Creating a website for your business is an effective way to attract potential customers and increase your sales.

The best websites start with a successful domain name — the web address that visitors can type into their browser in place of an IP address to navigate to a specific site.

Choosing the right domain name for your business can improve your web traffic, your site's user experience, and your company's reach. However, many business owners fail to realize that their domain names expire after a designated period.

If your domain name expires without you realizing it, you could lose your site name and any email addresses that correspond with it forever.

Knowing how to check domain expiration can help prepare you for your expiration date and prevent you from losing your valuable web address.

Read ahead to learn more information about domain name expirations and what to do if yours expires.

Do Domains Expire?

Many people believe that purchasing a domain for their business means they own that web address forever.

However, buying a domain means that you are renting that web address for a specified period. Once that period ends, you will have to renew it or sacrifice it to another entity.

Most people rent a domain name registration for anywhere from one year to ten years. At the end of your designated term, your web address will expire, and you will have to renew it to continue linking your site to that address.

Domain Expiration Process, Grace Period, & Expiration Date

When your web address reaches its expiration date, it does not immediately disappear into the void.

Most registrars follow a process like this one to give registrants ample opportunity to renew their domain:

  1. Alert the registrant a few days before the domain expiration date, detailing the processes the owner must follow for renewal of their account and giving any updates about their ownership status.
  2. Attempt to auto-renew the domain name account if the owner has their credit card information on file.
  3. Implement a thirty-day period in which the account owner can renew their expired web address.
  4. Put the web address up for auction after the thirty days have ended.

If the domain does not sell in the auction within ten days, the registrar will return the web address name to the registry. At this time, the owner can attempt to redeem it or register it again.

Though some web address owners are able to buy an expired domain after it has gone up for auction, the vast majority lose their web address forever at this stage.

Expired domain auctions are highly competitive. If your domain name has developed any value on the web, it could sell in the auction almost immediately and for several thousand dollars.

If your domain name sells in the auction, the buyer may offer to sell it back to you for a much higher price than you initially paid for it.

However, they may also keep the domain for their own uses, meaning you may never be able to get it back.

Renewing your domain name before it reaches the auction stage is the most practical way to maintain ownership of your web address.

How Long Until a Domain Is Available After It Expires?

While the web address expiry process we detailed above varies depending on the company you rent through, most domain names will become available for auction or purchase within thirty days of the expiration date.

Some domain name companies have a policy to sell expired domain names outright through a closeout sale instead of auctioning them.

A company may sell a domain name for a low price to the first buyer if no one bids on it during the auction or if it appears to be in low demand.

If a person wants to increase their chances of securing your domain name after it expires, they may attempt to put it on backorder.

Backorder services watch specific domain names around the date they expire to try to be the first to purchase them. If any of these services have back-ordered your web address, you will probably have a more difficult time redeeming it.

When Do Expired Domains Become Available After Auction?

Most domain auctions last between ten and twelve days. If no one purchases your web address during the auction or closeout sale, it will go back into the general registry.

At this time, the address will enter a thirty-day redemption period, during which you can redeem it by paying your renewal fee and an additional redemption charge.

If you still do not renew your domain during the redemption period, your registrar will delete it, releasing it back to the general public.

Who Do You Contact When Your Domain Expires?

Following the suggestions above may allow you to retrieve your domain before you lose ownership of it entirely.

However, if you have tried contacting your host company, redeeming your domain, and purchasing it from the auction winner to no avail, you may need to accept that you can no longer use that web address.

Losing your web address may feel devastating, but thankfully, all is not lost. You may be able to purchase a new web address that suits your business and optimizes your website even better than your previous address.

At SpamZilla, we know how to find expired domains to boost SEO for your business.

Our extensive list of available addresses and 70+ filtering options allows you to choose a domain that accurately represents your business, is easy to remember, and increases your search engine rankings.

Contact SpamZilla today for additional information about our domain services, or sign up with your email to look for the perfect domain yourself.