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What Happens to Expired Domain Names Kenya Print

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Unlike diamonds, domain names aren't forever. In fact, they're remarkably transient and most domain names are only "bought" (which really means registered with you as the owner) for one year at a time. The longest you can register the most common domain extensions is 10 years - if you do that, you need a very good diary system to remind you as your email address and other details will most likely have changed in that time and you may not get the automatic reminder that your domain is due to expire

Expired domains go through a process - a bit like the leaves of a tree turn from green to brown before they drop in the autumn.

Because it's possible that the original registrant may just have forgotten to renew their domain.

This means that there is normally a grace period that allows for the original registrant to suddenly remember that they need to renew their registration and pay their domain name supplier to do this.

In this limbo period, the domain will not be available for anyone else to register but equally it won't go anywhere if someone types it into their browser or clicks a link pointing to it.

Once the initial grace period has ended, the next part of the process varies according to the domain extension and also the policy of the particular domain registrar.

Each extension has similar but different rules covering this second period.

ICANN - the organisation that is responsible domains - allows for an initial reminder period followed by a maximum of 30 days, after which the domain must be terminated and returned to the pool of available names.

In Kenya, Kenic  allows 90 days after expiry for registrants to renew their registration.

Once the limbo period has expired, a few things can happen.

If there is unlikely to be any interest in the domain, nothing happens unless or until someone else thinks that name is a good idea and registers it.

If there is likely to be interest in the domain, it can be auctioned.

This depends on the registrar. For instance, GoDaddy has a specific section dedicated to auctioning off domains that it has previously registered and this is publicly on display.

There are other services such as SnapNames that operate a similar auction process and where you can attempt to get a domain name that's caught your eye before any rivals.

Because the procedure of returning expired domains to the pool of available ones isn't totally precise this means that if a potentially popular name has expired, you may need to bid via more than one auctioneer to increase the chance of getting it as soon as it has lapsed.

Each of the domain auction houses has its own systems to check regularly whether a domain that was due for expiration has finally fully expired.

If there are a large number of links - and therefore potential traffic - pointing to a domain, it may well get bought by a company that specialises in monetising this kind of domain name.

They can monetise recently expired domains in one of several ways - putting up a landing or search page is common with each of the links on that page leading to a list of paid-for adverts. Another common way of monetising expired domains is to sell the traffic that is still going to the domain and send it on to webmasters who are willing to pay for the visitors to be sent to their site.

As ever with the internet, the answer is "it's complicated" but eventually expired domain names either get re-used or quietly wither away and disappear until someone else likes the sound of them.

If you're searching for a domain name, check out our help on finding the right domain name via Email: or Phone: +254 722 209 414


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