Designing a website requires hard work and continuous effort. Setting it up and letting it live its life will not end you anywhere good. You should constantly track your website’s activity, follow its progress and make sure the work proceeds smoothly. Expirations are amongst the list of the essentials you need to be careful about. Once you have your website gaining some popularity and hitting some remarkable traffic bars, you should make sure your domain does not expire, or, in case it does, you are able to acquire it again for your website.
But how do you keep yourself aware of the domain expiration date?
TLD renewal reminders
Since the regular TLD registration or renewal is from 1 to 10 years, you will be receiving several reminder emails to renew your domain upon its expiration date. All you have to do if you wish to maintain your current TLD, is to check your email consistently and to follow up with the required steps to renew your domain name.
Let’s learn the limitations you will be facing if you let your domain expire.
First of all, your domain is officially expired one day after its expiration date.
When this occurs, your email will stop working. You will not be able to send any newsletters to your website subscribers, connect with your collaborators, etc.
Secondly and most importantly, when searching for your website address, your visitors will end up on a parked page. As you may already know, a parked domain would let them consider your website inactive.
Nonetheless, this is not the end! There are multiple steps to take to reactivate your domain name and to keep using it. Let’s go through these stages.
Auto-renewal grace period
If you do not manage or fail to renew your domain name before it expires, it enters into an auto-renewal grace period. This stage typically lasts from 0 to 45 days. You can still acquire your domain at the same price as it was for the renewal. The period of time by which you may renew your domain name in this period is from 1 to 10 years. In case you fail to renew your domain in the auto-renewal grace period, too, your website will enter into a redemption grace period.
Domain redemption period
The domain redemption period is your last chance to maintain your domain! Thus, you better use it if you are willing to go on with the same website address and have your visitors find you with the same name they used to look for you!
As mentioned above, the domain enters into a redemption period after 45 days of being in an auto-renewal grace period.
The redemption period will last for 30 days. However, if you choose to renew your domain at this stage, you will have to pay a redemption fee. The fee may vary depending on your web host. Note that the amount of the redemption fee will be added to the typical renewal price and will be charged from you in case you choose to renew your domain.
The rules for the redemption period may vary for some TLDs. However, the above-described circumstances apply to the most common gTLDs such as .com, .net, .org, and to some ccTLDs. If you, anyways, decide not to renew your domain in the redemption period, too, it will enter into the final, pending delete stage.
Pending delete period
This stage is the last one your domain will go through in case you do not manage to renew it during the available renewal and redemption periods. The pending delete period will last for 5 days. During this time, you will not be able to make any changes to your website, renew your domain or operate the email. In the mentioned 5 days your domain name will be made available to other clients for registering.
Why renew your domain?
When the expiration date of your domain name approaches, you may consider the pros and cons of renewing it. At that moment, take into consideration the following factors:
- Your audience recognizes you with your current domain name! It is likely that you may have a better domain name idea, or maybe the already taken TLD you were willing to purchase earlier is now available for purchase, and you want to shift to the “domain name of your dreams”. When thinking of this, remember that your audience already knows you with the name you have been on the web so far. It will take some time and effort from your visitors to adjust to your new domain name, and might be the case that some of them will be unable to find you back. Make sure you are not putting your fame in danger!
- Be careful not to lose your brand! Very often domain names contain the name of the brand they represent. If this is your case, changing your domain name might be associated with losing your brand for many customers.
- Save your time and resources! If your domain name ends up expiring, and you still want to stay on the web, you will have to design a website from scratch. Considering the time and the resources needed for this process, you better spend a portion of these resources to renew your domain.
In case you choose not to renew your website…
If, after all, you choose not to renew your domain,you can choose to redirect your domain to maintain your visitor community. When you change your domain name, thus, changing your website address, 301 permanent redirect will automatically move your visitors to your new page.
There are a couple of stages your domain name undergoes before getting expired. Use the time period given by those stages to renew your domain if you wish to maintain your brand, your same website address and your visitor community. Take into consideration the factors mentioned above that may represent a risk for your business if your domain expires. Take your time but be careful for it not to expire!