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.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.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 article for more details on the WHOIS information and how you can retrieve it for your domain name:

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.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 the free privacy setting in the following article:

Free registrations

The DreamHost shared hosting service provides you with one free domain registration for the first full year.

Please note that you can use your free registration credit on any .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, or .XYZ TLD.

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


Visit the Renewals article for details on how to renew your domain registration at DreamHost.

The latest pricing can be found in the "List of Current TLDs and Pricing" table on the following page, which dynamically generates the most up-to-date pricing info for new domain registrations and domain renewals:


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


If a registration expires, DreamHost holds 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 are able to renew the registration at the regular price. This is called the renewal grace period for a domain.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: Not all domain TLDs 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 must renew it with DreamHost in order to adjust any WHOIS information.


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

The redemption period, for most TLDs, lasts another 30 days. During this time, you have one more chance to redeem the domain name, but this will cost an additional fee to the 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'll need to pay for the standard yearly registration cost.

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

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

Internationalized domain names

Internationalized Domain Names are domain names which contain characters other than unaccented Roman letters (A-Z), digits (0-9), and the hyphen. For instance, 日本語 contains Japanese characters. DreamHost offers 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 offered are for other countries. You can see the various domain extensions in the panel at (Panel > ‘Domain’ > ‘Registrations’).

  • When the Registrations page opens, click the ‘See all domain extensions and pricing’ link.
Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.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 article may or may not apply to certain domains.

Registering and hosting your IDN

To register an IDN directly in your panel

  1. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page.
    01 IDN.fw.png
  2. Enter your domain name, including international characters, into the “Register a new domain” box.
  3. Click on the Check Availability button.
    Your IDN is converted into standard characters. This is known as “Punycode”, which you can read about here. Although the domain name is converted, once it's registered, you can use the international version of the domain name to access it online.
    02 IDN.fw.png
  4. On the next page, enter your contact details and submit your registration request.
  5. After the domain is registered, visit the Add a domain article to set up hosting.
    03 IDN.fw.png
  6. Enter your domain name in the panel's 'Fully Hosted' section in the converted format, without entering any special or international characters.
Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: Keep in mind that most modern browsers display IDNs properly, but if your visitors are not using browsers that support IDNs, they may not be able to access your international domain name with their browser.


DreamHost does not currently support the registration of IDN TLDs (the extension after the first part of the example name - .com is a TLD) such as:

  • .xn--55qx5d (.网络)
  • .xn--io0a7i (.公司)

These are not currently a component of the ICANN DNS root and thus are not available to all internet users.


Some international registrars have changed the way they handle TLDs. The registrations no longer include reference to the nameservers themselves but instead they reference an NSSET ID. You must register a group of nameservers to get this ID, then you can use it when registering the domain. The advantage is claimed to be that you can edit NSSET (change the nameservers) and this is applied to all domains referencing the same NSSET.

The TLDS that are known to use this are:

  • .cz (Czech Republic)

The NSSET ID you must use is "DREAMHOST".

Registration terms and conditions

When you register a domain name with DreamHost, you also enter into a legal agreement. You can find more information about these agreements at the following link:

For most domains, the terms and conditions are located in the legal documentation at:

You can also view the registrant agreement for .CA domains (Canada’s ccTLD) at:

Additional legal terms and policies can all be viewed at: