Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name

Life Cycle Of A Typical gTLD Domain Name

Just like you have an address to your office or home, your website has a network or internet address. Internet users can visit your website via your domain name.

So, the first step in making yourself visible among the millions of addresses online is to choose the right name for your domain.  There are a few simple and easy steps to choose a domain name and register it.

By registering a domain, you are not actually purchasing the domain name outright. The registration fee you pay is just for the use of the particular domain name for a specific span. When this period of time is over, your registration will expire.

You will be notified before the expiry date, upon which you will have to renew it by paying a specific amount.

While the lifecycles of domains differ based on the particular domain type and on how the registry related to it is dealing with it, here is how a typical life cycle of a domain of top level generic type works like:

Top level domain (TLD)

The TLD in a web address or URL is the part which is found after the dot or final period. For instance,if the address is www.hostgator.com, the TLD for the address is .com

TLD is classified into two main categories namely

  1. Generic TLDs (gTLDs)
  2. Country code TLDs (ccTLDs)

Generic TLD

The generic type of Top Level Domains, as the name generic implies, are those which do not relate to any specific country. The domains are entirely generic. This indicates the domains can be used by any company or individual worldwide. .com, .biz, .org, .info are some of the examples of such gTLDs.

So now that we know what a gTLD is and its basic categorization let us look at the lifecycle of a gTLD.

Lifecycle of a Domain Name

A domain name cannot be purchased but it can be leased. The life cycle of a domain name begins when it is available for registration and the cycle ends when it is deleted.

The duration of a lease you can take on a domain name ranges from one year to about 10 years. After the lease term ends, you have to renew the lease. If not, it lapses and can be deleted.

Generic TLD lifecycle

There are 5 basic phases in the life cycle of gTLD domain name. Here are the phases described in detail:

Phase 1

Domain name availability

This is the beginning point in the life cycle of gTLD. This is the time when registration can be done on the specific domain name.  In other words, the name you have chosen is not taken up by other users.

To check whether the name you have selected is available, you have to visit a registrar site such as GoDaddy.com. Thus, when you find the name is available for use, you can lease it and not buy it outright.

Phase 2

Leasing /registration

Once you have found the availability, you have to register the domain name. For registration, you need to pay a specific amount. Once the registration is completed the name is activated.

After the activation occurs, you have to stay with the present registrar for at least 60 days after which if needed you can shift the domain name to another registrar.

This shift will not affect your domain’s status in any way, as it will remain fully active for the entire term you have registered the domain for. But this kind of shift is not common as the services provided by most registrars are similar in nature.

Phase 3

Expiry and renewal

Once the expiry term nears, registrar usually sends reminders to clients. This alerts clients so they can renew the domain name before the expiry. If the expiry date is reached, deactivation of domain name will occur. This usually occurs under 24 hours of expiration of the domain.

This does not imply the domain name is freely available for use by others looking for a domain name.  There is a grace period provided, which can be up to 45 days. This period is allowed for you to renew the domain. You will not have to pay additional charges for the renewal when you do it within this grace period.

Phase 4

Redemption Period

Once the grace period is over, you have still time to recover your domain name by renewing it. But the only difference is you have to pay redemption fees for activating the domain name. The redemption period is normally 30 days.

If you want to retain your domain name it is best to renew it well beforehand and not wait too long that you cannot retrieve it by any means. Changing the domain name can cause irreparable harm to your service, product or brand. So it is best to take the necessary steps well in advance.

Phase 5

Pending of domain name deletion

Once the redemption term expires, you will enter deletion phase. This is generally around 5 days’ duration. You will not be able to retrieve the web address. What you can do at this phase is, wait until the domain is deleted and register for it afresh when it is available again.

The only drawback is you need to be quick in registering the domain again, before it is taken up by some other person or company. This is a very high risk phase and one that can cost you your domain name, if you are not careful.

When you choose a domain name that suits your website, service or brand perfectly it will play a big part in your success. When you are smart and ensure that the domain name remains with you, it is easy to sustain the success you have gained up until now.  After you have built a strong reputation for yourself online, you may not consider the domain name as a significant reason for your success, but if you fail to hold on to it, all the good name you have built will be exploited by whoever buys the name. A minor slip can make the name expire, triggering a catastrophe for you and your business. Hence make sure you renew the domain name well before its expiry time, so you remain safe and bask in your success.