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Expired Domains - The Stages Of Domain Expiration
Many webmasters, despite there being an abundance of 'available' unregistered domain names choose to purchase domains that are either owned by another person or company presently with active traffic levels or, they purchase domain names which have previously 'expired' however, many webmasters do not seem to understand the varying stages that a domain name must go through before it is available for re-registration and this is what we will cover in this brief article.
Expired Domain Names.
Not counting the re-registration stage, there are actually 4 stages that a domain must go through before expiring and ending back in the pool of domains available for registration these stages are as follows, Active, Registrar Hold, Redemption Period and, Pending Delete. For a domain name to be made available for purchase again it must go through all of these stages in order, lets take a look at what each stage of the expiration process means in the next segment of this article.
Active Domain Names.
For a domain name to be 'Active' this simply means that the domain has been registered by an entity. Immediately upon registration of a new domain name it becomes 'active' meaning that it is no longer available for registration. It can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days for the whois records to update for a newly registered domain name. Domain names can currently be registered for a period of time between 12 months and 10 years until they need to renewed or, they are allowed to expire.
Registrar Hold Domain Names.
Once a domain name has expired, it moves to the status of 'Registrar Hold', in effect, although the domain actually has expired, this allows the owner of the domain a further 30 days to renew their domain name, if after this time the domain has not been renewed, it then enters the Redemption Period stage.
Redemption Period Domain Names.
The redemption period of an expired domain in effect and in its simplest description, gives the domain name owner a further 10 days to renew the domain name. Depending on which domain name registrar has been used by the domain owner, the expired domain name can remain in the redemption period for anywhere between one and 35 days with 30 days being the usually period of time. After the redemption period the domain then enters the Pending Delete status.
Pending Delete Domain Names.
Once a domain name has entered the 'Pending Delete' status it is rare that the previous domain names owner can renew the domain however, depending on the registrar, this may still be possible. Likewise, dependant on the registrar, the domain name may not enter the pending delete stage at all, instead it will be allowed to 'drop' immediately. However, for most domain name registrars, the pending delete status means that you have anywhere from 24 hours to 6 days before the domain may be openly re-registered.
Additional Domain Name Information.
In the preceding segment of this article i mentioned that a domain name will 'drop' immediately in some instances. In domain registration circles, when a domain 'drops' this means that the domain has completely expired and is now available for registration by anybody. There are several services available to webmasters that will enable you to watch for 'dropped' domain names including dropnames.com and snapnames.com. In addition to the above status' there is also a status called 'Registrar Lock' this is a method which ensures nobody hijacks your domain name without your knowledge, many registrars now offer this service as standard and, given recent changes in ICAAN policies, if your registrar doesn't offer this service, it would be a wise move to find one that does.
Expired Domain Names - An Overview.
Hopefully this brief article has given you some insight into the varying stages of expiration that all domain names have to go through prior to them becoming available for registration again, whether you decide to use previously unregistered domain names with no traffic or, you choose to opt for domain names that have been previously owned, the information in this article has hopefully helped you to understand the domain name life cycle a little more.
Article written by Lee.
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