Multi Year Domain Registration

Multi Year Domain Registration

It is easy for a company that makes money selling domain registrations to say that you should register your domain name for multiple years but is there a real benefit for a customer/website owner.  This article discusses the pros and cons of registering your domain for multiple years.

Every publicly accessible website needs to to have a domain name registered that points to the server that hosts its website.  Many people just renew their domain registration when they renew their hosting account.  In a perfect world, this is fine and dandy but we don’t live in a perfect world, and there may be some advantages to registering for multiple years.

Advantages

  1. Not forgetting to register
  2. Multi-year registration discounts
  3. Possible SEO advantages
  4. Domain Name Registration Sales
  5. Prices typically increase

Lets discuss each one of these in order:

Not Forgetting To Register

We are all busy and we don’t always read all our email.  You have no idea how many times it happens where a successful website is running mostly on auto-pilot and the domain registration expires.  Once a domain name has expired, your website will not resolve from the domain name and it becomes expensive or even sometimes impossible to get the domain name back.  If you value your domain name and website, it makes sense to register for multiple years and you don’t have to worry about this for a long time.

Multi-year Registration Discounts

Most companies will discount a domain registration 5% or even 10% depending on the length of registration.  If you know you will use this domain for a long time, you might as well save every dollar you can.  GoferHost hosts many personal websites for customers at their own name.  Since people’s names generally don’t change, many of these customers register their domain names for 10 years.  Also, business domain names can be very valuable.  Even if you sell your business, the length of the domain registration comes with the domain so nothing is lost.

Possible SEO Advantages

Much like a FICO score, Google and other search engines have a secret formula as to how websites rank.  What is not secret is that content is most important.  The job of any search engine is to deliver links to the most relevant search queries.  Search engines have different metrics on how they determine the best results.  Matt Cutts, the acting administrator of the US Digital Service for Google, is someone that all SEO experts listen closely to.  Matt has been famously quoted that the age of a domain or the length of a domain name registration does not have any factor in the ranking of a website.

This has been argued back back and forth for over 10 years now.  Some SEO experts say that a domain name that is registered for 1 year, shows search engines that the owner is not confident that the site will be around in the near future.  They argue that 2 websites being completely equal, the one with the longer domain registration length will be shown in search results first.

So there is no way to really know if this is true or not.  One thing is certain… If SEO is important to you, make sure your site delivers a clear message and has a lot of valuable content.  Registering your domain for multiple years is just one more thing you can do to possibly help in the SEO ranking if your website.

Domain Name Registration Sales

It is often the case that registrars will run a special deals or sales on certain TLDs.  If you register your domain name for 10 years, you can renew early any time within that 10 years for any sale prices that might come up.

Prices Typically Increase

Except for sales that may or may not happen, domain name registration typically increases over time.  Registering for multiple years now locks in today’s prices for the length of your registration period.

When does it make sense not to register for multiple years

Multi-Year domain registration is generally a good idea for the reasons stated above, but there are a few reasons why you may not want to register for multiple years.  There are really 2 reasons you many not want to register your domain for multiple years:

  1. You are unsure your website is going to work out
  2. You are attempting to sell your domain name

Conclusion

There are a lot of advantages to registering your domain for multiple years.  I hope this article has made it clear as to why you may or may not want to do this.  Leave a comment below if you have any other advantages to disadvantages for multi-year domain name registrations.

About the Author
Jeff Kershner
Jeff Kershner is a veteran web developer with over 15 years professional experience. He now consults for a few companies and is the Director of Engineering at GoferHost.