We have mentioned that you need to monitor your website and computer to keep them up to date. There are several things you should do to make sure you don’t lose all of that valuable effort or maybe lose your website.

Be prepared for any situation that might occur. Even if you hate paperwork, or just don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of your website, there is paperwork you really should maintain.

First, find yourself a folder and label it with your website name. Then, find the emails that you should have received when you bought your domain name and web hosting, print those out, and put them into your folder.

The email was for your domain name contains information about your account with the company you bought the domain name through, including the log in ID and password. It also will tell you when your domain name will expire. The set of emails dealing with your web host plan carries information about your web hosting plan, again, including your log in information.

Now you might ask, “Why do I need to keep both when they are from the same company?” Well, they contain different log in sets of passwords. Most web host companies have accounts layered. You have your basic account, and then you have the web host account within the basic account. So you need both sets of log in information to get to your web hosting plan account.

Tip: Highlight the dates on your emails that show the expiration dates. It will help you remember when you have to renew the accounts.

While you might know you have all this on your computer, what happens if your hard drive crashes? You then have to call everyone and go through a lot of identification processes to get your information back.

So now you have the log in and account information all in one place. Very good! Now check to see when the domain name is going to expire. If it is going to be soon, say within 3 months, go ahead and get online and renew it now. You can renew at any time and for up to 9 years. If you do not renew and forget, it may cost you as little as $250 (Yes! $250 and up to $1,000) to renew after it expires and could cause you to lose it forever.

If you don’t know how many years you are going to maintain a website, go ahead and renew for a few years anyway. Here’s why: the domain name, if it is a really good one, is probably resalable. In some cases, a good or popular domain name is usually on a waiting list to purchase as soon as it expires. (I wonder if “google.com” is on a waiting list somewhere!)

Also, the more number of years you renew for at one time, the less per year cost it will be. Just check out some places online where you renew domain names and see their costs as you go up the number of years. Some are as little as half price per year compared to a one year price.

Lastly, it is recommended that you renew through the company you have your web hosting plan with as they can “connect the dots”, so to speak, between your domain name and web hosting account.