The domain name life cycle

When you buy a domain name from a registrar, you are usually given the option to specify how many years you want to register it for. After that, you can transfer your name to a web hosting company that will either build and host your website, or just host it.

When you “buy” a domain name, you’re actually just leasing it for the period of time you paid for when you registered it. As that period nears its end, a series of stages occurs which ends in the domain name being “deleted”.
Expiration. If you registered the domain name on January 1, 2009 and only chose to register it for one year, it will expire on January 2, 2010.

Grace period. You may still reclaim your domain name up to 40 days after expiration. You can renew your name at regular prices, but web users will not be able to see your website.

Redemption period. After the grace period, you have up to 30 days to contact the registrar and retrieve your domain name. The registrar will charge a fee in addition to the registration renewal costs.

Pending delete. During the five day pending delete phase after the end of the redemption period, the domain name is locked and cannot be registered or renewed.

Deleting/Dropping. After the five day deletion process, the domain name becomes available to individuals or companies whose business is to “catch” the dropping names for their customers.

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