Most of our clients buy domain names for 1 year periods. The simple reason for this is that paying for 1 year is cheaper than paying for the maximum number of years most domain names can be registered for (i.e. 10 to 20 years).
So, what benefits are there to ordering a domain name for a longer period of time?
- SEO Benefits: There is a lot speculation around whether or not the time period you register a domain name for affects your rankings on Search Engines. The premise is that spammers are more likely to register a domain name for 1 year, while a serious business would register it for a longer period due to them being more committed to it. It's impossible to say if Google or other search engines do factor it in, but even if they are not, they might in future. It just makes sense to rather put yourself in the crowd that is less likely to be considered a spammer, as any good search engine would most probably come to this fairly logical conclusion.
- Decreased Chance of Loss: We have seen it happen on quite a few occasions. People sometimes miss the renewals of their domains. It's happened where a client was, unluckily so, out of the contract exactly over the period his domain expired and as a result had to pay the massive redemption fee that becomes applicable when you miss the renewal. It could've been worse had the domain been deleted, because then anyone can become the new owner of it and the client would not have been able to get his domain name back. All of this can be avoided by committing to a domain and paying for it upfront for the full 10 year period.
A domain name is probably the most valuable thing your business can have when it comes to online. If you are serious about your business, spending a little bit more to "lock in" a domain name for a longer period can work out far cheaper than what could happen should you ever forget to renew or lose a domain name.