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When you should keep your domain name

By Erin Hutchison
Content Marketing and Social Media Specialist

While sometimes a domain’s usefulness is short-lived, other times it should be kept as an integral part of your brand’s online identity.

So your domain name is about to expire and you’re wondering if it’s worth it to renew.

Sometimes, a domain is registered only for a limited time, has outlived its usefulness or is a memory of that project you couldn’t get off the ground. Fair enough.

But sometimes, letting go isn’t necessarily the right call. Let’s take a look at the following reasons why you might be thinking of not renewing:

“My website is too time-consuming to maintain”

A Google search is how many Canadians start their search for a new product or service. Having a basic website means you maintain an online presence but don’t have to maintain or update content frequently.

Calgary’s Caffe Beano does a great job of showing important details like location and hours and the story behind their business – all on one page.

If you’re worried about having dynamic content on your website, integrate a feed from a social platform that your business is active on to keep your website content fresh.

If you’re convinced you don’t need a website, consider using your domain for custom, branded email addresses. Unlike a free email address, a branded email provides a more professional look for potential customers.

“The domain fees are too expensive”

While the pricing for a domain name can vary, generally, they are not much more than the cost of a fancy coffee per year. A few dollars to secure your online brand identity will most likely lead to several times that amount in business opportunities.

If you find that your current registrar isn’t meeting your needs at a price point you’re comfortable with (as well as hosting and other services that come with it), remember that you have the option to transfer your domain to a different registrar. Note, you are not able to transfer a .CA during the redemption period.

Letting go of your domain name will make it available for anyone to register. Someone else can scoop it up and monetize your hard work (e.g. putting ads up to get money from the traffic). What you’re saving on the price of a domain name could cost you much more in brand reputation.

“I do all of my business on social media”

While social media is a great—and often necessary—tool for doing business, a website should be the hub of your business’ online presence.

While it may seem like everyone you know is on social media, that’s not necessarily the case for your customers. By relying exclusively on social media, you are not only limiting your potential reach, you are also at the mercy of those platforms if they ever decided to change their rules, charge for access, or, go out of business. A business website, controlled by you, not a technology CEO, is the only way to ensure your business is visible online.

Many businesses are attracted to social media because it is seemingly free. The problem is that by not paying anything your business and content are subject to the whims of someone else’s platform. The costs will either be in your time to get the word out organically (which is harder than ever to do) or in money to pay to get your content in front of your audience.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the right call. While sometimes a domain’s usefulness is short-lived, other times it should be kept as an integral part of your brand’s online identity.

About the author
Erin Hutchison

Erin brings to CIRA a background of marketing experience in higher education and the not-for-profit sector. In 2015, she participated in ISOC’s Youth@IGF Programme and traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico to attend the IGF. She has a Bachelor of International Business from Carleton University.