Last week, I went to do some banking online but wait – the Regions website was offline! How could this be? I tried several more times without success. What I saw instead of their website was the Network Solutions expired domain page (a sort of advertisement for Network Solutions domain service). Later that day, I read in the news that Regions had neglected to renew their domain name; regions.com. See Regions’ apology on their FaceBook page.
Since I work for a Clearwater web design company that also sells domains, hosting, and marketing services, I have seen this happen many times in the last 14 years. I was, however, surprised to see such a large (and otherwise very well-run) company make such a major mistake. You see, when they let their domain expire, their website could no longer function. A website will go offline at midnight on the day of expiration. If this happens, even should you renew it the next day, it could take up to three more days to be fully visible to all the public.
So how important are domain names? Very.