I read the story of a religious group in North Carolina whose website was acquired by a gay fanatic upon expiration and used to promote homosexuality. If you allow your domain name to expire before renewal, someone else may get it and use it for what you may or may not like.
Domain names are generally registered for one year and subsequently will be due for renewal. However, you can register for more than one year - two years, five years, ten years, etc.- so that the domain is sealed for many years and its expiration will not occur unexpectedly. It is unimaginable to optimize a website and allow the domain to expire; it is better to sell than lose the domain through expiration.
Recently, cooleffect.com expired and was acquired by MostWantedDomains. If you observe this expired domain very well, you will discover that it is a two-lettered domain which is a hot cake in the market. I feel bad for the owner of cooleffect.com because he would have made at least a four figure from the selling instead of losing it.
As a result of this, you should plan ahead by registering for multiple number of years but if you cannot afford to do so, you should ensure that you set your account to automatic renewal through your registrar. Doing this is not difficult, you only need to log into your domain account and click on manage domains. Check your domain settings and it should automatically be set to auto-renewal but if not, set it yourself to auto-renewal. This way, you will not have to worry about renewal since it will be automatically renewed at expiration, if there is enough funds in your account.
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