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How to Save Your Expired Web Address


Finding the perfect Web address can be the difference between the success and failure of your online business. Losing it can be a disaster. But too often registrations expire unnoticed by people who need them until it's too late. It can happen when businesses move, or when their owners change email addresses and never receive the warning notices.

Now a recent policy change allows registrars such as Register.com 30 days to retrieve Web addresses on behalf of their customers after the registrations have been deleted from their systems. (This deletion can take place up to a month from the expiration date.) After 30 days, of course, the Web addresses become publicly available, and anyone can claim them. A Register.com customer support agent can initiate the process for you, if necessary.

The upside is obvious: You can keep your precious Web address, and maybe save your business. But there are downsides, too: Only .com and .net names are eligible for this last-chance service; and it's expensive--snatching your Web address back from the brink will cost you $200 at Register.com, in addition to regular registration fees.

This may seem like a minor expense next to losing your Web address, but it's an avoidable expense. The best way to prevent accidental expiration is to register your Web address for multiple years. (You'll also save money with a multi-year discount.) At Register.com you can also sign-up for a free service called SafeRenew that can renew your name automatically if you forget.

Ideally you'll never need to retrieve an expired name, but now there's a last-ditch solution that could avert a disaster.

Peter Girard is Director of Marketing Communications at Register.com

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