Domains, Upgrades

Domains »Domain Expiration

When does a domain expire?

When you registered your domain (e.g. yourgroovydomain.com) with WordPress.com, you purchased the right to use that domain name for a year. If you’d like to continue using it after the first year, you’ll need to renew it annually.

We strongly urge our users to renew their domains in a timely fashion because once they expire, it can be difficult to regain use of them — they aren’t necessarily released back into the pool of available domains, and you may not be able to re-purchase them. Choosing the Auto Renew option on your domain upgrade is the safest route, so you never have to worry about losing control of your domain. See Manage Purchases for more information.

We will notify you of the upcoming expiration several times via email (generally 30 days prior to expiration and again 5 to 7 days prior to expiration). If your domain is not renewed, we will also notify you via email within 3 days after expiration. We will also display messages on your blog’s Dashboard. Please note that these emails will be sent to the email address you provided as the registrant contact information, which may not be the same as the email address associated with your WordPress.com account.

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What happens when my domain expires?

Once a domain expires, it goes through a series of steps that make it increasingly difficult (and more expensive) to renew.

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Grace Period

For most TLDs registered through WordPress.com, an expired domain falls into a grace period for about 10 days to two weeks. During this short window, the domain can be renewed at the regular price. If you experience difficulty renewing your domain during this time, go to the Help section. There will be a link to contact Support for further assistance.

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Redemption Period

After the grace period ends, your domain enters the redemption period, the length of which can vary. This means the domain name can still be renewed, but there is an $80.00 redemption fee required in addition to the normal renewal cost. (This is standard practice for domain registrars.)

It’s important to note that during the redemption phase, domains can be included in expired-domain auctions, where another party can bid on your domain name. If the domain is claimed by someone else in an auction, you will not be able to renew. If you made a payment in attempt to reclaim the domain out of redemption and were unsuccessful, you will get a refund. The redemption fee is non-refundable in the case of a successful redemption, should you decide to cancel the domain after it is redeemed.

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Domain Released

If a domain is not redeemed by the original registrant and is not purchased at auction, the domain is usually then returned to the pool of available domain names and can be registered again on a first-come, first-served basis. However, it is common for back-order companies to wait for domains to be released and purchase them the moment they become available. There may also be another individual who likes the domain waiting to buy it.

This means that even if your domain is released, another party can purchase it before you get the chance.

Please note that WordPress.com is not notified whether or not a domain is auctioned off, nor will we be notified when the domain is released, so we can’t provide any advance warning.

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Please Remember

Keep in mind that once your domain expires, it can be unavailable for up to 90 days. Once it goes back on the market, anyone can register it. You should never allow a domain to expire unless you are fully done with it and never want to use it again.

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Renewing a domain in the Redemption Period

Depending on the type of domain and when it was registered you might be able to redeem it yourself. If your domain has that option it will still appear under your account Purchases after it enters redemption, and clicking the Renew Now button will cause the redemption fee of $80 to be added to the cart automatically. You will not be able to renew the domain without paying that additional fee.

If your domain does not offer the option to redeem it yourself it will be removed from your account when it enters the Redemption Period. In that case, please contact support for help redeeming the domain, and we will send you a link to make the required payment so we can recover the domain.

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