This article will cover the following information:
- Life Cycle of a Domain
- Domain Registration
- Domain Order Validation
- Active Domains
- Domain Registration Renewal
- Domain Expiration
- Domain Redemption
- Pending Deletion
- Domain Transfers
Life Cycle of a Domain
Every domain has a life cycle starting with its initial registration and ending with it being returned to the public for new registration. This life cycle can be extended indefinitely by regularly renewing the domain, and understanding the life cycle of your domain will help you know when a domain can be renewed and what is affected when the domain expires.
The life cycle of a domain is as follows:
- New Registration
- Domain Expiration
- Domain Redemption
- Pending Deletion
Please see below for information regarding each phase of the life cycle of a domain.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) regulates domain registrations and sets prices. Visit www.internic.net to learn your rights as a consumer.
The registrar can be a company other than the hosting company. While HostGator can host any domain name (as long as the DNS is pointed to us), we cannot register every domain.
For a comprehensive list of domains HostGator can register, see:
If you register a domain directly with HostGator, you should always contact HostGator for domain-related help. If you register your own domains as an eNom reseller, then most issues will be handled directly by eNom. You may still contact HostGator first to be sure.
To register a domain now, visit register.hostgator.com.
It is recommended that you use an email address independent of the domain you are registering since you will need access to this email address to verify your WHOIS information.
Domain Order Validation
Once you have completed your domain registration with HostGator, you will be required to validate your domain order. This is a required step in the domain registration process in accordance with the ICANN 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement. For more information regarding the domain order validation process, please see the following article:
Once a domain is successfully registered it is then Active for the term of the registration. Depending on the registrar you use, you may be able to register the domain for up to 10 year.
While a domain you have registered is Active, you may perform the following actions on it at any time:
Domain Registration Renewal
Renew your domain registration early, before the expiration date. For instructions on how to renew your domain name, please read the following article:
If you fail to renew your domain, your registration will be interrupted, at which point your nameservers will be changed by the registrar. This means it will take a few days before you can see your site is down, and after you finally pay to renew, it will be a few more days before you can see your site is back up. We will send domain renewal reminders prior to the expiration date by email to the email address you listed with us.
Domain expiration periods are not an ICANN requirement, and therefore are not guaranteed. Expiration may vary from registrar to registrar, ranging from 0-45 days. Domains registered via HostGator will be registered with either Launchpad or Enom, which have the following expiration periods:
- Launchpad: 36 Days
- Enom: 30 Days
The rules of redemption are different for every registrar, please see below for how your domain will be handled based on how it was registered with HostGator.
LaunchPad Domain Redemption
Domains registered with LaunchPad will be sent to auction at SnapNames.com after the 36th day past expiration. Once queued, the domain will either be sold or deleted by the 42nd day after expiration, depending on whether or not the domain receives bids.
If the owner of the domain wishes to purchase the domain back, they may do so by either signing up for an account with SnapNames.com or waiting for the domain to be released to the public once more. Unfortunately, once past the 36 days grace period and the domain is queued for auction, HostGator cannot guarantee the domain's redemption.
eNom Domain Redemption
After 30 days of being expired, domains enter the redemption period. Once a domain enters the redemption period there is a $75.00 fee plus the normal price to renew the domain name, as we must pay a fee directly to eNom in order to restore the domain on your behalf. HostGator will require you to pay this cost or register a different domain. This redemption period can last until the next expiration date or until the registrar auctions the domain to a higher bidder — whichever comes first. The registrar may also release the domain so that it can be registered again, but they will not announce when they do this, and they cannot be forced to do this.
As with expiration periods, the redemption period is not required by ICANN and can be as little as 0 days with some registrars.
Once a domain has entered pending deletion, the only course of action available is to wait for it to be returned to the public for new registration. During this phase of the life cycle of a domain, the domain cannot be recovered or modified. This phase lasts approximately 5 days.
You must always initiate the domain transfer with the new company. The process takes approximately 5 to 7 days to complete. It is important to keep in mind that there are several obstacles that can make a valid domain registration transfer fail.
- If you have been with your current registrar for less than 60 days, then you are not allowed to transfer yet; however, if you just renewed your domain, you may still transfer because this means you were with the current registrar for more than a year.
- If your domain status is "Locked," you will need to ask your current registrar to unlock your domain.
- If your WHOIS information is incorrect or private, you must have your valid email listed as the Admin Contact Email so you can receive a confirmation notice from the current registrar.
- If an invalid EPP code ("Auth key") was provided, you must get the EPP code from the current registrar and provide it to the new registrar. If you change any contact information or nameservers with the previous registrar, you must get a new EPP code, because it may have changed.
- If your domain name is in redemption, you must pay the current company before you may transfer.
Normally, when you transfer your domain registration to a new registrar, you get an additional year added to your expiration date. However, if a domain expires, is renewed and then transferred between registrars within the first 45 days after the expiration date, the domain will not retain the original renewal year once the transfer completes (meaning your expiration date stays the same). This is a registry restriction and applies to all registrars.