Q What is a domain name?
A domain name is key to doing just about anything on the internet, from setting up a website to sending and receiving email to building an online shop. Today there are over 280 million registered domain names. The Domain Name System (DNS) which supports these names is the engine that makes the internet simple and accessible for users around the world.
The DNS is not just important to the smooth running of the internet, but it also plays a very important part in everyday life. Visits to the ATM, paying for groceries with your credit card, placing a long-distance telephone call – all would be impossible if the DNS was not functioning. These activities rely on the internet or internet technology, and the DNS is a fundamental part of the internet – without DNS the internet does not work.
The Domain Name System performs the simple, straightforward function of mapping names to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and back. Every server on the internet has an IP address, represented as a series of four numbers separated by dots (e.g. 188.8.131.52). But, like telephone numbers, these long series of numbers can be difficult to remember. The DNS allows people to use names, instead of numbers, to reach websites and send email messages.
The rightmost label in a domain name (such as .com or .net) is referred to as the top level domain or TLD. There are many TLDs available. The DNS forms a hierarchy – each TLD has many second level domains (e.g. abcd in www.abcd.com), each second level domain can have many third level domains (e.g. controlpanel in controlpanel.abcd.com) and so on.
After a user enters a domain name into a web browser, a behind-the-scenes process called resolution uses a global network of name servers to look up the IP address corresponding to the domain name. Web browsers and other applications need IP addresses and not names to contact the appropriate web server and retrieve the right web page. The technology, servers, guidelines and processes that make up these name servers form the backbone of the DNS. The DNS is the low-level protocol that enables communications over the internet for applications like credit card processing, bank transactions and telephony as well as web browsing and email.
How Registration Works:
A user wanting to register a domain name contacts a registrar. Registrars are companies that sell domain names to end users.
Upon receiving a user’s requested domain name, the registrar first verifies that the name is available by checking with the registry that manages the corresponding TLD. If the name is available, the registrar registers the domain name with the registry, which adds the name to its database. Now, no one else can register that domain name during the term of the registration. The owner of the domain is known as the registrant.
Q What domain names (extensions) can I register with you?
We are able to register most domain extensions for you. If you can’t find the one you want on our website, please contact our team and they will be able to advise if we can obtain the domain for you, along with any requirements the registry have in place.
Q Registration requirements
In order to complete the registration of any domain we require full, valid contact details:
Company Name (if not a company, insert your own name)
Full Postal Address, including a valid postcode where applicable
Contact Telephone Number, in the correct format i.e. +44.1419316400
Contact Email Address
If any of this information is incomplete or invalid, we will be unable to complete the domain registration. We will endeavour to contact you to obtain valid information to complete the registration of your domain (dependant on there being valid contact information in your account) however we cannot guarantee the domain will still be available once the changes have been made. Please ensure when purchasing your domain that you have given us sufficient information to process your request first time.
For some extensions there are additional requirements. Due to the volume of different extensions we provide it would be impractical to provide a full list here, however we have provided a list of the most common queries below:
.de – must provide a valid address in Germany to be used as the admin contact.
.eu – must provide a valid address within the European Union.
.fr – must provide a valid address within the European Union. Where the legal registrant is an individual we need the date and country of birth (if the country of birth is France, we also need the city). Where the legal registrant is a company, we need the VAT or SIRET/SIREN number.
.it – must provide a valid address within the European Union. Where the legal registrant is a company, we need the VAT number.
.uk - legal registrant names must be a minimum of 4 characters, and at least 3 of them must be letters (a-z A-Z).
Q If I register my domain name now, when can I start using it? How long do I own it for?
Registration of the most common domain names such as .com, .org, .uk etc. generally take up to 24/48 hours to propagate around the internet.
Some other domains like .ac, .de etc. can take longer due to the different registry processes.
Even though registrant details may appear online in as little as a few moments, it does not mean that you can access your email and/or website straight away. This is because it takes time for these updates to 'propagate' to the thousands of servers that make up the Internet and become visible to all users worldwide. Your newly registered domain name will point to a generic holding page until a web site is uploaded, or redirection put in place.
Please note that we cannot guarantee a domain has been successfully registered until we receive confirmation from the registry concerned. If there are any problems with registering your chosen domain, our Support Team will contact you as soon as possible.
By registering a domain name with us, you are agreeing to abide by the domain registration policy that we are obliged to have in place by ICANN (Internet Council for Assigned Names and Numbers at www.icann.org) and other regional authorities through whom we register domains.
When you purchase your domain you can choose your registration duration up to ten years (for most extensions). The domain will remain registered to you for as long as you continue to pay for the renewal on the anniversary of the registration date.
Q Can a domain name be cancelled or changed?
Once a domain has been registered, it is generally not possible to cancel or change this.
If you have registered a new domain name with the wrong details or have made a spelling error that you wish to correct, please contact us directly for further assistance. Depending on the domain extension, we may be able to offer a solution.
An existing domain cannot be cancelled outright, it can only be set to cancel on the next expiry date. Our Customer Services team will be able to process this for you, they can be contacted by ‘phone or by submitting a question through your online helpdesk.
Q I forgot to renew my domain name, what happens now?
If you don't renew your domain then web site or email services based on the domain will not work because the domain will no longer be active.
When a gTLD name expires, there is a grace period of 40 days* where the domain can be renewed without additional charges.
After the grace period an expired domain name may enter Redemption status.
Recovering my domain
Once the domain has lapsed from your account or entered Redemption status, you will need to contact our Sales team as it will need to be manually restored. Please note that once your domain has entered Redemption status, there is an additional fee of £99 +VAT (if applicable) on top of the renewal fee.
We strongly recommend that you renew your domain names in advance of expiry through your control panel. Remember, you can renew most domains for up to 10 years to help ensure you do not incur downtime or additional costs for your domain, site and email.
*Legacy domains may have a different timescale before entering Redemption status.
Q What is Redemption?
The Redemption Period is a Registry-imposed hold period for domains that occurs after the registrar has instructed the Registry that the domain should be dropped.
Domains will have reached the Redemption Period state if they have been EXPIRED for at least 40 days and were NOT renewed by the owner or the registrar. Normally domains would be deleted at this point, but the Redemption Period provides the owner with one last chance to recover the domain before it’s dropped and potentially re-registered by a new owner.
The Redemption process is costly, both in fees and in effort. We strongly recommend that you renew your domains before expiry, or during the grace period when a renewal can be conducted in real time and for no additional cost.
Of course, there is always the option of waiting out the entire grace period, which would be approximately 40 (Post Expiry Grace period) + 30 (Redemption Period) + 5 (Pending Delete period) = 75 days.
Domains with the .uk extension are suspended if they have been EXPIRED for at least 30 days and were NOT renewed by the owner or the registrar. The domain will then be deleted approximately 92 days after the expiry date. Note that .uk domains do not have a redemption period at all and will remain suspended until they are renewed or deleted – redemption fees do not apply.
During the grace period all associated services will cease working until the name is renewed (if and when this happens). Also, nameserver/DNS changes will not be possible.
Assuming that the domain DNS and hosts are still in place, the domain will begin working within 48 hours of renewal.
The Redemption Period is a costly process, as previously mentioned. There is a charge of £99 plus VAT for this service, on top of the domain renewal fee.
Domains can only be retrieved from redemption period by the original registrant, and not by someone else who just wants to newly register the domain.
*Legacy domains may have a different timescale before entering Redemption status.