Everything You Need to Know About the Domain Expiration Grace Period
If you forgot to renew your domain name registration, don't worry. Most domain registrars offer grace periods that give you a chance to complete the renewal process before the domain name gets auctioned off or deleted.
Domain registration redemption procedures vary slightly depending on the registrar and registry. For example, a .com domain expiry grace period might follow a different timeline than a .edu or .gov website.
However, ICANN rules do require your registrar to give you ample time to renew your domain before they sell or delete it from the registry list, so most follow the process as outlined below.
Your domain registration agreement will provide specific information on your registrar's process and timeline.
Before the Domain Expiry Grace Period
Before a domain expires, registrars have to notify registrants of the approaching expiration date and provide options for registration renewal.
This usually includes a notice one month before the expiration date and another a week before.
Ideally, you'll renew your domain as soon as you get the first or second notice. But what if you forget or don't have the money? This is when the grace periods come into play.
The Domain Name Expiration Grace Period
If you allow your domain name registration to expire, the registrar will usually provide an automatic grace period that might last up to 45 days, depending on your agreement.
Renewal during this time usually costs the normal domain rate with no additional fees.
Renewal during this grace period is generally pretty simple compared to what happens once the domain name makes it to redemption status.
The Redemption Grace Period
The domain name redemption grace period is your last chance, this is how to get an expired domain name back; it can last up to 30 days. Your registrar will usually shut off your services at this point, so your website will no longer work.
If you're interested in renewing a domain in this phase, you'll have to pay the renewal cost plus a redemption fee. This is the last real chance you have of renewing your domain.
The Domain Auction Phase
Registrars often use an expired domain auction where they place domain names into auctions in the hopes of selling them to the highest bidders.
Your domain name is no longer yours once it reaches the auction phase, so if you want to keep it, you need to do everything you can to prevent it from getting to this point.
The Deletion Period
If your registrar can't sell your domain name or doesn't think it's worth the effort, they may have it deleted from the registry list. Once a domain's deleted, there's no way of recovering it as it was.
Registrars hold deleted domains for several days (usually around a week) before being released. Once this happens, the first person who wants the domain can buy it as though it were brand new.
"Domain Expired": How Long to Renew?
If your domain expires and you can't pay the renewal price right away, you probably have a little time to figure it out. As we described above, though, the timeline will largely depend on the registry and registrar involved.
Check your agreement for the exact timeline, but you'll usually have 30-60 days to renew the domain.
How Can I Prevent the "Domain Expired" Grace Period?
There are two easy steps you can take to prevent your domain name from expiring:
- Set your account to auto-renew. Auto-renew allows you to keep your domain registration current with no effort.
- Make sure your registrar has your current contact information. After all, it's not helpful for your registrar to send renewal or expiration notices to an old email address.
Keeping up to date on your domain renewals is the best and only way to keep your domain names from expiring.
Are You Looking for an Expiring Domain Name?
Whether you're looking for a few domains you can flip or want to build a new website, taking advantage of expired domains can save you much time and hassle. Building on a reputable domain name can give your site instant credibility without having to work for it.
An expired domain name finder like SpamZilla can help you sort through thousands of domains quickly so that you can find the perfect one.