If you’re like most website managers, you’ll spend weeks or months agonizing over the perfect domain name when it’s time to register your domain name. Unfortunately, many of them are guilty of making inadequate efforts to keep them once their hosting contract expires. Allowing your domain name rights to expire exposes your company to unnecessary hassle and expense, and may even result in the loss of a memorable domain name.
When a domain name expires, the website associated with it will become unavailable as well along with any other services connected to the web hosting services provider such as a customer database, payroll or email accounts. Most providers will allow their clients a short grace period during which they can renew their domain names at the listed price, and this period is usually around 30 days after the contract expires. If payment is made during this period, the domain is reinstated as soon as possible and all services will be restored.
Webmasters who fail to take advantage of the grace period web hosting service providers frequently provide see their accounts lapse into what is known as a redemption period. The length of a redemption period varies by provider, but is most often around 120 days, and during this time webmasters can still reclaim their domain addresses, but at a far higher cost. If this fee is paid, normal domain control is returned to the owner of the website.
After the redemption period specified by the web hosting services provider has elapsed, the domain name is considered to have been abandoned. Webmasters who abandon their domain names lose all rightful claim to the use of the domain name and any associated services, and the domain name may be put back on the marketplace.
However, webmasters who inadvertently allow their domain addresses to lapse into this state and wish to avoid the heavy surcharges associated with web page renewal after an extended lapse still have some recourse to reclaim their URL after the redemption period expires.
The domain name being placed back into circulation gives the original owner of the name one last chance to reclaim his creation at its original price, although this method does run the risk of a creator being outbid or beaten to the purchase by an opportunistic third party. For these reasons, it is always best for savvy webmasters to maintain as much control of their domain names as possible by keeping their accounts in good standing.