Registering a domain name

How do I choose my domain name?

Technically speaking, the choice of your domain name has no effect on its functioning (with the exception of Internationalized Domain Names domains with accented letters).

Simply choose the domain name that you like the best, that is easy to remember, and that is available for registration.

Elements to take into account when choosing the name itself:

  • Length of the name: it is often difficult to find a name that is available, short, and clear. The name is limited to 63 characters. If it contains several words, you may use hyphens to separate each word.
  • Please note: The name that you choose must not infringe upon the liberties or rights of a third party (notably trademarks), and must uphold public order. In the event of doubt, please contact a legal specialist in the field.

When choosing the TLD:

  • Technically: there is no difference between the various TLDs. They are all resolved in the same way by the DNS system.
  • Contractually speaking: the conditions are different from one TLD to another, since each TLD is managed by different organizations, (a trustee authority and a registry.
  • Availability: generally speaking, one chooses a TLD depending on the availability of the name. If a domain is not available in one TLD, it might be available in another. Our whois search engine and registration form can help you see whether or not a name is available in the various TLDs that we support.
  • Price: Prices vary by extension. You can view Gandi's full price list here.

When can I purchase a domain name that has expired?

A domain that has expired is deleted in several successive stages. The deletion procedure partly depends on the registry in charge of the domain. Depending on the TLD, domains go through the following stages to deletion:

  • Domain expiration
  • Deletion of the domain: HOLD period
  • Deletion of the domain by Gandi: REDEMPTION PERIOD
  • Deletion of the domain by the registry: PENDING DELETE
  • Release of the domain name.

For each of the following TLDs, you will find the various final deletion periods of domain names registered with Gandi:

  • .com .net .org .biz .info: expiration date + 65 days → D+65
  • .name: D+35
  • .be: D+41
  • .fr: D+31 (to be confirmed by AFNIC)
  • .eu: D+41 (to be confirmed by EURid)

If you would like to purchase a domain name that is not yet available, contact the owner of the domain.

During the so-called “Redemption Period”, which does not exist for certain TLDs, the previous owner has the ability to restore their domain, often for a higher price than for a standard renewal.

At the end of all these steps, the domain once more becomes available for purchasing (new registration), with any registrar. It then becomes an issue of “first-come, first-served”.

For more details, see the full chart of renewal, restoration, and deletion times.

How can I purchase a domain name at Gandi?

You can register a new domain name from our main page or our registration page.

Enter from 1 to 50 domains in the text area, select the TLDs that you want (.com, .net, etc.), click submit to continue. If this is your first purchase at Gandi, you can create your account in the following pages. At the end of the process, you can pay by credit card (MasterCard, or Visa, not Visa Electron), or by cheque (from a French bank only). See Payment / Invoicing for more information.

Please note that:

  • Generally, the principle of “first-come, first-served” applies to the registration of domain names.
  • Your order will be processed upon reception of your payment. Each request made via our interface and for which we have not received payment cannot be considered as successful. Additionally, such a case cannot be used as any sort of proof of previous rightful ownership of the domain should a dispute occur, since we do not have a pre-reservation service. This being said, however, if you pay by credit card, your order will generally be processed quickly (usually within a few minutes).

How long before the domain is registered and activated?

After you have requested and paid for a domain name, your domain is registered by Gandi as quickly as possible (normally this occurs in a few minutes, except for a .FR domain names). As soon as you receive our order confirmation by e-mail, the domain name belongs to you, and is no longer available for anyone. Then you can manage the domain via your “Domains” page.

Our database is updated immediately, and the registry's is normally updated within a few minutes (except .FR). That's why sometimes you may not see immediately your domain name in the Whois database.

Technically, your domain may take about half a day to become available worldwide. This is the delay required for the technical information to be distributed throughout the internet. During this time, your website will not be accessible from this domain name.

This delay pertains to DNS propagation and does not depend on Gandi, but rather on the entire network of name servers that make up the internet.

Are there special conditions for some TLDs?

Depending on the TLD, certain restrictions may apply.

These conditions are made available to you on our price sheet by clicking on the TLD.

Can I change the spelling of my domain name?

