Learn how to renew your domain, how to qualify for the Automated Domain Renewal Service, what are the states of domain expiration, and how to troubleshoot issues relating to domain renewal.
Automated Domain Renewal Service
The Automated Domain Renewal Service, or ADRS, automatically initiates the renewal process for all valid domains fifteen (15) days before a domain's expiration date. Please verify that you understand all policies and procedures before you register your domain for this program.
Renewal column status codes
When logged in to DomainCentral, in the domain table there is a column called "Renewal." Here, one of several status codes may appear:
- Auto indicates that the domain is enabled and eligible for processing by our Automated Domain Renewal Service.
- Fifteen days before your domain's expiration date, our system will initiate the renewal. If you have an unused domain credit, we will apply that credit to the renewal. If not, we will bill the credit card associated with your plan.
- If there is a problem with either your payment or the renewal process, we will notify you by email. If the problem is not resolved, your domain may not be renewed.
- Manual indicates that the domain is eligible for the Automated Domain Renewal Service, but that the service has not been enabled.
- Enable the Automated Domain Renewal Service.
What happens if a domain is not renewed?
If a domain is not renewed after its expiration date, it will enter the next stage of its lifespan: the Expired stage. As early as one day after a domain expires, the domain name will be deactivated and replaced with a parking page indicating that the domain name has expired.
To retrieve the domain name from its expired status, at least a 1 year renewal fee must be paid. Log in to DomainCentral to renew your domain.
Manually Renew a domain registered through FatCow
Important: Renew your domain at least 30 days prior to its expiration to avoid the risk of losing your domain and ensure that your renewal is successfully processed. You can also use our Automated Domain Renewal Service for domains registered through FatCow.
To manually renew a domain registered through FatCow:.
- Log in to DomainCentral
- Click the "+" next to the domain that you want to renew to expand the domain settings menu.
- From the Overview tab, click Expiration (you can also select the Renew tab to directly reach this menu).
Note that the example domain has a Renewal column code of Manual, and will not renew automatically. You can also click Manual next to a domain to be directly taken to the Renew tab.
- On the Renew tab, from the dropdown menu, select the number of years that you want to renew the domain for.
- Check Add Domain Privacy if you want to add Domain Privacy or WHOIS privacy to this domain.
- Click Renew.
- Enter your payment information, then click Continue. FatCow will send a receipt for your domain renewal to your administrative email address.
- A new table, "Recent Domains," will appear above your list of domains in DomainCentral displaying the current renewal status of your domain. An example is shown below:
- Once the domain has successfully been renewed, a confirmation message will be displayed in this table. An example is shown below.
- Refresh the page to show the updated number of "days left" for your domain once it has been successfully renewed. Please note that it may take a few minutes for this number to be updated.
Enroll a domain in the Automated Domain Renewal Service
You can enroll all qualifying domains in ADRS (the Automated Domain Renewal Service). The renewal process for domains enrolled in ADRS begins automatically at 15 days prior to their expiration date.
- Log in to DomainCentral
- Select the domain you wish to modify, and click the "+" icon to the left of the domain name. Note that the example domain has a Renewal column code of Manual, meaning that it is eligible for ADRS enrollment.
- Select the Renew tab in the domain settings menu.
- Select Automatic Renewal in the Renewal Schedule section.
- Click Save. A confirmation will display indicating that your domain is now set to renew automatically 15 days prior to its expiration date. The Renewal column will also be updated to show Auto in green font.
You can go back to manual renewal for your domain at any time by selecting the Manual Renewal option in the Renewal Schedule section.
Check if your domain has Automated Domain Renewal Service (ADRS)
To check or verify that your domain is enrolled in ADRS:
- Log in to DomainCentral.
- Domains that have a value of Auto in the Renewal column are enrolled in ADRS.
I renewed my hosting plan. Why is my domain expired?
Domain registrations and renewals are separate processes from hosting plan renewals. Domains renew automatically only if you signed up for the Automated Domain Renewal Service.
What if I get messages from companies that aren't FatCow?
No, there is no need to respond to solicitations from the Domain Registry of America (DRoA) or similar companies. FatCow has no affiliation with these companies, and we do not provide any domain or customer information to them.
The notice you received is not actually a domain renewal notice, but an invitation to transfer your domain from your current registrar to another company. DRoA is one of many companies that resort to tactics like this. The notices are misleading, because they look like invoices. You are not required to transfer your domain from your current registrar.
