Chapter 2: Lifecycle of a domain


Available Domain Names

The lifecycle of a domain name begins as soon as it is available. A domain name becomes available when it is not being used by anyone, and it is simply not officially registered. To find out whether a domain name is available or not, you could use a registrar service like GoDaddy. If a domain name is available, it can be registered for up to ten years.

Registered Period

After you complete the required payment, your chosen domain name will be officially active and registered. Once this process is finished, the domain must stay under the same registrar for at least 60 days. Once that period is over, it can be transferred to another registrar if you wish. During the registration process of your domain name, you will be able to decide the duration of registration. The majority of registrars available will provide the necessary reminders before the domain is due to expire. That way you can be sure you renew or cancel, your domain name without difficulties.

Expired Period

If you do not renew your registration, the domain name will automatically deactivate after approximately 24 hours after the expiration date. Most registrars provide a grace period of up to 45 days during which you will be able to renew the domain subscription if desired.

Also during this period the registrar will hold the domain, and both the email and website will cease to function however you will have the chance to renew the domain by paying the original price. If you wish to activate the domain name using a different registrar, you will first need to activate it with the original registrar before transferring the domain name.

Redemption (Grace) Period

Once the grace period is over, most registrars grant a redemption period. During this period, which usually lasts around 30 days, the information about the domain will be deleted, and the name will be removed. After that happens, recovering the information and domain is usually really expensive to allow the redemption of the domain.

Pending Delete Period

If the domain name is not deactivated during the grace or the redemption periods, the domain and its data go through a delete period that lasts five days. Once you reach that stage, it is no longer possible to restore the domain. There are no fees to recover name or data and nothing can be done. If you wish to use the same domain name, you will have to go throughout the registration process again, not before waiting for the complete deletion of the domain from the registrar’s servers. Although this sounds like the best possible solution, it is very important to remember that just like you can use that domain name, so can millions of internet users.

5 days after the domains enters the Pending Delete status, the domain is dropped. At this time anyone can purchase the domain. The domain deletion time varies based on the domain extension.

Lesson Learned: Renew Early!

If you don’t want to risk losing your domain name, it is recommended to simply renew your domain name without waiting. Renewing your domain name without waiting for the grace and redemption periods will save you a lot of money from extra fees, not to mention time. If you think that reminders are not enough, you can set up automatic renewals with most registrars.