Launching a website requires registering a domain name. This simple process usually takes place through the intermediary of a domain name registrar.
You don’t “buy” a domain name
A historical rule of the internet is that a domain name can’t be bought. Registrars attribute domain names according to their availablility: each domain name is exlusive.
The price varies depending on the top-level domain (or TLD, the part after the dot), but registrars and registries regularly implement promotional pricing on domain name creations.
If your domain name is already being used, you cannot register it but the registrar might suggest some alternatives.
A domain name has a limited lifespan
A domain name, once you register it, “belongs” to you for a limited period of time only. The lifetime of a domain name registration is between 1 and 10 years, depending on the top-level domain in question.
At the end of this period, the owner of the domain name may renew it.
The registrar notifies the owner of a domain name starting several months ahead of its expiration date, encouraging the owner renew their domain.
A domain name that isn’t renewed is “released”, i.e. it becomes publicly available again and can be reserved by someone else.
Renewing a domain name
If you want to continue to enjoy exclusive rights to your domain name, it’s important to renew your domain before it expires.
This is also a good time to verify that your contact information is correct and up to date.
If having to remember to renew your domain, or be reminded to by your registrar, sounds like too much hassle to you, or otherwise seems too risky, you can activate automatic renewal.
How to activate or deactivate automatic renewal
You can activate automatic renewal on your domain name when you order your domain or at any other moment by selecting (or deselecting) this option in your customer portal.
Automatic renewal is based on the previous period for which you “manually” renewed your domain name: if last time you renewed your domain for two years, your domain will be automatically renewed for two more years when you activate the service.
Automatic renewal cannot be activated on a domain that’s already expired.
If you have any questions or run into any problems, please feel free to contact us.