to pay to own a domain name forever.
There are strategies that can help you retain ownership of your domain name for as long as you want, but you must pay renewal fees at specific intervals.
These strategies will help keep your domain name away from the open market and ensure you can maintain your ownership for decades.
- Purchase a lifetime lease
- Set your account to auto-renew
- Activate automated email notices
- Become a domain registrar
Method 1: Purchase A Lifetime Lease
The best domain registrars offer a special class of lease with an indefinite registration period.
It is not a true lifetime lease, since ICANN sets the maximum registration period at 10 years.
What happens is that you pay a registration fee to your hosting service for a very long period, let’s say 100 years, and the company will take on the responsibility for renewing your lease every ten years.
The issue with forever registration is that as a website builder you are handing control over a very important part of your brand identity to a third party.
If the hosting provider should go out of business, or gets hit by regulations, you will lose your domain name.
Method 2: Set Your Domain Account To Auto-Renew
You can protect your domain name ownership by signing up for the auto-renewal option offered by most registrars.
This means your hosting company will automatically charge your credit card for the renewal fee as soon as the current registration period expires.
The automatic renewal approach requires utmost vigilance on your part.
You must supply the company with the correct credit card and contact information.
If you ever change your card, be sure to update your payment information.
Method 3: Activate Automated Email Notices
With this approach, you set up automated notices on your dashboard to alert you when your current lease is about to expire.
This method is highly recommended for a domain owner that is signing up for a long-term lease and doesn’t want to take up the auto-renewal option.
This way, a site owner that forgets an upcoming renewal due to the extended lapse of time (two to ten years) will get a reminder to renew the lease before it’s too late.
You must provide your primary email address to the web host during registration and put the company’s emails on your contact list to avoid missing the notice.
Method 4: Become A Domain Registrar
This approach will give you complete control over your domain name and there is no chance of a third party grabbing the title from you on the open market.
The one drawback is that this method will cost you a lot of money.
You must pay an annual $4000 accreditation fee to ICANN, and a yearly $0.18 registration fee.
Your registry operator will charge you $7.85 annually for your name.
You must also secure an insurance policy of at least $500,000.
With the huge amounts of money involved, this method is impractical for most blog owners and small businesses.
It’s only suitable for major brands that can’t afford to outsource the control of something as important as their online identity to a third party.
Similar Tutorial Types To Check Out
- How to Choose a Domain Name: this article will show you what makes a good domain name and guide you through the process of selecting the most appropriate domain name for your brand.
- How to Look Up Domain Owners: discover how to use a WHOIS search to trace the owner of a domain name URL that has caught your interest.
- How to Find the Domain Name of a Server: this article will help you learn the two commands you can use to look up your domain server records and check to ensure your domain URLs are pointing in the right direction.
Except for lifetime leases, all the methods I covered above require vigilance on your part.
You must keep your credit card and email information on your hosting account up to date, if you want to retain ownership indefinitely.
In the event you fall behind, you still have the 30-day grace period to renew and secure your domain name.
If you need more information about long-term domain name ownership, please feel free to reach out to me in the comments section.