Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

Domain Registration (*)

Q. I let my domain expire a while ago. Now I'm trying to renew it and I get "renewal failed." Why?

If you let your domain expire, you can usually renew it as normal during the renewal grace period. After that, it moves into the deletion process.

Here are the states a domain goes through during the deletion process:

Queued for deletion ("QueuedForDeletion")
Domains "queued for deletion" are in a weird limbo state between renewable and restorable. They are no longer eligible for regular renewal but cannot be restored yet. Their status should shift to "pending delete restorable" after about seven days.
Pending delete restorable ("PendingDeleteRestorable")
This is typically the only state where a domain can be restored after the renewal grace period ends. The duration of this state varies by TLD but is usually in the range of 30-40 days.
Pending delete ("PendingDelete")
This is the last state before deletion. Once a domain moves into this state, it can no longer be restored and must be re-registered as a new domain once the deletion is completed. This state typically persists for one to three days.

If your domain is in the "PendingDeleteRestorable" state, you can place a restore order. However, registries charge a hefty fee for such recoveries, which we must pass along.

The fee to restore a domain is shown on our public site. It varies widely between top-level domains. We do not profit from this fee and have no control over the restoration process. We are merely passing along our costs.

What does this mean? If your domain has expired and is now past the grace period, you have two options:

  1. Pay the stiff restoration fee to recover your domain.
  2. Wait for the domain to be completely deleted and then try to re-register it.

If you want to restore a domain, use the "Restore" button on the "Status" line of the "Registration Details" box of the "Registration Details" panel for your domain in our member interface. If there is no "Restore" button there, the domain is not in a restorable status.

If you choose to wait, you risk the domain being registered immediately upon deletion by domain profiteers. The chance of this happening is based on the domain's previous popularity and public perception of its traffic stats. If a profiteer registers the domain, they will often want hundreds or thousands of dollars to sell it back to you.

If you choose to pay the redemption fee, it may take one or two days for the domain to reactivate fully. As with all renewals performed after the expiration date, there is no way to speed this up.

Neither choice is attractive, so we recommend against letting your domain registration lapse unintentionally. If a domain you want to keep expires, renew it immediately. But try to avoid letting important domains expire at all. There is no penalty for early renewal, and we offer domain auto-renewal for critical domains that must not be allowed to expire.

If you are in this situation and want to pay the redemption fee:

  1. Make sure you have the funds on deposit.
  2. Go to the Domains tab.
  3. In the domain list, select the "Manage" button in the "Registrar" column for your domain.
  4. On the Registration Details panel:
    1. Find the Registration Details box in the upper left.
    2. Find the "Status" line.
    3. Select the "Restore" button.
  5. Read the Restore Domain panel.
  6. If you want to restore the domain, select the "Place Restore Order" button.

It is typically unnecessary, but you can also request a manually-assisted restore through our assistance request system; the manual restore cost is $5.00 higher than the automated restore cost to cover our manual processing time. (This extra cost for a manual restore is waived for subscription members.) However, we do not have any special powers to restore domains beyond what the interface provides. This capability is useful in an emergency if the registrar's automated systems are having problems.