For many businesses, a domain name holds more than just a website. If you have a domain name, chances are, that domain also holds the email addresses of your corporation. You would have emails like firstname.lastname@example.org.
When your domain expires, not only do you lose your website. You also lose your email addresses. Your contacts will no longer be able to reach you via email.
Lately, I have received a number of calls for help with regards to expired domains. Yes, you can restore an expired domain. However, it depends on the state of the expired domain. Expired domain status?
Following are the states that a domain goes through upon expiration.
A domain is in the expired state when it is not renewed past its expiry date. A domain is in this state for a maximum of about 45 days. This is registrar dependent. Some registrars give you a 7 days grace period while others may give you the full 45 days. Check with your registrar to know how long you have.
Domains in this state can be renewed without additional costs and time.
2. Redemption Period.
Once your domain have gone past the Expired grace period as set by your registrar, it goes into the Redemption Period state. The redemption period is 30 days. This is fixed by ICANN. Within this period, you can no longer renew your domain.
You, as the owner, can submit a request to restore your domain. Restoration will take at least one week. It will also cost more – at least USD150.
If you do value your domain, make sure you don’t let your domain go into this state.
3. Pending Delete.
The “Pending Delete” state is when you can no longer renew nor restore your domain. Your domain stays in this state for 5 days. Once the domain have gone past the 5 days, it will be made available to the public.
If you value your web presence, you would want to ensure that you renew your domain subscription before the expiration date. Make sure that your registrar have an updated contact details so that you are well informed about the status of your domains.
You should also learn to use a number of domain tools like Whois and NSlookup. Use Whois to identify what state your expired domain is currently in. If it’s in expired state, contact your registrar and renew quickly.
If it has gone past the expired state, you will have to decide if you want to restore it or leave wait until it is made available to the public and register your domain once again like new.
Do note that your domain will also be available to others if you allow it to complete the expiration process. You risk losing the domain forever to a third party. Is that a risk you are willing to take?
Are you also willing to wait for a maximum of 30 (redemption period) + 5 (pending delete) = 35 days for a chance to buy back your domain at the normal price? Provided its not taken by anyone else, that is.
Be aware of your domain expiration date. Create a notification of this date in your calendar. Don’t just rely on the email updates from your registrar. Renew early to avoid the hassle.
It’s your business. It’s your responsibility.