Want to know how to buy a domain name forever? It’s the golden fleece that everyone wants to bag. And just like finding a golden fleece, it isn’t possible.

Choosing a domain name is a milestone in setting up a business. Your brand name stays the same and yours forever, unless you opt for a serious rebrand at some stage. But, things aren’t so simple with a domain. If you want to know how to buy a domain name forever, you’re dreaming.

“What?” We hear you cry. That’s right, it’s not possible to permanently buy a domain name. In fact, it’s better to think of your domain as your home, but not your property. In other words, you’re a renter, not an owner.

But don’t fret, dear renter. Domain name leasing doesn’t mean less security or control when it comes to your domain.   Let’s take a closer look at the options and tips for securing a domain, even if you’re actually not buying a domain name permanently. Because Iit really isn’t so bad…

Can You Buy a Domain Name Forever? A Domain Should Be For Life, Not Just for Christmas…

Why can’t you buy a domain name forever? You might ask. If securing a domain name is a massive step in establishing your brand and business, it must be possible to own your domain name? 

It doesn’t matter how much you stamp your feet, the simple answer to this is no. Buying a domain name permanently is not the way to think about having a domain. Ownership is the wrong word; in fact, you are leasing.

People often get confused about who really owns a domain because of tricky wording, like when you see stuff about “transferring domain ownership”. In reality, you can’t hand over something you don’t actually own. What you can do is transfer control.

With leasing, this is what you have: control over the domain name you have chosen. During your lease, you have all the rights to use that domain, and this can be extended and renewed. But more on that later.   

You lease your domain from an online registrar, who can help you choose your domain name in the first place. How kind.

So, got over the shock that you can’t permanently buy a domain name? Good. Let’s check out why this is. 

Reasons Why You Can’t Buy a Domain For Life

There are some very good reasons for not being able to permanently own a domain name. 

  • There’s an international body that regulates domains called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These guys make sure no individual or group can buy up domains by the hundreds and keep them off-limits to anyone else permanently, so the ICANN has set a limit of ten years on leasing.
  • There are other practical reasons, too. A person could ‘buy’ a domain, then kick the bucket, and the domain is lost forever. 

So, it makes sense that domains can’t be bought permanently, and are only available to lease for a maximum of ten years. 

Here’s What You Get With Registration of a Domain

When you lease a domain from a registrar, you have options for what that registrar will give you in terms of service. 

You can choose long-term registration, up to ten years, or a shorter-term one. Either option can come with or without automatic renewal. You could also go for a registrar that offers you an email address alongside the domain. It’s worth exploring how to get a free email domain from your chosen registrar.

Going for the longer registration means you’ve got a stress-free hold on your domain for a good chunk of time, which lots of business owners love. But if you’re a newer business and expecting big changes, shorter leases might be a smarter move.

Another thing to think about is the price. A long-term lease gives you the benefit of a fixed fee for the whole of the lease. On the downside, longer leases have a higher upfront cost than shorter-term ones.

So, if you’re running a newer business and might switch up your domain name, it could be a good call to go for a short-term lease, especially if you’re on a teeny budget.

What Happens to My Domain Name Once Registration Expires?

As we said, the maximum lease is ten years, and there are shorter-term lease options too. At the end of any lease, whatever the length, if you don’t renew, it will automatically expire. That’s why many business owners go for automatic renewal.

Different registrars offer different services, and some might cut you some slack by giving you a grace period to renew after it expires, while others promise not to hand your domain off to someone else for a certain period after your lease is up. At OnlyDomains, we err on the side of giving a little time to sort out any mistakes.

If you don’t renew, though, you will lose control of your domain. Another business could swoop in to snap up your domain, and you’ll never see it again. 

Nightmare for a business that’s got a good flow of clients and customers to their website. Remember, your domain is like your online business address. It’s how people on the Web find you.

Right, How Long Can You Purchase a Domain Then?

The official limit for leasing a domain is ten years, but with renewals, you can keep leasing and running the show for way longer, even decades. Big brands often do this to make sure they don’t gamble with losing their domains.

There is no limit on how many ten-year periods you can renew a domain for. So, knock yourself out. This means that, technically, if you keep renewing, you can have control over a domain virtually ‘forever.’

Wow, can I buy a domain name for 100 years?

Yes, in a way, it’s possible. Just keep renewing your domain lease, year on year if you are leasing short term or every ten years. It can make sense to lease for as long as you can. 

It means there’s no chance of you forgetting to renew after a year if you haven’t gone for auto-renew. It gives you loads of time to make the most of your domain and build your business vibe online before you even have to think about renewing. 

How to Buy a Domain Name Permanently in Four Easy Steps: Registering For As Long As Possible

Setting up a website can be a learning curve. There are technicalities you have to get to grips with, like the difference between domain vs hosting, and decisions you’ll have to make about which domain name to choose and how long to lease it for.

If you’re new to the whole website game, you might be wondering, “How do I really own a domain forever?” Well, the trick is to lease it for as long as you can and remember to keep renewing it.

