Your domains are valuable assets for your business and if you want to keep them registered and up to date you need to know how the domain renewal system works.
When you buy a domain name, it becomes your property for as long as you register it. Most domains can be registered for up to 10 years into the future.
When your domain is approaching its expiry date, you will be sent several renewal notifications inviting you to renew your domain in advance of the expiry date. Typically these are sent 90 days, 60 days, 30 days, 10 days and on expiry, so you have plenty of notice.
What happens if my domain expires and I haven’t renewed it?
Sometimes people forget, or they are away when the domain expires or maybe their contact details are not up to date and they don’t receive the renewal reminders.
In these cases, if the domain expires there is no need to panic, as you still get another chance to renew.
The first thing you will notice is that your website stops working once the domain expires, and that is usually enough to remind you. But you may have several domains you are parking (redirecting) and maybe you don’t notice straight away. It depends on the type of domain, but here are the processes for the most probable scenarios.
Domain expiry procedure for TLDs (like com, .org, .net)
With these types of domain, you have a 30 day grace period after the expiry date to renew your domain(s). After 30 days the domain enters what is known as the "Redemption Period" which lasts 40 days. During the Redemption Period the registered owner can still renew the domain but there is an additional fee to be paid called the Redemption Fee.
Be warned, the Redemption Fee is not cheap, and would normally cover several years of domain registration fees. However, paying the fee and an additional year of domain registration fees ensures that the domain remains your property.
Failure to pay the Redemption Fee means that after the Redemption Period finishes, the domain will be released for registration on a first come, first served basis and there is no guarantee you will be able to re-register the domain in your name.
Please note that some domain extensions like .eu and .es do not have a 30 day grace period and the domain enters the Redemption Period immediately on expiry and the Redemption Fee is payable right away.
Domain expiry procedure for UK domains (like .co.uk, .org.uk, .uk)
With UK domains the procedure is slightly different than for TLD domains. Once the domain expires you have 30 days before the domain is suspended by the registrar (Nominet) at which point all services including email and your website will stop working.
After this, once the domain has been suspended for 60 days (i.e. 90 days after expiry) your domain is cancelled by the UK Registry (Nominet) and the domain is released for registration on a first come, first served basis and there is no guarantee that you will be able to re-register the domain in your name.
Domain transfer to another Registrar
If you wish to transfer your domain name to another provider, there is no charge.