Domain names must be renewed every year. Or, you, as the owner of a domain name, can register and renew a domain name for up to 10 years (for dot com domain names). For the best protection of your domain name, we recommend that you renew your domain name for at least 5 years. If you don’t renew your domain name, then the domain name will expire. It goes through a “redemption period”, where you have a chance to recover the domain name before it goes into what we call “pending delete” status. Then, around the 90th day after the domain name expires, it “drops” and is made available for anyone to register. There are a few “variations” and exceptions to what happens with a domain name, but that’s the general process of what happens.
If you don’t renew your domain name, then it will expire: and someone else will most likely register the domain name.
Recovering an Expired Domain Name
The process of recovering an expired domain name can be complex and technical, requiring knowledge and expertise in the field. It involves understanding the domain name system (DNS), the technical aspects of domain name registration, and the procedures and policies of domain name registrars. A domain name registrar is an organization that manages the registration of domain names on behalf of the domain name owner. They are responsible for ensuring that the domain name is registered correctly, and that the owner is notified when the domain name is about to expire.
The first step in the process of expired domain name recovery is to determine if the domain name is still available. The easiest way to do this is to go to a domain name registrar’s website and check if the domain name is listed as available for registration. If it is, then it is possible to register the domain name and start using it again. However, if the domain name is already registered by someone else, then the process becomes more complicated.
In some cases, the previous owner of the expired domain name may still have a chance to recover it. Many domain name registrars have a grace period after the expiration date, during which the owner can renew the domain name without penalty. However, if the grace period has already passed, then the owner may have to pay a redemption fee to recover the domain name.
If the previous owner is unable to recover the expired domain name, then there are other options available. One option is to purchase the domain name from the current owner, either through negotiation or through a domain name auction. Another option is to file a dispute with the domain name registrar, citing reasons such as trademark infringement, cybersquatting, or fraudulent registration. The registrar will then investigate the dispute and determine whether the domain name should be transferred to the rightful owner.
Expired domain name recovery can be a complex and technical process, but it is possible to recover a domain name and get your website back up and running. It is important to understand the technical aspects of domain name registration, the procedures and policies of domain name registrars, and the various options available for domain name recovery. With the right knowledge and expertise, you can recover your expired domain name and reclaim your online presence.
Don’t Rely On Auto Renew
Auto renew is a service that’s provided by domain name registrars (where you register a domain name), whereas the registrar will automatically charge the credit card you have on file with them when it’s time to renew. Some registrars will do this up to 90 days or so before the domain name is set to expire. At DNAccess, we highly recommend NOT relying on the auto renewal process. Why? It fails. And more often than not, when the auto renewal process fails, you end up losing your domain name. If this happens, then your domain name expired, it was not renewed, and you’ll then need to hire a service like us to recover your expired domain name.
When someone doesn’t renew their domain name, it no longer belongs to them: it’s not their domain name anymore. So, we must acquire the domain name.
If Your Domain Name Expires
There are few options for you when your domain name expires and you need to recover or get it back. Let’s look at these options, many of which DNAccess can help you with:
- Check with your domain name registrar. See if the domain name is still in your account but is marked as ‘renewable’ or you can renew the domain name. Usually they charge a fee for this.
- Check the WHOIS to see if the domain name is still registered at your domain name registrar. If it was at GoDaddy, for example, and it’s now registered somewhere else, such as at NameCheap, then you’re out of luck. You’ll need to acquire the domain name since it expired and someone else now owns it.
- Wait until the domain name expires again, in a year. If it’s not a high value domain name to you, then you can wait a year. Place a backorder on the domain name and try to get it next year.
- Contact the current registrant of the domain name and ask them if they’d like to sell it. If you decide to do this, then you shouldn’t file a UDRP domain name dispute, as filing a UDRP may backfire on you and have consequences (such as losing the UDRP dispute). If you decide to contact the current registrant, then you may not want to use your real name, as that would tell the current registrant that you want the domain name back, and they might raise the price just for you. Consider having DNAccess attempt to acquire the domain name instead.
- Look to see if there is a landing page or a ‘for sale’ page on the domain name. Oftentimes, people who acquire domain names when then expire will list the domain name for sale by putting a “for sale” landing page on the domain name. They oftentimes will list a price. That isn’t always the final price, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Contact us and see if we can get the domain name for a lower price than what is being offered.
- File a UDRP domain name dispute. If you or your company was doing business on the domain name (you had a live website on it), or you own the company name or trademark in the domain name, then you may have rights to the domain name over the current registrant. If you own the trademark and owned the domain name, and the current registrant acquired the domain name after you filed and acquired the trademark, they may have registered or acquired the domain name “in bad faith”. In that case, you’ll need to speak with a qualified domain name attorney to prepare, file, and defend the UDRP. Contact DNAccess for a referral to a qualified domain name attorney that can handle your case.
We realize that it’s always a difficult time and frustrating when you lose your domain name because the domain name expired. However, domain names are usually recoverable, and the staff at DNAccess has recovered hundreds of domain names for our clients in recent years. And finally, a quick tip: place a domain name backorder on all of your domain names. If they happen to expire, then there’s a good chance that the domain name backorder service will “catch” the domain name for you.