Domain Name Renewal: What You Need to Know in 2021

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Renewing your domain name is vitally important to ensure you don't lose one of your most valuable business assets. 

Though you may be asking, "Why do domain names have to be renewed at all?"

If you're new to the world of domains, you could be forgiven for thinking that registering a domain name is a "one and done" kind of deal. 

When you register a domain name, you do so for a specified period, typically anywhere from one to ten years, depending on the TLD and registry. Suppose you don't renew your domain name when that initial registration period expires. In that case, it can drop and be available for others to purchase. 

Losing a domain name is more than a slight bump in the road — it's a blow to your business, your brand, and your customer relationships. 

We're discussing why that is in this blog post and covering every aspect of domain name renewal along the way. We're explaining it all — from the lifecycle of a domain name to domain expiration, automatic domain name renewal, and step-by-step instructions on renewing your Network Solutions domain name

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Why Renew A Domain Name?

There's a lot to a name. 

Names bring things into consciousness — and there's nothing better for a business than staying top of mind with customers and prospects. 

Your domain name is how your customers think of you, and more than that, it's how they find your site. That's because your domain is an integral part of your website and online presence. It's synonymous with everything your business is — like google.com is to Google. 

If you're using your domain name for your website and it expires, your site won't function properly anymore. Instead of being your business hub, it'll error out every time someone navigates there. And if that domain name is tied to your email…? You can consider that a loss, too. 

When a domain name first expires, you'll have an opportunity to retrieve it before someone else can register it. However, that process is more expensive than renewing in a timely fashion. It may require paying additional fees no matter what registrar you use. 

At Network Solutions, you may be given up to a 30-day grace period to recover your domain if it expires. After a domain has expired, you'll be charged a reinstatement fee in addition to the regular renewal fee. Should you fail to renew your domain name before your grace period ends, your domain name will move from the “Expired Domain Status” and will be released back to the registry to enter a 30-day hold known as a "Redemption Period."

Suppose you want to regain control of your domain after it has entered redemption. In that case, you'll need help from Customer Support to initiate a Redemption Recovery. There is a redemption fee, but the alternative is losing your domain name to a competitor who wants to leverage it for themselves.

What’s the Lifecycle of a Domain Name? 

Domain names make the Internet a navigable place for the average consumer. Instead of typing long-stringed IP Addresses into your browser's URL bar, all you have to do is type the domain name of a site, and you're there. 

The Domain Name System, or DNS, is managed by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. When you register a domain name, you're registering it through an ICANN-accredited registrar, like NetworkSolutions. Your initial registration can be anywhere from one to ten years, depending on the domain and registrar. 

Expired domain names can be very desirable. Once a domain has been registered and used, it can offer a history of established site traffic and backlinks — assets someone else might capitalize on. So, suppose you don't renew your domain name before its registration period expires. In that case, you risk losing it either for a short time or for good. 

Below, you'll see a depiction of an average domain name lifecycle followed by a brief explanation of each stage.

infographic of a domain name lifecycle

Active Domain Status

  • Active domains are manageable domains. This means you can change the domain settings, modify contact information, and more. An active domain is essential for a functioning website and professional, custom email address.  

  • Registering a domain name makes it active, and that registration period can last anywhere from 1-10 years.

Expired Domain Status 

  • A domain name is classified as "expired" one day after its expiration date if not renewed.  

  • Any websites or email addresses associated with an expired domain will cease to function appropriately.  

  • Other parties may bid on and attempt to purchase the domain name as soon as it expires. Your claim to the domain takes priority over any 3rd party bids, meaning that if you renew within the 30 days post-expiration, you should have it returned to you. 

Redemption Recovery/Grace Period

  • After 30-45 days of remaining in an expired status, the domain name enters a Redemption Recovery or Redemption Grace period. 

  • Depending on the TLD, some domains may enter a redemption status the day after they expire. 

Pending Delete

  • At this stage in the domain lifecycle, you can consider it lost. A domain in the Pending Deletion status is no longer retrievable. 

  • Domains remain in the pending delete status for about five days before being released back into the public for new registration. After that, you can try to purchase and re-register it, but so can anyone else.

Domain Name Renewal Timelines

Different TLDs, or Top-Level Domains, can have different expiration and renewal timelines. You'll need to plan your renewal in advance or use an Auto Renew feature so you can use your time wisely and focus on other priorities.

