Time’s Up! Your Domain Just Expired

expired domains parking meter

Have you ever been so busy you forgot to renew the domain for your website?

Whoops! If you don’t renew a domain on time, getting it back can be a hassle and cost you a lot of money.

Let’s take a look at what happens when a domain expires, and why it’s important to renew domains on time—even if you’re not sure you’ll continue to use them.

What happens when a domain expires

As soon as a domain expires, it goes into a grace period.  During this time, don’t panic! For a short time, you can renew your domain name at the regular price.

While the grace period may vary a bit between registrars, at Namecheap the grace period for .com domains registered is 27 days.

However, the period is shorter for some domain names. For example, .de domain names have a negative grace period at Namecheap. That means it’s critical to stay on top of the renewal process, because for these domains you need to renew them five days before the domain expires.

Fall from Grace

After the grace period expires, you face significant risk of losing your domain name.

Expired domain names will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at this point.

If someone wants your domain and buys it during this auction period, you will not be able to renew it.

Redemption Period

If you’re lucky and no one bid on your domain, then it will go into the redemption period.

You can still renew the domain during the redemption period, but at Namecheap it costs an extra $88.88 in addition to the renewal fee. This fee varies between registrars, but most will charge something because of costs to recover the domain. 

Pending Delete

Once the redemption period is over, the domain name goes into what’s called pending delete. At this point, it means the domain name will expire and be deleted. This process is often swift, but it can take up to 90 days.

After a domain has been deleted, it is considered a brand new domain and is available for anyone to register it on a first-come, first-served basis.

Given the extra cost and hassle of renewing a domain name after it expires, it makes sense to renew domain names early.

Why this matters even if you’re done with a domain

Maybe you’re done using a domain and don’t think you need to renew it. 

But think about this: how would you feel if someone else owned the domain name?

When your domain name expires, it gets telegraphed to the world that someone thought the domain name was interesting or valuable. Hundreds of people get daily “drop lists” of domain names that are expiring. They scour through them to find domains that might be worth registering.

There’s a greater likelihood of your domain name being registered by someone else if you let it expire than if you hadn’t registered in the first place.

Save effort and hassle and renew domains on time!

If there’s a chance you might use the domain in the future, or if you registered the domain to protect your brand, it probably makes sense to spend just a little bit of money to renew the domain rather than let it go back into the wild.

Renew or transfers your domain names now at Namecheap. It’s quick and easy.

Andrew Allemann is editor of Domain Name Wire, the longest-running blog covering the business of domain names. Domain Name Wire has covered the business of domain name investing for over ten years.


6 thoughts on “Time’s Up! Your Domain Just Expired”

  1. Hey guys can you please advise how important are expired dom,ains for SEO purpose ? Also any tips on finding domains which are expiering soon ?

  2. “Expired domain names will be auctioned off to the highest bidder” …
    Where are these domains auction at?
    They don’t seem to be in the Namecheap marketplace.

    1. This is a great question. There are a number of domain auction sites that are independent of domain registrars. In the future we might feature an article on this topic, so thanks for bringing the idea to our attention!

  3. I added WhoisGuard at the same time as registering a domain. Now I want to let it expire. Is there any risk that the Whois information becomes public since the WhoisGuard expires at the same time as the domain? Like is the Whois record still active for any time after the domain expires?

    1. I checked with Customer Support. If you allow your domain to expire, your contact details may become public between the time WhoisGuard expires and the domain is deleted. If this is a concern for you, please contact our support team (https://www.namecheap.com/support.aspx) and they will work with you to ensure your contact details are not shown.

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