When Does a Domain Expire?
The success of your website is built on your domain name. Having the right domain name can improve your company’s reach, traffic, and website user experience. However, you might not realize that, just like other aspects of your business, you need to stay on top of your domain name and its expiration date. How long until a domain is available after it expires and who do you contact when your domain expires are important questions to know the answers to if you find yourself past your domain expiration date.
Do Domains Expire?
The short answer is yes–domain names do expire. Unlike what most people think, buying a domain does not mean that you will own that address forever. Buying a domain is more like renting the address for a certain period.
You could either renew the contract to continue using that address or let it get deleted or purchased by someone else when that period ends.
Some companies do let their domain names expire. However, if most of your business relies on an online presence, and you are not going through a rebranding, hanging onto your registered domain name should be a high priority.
What Is the Domain Expiration Process?
When a web address reaches its expiry date, it does not get deleted immediately. For starters, the registrar will send you expiration notices a few days before your domain name expiration date, giving you an update about your domain’s ownership status. They will detail the process you must follow if you want to renew your account.
If you have provided your credit card information and the registrar has it on file, they could attempt to auto-renew the domain name account.
What If the Domain Expire Date Passes?
If your registrar’s alerts and auto-renew efforts are unsuccessful, your domain will expire. However, what happens after your domain expires will depend on the company from which you rent.
For instance, depending on the domain registrar, you might be allowed to renew your domain even after it expires. Some will implement a thirty-day renewal grace period in which you can renew your already expired domain name. If this thirty-day grace period ends and you are yet to renew your domain, the domain registrar will put the address up for auction.
Other domain name companies will not give you a thirty-day grace period and will not put your domain names up for auction. Instead, they might have a policy that gives them the right to sell your expired domain name outright through a closeout sale.
What Happens When a Domain Name Goes Up for Auction?
When a domain name is put up for auction, other people can purchase it and use it as they wish. Auctions are usually highly competitive, with certain domains sometimes selling almost immediately for several thousand dollars, especially if the domain name has acquired any value.
However, if the domain name appears to be in low demand or no one bids on it, the company might sell it to the first interested buyer for a low price.
Though you can buy your domain name from the new owner, it will often be at a much higher price than what you first paid for it. However, most people tend to keep the domain for their use.
When Do Expired Domains Become Available After Auction?
Most auctions tend to last anywhere between ten and twelve days. If the auction period passes and no one buys your domain, the company will return it to the general registry for a thirty-day redemption period.
During this time, the registrar will give the original owner a chance to redeem the domain by paying the renewal fee and an additional redemption fee.
If you haven’t renewed your domain even after the redemption period ends, the registrar will delete the domain and release it to the general public.
Purchasing an Expired Domain Name
If you have your eye on a domain name and don’t want to contact the current owner or buy it in an auction, you can find out when the domain expires and place it on backorder.
Backorder services will watch certain top-level domain names around the date they expire and try to be the first to purchase them. If you use one of these services and have back-ordered an address, you will have a much easier time purchasing expired domain names.
The first step of the process is determining when the domain will expire. You can do so by starting a WHOIS Lookup. WHOIS is a commonly used internet record that lists and identifies who owns a particular domain and how to get in touch with them. The record also provides information regarding when a domain name registration expires.
You can perform a WHOIS search on several different websites. An example of one of those websites is DomainTools.com. All you have to do is visit the site, insert your desired domain name in the “Enter a Domain or IP Address” box, and click on the “lookup” button.
The site will provide you with a record detailing the domain name you just searched. At the bottom, you will see the timeline information, including the date the domain name was created and its expiration date.
While domains do expire, the good news is that, depending on the domain company you use, you will have multiple opportunities to reclaim it, either by redeeming it or purchasing it from whoever buys it at auction.
However, there is a chance that these efforts will not be successful, and you might end up losing the web address. While this can feel devastating, you might be able to buy a new web address that meets your needs and optimizes your site even better than your previous address did. If you’re looking to buy expired domains with traffic look no further.