Domain Names Explained

How Domains Work: Domain Name Life Cycle Explained

Just like everything in existence goes through a Life Cycle, so do Domain Names.  It’s important to understand the Life Cycle of a Domain Name and what happens between the registration and expiration of a domain name.

The Different Stages Of Domain Names

Domain Availability

This is the first stage of a domain name when it is available for purchase and registration.  When a domain is ‘available’ it means that anyone can purchase the domain name immediately.  You can use our Domain Availability Checker to see if a domain is taken or not.  Popular domain names get registered quickly so if you’ve found the perfect domain name for your website you should act fast to register it.

Domain Name Registration

A domain name can be registered for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 10 years.  If you choose to register a domain name for more than 1 year then you’re prepaying for that term.  During the registration process you need to provide valid contact information.  This is critical because if you put false contact information your domain name can be revoked by the domain registry.  Always use a valid email address that you check regularly as this is the email address where you will receive domain name renewal reminders and other important domain related information.

Most domain name extensions offer Domain WHOIS privacy protection.  When you register a new domain name your personal contact information goes in the WHOIS database.  This is a publicly accessible and searchable database where anyone can lookup the ownership of a domain.  For a small annual fee of $9.95 you can opt to hide your personal information from WHOIS.  We highly recommend adding domain privacy as you’ll significantly reduce the amount of spam and robocalls you receive.  Domain privacy can be added at the time of registration (recommended) or anytime after the domain has been registered.

Active Domain Status

Once your domain name is registered the status becomes ‘Active’.  This means that your domain is successfully registered and you can use it with your web hosting account.  You can also edit your name servers and change or update your domains contact information.

Expired Domain Grace Period

If you fail to renew your domain before the expiry date it goes in to the ‘Grace Period’.  Any services such as your website and email would no longer work.  The Grace Period last between 30 to 45 days from the expiry date.  For example, if your domain expired today then you have 30 days to renew your domain name at the regular price without any fees or penalties.  If you decide to renew your domain then it will start working again within 24 hours.  It is critical to renew a domain you wish to keep within the Grace Period to avoid any fees.

Redemption Status

A domain enters ‘Redemption’ phase if it is not renewed during the Expired Grace Period. The Redemption period lasts  30 days during which time the Registrar deletes all the information about the Domain.  When a domain is in Redemption you can no longer renew the domain at the regular rate.  Domain registries charge anywhere from $90 to $250 to recover a domain.  The fee is set by your domain registrar or hosting provider.  If you really don’t want to lose your domain name then you can still renew it but at the new higher costs.  These fees are set by the domain registry.

Pending Deletion

Once the redemption period has elapsed the domain enters the ‘Deletion Phase’.   After about 5 days, the domain is deleted and is available to the public for registration.  When a domain name has been deleted you can try to register it again at the regular rate.  It’s important to note that their are Domain Squatting companies who instantly register domains as soon as they are available to the public.  This is more common for popular domain names that hold value.  Once they purchase the domain name they list it for sale for a MUCH higher price.  If your domain name is important to you then you should renew it as early as possible and for a number of years.

General Domain Name Tips
  • Renew your domain well before it expires to avoid the hassle of paying higher fees or potentially losing your domain name.
  • Purchase your domain name for a longer period of time so you don’t have to worry about it each year (up to 10 years)
  • Make sure your contact information on WHOIS is correct.
  • Add Domain Privacy Protection to stop spammers and unwanted solicitations.
  • Consider purchasing different domain extensions such as .com, .ca, .net and .org to protect your brand.
  • Set reminders for yourself so you know when your domains expires.

Now that you have an understanding of how domain names work, you can get a free domain name registration at HostUpon with any hosting plan on a 1 year billing cycle or longer .

Get your own domain name and web hosting today!

Add comment