Help! My Domain Expired! Now What?
There are a bunch of reasons why a domain might expire when you didn’t expect it. The best advice, above all else is this: make sure your domain is set to automatically renew.
Below are some reasons why your domain might expire without you knowing:
- Sometimes, people change their email addresses and any alerts with regard to an upcoming expiration might not be seen in time.
- Sometimes people get busy and focused elsewhere on their website and the domain expires by accident.
Again, above all else: make sure your domain is set to automatically renew.
What Happens When a Domain Expires?
There are 3 stages to a domain expiration. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the first stage as it provides the most cost-effective and immediate fix:
- Grace Period: As soon as a domain expires, it will stop pointing to your website. However, during this short period (usually 10 to
14 days), you are perfectly able to simply renew it at the original cost. The ability to get it pointed back to your website is pretty immediate.
If you haven’t set your domain to automatically renew, this grace period is a perfect time to renew it for the least amount of money, time, and
- Redemption Period: The period of time that the redemption period lasts can vary, but at least you’re able to regain control of the
domain during this period. The only drawback is that there is typically an $80 redemption fee in order to regain the ability to renew. Not ideal,
from a financial perspective, but still a viable option to get your site and domain back up and running.
- Pending Delete/Domain Release: If you’ve missed both opportunities above, you can often risk losing the domain in an auction; however,
(and the typical period for this stage is about 90 days) when this stage ends, the domain is released and is available for sale to ANYONE. So if
you hit this stage, do whatever you can to get it back by being the first person to buy it again. One way of making this more of a reality is to
place the domain that is pending delete on backorder and hope that you’re the one that got to it first.
How to Remember These Steps: A Real Life Example
If you’ve ever had a car loan, you can relate.
Let’s say you’ve been paying on your car loan for a while and then for whatever reason, you don’t pay for a few months. Well, the car loan company will most likely give you a chance to catch up on the payments and you get to continue driving the car. *(Grace Period).
If you don’t catch up, the car loan company will probably repossess the car. You’ll have a chance to catch up on the payments, with a fee for the repossession. *(Redemption Period).
If you don’t catch up after repossession, the car will eventually hit the market again; either by auction or a dealer might swoop in and put it back on the lot. At this point, anyone can buy it, including you!
Once it becomes available again, you have to make sure you’re the first one to buy it because it’ll be open to the general public.
The only difference here, is that with a domain, if you buy it back, you get to then start over again with renewal; unlike the car loan company, they probably won’t give you the opportunity to get another loan again! *(Pending Delete/Domain Release).