Lots of people are asking about how the Domain lifecycle looks like, when can a domain be registered again after it expired. Here is a short description about the exact lifecycle defined by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
For simplicity, we assume that the domain name was registered on Jan 1, 2009.
Date Event Status Jan 1, 2009 Domain registered. ACTIVE/LOCKED Mar 1, 2009 After 60 days, the domain can now be transferred to another registrar,
ACTIVE/LOCKED Jan 1, 2010 The domain has expired; Your domain will go ON-HOLD, which means your
website and email will no longer work; you can still renew your domain name for the regular price; you can no longer transfer the domain unless you renew first.
REGISTRAR-HOLD Feb 9, 2010 After 19 days, the domain will be dropped, to get the domain back after this point you have to pay the redemption fee. REDEMPTIONPERIOD Mar 9, 2010 After 30 days, the domain can no longer be restored, the only way to get the domain back is to wait until it is dropped from the registry Of course anyone else can also register the domain at that time. PENDINGDELETE Mar 16, 2010 After 5 days, the domain is dropped from the central registry and can now be registered by anyone on first come first serve bases. If the domain is valuable or has lots of traffic it will be snapped up seconds after it has dropped. –
Immediately upon registration a domain name becomes ACTIVE, meaning that it is not available for registration.
It may take anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours for the whois record to be updated for a newly registered domain. While registrations take a fraction of a second, updating the whois record usually requires some time.
Under most circumstances, a domain can be active for 1-10 years depending on the duration of the registration selected by the user.
During the ACTIVE state a domain name can be transfered from one registrar to another.
- REGISTRAR-HOLD or CLIENTHOLD
Once a domain name expires, it will usually move to the REGISTRAR-HOLD or CLIENTHOLD status.
Although the domain has technically expired, the owner still has the opportunity to renew it for at least 30 days (usually).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the REGISTRAR-HOLD status and will be dropped 1-5 days from its expiration date.
Depending on the registrar, a domain name can remain in the REGISTRAR-HOLD status anywhere from 1-45 days, with 30 days being the average.
- REDEMPTION PERIOD
Once a domain name leaves the REGISTRAR-HOLD status it goes into REDEMPTION PERIOD status.
Although the domain has technically expired and gone through REGISTRAR-HOLD status, the owner still has the opportunity to renew it for at least 10 days (usually).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the REDEMPTION PERIOD status and will be dropped immediately after being removed from REGISTRAR-HOLD.
Depending on the registrar, a domain name can remain in the REDEMPTION PERIOD status anywhere from 1-35 days, with 30 days being the average.
- PENDING DELETE
Once a domain name leaves the REDEMPTION PERIOD status it goes into PENDING DELETE status.
Under most circumstances, a registrar will not allow for you to renew your domain name once it has reached PENDING DELETE status. There are some rare exceptions (and it also depends on the registrar).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the PENDING DELETE status and will be dropped immediately after being removed from REDEMPTION PERIOD.
A domain name will drop, and become available for registration six days after it changes status to PENDING DELETE. Under some circumstances, a domain name can drop in 5 days instead of 6.
- PENDING DELETE RESTORABLE (.org domains)
A status of PENDING DELETE RESTORABLE means the name is in Redemption Grace Period for 30 days and can be renewed by the registrant.
- PENDING DELETE SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE (.org domains)
A status of PENDING DELETE SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE means the domain name is in the Redemption Hold Period and will expire in 5 days.
If you want to keep your domain name, the best policy is to renew early. You do not lose any time by renewing early. For example, if the domain expires on Jan 1 2009, and you renew 1 month before that, the new expiration date is Jan 1 2010.
The chart above applies to COM & NET domains. Other domains have a similar lifecycle but the status names may be different.
The domain life-cycle explained…