Before you purchase another domain name (or let an old domain name expire)

The other day a customer asked me if he should just let a domain name go. He felt that the website/domain he had wasn’t going to serve him very much in the future. Effectively, he was letting go of a hobby/talent and was thinking he probably wouldn’t need the site anymore; despite the fact it still had some valuable content.

The following are the reasons I gave him for holding on to the domain, at least until he was really sure of his decision. This same logic could be applied to you, if you were considering purchasing/adding on a new domain and tying it to your product, brand or family.

Before you purchase a new domain for the heck of it or before you let one expire, consider the following:

Squatters are sitting around waiting for domain names that go dormant.  They do this because:

    • If you have simply forgotten to renew it, they are hoping to take a hefty ransom from you, in order to get it back (that $12/year domain name will now cost you $500 – $5000 to get back, for even a typical/basic domain name – larger corporations with deeper pockets could pay hundreds of times that – either to make the problem go away or engage their lawyers who will sap their pockets dry writing letters)
    • If you don’t renew it, they’ll put their own content on your domain name. They will assume you had an audience and will happily sell their wares (porn, etc.) to those folks that stumble across your old content via search or bookmarks

Essentially, if you have purchased a domain name (or you are considering adding another), you “own it” and “what happens to it” afterwards.  The longer a domain name and site content has been around, the more value there is to it – to you and to the creeps hiding behind other routers.