Domain name is a name owned by a person or organization and consisting of an alphabetical or alphanumeric sequence followed by a suffix indicating the top-level domain. It is used as an Internet address to identify the location of particular Web pages. Domain names have several expiration processes depending on the Registrar of your domain. The basic processes are;
- STEP 1: DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION EXPIRES This occurs when the domain name registration has expired. It means that the owner failed to renew the domain before it expiration date. Usually we send emails to owners of domain name, stating the date of expiration, how to renew and the consequences thereafter the expiration date. Once domain registration expires, the domain name is placed under the status of RENEWAL GRACE PERIOD. While under this status, the original owner can still renew the domain name without incurring any additional fees. The length of the RENEWAL GRACE PERIOD varies depending on the registrar. All domain names that have not been renewed before their expiry date are considered expired, hence the term Expired Domain Name.
- STEP 2: RENEWAL GRACE PERIOD ENDS Once the Renewal Grace Period ends, the expired domain name is placed under the status of REGISTRAR HOLD. It is kept under this status for 30 to 45 calendar days, during which time it can be renewed by the original owner by paying a redemption fee of #20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira). While under this status, the registrar attempts to sell the domain name in an open auction to the highest bidder. If the domain name is sold at auction, the auction winner must wait the full 30 to 45 calendar days of REGISTRAR HOLD before taking possession. If the original owner renews the domain name during this period, the auction winner is refunded their purchase price and the original owner regains possession. If the original owner does not renew their domain name, and the REGISTRAR HOLD period elapses, it is pushed to the auction winner.
- STEP 3: REGISTRAR RELEASES THE DOMAIN NAME TO THE REGISTRY Once the registrar’s 30 to 45 day REGISTRAR-HOLD expires, and the domain name has not been renewed or bought, the registrar releases the domain name to the registry. Once released, the domain name is placed under the status of REDEMPTIONPERIOD, where it cannot be modified or deleted; it can only be restored by the original owner by paying a redemption fee #20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira) or more. It is kept under this status for a maximum of 30 calendar days. Once it enters the REDEMPTIONPERIOD status, the domain name is removed from the zone files, which means the website and email addresses will stop working.
- STEP 4: REGISTRY GRACE PERIOD ENDS If the registry’s grace period expires and the domain name has still not been renewed, it is placed under the status of PENDINGDELETE. The domain name will remain under this status for five calendar days, during which this time it cannot be restored by anybody. It will continue to be excluded from the zone files.
- STEP 5: THE DOMAIN NAME IS DELETED After being under the status of PENDINGDELETE for five calendar days, the domain name is deleted or “dropped” from the registry on the sixth day. The moment it’s deleted from the registry, it becomes available for registration by the general public.