As a general practice, if you receive a hosting or domain-related invoice from a company that you don't recognize, please contact The Moo Crew.
Domain requirements for enrollment in ADRS
FatCow offers the Automated Domain Renewal Service for domains that meet the following requirements:
- Domain must be registered with one of the following registrars:
- Network Solutions
- Domain must be registered in or transferred under FatCow's as its registration service provider.
If you are interested in using Automated Domain Renewal and your domain does not meet the above criteria, consider a registrar transfer for your domain.
Important: If your domain name expires in less than 15 days, the Automated Domain Renewal will not renew your domain. You will be required to renew your domain manually.
Domain Expiration and Deletion
The "Deletion Cycle" of a domain name ranges from as short as 36 days to as long as 80 days. More information on these stages in the lifespan of a domain is available at the Understanding the Lifespan of a Domain knowledgebase article.
A brief summary of the deletion cycle and the various statuses are as follows:
EXPIRED: A domain name that has expired can stay in the Expired status from 1 to approximately 40 days. It is most common to see domains stay in EXPIRED status for approximately 30 days. A domain name in the EXPIRED status can still be renewed for the cost of a one year registration.
REDEMPTION GRACE PERIOD (RGP): After a domain name has been through the EXPIRED status, it falls into RGP where it remains for approximately 30 days. This period is ICANN mandated and cannot be shortened. Once a domain name falls into RGP it becomes much more expensive to retrieve and renew. Expect to spend upwards of $160US and as much as a week to "redeem" a domain name that has fallen into RGP.
NOTE: During both the EXPIRED and RGP status, a Registrar does have the authority to place the domain name in an auction service where it could potentially be sold to a third party. This can begin starting 30 days after the domain's expiration date.
PENDING DELETE: After the RGP a domain enters the PENDING DELETE status and cannot be renewed or redeemed. Domain names are PENDING DELETE for approximately 5 days. After this status, the domain name will be released to the public and anyone can register the name. You may be able to wait and register it upon release. Be aware that if your domain name is popular it may be snapped up by one of the many "back-order" companies like SnapNames.com.
Automated domain renewal service rules and policies
When enabled, the Automated Domain Renewal Service will automatically initiate the renewal process for all valid domains fifteen (15) days before a domain's expiration date. If your account has an available Domain Credit, we will apply that Domain Credit to the domain renewal, otherwise we will attempt to charge the credit card on file for your account.
NOTE: If we fail to renew the domain 15 days prior to its expiration, we will again attempt to renew the domain at 5 days before expiration.
Important: an unused Domain Credit or a valid credit card must be accessible through your account for a domain to be renewed through the Automated Domain Renewal Service.
By participating in the Automated Domain Renewal Service, you are authorizing FatCow to act on your behalf to initiate the renewal of your domain(s) and charge your credit card for the renewal. If we are unable to renew your domain, we will send a message to the email address on file for your account, providing instructions for renewing the domain manually.
If your renewal is processed by credit card, you will be charged the price advertised on the FatCow site on the day that the charge is applied.
FatCow's Automated Domain Renewal Service can be used for domains registered through the following domain registrars: Tucows/OpenSRS, FastDomain, Network Solutions and eNom, provided the domain was registered in, or transferred to, FatCow's master account with the registrar. At this time, the Automated Domain Renewal Service does not work with other registrars or domains registered to a different master account. If you would like to use the Automated Domain Renewal Service and your domain does not meet the above criteria, please contact our Support Team to request a registrar transfer.
Your participation in the Automated Domain Renewal Service does not guarantee that your domain name will be successfully renewed. A successful renewal depends on many factors, including, but not limited to, the availability of (i) valid and current credit card and billing information, (ii) Domain Credits, (iii) correct and valid contact information, (iv) the registrar processing the renewal request correctly, and (v) the domain has not already expired when attempting to enable ADRS.
When enabled, the Automated Domain Renewal Service will instruct our system to automatically renew any valid domain(s) (see below) on your account fifteen days before its renewal date. If your account has an unused Domain Credit, we will use that to renew your domain on your behalf, otherwise we will attempt to charge your credit card.
If you feel you meet these criteria and are experiencing difficulty enabling the Service, please contact support.