How Often Do You Have to Renew Domain Names?
By Steve McDonnell
You can stake your claim to your own piece of Internet real estate by registering a domain name for your company or for yourself. The registration or renewal period is from one to 10 years. If you let your domain name expire, your domain registrar might hold the name for you for an additional 30 to 60 days, depending on the rules for the domain name extension.
When you register your new domain, you can register it for one to 10 years. The fee you pay is an annual fee, so if you register a domain for five years, the cost is five times the current annual fee. If you assume that domain registration prices will increase in the future, this saves you money in the long-term by paying the current year's registration rate for future year registrations. The domain expires on the purchase date from one to 10 years in the future.
You can renew a domain at any time, but you must renew it before it expires. The renewal can extend the domain's registration up to 10 years in the future. For example, if a domain has five years remaining before it's up for renewal, you can renew it at any time for an additional one to five years for a maximum of 10 years.
Each top-level domain could have a different price. For example, there might be different prices for .com, .org and .net domains. The domain registration business is competitive, and most registrars provide online coupon codes with substantial discounts on registrations and renewals. It's uncommon to pay full retail price for a registration or renewal since registrars often have online coupon codes. For example, in September 2013, a GoDaddy registration costs $12.99 for one year. However, you can find a coupon code to register up to three domain names for 99 cents each.
Because it might be easy to forget that a domain you registered five years ago needs to be renewed, domain registrars notify you by email that a domain needs to be renewed, and most registrars offer an auto-renew option. Provided you have a current method of payment on file, the registrar automatically renews your registration the day after it expires. When you let your domains autorenew, however, you pay full retail price for each renewal. Make sure an automatic renewal doesn't include additional features by default, or the registrar could charge you between $20 and $40 to renew a domain for a single year.
Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.