There was a pretty big story in the online marketing world that went surprisingly unnoticed this past weekend by many tech reporters and bloggers.

But if you are a member of Survey Gizmo, you probably noticed what happened.

SurveyGizmo.com, a site that we use from time to time for advanced surveys, went down over the weekend because the auto-billing on its credit card used to renew its domain failed.

According to CEO Christian Vanek: “Our domain registrar then expired our domain and immediately replaced it with an advertisement for their own website.  As far as we can tell there was no notification from the company that that this was going to happen.  They are normally a great registrar, so we assume this was a technical problem.”

While we applaud how Survey Gizmo handled the issue, getting in front of the screwup and being transparent with its customers, this should have never happened. Websites of this size should register their domain at least five years out, and there’s no excuse for having a site’s registration fail and auto-renew.

Even if it was because of a credit card that had been stolen and had been since canceled. That’s exactly why you register your domain years out, because credit card numbers and expiration dates change all the time whenever you get a new card or lose one.

Domain hiccups have happened to everyone in this business. Heck, I’ve lost some really good domains over the years, but for a company of that size, it’s inexcusable to not spend a couple hundred dollars on pushing your domain registration out a few more years … and there’s a takeaway here for all of us.

Log in to your registrar right now and renew your domain for at least another couple years before it becomes too late and you have to learn this lesson the hard way.

“This issue will not have an opportunity to resurface for a long time,” Vanek said in an email to users. “However, in ten years when our domain is up for renewal again, I can assure you that we will not have a repeat of this problem.”

Interested in learning more? Contact us today or call (805) 703-3372 for a free consultation.