Let Your Domain Name Go (Don’t)

Domain name expiring soon and you’ve decided to let your website go?

Do yourself a favor: spend $10-15 and renew that domain.

There’s a guy here in town, an artist. Sometimes he pays us a visit and picks up a supply or two.

About a year and a half ago he came in and said “I got rid of my website. My daughter put me on Facebook.” He tossed out a business card. The URL at the bottom of the card had a line drawn through it and a handwritten addition: “Facebook.”

I’m not his web lady, his daughter is. None of my business what he does. He said “find me on Facebook and like my page!”

So I tried. His name is not common in a “Bill Jones” way, but searching Facebook I learned there are plenty of people who share his first and last name, exactly.

Eventually I found his page through someone else.

Several weeks ago, he came in specifically to ask me about Facebook. As in—did I know it well enough to help him delete his account. Because he hates it. He hates the notifications. He hates that people are sending him friend requests. I figured he was having a bad day.

A week later he was back, no happier about Facebook, asking if his website could be brought back or rebuilt. I searched for his old domain name. Good news! Available. Bad news! Someone bought it and was offering to resell it for $695.

Renewing a domain costs less than $15 per year. Whereas trying to buy back a domain you let go of could run you hundreds. There’s money to be made in grabbing domains that recently expired. Don’t be the person who has to pay hundreds to a domain squatter who snapped up your $15/year domain.

Letting go of a domain name because you don’t need it anymore is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (But only the bit where you lose something important. I googled TTBOWTB and it means rejecting the essential along with the inessential. I don’t think a website is inessential! But that is a whole other post.)

Shell out the $9-$15 annually. Even without a website, the domain name can be useful. People may have bookmarked it. They may have hung on to a business card that doesn’t have a line drawn through the URL. Search engines may still have it indexed.

If you do decide to intentionally kill your website, at least you can redirect the domain name to your Facebook page, your Instagram account, or anywhere else you want. If you don’t know how, pointing a domain name to a new place anywhere on the internet can be easily accomplished by your tech person of choice.