Once the registration has been made, it is no longer possible to modify the name of the domain. If you made a spelling mistake in the domain name, we may be able to help you process a new registration for the correct spelling if you contact us immediately. Once 5 days have passed, it is too late in all cases.

Accidentally registering a misspelling does not entitle you to a refund. However, if you let us know as soon as possible, we may be able to cancel the registration and refund you.

Can I register several years in advance?

A domain can only be registered for a total of 10 consecutive years (except for .eu, .be, and .fr), you may, depending on your domain's expiration date, add from 1 to 9 years to your domain name.

You may keep your domain name as long as you wish, though at any given time the expiration can only be a maximum of 10 years from that time.

Why is my domain name still available for registration on other web sites?

If you have received our creation confirmation e-mail, that means that the domain has been created.

Please note that if you did not provide us with a valid e-mail address, you will not receive the confirmation e-mail, and no other creation confirmation message will be sent.

You may also receive a confirmation e-mail following the creation of your Gandi handle, even though domain name was not created. In this case, you may contact us in order to find out whether or not your order was successfully processed.

If your domain name is still available for registration on other web sites, this is because the updated information has not yet been sent to everyone by the registry.

However, note that the domain name is not really available, nobody can purchase it any more, as soon as you have received our creation confirmation e-mail.

Can I reserve a domain name and pay later?

No, most of our providers (trustee authorities and registries) do not allow this procedure.

Can I register subdomains at Gandi?

You are free to create unlimited subdomains under your own domain name.

It does not change anything about the purchase: at Gandi you will generally register a domain name, not a subdomain. (There are exceptions, like

On the technical side, to create subdomains you need to operate the nameservers (DNS). This means that you will need to contact the Company which provides you with the primary and secondary DNS. It is often your hosting company, or directly Gandi if you well know DNS zone file configuration (free “Customized DNS” service).

How to convert into ?

4 parts to take into account:

  • Technically you can not change a domain name. and are two different domain names.

But under some conditions, it can be possible to register

  • The domain can be registered only if there is no existing domain name such as, at any registrar.

The registry GNR has an updated list of the existing domains such as As the access is restricted we can not get this list for you.

But you can request GNR to tell you if you are the only one with a third level such as Specify the name of your domain.

  • If you are the only one with domain names such as, GNR will suggest deletion of these domains at the registrar.

Once done, please request GNR to tell you exactly when the domain will be free for registration.

This process is not guaranteed, the first one who purchase the domain will get it. If, between the time you inquire about the presence of other *** domains and the time you attempt to register someone else registers another domain such as, you will be unable to register

  • If you wish you can request Gandi to delete your Please notice that:
    1. A deletion before the expiration date does not open right to any refund
    2. The final deletion takes about 5 days, and can not be canceled at Gandi
    3. There is no guarantee that you will be the first one to register

Can I register a domain name with accented characters?

You can register a domain name with accented letters, or other linguistic symbols that are present in your native language (except for ”&” and ”@”). For example: société.com, società.com, compañí

More than the standard characters (letters, numbers and hyphens), the IDN system can use the specific characters of more than 350 different languages (French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, …).

The domain name is said to be thus, “international” or “IDN” (for Internationalized Domain Names, or even Localized or Multilingual domain name).

You can register your internationalized domain name with Gandi, you just need to specify the corresponding native language. IDNs use recent technology, though one that does not replace the existing global DNS infrastructure. So that the domain name can be resolved on the internet, it is thus the client's system that must be adapted to be IDN compatible, whatever the platform used. As a result, web browsers, e-mail clients, chat programs, and file transfer programs must all be made compatible with this system.

Certain navigators do not need to be updated, such as recent versions of Mozilla.

For Microsoft Internet Explorer, it is necessary to install a plug-in. This may be downloaded for free at VeriSign's website.

The IDN system is outlined in the RFC 3490, 3491, and 3492 standards; Proposed Standard.

Technically speaking, the special character is coded as described via a conversion chart. That's why an IDN always begins with these 4 characters: “xn–”. For example, bébé.com will become xn–

See Internationalized Domain Names for more information.

Last modified: 06/08/2012 at 01:18 by Amy B. (Gandi)