Domain name renewal is a very fundamental part of running an online business. A domain name is not only the intellectual property of the company but also the virtual store front. Having your home page redirect to a domain parking page could mean losing out on a lot of potential clients. The recent Yatra.com domain expiry fiasco has brought a lot of attention to how companies should micromanage their domains’ renewal.
Yatra.com is an Indian online travel agency and a travel search engine that offers its customers domestic and international flights, weekend getaways, rail tourism packages, holidays, hotels and trains. It is based in Gurgaon, Haryana. The site’s domain registration seems to have expired on August 9 making the website inaccessible to valuable customers. Customers who visited the Yatra website between Sunday afternoon and Monday evening were directed to a domain parking webpage that said “the domain has expired”.
Yatra.com claims that the site was down due to “technical reasons”. However, the real reason was not mentioned by the company. Competitors of Yatra tried to woo their customers with messages such as “Book your Yatra tickets”. Some competitors have observed a rise in transactions since Sunday. Co-founder and CEO of Yatra, Dhruv Shringi, said the company is investigating whether the domain name really expired. “Though the expiry of the domain name could be technically true, we are still trying to assess the root cause of the problem.”
Yatra executives said that the website is “accessible to all desktop users worldwide at the present moment” at around 7.15pm on Monday. Yatra.com is India’s second-largest online travel portal and controls 30% market share after Makemytrip and averages around 6,000 transactions a day. The inactive site must have cost a substantial amount of business to the travel agency.
Other instances of a Company’s domain names expiring
There have been other such cases across the world where large companies have forgotten to renew their domains and losing out on critical business. Microsoft forgot to renew its Hotmail.co.uk address in 2003, which was then placed in a pool of available addresses. The person who bought it gave it back to Microsoft, without charging any money. Even Hamleys, the famous toy store, had forgotten to renew its domain back in 2009, allowing a third-party company to take over its website which displayed ads for rival toy stores.
There are a bunch of features in the ResellerClub Control Panel that allows you to customise the way you and your customers receive alerts about domain renewals. We at ResellerClub make it our focus to ensure that the domains are renewed in time so that you and your customers never have to go through any trouble. You can customise your control panel to send various Email and SMS alerts to customers as well as the domain name Administrative Contact well before their domains expire to ensure that the websites are always online and functional. These alerts are sent 45 days prior to the domain’s expiry to ensure that our customers never miss out on any business! Our customers are updated on the 1st, 11th and 21st day of every month, until the domain name is either Renewed or Deleted (due to non-renewal).
Do you have any stories where a company’s domain expired? Let us know in the comments!