This is what www.tedcruz.com looks like, how embarrassing.
So how do you make sure this never happens to your website?
We all know that domain names have a shelf life. However, it is not as hard as it may seem to prevent squatters from getting a hold of your domain name after it expires. This is because of the 30-day Deleted Name Redemption Grace Period. This Grace Period works by placing your expired domain name on a registry-hold. This hold prevents your domain name from functioning, which should alert you that it is expired. As long as you are within the 30-day period, you can renew your registration through your registrar, if they offer this service, for the renewal fee and a service charge.
The 30-day Deleted Name Redemption Grace Period is the standard service offered for the renewal of expired domain names. However, other registrars have adopted alternative ways to alert you, such as emails or billing attempts, depending on your service agreement. For example, I took a look at the GoDaddy.com policies for expired domain names. If you register your domain name with GoDaddy.com the following is your time frame to renew your domain name:
- Days 1: a billing attempt is made to renew the domain name, and if it fails the domain is set to parking.
- Day 5-12: a second and third billing attempt is made and the domain name remains in parking, and can be renewed at no extra cost.
- Day 19: the domain name can be renewed for a redemption fee plus the renewal fee.
- Day 26: the domain name is added to an expired domain name auction.
- Day 36: the auction ends and if there are no back orders or bidders, the domain name is sent to a closeout auction.
- Day 41: the closeout auction ends.
- Day 43: the domain name is assigned to the winner of one of the auctions or a back order, or if there are no winners the domain name is returned to the registry.
So, with a service like GoDaddy.com, a domain name may be renewed until day 19 after expiration or reclaimed through the auction until day 42.
It is recommended that you review the terms of the registrar’s service agreement before you use them to register your domain name. Also, keep your contact information updated with your registrar, so you can receive alerts about your domain name, and in case the registrar changes the terms of its service.
Some registrars will offer an auto-renewal service for your registration. This largely depends on your service agreement and the registrar having a means to automatically charge you for the renewal.
Overall, the best way to protect your website from squatters is to choose your registrar wisely and be aware of the terms in your service agreement. Also, keep your contact information with your registrar updated so you can receive alerts and notifications about your domain name registration.
For more information on the topic of domain names you can check out the ICANN’s Beginner’s Guide to Domain Names at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/domain-names-beginners-guide-06dec10-en.pdf.
Please contact us if you have any questions on this topic. We are happy to explain what we can do to help your business protect its brand.
Alexandria Nagel is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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