By default, every Shopify account is associated with a myshopify.com URL, which is created based on the business name used during account setup. However, to change the URL that customers see for an online store, you can use a custom domain.
When it comes to custom domains, Shopify makes it easy for you to purchase and manage them directly. After purchasing a custom domain, it is registered for one year, and please note that these purchases are non-refundable. To keep your domain active and prevent any interruptions, it is crucial to renew it annually.
To simplify the renewal process and make your life easier, Shopify offers an Auto-renew feature. By enabling Auto-renew in the "Settings > Domains > Manage" menu, you won't have to worry about manually renewing your domain every year. It's like having your personal assistant take care of this important task for you, allowing you to focus on running your business smoothly.
Consequences of Not Enabling Auto-renew
Not enabling the Auto-renew feature for a domain may lead to its expiration. However, an expired domain does not instantly become available for anyone else to purchase. Instead, it enters a Grace Period lasting 40 days, during which the store owner still has the opportunity to renew the domain for another year.
If a domain reaches the Grace Period and needs to be renewed, this process cannot be completed from within the Shopify admin. Instead, assistance from Shopify Support via live chat, email, or callback is required to complete the renewal.
What Happens If the Domain is Not Renewed within the Grace Period?
If a domain is not renewed within the 40-day Grace Period, it moves into Redemption status. During this period, the domain becomes available for someone else to purchase, but the previous owner still has the chance to renew it.
The Redemption status lasts for 30 days after the Grace Period. However, any renewal options must be investigated by the Shopify Billing team. It is important to note that these timelines are approximate, and no guarantees can be made. Therefore, it is crucial to contact Shopify Support as soon as possible to escalate a domain renewal request to the Billing team.
If the domain is determined to be available to renew from the Redemption state, the cost might increase. Before initiating the renewal, the Shopify Billing team will confirm the price. You can refer to a pricing estimate for different domain extensions and their corresponding activities.
Consequences of Not Renewing within the Redemption Period
After the 30-day Redemption period ends, domains that haven't been renewed are deleted from the registry. Once deleted, anyone can purchase and register the domain. Thus, it may be possible to buy the same domain again through the Shopify admin or a third-party domain provider.
Renewing Third-Party Domains
If you purchased a domain from a provider other than Shopify (such as Google Domains, GoDaddy, or 1&1 IONOS), it is considered a third-party domain. Renewing these domains is managed externally through the third-party provider. Consequently, the renewal process and timelines may differ from those of Shopify hosted domains. If you have a third-party domain and need to renew it, please contact the domain host directly to discuss the renewal process.