Domain names are great. Without them, we’d all be typing in long IP addresses that aren’t that memorable. Seriously, would you rather type in google.com or 184.108.40.206? Not counting major number nerds out there, domain names are the way to go!
The only problem? You have to keep paying for your domain name forever, it seems. That means you also have to keep your payment information up-to-date. I can’t tell you how many times over the years clients called me asking why their website was down, and it turned out their domain name had expired because they never updated their payment information.
So is there a way to buy your domain name permanently? Can you own it rather than just renting it?
The short answer? No. The slightly longer answer? Nnnnooooo. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
The issue is that the question is based on a false premise. A domain name isn’t something that’s purchased. It’s something that’s registered. Let’s look at a street address as an analogy.
Whether you own a building, own a house, rent an office, rent an apartment, or some other option, you typically get a street address. The building may or may not be something you own, but the address isn’t something you can own. It’s just a way for people to know where you’re located.
Similarly, a website address really just tells your computer, phone, tablet, or even refrigerator where to find the server that has your website on it.
If you’re just worried about someone else snatching up your domain name, most domain name registrars will let you set the domain to auto-renew. Most of them will also allow you to register your domain name for up to 10 years.
The important thing in both cases is to make sure your email address in your account is up-to-date. If it’s nine years and 11 months later and your credit card has expired, your registrar will email you to let you know. But you have to have access to the email address to know that.
Another option is to let your marketing agency register your domain for you. A reputable marketing agency will keep up with its own payment information and ensure that all its clients’ domains get renewed.