​What happens when my domain name expires?

When you buy a domain name, your registrar gives you the option to choose a term ranging from 1 year to 10 years. Domain names renew annually at the same time depending on the duration of your term. Depending on your registrar, you can set your domain to renew automatically once the term expires. Most registrars will send you reminders when your domain name expiry date draws close. However, people still forget to renew their domains upon expiry. Big companies that have also left their domain names expire but recovered them shortly after include Google (google.com), Microsoft (passport.com, hotmail.co.uk) and Foursquare (foursquare.com).

What happens when the domain name expires
When you fail or forget to renew your domain name, your registrar will give you a grace period of between 7 to 30 days. Some registrars will give you a couple of redemption period, where you can pay some rate to recover your domain. If this period lapses, the domain name is either packed, auctioned or deleted waiting to be discovered by a new owner. 

Here is a number of things that can happen if you do not renew your domain:
• The website disappears from the internet. It is impossible to display your website when your domain is offline.
• Emails attached to your domain name stop. Emails sent to you will bounce back, and you may never be able to recover emails sent while your domain name was offline.
• You lose your content especially if your hosting was expiring at the same date.
• It is sold to a new owner. Failure by Heinz to renew its fundarado.com domain in 2014 turned it from a ketchup lovers contest page to a porn site.

In order to stay safe, it is advisable to pick a longer domain term and set automatic renewals. Ask for timely domain renewal reminders. You can ask your registrar to send you reminders three months prior to give you ample time to renew.

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