Posted In: Digital Brand Management, Domaining

How Long Does It Take to Register A Domain?

At one time or another you may have wondered, “why is my domain name taking so long to be registered?”. The answer is that not all domains are registered the same. Every domain is owned and operated by an entity called a Registry. For example, Verisign is one of the world’s most notable Registries because it operates two of the most popular domain endings .com domain and .net domain as well as others. Every domain is a unique brand and therefore has its own requirements and processes for registration so the time it takes to register a domain varies.

The Domain Registration Process

Step 1: Registration requirements

Some domains are easier to register than others. While many domains are unrestricted and open to all to register, others are held to a stricter standard. There are verified domains that require documents and go through a verification process to make sure the intention of the domain registration aligns with the domain brand’s policies. Some Country Code domains require a local presence or proof of business registration in order to register a domain name in that country.

Step 2: Check requirements 

When a domain is registered it goes through our team of domain service specialists who make sure all registration requirements are met and all necessary documents submitted. When everything is in order, it is passed along to the Registry for activation and release of the domain name.

Step 3: Get with the Registry for approval

This stage is where the answer to how long does it take to register a domain varies the most. A domain registration can take anywhere from 24 hours to 3 months, however a majority of domains can be registered within a day as you can see in the breakdown below.

But you may be wondering how it can take up to 3 months to register a domain name, I mean aren’t you a technology company providing a technological service after all? Seems silly yes, however all of these extreme instances involve Country Code domains which are often times regulated by the government, a university or an information technology entity. Some Registry systems are less advanced and don’t operate with the resources we are accustomed to, like a fax machine.

For example, .MO domain for Macao in Asia requires: a copy of the organization registration from Macao SAR, business registration, business establishment (M1 form), or sales tax collection notice (M8 form) with company contact information and copy of trademark if applicable, all of which must be physically mailed to the Registry in Macao. Time-frame for .mo domain registration is 3 months.

.JO domain for Jordan is another example that requires strenuous measures such as getting a copy of the company certificate notarized by Jordan’s embassy or secretary of state. Time-frame for .jo domain registration is 2 months.

.AI domain for Anguilla just recently became popular for Artificial Intelligence within the past few years. Although .AI registrations are manual (oh the irony!) the team behind the AI domain registry is extremely responsive, with turnaround for registration being the same day in most cases.

Step 4: Propagate the domain name

The final step is to push the domain name to the root servers, once this is done your domain name will be live. The DNS root name servers translate URLs into IP addresses so that instead of typing a string of random numbers into our web browsers we can type in the URLs we are used to seeing. These root servers are a network of hundreds of servers in countries around the world. However, together they are identified as 13 named servers.

There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of the domain name system than you would imagine, including a narrative of 14 people in the world who hold and protect 7 keys that safeguard the mechanism for authenticating the data in the domain name system (no really) but we aren’t going to go down that rabbit hole today. Just know that we are doing everything we can to ensure your domain name is registered first and promptly so you can get to doing the things you want to be doing online.