Take a look at the chart below to see when different domain names need to be renewed.  

chart of domain extensions and # of days before expiration that renewal is needed

Examples of Expired Domain Names in Real Life

An expired domain name can hit your business where it hurts the most — right in your finances. 

Have you heard of or are you a customer of Sorenson Communications? In 2017, Sorenson was fined 2.7 million dollars because someone forgot to renew their domain name on time. 

Sorenson offers a "video relay" service designed for people with hearing or speech problems to make 911 emergency calls. It stopped functioning the morning of June 6, 2016, due to operational failure (i.e., someone forgot to renew their domain name.) Once discovered, Sorenson Communications took the steps needed to correct the issue.  However, they still landed themselves a USD 2.7 million charge and an additional $252,000 fine in formal FTC penalties. [1.]

How to Renew Your Domain Name with Network Solutions

Renewing your domain name is a breeze when you manage it with Network Solutions. 

We offer various ways to ensure your domain doesn't expire so you can continue using it without interruption. From manual renewal to automatic renewal options, domain expiration protection, and more, we've got what it takes to keep your domain active and your site running.

Auto Renew: Automatic Domain Name Renewal 

Auto-renew is a practical and convenient way to ensure your domains renew before their expiration dates without worrying about calendar reminders or other notifications.

Auto Renew Key Dates

Additionally, the automatic renewal system alerts you to any issues with your domain, such as outdated billing information on file. And 105 days before your domain expires, you'll receive the following notifications:

  • Automatic renewal reminder email. This email keeps you appraised of your renewal date and sends when the system checks your account and determines that your payment information is valid. 

  • Bad payment email. If the system checks your account and determines the payment method is invalid, you'll receive this email notification.

You may also receive the following emails:

  • An Order Payment Failure email. This email occurs when automatic renewal fails. It happens 60 days before the product expiration and for every failed attempt after that, which occurs every 14 days.

  • An Order Confirmation email. This email occurs 60 days before the product expiration when the automatic renewal successfully processes or whenever the automatic renewal successfully occurs.

To enable auto renew, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. Select “Renewal Center.”
  3. Check the box(es) next to the domain(s) you’d like to modify. 
  4. Click “Enable Auto Renew.”
  5. Select “Enable” to continue.
screenshot of domain renewal center within Network Solutions Account Manager
module popup to enable auto renew for a domain name

Manual Domain Renewal

Prefer to renew your domain name yourself? You've got that option, too!

To manually renew a domain name, go ahead and follow steps 1-3 listed above. Then, instead of selecting "Enable Auto-Renew," you'll want to select "Renew Now." At that point, you'll arrive at your shopping cart. From there, select the Service Term you desire and click "Secure Checkout." Finally, you'll want to choose your payment method and supply the appropriate information, click to acknowledge that you've read the Terms and Conditions, and select "Place Your Order." 

screenshot of domain renewal center within Network Solutions Account Manager, cursor selecting renew now button
screenshot of a renewal purchase in cart

Bulk Domain Name Renewal

You can renew up to 200 domain names at once by using Network Solutions’ Quick Renew. To use it, simply enter your domains in the box on the left, as you see in the screenshot below, and log in to complete the transaction.

screenshot of bulk domain renewal at Network Solutions

Domain Expiration Protection

Your domain name is one of your business's most valuable and brandable assets. You'll want to consider NetworkSolutions' Domain Expiration Protection if you're worried that your payment might fail or if you're not responsible for the billing. 

Domain Expiration Protection keeps your domain name safe for up to one year after it expires if you cannot renew for any reason. Additionally, it prevents additional fees, like redemption fees, from being charged to your account. 

screenshot of domain expiration protection product on Network Solutions

Automatic Domain Renewal and Expiration Protection with Network Solutions

When you register a domain name with Network Solutions, we provide all the tools you need to keep it secure and active. From automatic domain name renewal to domain expiration protection — we've got you covered. 

So, what are you waiting for? Make sure your domain name never lands in a competitor's hands by safeguarding it with the tools offered at Network Solutions.

Image Credits: 

Image 1: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Image 2: The Life Cycle of a Domain by Domain.com

Image 3: Network Solutions Knowledge Base

Images 4-10: Network Solutions