Can I Own A Website Forever?

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domain name ownership

Are you wondering whether you can own a website forever? Then this guide is for you. A website is a critical element of any business. It creates brand awareness and increases the business’s credibility. Finding a good domain name and registering it is the initial step toward building a website.

Don’t have time to read the entire article? Then here is the quick answer to the question of whether you can own a website or domain name forever:

No, you cannot own your website or domain name forever. You can own a website or domain name for a maximum of 10 years. After that, you have to renew your domain.

Over time, many small and large businesses aspire to own their domain names permanently for decades. However, the ICANN (INTERNET Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) makes it impossible for anyone to own a website domain forever. It only allows purchasing the names for up to 10 years.

When you buy a website domain, you have the right to use it, but not forever. Although you cannot own a website name permanently, you can keep on renewing the lease as long as the domain company exists. Please continue reading to learn some of why ICANN makes it impossible to own a website forever. Also, you will get enlightened on how you can get close to owning a website domain name for life.

Why you cannot own a website domain forever

While buying a web name for life is convenient and impressive, for several possible reasons it is impossible. When you purchase a website address from the domain companies, you buy a right to use it and not to own it. ICANN, a non-profit company established in 1998, is in charge of managing how domain registration works. Here are some of the reasons you cannot buy a website domain for life.

  1. Uncertainties for future costs
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One of the reasons why owning a web domain forever is not possible for domain registries is uncertainties about future costs. Maintaining the registries involve lots of overhead expenses; hence charging a one-time fee puts the domain companies on the losing end. Even though they charge lots of money for registering each name, the amount may not be enough for future maintenance since they cannot predict future costs.

  1. Eliminate Abandoned domains

Leasing domains instead of buying avoids the issues of abandoned websites. When you check on the web, you will come across many sites no longer in use. Also, you will notice many websites with posters for sale. Either the organizations have gone bankrupt, or the owners no longer use the sites.

If there is an option of lifetime website domain registration, thousands of domains with good keywords could be abandoned and not in use. That is an issue since many people are willing to invest in good addresses to build their websites.

Nowadays, if a person fails to renew their domains yearly, they are not left to remain dormant. Instead, when it expires, it becomes open for purchase by other willing buyers. That ensures product usage of the address.

Furthermore, maintaining registry infrastructure is expensive. Therefore, domain companies could incur many costs in keeping so many abandoned and unused domain names.

domain expiration protection

How to increase chances of owning a website domain for life

Although there is no guaranteed way to secure a website domain permanently, there are ways you can follow to make it possible to own it for decades. You can keep on renewing your domain upon the expiration of payment so that you can continue using it. Here are the three ways that can help your website last for decades.

  1. Register for a long-term lease
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One of the options for ensuring you own your website for as long as possible is by engaging in long-term leases. Usually, ICANN allows registering a domain name for one up to 10 years. Different domain companies offer 1, 2, 5- or 10-years registration options. If you register for ten years, you pay upfront for the address; it is a guarantee you will own the website for that duration. Furthermore, when you pay upfront, you avoid the risk of forgetting to renew yearly, which failure can make you lose your website. Also, you will not have to deal with yearly price changes that are subject to increments.

  1. Select auto-renew option

Even though you cannot buy a web address, you can own it as long as your domain registrar exists. Many registrars offer an auto-renewal option where payment is deducted from their payment cards upon expiry as payment for the lease renewal. With the auto-renewal option, you don’t have to worry about the initial date you made the payment or someone snatching your domain. If you registered for ten years, just before the lapse of the period, the address will automatically be reregistered under your name. However, you will need to have a backup payment option in place. Always ensure that you have a valid, current backup payment on file.

  1. Expiration protection

Another option that ensures you own your website as long as you wish is expiration protection, an alternative for auto-renew. Usually, some domain companies offer clients expiration protection programs that increase the renewal time for domain account holders. Such programs ensure those companies do not sell off the web address registered under your name to anyone else for a certain period after the expiry of your registration. Typically, expiration protection duration depends on your registrar but mostly ranges from 90 to 180 days. That applies even if they cannot charge your payment card. Expiration protection provides you with more time to get your finances orderly and make the renewal.

Here you can easily register your desired domain name:

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Conclusion

Although it is impossible to buy a website domain permanently, it is possible to lease it for decades. Two main reasons make it impossible to buy a website address for life- uncertainties for future costs and avoiding abandoned sites. However, there are several steps you can take to secure your website for the long term. One, ensure you purchase the maximum allowed ten years plan. Also, ensure the auto-renew option is on, and that you have the backup payment option on file. In addition, purchase expiration protection allows you to not lose your web name to anyone immediately after registration expiry. If you heed these three things, you will easily manage ownership of your site for decades.

Founder at Datacrypt Ltd
Tim is the founder of Datacrypt.io and is an expert in web design, SEO, eCommerce, and content management. Tim loves to give you a lot of useful information in our blog about various topics.
Tim

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