Understanding Domain Registration

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.

Domain Registration

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.

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

When registering a new domain, be sure to provide a valid email address for your WHOIS as you will be required to verify your WHOIS information via email. If verification is not received within 15 days, the domain name will be suspended.

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.
If the type of domain you want cannot be purchased online, or if you need to pay with a method other than credit card, please submit a ticket to our Billing department for assistance.

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:

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:

Domain Expiration

If you fail to renew your domain, your registration will be interrupted, at which point your name servers 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 Redemption

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 Domains

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. At this point, eNom requires $90.00 plus the normal price to renew the domain name. HostGator will require you to pay this cost or register a different domain (We make no profit on the redemption fee. The entire payment goes to eNom.). 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.

Domain Transfers

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 name servers 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.

Please initiate your domain registration transfers at least 1 month before the domain expires. This will give you ample time to fix any mistakes and re-initiate the transfer in time.

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.

To transfer a domain registration now, visit register.hostgator.com and click on the Transfer Domains button.