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What Happens When Your Domain Expires?

Your domain name is what people type in when they want to find you, your virtual storefront or brand, or network. This is your online presence. When you purchase your domain name, you are only renting it from a registrar. It’s yours to keep as long as you pay your renewal fees.

If your domain has ever expired, this article will cover what happens inside.

Before Expiration: Automated email reminders

Before your domain expires, most web hosting companies or domain registrars will send you a series of automated emails. These emails will remind you that your domain name is set to expire and that you need to submit a payment for renewal.

During Expiration: Grace Period

Let’s say, you didn’t pay or forgot to pay on time, your domain is now expired. It is good to know that most of the providers (mostly web hosting companies) give a 30 days grace period for you to pay for your domain name. Within this time frame only you can get your domain without paying extra fees or losing your domain name entirely.

You must grab this opportunity or it will get worse.

After Expiration/ Grace Period: Redemption Period

Let’s say you are so busy that you forgot about your domain. This is when the redemption period happens. Your domain returns back to a central registry. Then your registrar will typically save your domain name for you and give you another 30-day grace period to renew. This grace period is often called the registrar hold status.

To attempt to retrieve, it requires working with the registry. This takes time as it requires registrars to submit a request directly to the registry. This process requires an additional cost which will vary based on the domain extension. The difference between this grace period is you may have to pay both a renewal fee and a redemption fee to get your domain name back. So, try not to let your valuable domain reach this point in the domain expiration process.

Domain Auction or Closeout Sale

Your registrar will start trying to auction off your domain, once it enters the registrar hold status. You still have 30 days to renew your domain and pay the associated fees. Even if someone bids on your domain, they still have to wait 30 days to make sure you don’t renew until they take ownership.

If you don’t renew your domain or no one bids on your domain, it will be listed in the closeout sale where your domain name can be bought in a low price by others.

Released Back To Registry

This only happens when you don’t renew or no one bid and purchase your domain during the closeout sale. Your domain will be released back to the registry, if this happens while in the redemption period status, no one can delete it or change it for 30 days. You can still pay the redemption and renewal fee during this time.


This is the worst thing to happen on your domain: to be deleted. If you, the original owner, or the registrar don’t buy the domain, it will be deleted and released for general registration.

When it officially becomes an unregistered domain. Approximately 5 days after the domain redemption period, any domain name search can be used to find the domain and purchase it for the registration cost. If the domain had a single backorder, the rereleased domain will go directly into that registrant’s account. If there are multiple backorders, it enters a backorder auction.

As we can see domain expiration doesn’t happen immediately; there is typically a one to two-month period to renew. Just be aware that the longer you wait, the cost increases. You can avoid this from happening on your domain. What to do?

Enable auto-renew– When your domain name is about to expire, your registrar will automatically charge your account the renewal fee, and your website won’t be in jeopardy of disruption. Also, make sure your billing information is up to date.

Register all your domains with the same registrar– If you have more domains, a smart way to make sure that none of them expire is to transfer all your domain names to one register and one account. This way, your domain names will be in one safe place and connected to the same credit card.

Take advantage of the grace periods- If you fall behind and your domain name expires, don’t worry. You can always rebuy your domain during one of the grace periods. While it’s true you sometimes may have to pay additional fees if you let your domain expiration date pass, it’s much cheaper to pay a redemption fee than it is to rebrand.

Turn on your renewal reminder notices- To keep you updated turn on your renewal reminder, in this way you will not forget and not ne hassled later on.

With the knowledge of what happens when a domain expires, hopefully, you’ll be more aware of the various deadlines to ensure all your domains are properly renewed. When in doubt, be safe and just set up auto-renew – it will save you time and money.

For more information about getting a domain name and starting your website, visit us at Our hosting plans come with a free lifetime domain when you registered.

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