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What Happens When Your Domain Name Expires

If you run a website for personal or business use, the most basic, fundamental task you need to do on a yearly basis is to ensure your domain name is renewed. To put it in simple terms, your website consists of two things: the actual content that lives on a server somewhere, and the domain name, which is the public address that helps your website be found. 

As your website grows in followers, the domain name becomes a part of your company’s intellectual property. The domain name has value, your customers look for it, and it would be valuable to another party if the latter were to acquire it.

Renewing Your Domain

When it comes to renewing your domain name, things tend to be pretty straightforward. First of all, many hosts offer multi-year renewal options, so if you know you’re going to need your domain name for a while, it makes sense to renew it for the longest possible term, which minimizes the opportunity to forget about it. 

When the time for renewal does come, the domain name registrar will email the contact you’re provided with a series of reminders. It’s a good policy to set the main contact for both your domain registrar and web hosting company to be someone higher up in the company, or an email alias like “[email protected]” to ensure that the contact is not someone who might end up leaving your company. 

Another great thing to do is to simply enable “auto-renew” in your account. If you’re running an active website, you probably have bigger things to worry about than the few dollars your credit card would be charged annually for the renewal. In this case you wouldn’t have to do anything until the credit card you have on file expires, which is usually quite a long time.

What Happens if Your Domain Expires? 

Most domains can be renewed for up to 30 days after the expiry date, although they will not be functioning after the expiry date. That means that your website will be replaced with a generic page by your domain name registrar. That’s not actually a bad thing, because if your website is not functioning, this can serve as a very immediate and obvious reminder that your domain name needs to be updated — the absolutely last thing you want to happen is to give up your domain name to another entity.

For .ca domains you only have 30 days after the expiration date to renew your domain, and then it goes into the TBR (To Be Released) phase.

For some other TLDS, once this initial 30 days expires, some registrars like CanSpace Solutions, hold the domain name for another 15-30 days, just to be sure that a domain owner who intends to renew has not forgotten to do so. During this period, you can still claim your domain name, but may be subject to extra fees in addition to the usual renewal fees. The exact length of time and redemption fees depends on the specific TLD.

If the domain is not redeemed within this time, it’s released back to the registry and available to anyone at the usual “new” domain name price.

To be clear, this happens 45-60 days after your domain has expired, and you should have begun to receive renewal notifications about 5 months earlier, so it’s quite rare that a domain holder intends to renew a domain and ignores all these notifications for 5 months.

Need help with renewing your domain name or switching domain registrars? We’re here to help, get in touch with us today!

CanSpace Team

CanSpace Solutions is Canada's leading domain name registrar and web hosting provider. Keep an eye on our blog for expert information on domain names, websites, and running a business online.