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How to renew a Domain Name?

Renewing a domain is the act of extending your domain name’s registration period so you can continue using it. If you do not renew your domain name in time, the website and/or email address associated with it will go offline.

When you initially register a domain, you can usually choose whether you want to register it for one or multiple years at once. However, there is always a limit to the number of years you can initially register it for. This means that, at some point, you will have to renew your domain name to prevent it from expiring.

It is generally not difficult to renew a domain name or to reverse the process of domain expiration if it has already taken place. The exact process will depend on the particular provider that you registered your domain name with, but in general, it can be done in just a few clicks through your provider’s control panel. Usually, your registrar or provider will send you an email notification when the renewal date of your domain name is coming up, so you do not forget to renew it.

Some providers also offer the possibility to renew your domains automatically. In that case, the renewal fee is automatically taken off the bank account or card that you connected to your account, meaning that you never have to worry about domain expiration again.

Why should you renew a domain name? 

Renewing a domain name is crucial for maintaining your online presence and protecting your brand. If you do not renew your domain name in time, your website will go offline and your email address will no longer be usable - meaning that your customers, visitors, and users can no longer connect with you. Of course, this is something that you want to avoid.

Even if you actually want to take your website offline, choosing to renew your domain name is often a better option than letting it expire deliberately. When you let your domain name expire, you’re essentially giving up all control over it. Cybercriminals are well aware of this and often target expired domain names in attempts to capitalize on them. These malicious actors can quickly snap up an expired domain name and use it to impersonate you or your business.

For example, cybercriminals may use your domain name’s good reputation to carry out phishing attacks or to publish misleading, harmful, or illegal content. This may confuse your visitors and damage your personal and professional reputation. Another possible outcome is that someone could use your expired domain name to upload explicit content. While not technically illegal, this could do a lot of harm to your reputation, especially if your domain name contains your legal name or (former) business name. To prevent cases like this, we recommend to continue renewing your domain name, even if you are not actively using it anymore. And, after all, you might want to use it again in the future!

Lifecycle of a domain name

What if you did not renew your domain name and your domain has now expired? Let’s take a look at the typical lifecycle of a domain name to see what happens after expiration.

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Image source: ICANN.org

Expired (auto-renew grace period)

If a domain reaches its expiration date without being renewed, it will expire. This means that your website and email will not work anymore and users cannot access them. At this point, you can still restore your domain name and reverse the expiration by paying the regular renewal fee. It depends on your domain extension (such as .com or .net) and how long this period will take, but the exact period is always between 0-45 days. You can find the specifics for each domain extension in the list of extensions in our Knowledge Base.

Redemption grace period

If you do not renew your domain name when it initially expires, it will eventually enter its redemption grace period. During the redemption period, you can still restore your domain, but you will have to pay a special restore fee on top of the renewal fee to get your domain name back online. The duration of this period is always 30 days.

Usually, generic top-level domains (such as .com and .net) will enter an auto-renew grace period first. Meanwhile, many country code top-level domains (such as .nl and .be) will go into a redemption grace period straight away and skip the former period altogether. You can find the specifics for each domain extension in the list of extensions in our Knowledge Base.

What is pendingDelete period?

When the quarantine period ends and you have not reactivated your domain, the so-called “pendingDelete” period will begin. Restoration is now no longer possible. For gTLDs, this period always lasts 5 days, while for most ccTLDs this period lasts only for one day or is even skipped altogether. 

Deletion and release period

After the pendingDelete period has passed, your domain is deleted. It immediately goes back onto the market and becomes available for others to register.

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How to renew a domain name step by step

The domain name renewal process works slightly differently for each provider. Here, we explain how to renew your domain name step by step at Openprovider.

  1. Log in to the control panel.

  2. Top up your balance, if needed.

  3. Navigate to “Domains overview” in the left-hand menu and click on “Domains for renewal”.

  4. This page shows a list of all domain names in your account that are up for renewal in the coming 28 days.

  5. Click on the “Renew” icon next to the domain name that you want to renew.

  6. Your domain has been renewed!

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To avoid the manual work involved in renewing domain names and never worry about domain expiration again, we recommend turning on automatic domain name renewal for all your domains at Openprovider. You can do this in just a few clicks. With automatic domain renewal enabled, your domain name(s) will be renewed automatically as long as there is enough balance on your account. If you want to simplify the process even more, you can turn on automated payments to make sure there is always enough balance on your account. 

Another best practice is to register a domain name multiple years in advance to minimize the risk of accidental expiration. For example, a .com domain can be registered for up to 10 years in advance, and renewed for the same amount of years. 

Long-term renewals can also be a great way to save money. Most domain prices gradually increase over the years. With a long-term renewal, you lock in the current price of a domain name for a set amount of years. Doing this, you will automatically avoid any price increases that may occur in the meantime.

Can I renew my domain name with another provider?

You can only renew your domain name with the provider it is currently at. If you want to renew your domain name with another provider, you need to transfer your domain to this provider before its renewal date comes around.

What are expired domains?

Expired domains are domains that were not renewed on time. If a domain expires, the website associated with it goes offline and becomes unreachable. You can also no longer send and receive emails on email addresses with this domain. 

However, when a domain is expired, it is not immediately deleted. For a short period after your domain has expired, you will have the possibility to restore it. When an expired domain is not restored, it will eventually be deleted, meaning that your website and email can no longer be recovered and that other people will be able to register the domain.

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How to renew a domain name after it expires

Renewing your domain name after it has expired is also called “restoring”. This process works very similarly to the regular renewal process. It works slightly differently at every provider. At Openprovider, these are the steps you should take to renew a domain name after it has expired:

  1. Log in to the control panel.

  2. Top up your balance, if needed.

  3. Navigate to “Domains overview” in the left-hand menu and click on “Restorable domains”.

  4. This page shows a list of all domain names in your account that are expired, but can still be restored.

  5. Click on the “Renew” icon next to the domain name that you want to renew.

  6. A pop-up window will open, showing the total cost that you have to pay (a sum of the regular renewal price and the restore fee).

  7. Click on “Restore” in the pop-up window.

  8. Your expired domain name is restored!

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To avoid domain name expiration and paying a (hefty) restore fee, we recommend turning on automatic domain name renewal for all your domains at Openprovider. You can do this in just a few clicks. With automatic domain renewal enabled, your domain name(s) will be renewed automatically as long as there is enough balance on your account. If you want to simplify the process even more, you can turn on automated payments to make sure there is always enough balance on your account. 

If you want to renew your domain names at the lowest price, consider becoming an Openprovider Member and consolidating your domain portfolio with us. Members pay cost price on all domain extensions we are accredited for, meaning you get to renew your domains for the lowest prices on the market! Click here to learn more about our Membership program and become a Member today.

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