Let’s look in more detail at how to buy a domain forever.

  1. Buy for the maximum allowed 10 years

Long-term registration is the thing here if you want to keep your domain name permanently. Check out registrars who offer leases for five to ten years. Pay upfront and get your domain at a fixed price for the whole period. If you don’t sign up for auto-renewal, make sure you set reminders to renew them yourself.

  1. Always have a backup payment option on file

Even with long-term registration, there is a blip to keeping your domain name. Your payment method could change over ten years. Let’s say your credit or debit card expires or your bank account changes. 

It’s easy to forget about this, and that’s bad news for your domain. If you don’t keep on top of these changes, any payment to the registrar could fail and your ownership is kaput.

Always have a backup payment option with your registrar to stop this happening.

  1. Turn auto renew on for the domain

Auto-renewal is the key if you want to buy a domain forever. Having this gives you complete control of your domain name without having to stress if you forget to   renew and let your lease run out. 

Auto-renewal can be a great idea if you have loads of domains with different lease arrangements and expiry dates.

But remember to think about your long-term business plans if you go for auto-renewal. If you are probably going to make changes, including to your domain name, don’t forget to cancel your auto-renewal when that happens.

  1. Buy domain expiration protection

Domain expiration protection can be really useful when talking long-term leases.
Some registrars give you plans that grant domain holders up to 180 days to renew their domain after the lease expires. This means the domain isn’t lost and gives domain owners peace of mind if they can’t renew straight away, for whatever reason.

So, How Can a Company Offer a Lifetime Domain Registration?

There’s heaps to get to grips with when you want to set up a website and lease a domain. Stuff like knowing exactly what a top-level domain is or understanding what makes a good domain name and what makes a bad one.

Now, let’s talk about how some registrars claim to offer the impossible. If you’ve already figured out you can’t truly buy a domain name forever, you might be scratching your head wondering how some promise just that. If the max lease is ten years, what’s their secret?

What really happens is that you pay for the number of years you reckon you’ll need the domain, even if this is over ten years. The registrar then takes care of the automatic renewal of the lease every ten years while you drink cocktails on a beach somewhere.

This isn’t standard, and not every registrar jumps on the extended service bandwagon. But here’s the catch, there are risks. Registrars are just like any other businesses and can go belly up. If that happens to a registrar you’ve prepaid many years’ worth of lease to, you might kiss your money goodbye and wave farewell to your domain too.

Buy a Domain Name ‘Forever’ From OnlyDomains. We’re the Domain Management Experts

So, we’ve explored how to practically own a domain forever, but the key to making it work is landing a solid registrar from the get-go. A top-notch registrar won’t just hook you up with long-term plans and security. They’ll also guide you through the ins and outs of domain components and help you pick a name that screams your business vibes.

At OnlyDomains we can help with every step of choosing and leasing your domain. We offer WordPress hosting to give your website the best home possible, and our renewal system can take the stress out of domain expiry. You’ll never have to worry about losing your domain again.

Having your domain management covered leaves you free to create and launch a website that sells and shows your business to the world. Why not find out more today?

FAQs About Buying a Domain Name Forever

What are the advantages of buying a domain for longer?

In a nutshell, long-term registration is a top way to hang on to your chosen domain name. It means continuity and security and gets rid of the risk of forgetting to renew each year. 

It keeps your brand alive and kicking online, giving you a solid base to draw in customers and clients to your website.

Can I transfer a domain with long-term registration to another owner?

If you’ve snagged a domain for the long haul, say ten years, but later decide it’s not your forever thing, no worries. You can hand off the domain to another business before it hits the expiration date. 

The smart move? Get yourself a domain broker. They’ll handle the nitty-gritty of selling it to interested folks, negotiate the cash, and even keep your identity under wraps if you want throughout the sale and handover.

Is it risky to buy a domain for longer?

Buying a domain for a longer stretch has its downsides. Let’s say you fork out the cash upfront for more than ten years, using a registrar that takes care of renewals for you. Here’s the catch: no one can promise that the registrar will keep trucking forever. If they go under, so might your money and your domain.

Can I buy a domain name anonymously?

ICANN needs your personal information before you can buy a domain name, so going all covert with a domain isn’t really a thing. But the good news is your personal details will stay away from the prying eyes of the general public.

They won’t let you buy a domain anonymously to make sure none of us end up dealing with sneaky folks or shady organisations hiding behind untraceable domain names and running websites.

What are the benefits of using a domain management service?

The plus of a domain management service is that it takes the hassle of keeping track of a domain name’s expiry and renewal date away from the domain owner.

Domain management services are a great help when a business has more than one domain going. The service providers have all the management tools to review domains, delete the ones that aren’t needed, and keep an eye on how they’re doing using analytics.

Domain management services are good for all businesses, large or small. A management service can take the weight off the shoulders of business owners by taking care of their domains and making sure they are effective and not about to expire. 

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