Domain Registration

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A domain registration is the name of your site, which must be purchased in order for the domain to resolve online. There are a variety of different names and Top Level Domains (TLDs) that you can choose from in order to register. This article provides general information in regards to domain registrations with DreamHost.

The Basics

Domain registration (or TLD - Top Level Domain) is the first half of a two-step process for getting a site on the Internet. It takes care of providing contact information for both the registrant (the owner of the domain name) and the nameservers; the latter handle the actual domain-name-to-IP-address lookups.

Note2 icon.png Note: It’s possible to delete a domain registration within 5 days of purchase. This is often necessary if it was misspelled when purchased. However this time period is not available for certain TLDs. Depending on the TLD you purchased, it’s possible there is no grace period at all.

The registration information for any domain name can be looked up with a WhoIs search. You can take a look at the following wiki article for more details on the WhoIs information and how you can retrieve it for your domain name:

Note2 icon.png Note: The common .COM/.NET/.ORG/ and .INFO (as well as other TLDs) offer privacy for the contact information you provide when you register. However other TLDs may not offer any privacy protection. You’ll need to check into the TLD you wish to purchase to see if privacy is available.

You can read more about our free privacy setting in the following wiki article:

Internationalized domain name

See also: IDN

We offer a wide variety of domain names other than the standard .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO domains that are more commonly used. A lot of these other TLDs we offer are for other countries. You can see the various domain extensions we offer through the panel at (Panel > ‘Domain’ > ‘Registrations’).

  • When the Registrations page opens, click the ‘See all domain extensions and pricing’ link.
Note2 icon.png Note: Each international TLD is managed by a registry for that domain extension. Because of this, the policies and details for each section of this wiki may or may not apply to certain domains.

Free Registrations

The DreamHost shared hosting service provides you with one free domain registration for the full year. You will receive the free registration credit again, 11 months after you last used it. This will allow you to renew your registration for free before it expires.

Please note that you can use your free registration credit on any COM, .NET, .ORG, or .INFO TLD, and you can use it on one registration this year and another next year, as long as it's not "locked" to any particular domain.

You can read more about the free registration offered with the shared hosting service in the following wiki article:

Renewals / Auto Renewals

By default, domain registrations are not automatically renewed. This is different from hosting plans, which are automatically renewed.

You can set the automatic renewal of your domain registration in your panel at (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’).

Dom reg1.fw.png

On the ‘Registrations’ page, you will see this column for your domain registration in the far right. In the image above, the auto-renewal option is already set since the word ‘YES’ is in bold. Click the other links to set the other status.

  • The yes link will set the auto-renewal for the domain. The notices will still be sent as per usual, but the notice will state that the domain will be automatically renewed when it is set to expire and the charge for that automatic renewal will be applied to your account instead of requiring a payment for this up front.
  • The let expire link will set the domain to expire on its expiration date, but the notices for this will still be sent as per ICANN’s policy with regards to notifying the registration owner of this information.
  • The ask link will send notices to ask you if you wish to renew it. Manual renewals will require payment up front when clicking the blue ‘Renew!’ button for that domain on the ‘Registrations’ page.

Regardless of how you set up the renewal process for your domain, the notices for the domain’s expiration will still be sent even if it’s set to ‘let expire’.

Starting 5 weeks before the domain’s expiration date, we will start sending you notices of the domain’s expiration and how you can renew it if you wish to do so.

For more details with regards to the renewal of your domain registration, you can review the following wiki article:

Dom reg2.fw.png

The image above shows the renewal will be processed for free as it’s showing a $0.00 price. Clicking the ‘Renew!’ button will renew the domain within 30 minutes.

  • If you owe something for the registration renewal, the cost will be listed in the drop-down menu in the screenshot above. This charge will have to be paid up front for manual renewals.
Note2 icon.png Note: You can click the drop-down menu to renew the domain for multiple years. However, we only allow up to 3 years renewal into the future for any domain name.


For an overview on how to transfer your registration to DreamHost, or away from DreamHost, please review the following wiki articles:


If a registration expires we will hold it for 30 days in the case that you have either forgot to renew the registration or you have changed your mind. In this period you will be able to renew the registration at the regular price. This is called the renewal grace period for a domain.

Note2 icon.png Note: Not all domain TLDs will offer a grace period. That all depends on the registry policy for that specific domain TLD. However, the 30 day grace period applies to the standard .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO domains.

Per ICANN policies, regardless of whether you wish to keep the domain name or not, as long as the registration is active, you will continue to receive the notifications for the domain name you own. There is no way around this as ICANN requires that the owner of the domain name is notified every step of the way until the domain is finally deleted from the registry.

Also according to ICANN rules, you can transfer a domain registration away from DreamHost if it’s expired, but unfortunately, the domain’s WhoIs details cannot be edited after the domain expires. So, DreamHost recommends that the transfer of your registration is completed before it expires. Otherwise, you will have to renew it with DreamHost in order to adjust any WhoIs information.


When a domain expires, most TLDs will have a 30 day renewal grace period where you can renew the domain at the standard cost. Once that grace period expires, the domain will be placed into another 30 day period called redemption with the current registrar that issued us the license for the domain.

The redemption period, for most TLDs, will last for another 30 days. During this time, you have one more chance to redeem the domain name, but this will cost an additional fee to our registrar to process the redemption.

If you would still like to retrieve the domain in this stage, the registrar charges $100.00 to redeem it. Then you will just need to pay for the standard yearly registration cost.

To redeem a domain name during the redemption period, you will need to click the ‘Redeem this domain!’ button through the ‘Registrations’ page on your account panel. This process will prompt you to pay for the redemption cost at $100 before you can complete this process.

The redemption will require some time for that to get processed. Please allow up to 30 minutes and if the domain is not redeemed and renewed at that time, feel free to contact our support staff for assistance in your panel at (Panel > ‘Support’ > ‘Contact Support’).