This tutorial will explain the different phases of a domain life cycle. It is important to understand these phases in order to make sure that your domain name stays active or to find out what options are available to you in case you would like to renew your domain.
Below is a detailed graphic of the different stages of a typical domain:
Available: While a domain name is in the 'Available' stage it can be registered by any person or organization via a domain registrar that operates under the tld authority. If you would like to register a domain and it is available for registration, you can proceed with the process via your Client Area -> Domains section -> Register New Domain.
Active: When a domain is in this phase it means that it has been already registered and it is fully functional. Domains of the most common extensions can be registered for minimum 1 year and maximum period of 10 years. During this state the domain can be renewed any time but its maximum life period cannot be extended to a period longer than 10 years. While being in this phase the domain can be renewed on the standard price rate for the domain tld via the domain registrar. Additionally, this is the only phase during which you can transfer your domain.
Expired: If a domain is not renewed before its expiration date, the domain status will be changed to Expired. Being in this phase the domain will no longer work and any website services via the domain will be no longer accessible via it. If your domain enters this phase you can renew it via your domain registrar to reactivate it on the standard pricing. The domain will stay in this phase for about 45 days and can be renewed only by its owner. If the domain is renewed it will go back to the Active phase.
Redemption/Grace Period: If a domain name is not renewed in the 45-day-period while being in the Expired state it will go into Redemption phase. Redemption period might vary depending on your domain registrar or domain extension but usually lasts for up to 30 days. During this period the domain can be renewed only by its owner but additional fees will be applied depending on the registrar to reactivate the domain.
Pending Deletion: In case you do not renew your domain name during the Expired or Redemption phase your domain will go into the Pending Deletion stage. Domains in Pending Deletion cannot be renewed and usually stay in this phase for up to 5 days until all records for the domain are removed from the domain authority zone.
Depending on the original domain registrar, the domain may be released and set back to Available status after the Pending Deletion phase. Still, some registrars might withhold the domain or/and list it on domain auction websites.
As a general rule of thumb we highly recommend to renew your domain if you need it even during the Redemption/Grace Period instead of waiting to be released for general registration after the Pending Deletion phase. Domains with higher page rank or SEO-friendly names are usually withheld.