As a business, or individual dependent on maintaining a web presence, it’s crucial to always remember to maintain ownership of your URL (web address). I’ve run into a few businesses who’ve lapsed in renewing their domain name with fortunately zero incident as they noticed the problem (the website went down) almost immediately. One Idaho law maker wasn’t so lucky.
As a conservative republican, Representative Paul Shepherd who has made some waves with those who differ in opinion on certain matters. Recently, his domain name registration lapsed and a group who disagreed with legislation Rep. Shepherd was backing took full advantage of the situation. Now, when you visit his website (or go to his URL – because it’s no longer his “website”), you see rainbows and material/resources for the LGBT community… Um…
Besides being a possible (or extremely) embarrassing situation, losing control of your domain name can cost quite significantly when it comes to efforts in marketing – especially online. Finding a new URL and getting it out on the multiple forms of media used can be overwhelming to say the least.
Register your domain name for several years out in advance. It’s only $10-14 per year and will cost you less now than if you had to reestablish your online presence via a different URL. Losing your domain name to your competition or a non-related group/company can be quite the setback.