All domain names start off in the same way – they are all available for registration. For those who are interested in purchasing a domain name, you must understand a typical lifecycle of any Domain name. Since it is the most important thing on the internet, let’s understand what happens between the registration and deactivation of a domain name. Once you get a fair idea about the lifecycle of a domain name, it is possible to retain a domain name that may have accidentally expired, or grab a domain name that has recently been deleted.
Domain Names are LEASED
One common misunderstanding is that people believe they have purchased a domain name. Domain names are ‘leased’ from the registry. When a domain is registered it can be used for a certain length of time. After this it will be re-released back into the registry where it is available for anyone to register. If you look at a popular domain such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, etc. you will see that it has an expiry date.
Available Domain Names
In any domain name lifecycle, the first stage is its availability. This is when a domain name is not registered by anyone and is available. Use a registrar to search for an available domain name and go for it. Domain names are available for registration for a period of 1 to 10 years.
The domain name will become active and registered once you have paid for it. After registration, the current registrar should keep it for a minimum period of 60 days after which, it can be transferred to another registrar, if need be. Also, if you want to keep it for a longer period, you need to renew the domain name. Registrars will notify you well in advance before the domain is due to expire. This makes it easier for you to renew the domain name early without wasting any time.
In case you fail to renew the domain before it expires, the domain name will be deactivated within 24 hours. All services related to domain name are then put to an end. In fact, the domain name cannot be transferred to another registrar, unless it is renewed.
After the expiry, the domain name enters a Grace Period between 0 to 30 days depending upon the extension and registrar. This is the period when you can renew the domain name at a regular rate without having to pay a penalty (if not auctioned). However, if it still is not renewed during this phase, the domain enters the redemption grace period.
Redemption Grace Period
At the end of the expired period, the domain enters a 30 day redemption period. During this phase, most of the registrars delete all the information about the domain. The domain is then removed thus making it expensive to recover again. Most registrars charge a lump sum during this period to reclaim the domain.
Pending Delete Period
If the domain is still not renewed in redemption period then it goes into the pending delete phase. This period lasts for 5 days, after which the domain gets deleted and is available to public for registration. You will need to wait while the domain name is deleted before you can register it again. This also means that other people can register the domain which risks you losing it.
To avoid your domain name from getting deleted, the best thing to do is renew it at the earliest. This will save money and also reduce the risk of you losing the domain.