Why should I pay more for domain registration fees?
Written by: Martin Paredes on February 15, 2012
One of the questions our service representatives are regularly faced with is why should a customer pay more for a service such as domain name registration. There are countless of domain name registrars offering domain name registration services for less than $12 a year. Yet, Cognent charges $29 for the service. Why pay the additional fee?
At first glance, a $29 fee for domain name registration may seem excessive until your company is faced with the catastrophe of losing its online identity. This is actually more common than most companies realize. The problem arises from normal business operations, employees come and go and email addresses change. Registrars send renewal notices via email accounts on file for the domain name owner. Domain names are registered for periods of between 1 to 10 years.
During that time, many changes can and do happen within a corporate entity. The person that registered the domain name may no longer be with the company or the email address used to register the domain name may no longer be active. And, absent paper reminders most companies do not realize their domain name has expired until that faithful morning when the website and email suddenly stop working.
At this point the person tasked with recovering the domain name must first determine where the domain name is registered and find the username and passcodes used to manage the account. If that information is not readily available then, depending on the registrar, the domain name owner is left with two options, try to get the information via email or submit a facsimile request to the registrar.
In the first case, if the email address used to register the domain name is not available then the password is not readily accessible. If the owner of the domain name must go through the paper process of acquiring access to the domain name it must be ready to prove that they, in fact, own the domain name. The registrar does this by checking the domain name's "Registrant" record against the company making the request. Is the company name, on the letter head the same? Are there any significant changes to the company contact information? If any of these items do not match then the recovery of access to the domain name many not be possible.
Even for those companies that keep and manage their records properly and thus have the username and password available, they sometimes encounter problems such as the registrar going out of business and access to the control panel is no longer available. At this point the domain name owner has to hunt for the sponsoring domain name provider and attempt to make contact.
Whether successful or not, the domain name owner is without email and website service until the domain name service is restored.
What happens to a domain name once it expires?
That depends on the registrar.
Normally a domain name owner has 45 days, after the expiration date, to renew the domain name but that may vary from registrar to registrar. After the 45-day window, the domain name enters a dormant period of five days where no activity is allowed. Immediately after that, the domain name is returned to the pool of available domain names. This "recovery" window also varies by TLD extension. For example, .CN domain names are returned to the pool of available domain names the day after they expire.
GoDaddy, on the other hand, gives you 18 days after the domain expires to renew the domain name at their established domain name registration fees. On day 19, GoDaddy adds an $80 "redemption fee" to renew the domain name. Starting on day 26, GoDaddy begins to auction the domain name through two levels of auctions. If no one has claimed the domain name through a backorder request or via an auction then the domain name is returned to the pool of unregistered domain names for someone to register.
How likely is the domain name to be registered by someone else?
For the top level domain extensions like .com, it is very likely that a domain name would be picked up by someone immediately after it enters the pool of available domain names. This is true for most domains even though they may not be very popular. The reason is that there are many speculators who do nothing more than register recently expired domain names and sell "click" advertising on them because of the benefit from the residual traffic any recently expired domain name has, no matter how unpopular it was.
Why the extra cost to register and renew the domain name?
Cognent operates as a managed full-service provider which basically means we manage all aspects of your company's online needs, from domain name registration fees to website design and application development to ongoing content generation and search engine optimization (SEO). Managed full-service means that we manage all aspects of your company's online needs, from beginning to end.
In the case of the domain name registration we not only register and keep your domain name record current but we ensure that your domain name does not expire leaving you without email or website service. As domain names are part of the strategic process of achieving website visibility on search engines we continuously look for ways of increasing your search engine profile by strategically placing domain names at your disposal.
Help! My domain name has expired.
In the unfortunate event that your domain has expired and are looking for a way to recover it we can help you with the process by acting as your broker. Regardless of the status of the domain name, Cognent, acting as your broker leverages our years of experience during the process.
But rather than be faced with email and website service interruption why not spend a little extra today for the peace of mind of knowing your online identity is actively bring managed on your behalf.