Domain Renewals BEWARE
Every year, if you pay for your domain name yearly, you need to renew your domain name. It is fairly inexpensive, around $10 to $12 dollars unless you use a company that preys on their customer base, and relies on the fact that these customers are not familiar with pricing for this service.
Personally I have moved all of my domains to Namecheap and have them set to auto-bill each year. They recently made privacy, which you have to pay for at most ISP ‘s (internet service providers) FREE and their renewals are just under $12 dollars. no bullshit renewals.
Why do I say “no bullshit renewals”, well I have been around a while? Companies like Godaddy and Network Solutions (now a Web.com company) typically have you set your renewals to auto-renewal and charge around $36 dollars to renew your domain. If you call them and let them know that is way too high, they will usually drop the price down to $15 dollars or so, but ONLY if you call them on it. Their default is to rip your lungs out if at all possible! Very predatory! If they do it on this minuscule fee, what do you think they are doing on their other pricing.
Another big ripoff company out there is called Domain Control. They will send you a letter every year, very official-looking that says that your domain is up for renewal, please remit like $80 dollars to renew your domain! You sign this and send in your money and this document allows them to transfer your domain registration to them and allows them to control your domain and bill you each year the inflated price simply because people do not know any better. Throw this letter in the garbage can, call your ISP and renew your domain for $12 dollars!
Some have said that Google looks at the renewal date as a positive indicator for SEO, or optimizing your website to achieve higher SERP (search engine results page) rankings. If this is so or if you just want to feel appeased and have the money, go ahead and renew for as many years into the future as you can afford. It can’t hurt and you will avoid having your site shut down for forgetting to pay the renewal fee!