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Updated on January 9, 2023

How Does A Domain’s Life Cycle Start (And End)

The domain life cycle is the same for everyone. You just have to be fully aware of which stage your domain is already at to make sure you maintain it properly and keep it active for your business. After all, your domain could be the most valuable asset of your company.


Domain Life Cycle Critical Stage 1 – Registration, Activation and Renewal

Getting your domain registered and activated is the first step toward making sure your website is live. When you’re ready to do that, though, you’ll need to know what happens next in the domain life cycle.

Your domain will be active for one year up to ten years (depending on your subscription with the domain registrar). If you have not set an automatic renewal, take note of your registration dates and keep an eye out for alerts that will advise you to renew your domain registration at a certain time.


Domain Life Cycle Critical Stage 2 – Expiration

When you fail to renew your domain at the suggested time, it will expire as soon as the next day that your subscription with your domain registrar expires. At this point in the domain life cycle, anything that is associated with your domain – your website, email addresses, URLs – will not be accessible online.

The question is – can you still get it back?


The expiration period can last for up to 30 days, at this time you can still renew your domain and get your domain back online. But keep in mind that your domain will now be seen as available, and can be purchased or placed bids on domain registration websites. No worries though, you still have the upper hand so long as you process the renewal within the 30 day period.


Domain Life Cycle Critical Stage 3 – Auction or Bidding Period

This stage in the domain life cycle is also called the “redemption period”. If there are no active bids from other domain buyers within the 30 day expiry period, your domain will be available for renewal for another 5 days. If you have renewed your domain name subscription yet, this is the most critical time to do so. 

Take note that some domain registrars may charge an additional redemption fee during this time.


Domain Life Cycle Critical Stage 4 – Pending Deletion

If the domain has still not been redeemed or reactivated after the previous critical stage(s), it will now be for pending deletion with the domain registrar. The domain can no longer be renewed unless the domain registrar re-releases it to the market – which, unfortunately, does not have a fixed timeframe on when they can make a domain available for use again.


Registering a domain name is just the beginning of your journey as an Internet entrepreneur. Keeping your domain active and relevant is so much more important than people think, and if you fail to do it, you may one day find yourself in a very precarious situation. 

Simply put, the importance of keeping your domain name active can’t be overstated. Your goal should be to protect your premium domain from negative situations, while making it accessible to those who can take advantage of its eventual sale.

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