Domain names expire, as most users who register domain names are very aware of. While the domain name expiration process does vary slightly depending on where you're registering your domain, for the most part it remains quite similar on all registrars. With that said, there are some nuances regarding domain expirations which can be useful to know - either to help you retain your domains or just keep a better eye on them. In this blog post, we'll be covering these details along with some general information/tips regarding domain expiration that can be useful to know.
Summary of the Expiration Process
We won't delve into all of the nitty gritty details of the domain expiration process, but we’ll give you the high-level overview on the expiration timeline. For more details, visit our previous blog article going over this process. The days listed in the example below are for a one-year domain registeration.
Day 0 - 365: Domain Registered
Domain is registered by user and under their ownership during this period.
Day 31 - 40 Post Expiration: Late Fee
An additional charge is added to the renewal.
Day 41 - 70 Post Expiration: Redemption Period
Domain is not likely under the registrar at this point. Renewal may be possible for an additional cost, but it isn’t guaranteed. This cost is separate from the late fee.
Day 71 - 75 Post Expiration: Expiration Complete
Domain is available for public registration at some point during this period.
Domain Expiration & What You Should Be Aware Of
As much as reviewing the dates above may seem like there is a lot to keep track of, in reality, the domain expiration timeline is quite simple. You’re given essentially the registeration period (between one and ten years, decided when the domain is registered) plus 30 days to renew your domain name with no added fee beyond the set renewal cost (which will vary for every TLD). Beyond this point, you’re going to be paying extra to keep your domain or lose it. Luckily there are some strategies you can use to help you stay on top of your domain(s) which we’ll be going over.
Late Renewal Fees
Beyond that year + 30 days, depending on the registrar, you'll be required to pay additional to renew your domain name. At Dynadot, this charge is $10.
While a domain is proceeding through the expiration process (specifically, the redemption period), it may appear on an expired auction aftermarket listing (depending on which registrar the domain was registered with). This will give other users the opportunity to place bids on that domain name to attempt to acquire it. With that said, even if the domain name is on an expired auction, the domain name can be renewed by the original registrant - pulling the auction and returning the domain to the owner.
Keeping Track of Domain Expirations: What You Can Do
Setup Auto Renew
If you’re frequently missing renewal times on your domains, it may be time to just set up auto renewal on some of your domains. The process from registrar to registrar will vary, but it is typically quite easy to enable and is by far the best way to not forget to renew your domains. If you do use this option, just remember to make sure your payment information is up to date! You don't want to miss a renewal due to an expired credit card.
At Dynadot, one extra tip if you have a larger domain portfolio is to create a smart folder that includes all the domains you guarantee want to keep. From there, you can set all the domains to auto renew within that folder.
Setup Proper Notifications
If you aren’t big on auto renewal, you’ll need a system in place to monitor and track domain expiry dates - whether that is from your own spreadsheets or directly from your registrar’s account control panel. At Dynadot, all domain names by default will send multiple notification emails as they creep closer to their expiration date. These can be handy if you're not frequently in your account control panel. If you have hundreds of domains, you may have disabled those notification - which leads nicely into the following strategy.
As an additional tip, if you want renewal notifications provided to a separate email address other then the one attached to your Dynadot account, you can set this up by going to your 'My Info' -> 'Notifications' page. From here you can add another email address in the 'Renewal Email' section.
Watchlists & General Monitoring
Regardless of whether the domain is in your account or you want to keep track of someone elses, you can monitor the status of any domain name easily using our watchlist feature. The best way to use our watchlist is to simply go into your Dynadot account, click the ‘Tools’ icon on the left sidebar and go to the ‘watchlist’ tab. From there, add any number of your or other user's domains that you want to keep track of - even if the domain is not registered on Dynadot!
Here are a few more handy tips using our control panel to quickly get a snapshot of domains soon to expire:
- Use our 'Expiring Domain Outlook' module on your control panel 'Summary' page (which may need to be enabled in the 'Summary Options' link found at the top of the page). This will show the number of domain names that will be expiring each month, which makes it very easy to quickly get info on how many domains need your attention.
- Go to your 'Manage Domains' page in your Dynadot control panel and use the 'Expiration' filter. This is by far the quickest way to see your full list of expired domains and sort by either when they are expiring or if they are already in the expiration process. Using the checkboxes on the left (beside each domain name) will give you the option to complete bulk actions to quickly renew any that you may have missed.
These are some general tips and knowledge that may be helpful when monitoring your domains. Regardless of whether you have a small or large number of domains in your account, it can be easy to miss expiring domain names - so hopefully some of these tips will help you stay on top. If you have any tips of your own, let us know in the comments below! We'd love to hear some of your strategies.