I had an email yesterday from a client who called himself an idiot.

He’d ignored the reminders from his domain registrar to renew one of his domain names, forgetting it was home to a live website. If you’ve ever had this happen, you’ll know what comes next.

Hassle and expense.

Usually, there’s a grace period after the expiration date. So even then it’s not too late to act without penalty. But miss the final cut-off and you’ll be landed with a redemption fee on top of the cost of the renewal. My client was facing a charge of £165.

Lucky for him, he found a way round the problem. He bought a similar domain name instead for under a tenner and asked me to switch the site to its new URL.

As it wasn’t his main site, but a separate blog we only set up this spring, it’s not going to be much of an issue. But it was a useful reminder of how easily we can overlook something and make life difficult for ourselves.

Auto-renew takes care of it

As I’m sure you know, you can eliminate the risk of this ever happening by checking the auto-renew option. Here it is in GoDaddy. It really is as simple as checking that box.

My client knew this. Which is probably why he called himself an idiot.

The only consolation I can offer is he’s not alone. Registrars must make a small fortune from desperate domain owners who can’t believe they’ve somehow forgotten to renew.

But that’s nothing compared with the sharks who snap up your domain if you balk at the redemption fee. As I know to my cost.

Because I’m not worth it

That image at the top of this post, that’s a screenshot I took in 2014. In case you didn’t know, that’s my name.

And for several years I had a copywriting website on martinbrackstone.com. Then one day, some three years ago, I discovered my site had gone.

Turns out the friend who built my site and set up hosting didn’t think I needed to keep the site going any more! Did I want it back?

Not at that price. So I snapped up the co.uk version instead and lived with not being a dotcom.

But there’s a happy ending to this story. My memory jolted by that email I received yesterday, I checked to see if my old domain was still on offer at silly money.

Smug smile. Nope.

I just bought it back again. For £12.20 until November 2017.

A totally professional website for your gite business

For less than you charge for a week's rental

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