One of the most fundamental and important steps in building
a business identity online is often one of the most
futile . . . registering a domain name. So many common
spellings and business names have already been taken,
in most cases by people who aren't even using them or
who just want to sell them to the highest bidder. However,
if your company name or the exact spelling of the .com
domain you wanted are already taken, you're not entirely
out of luck.
Currently, over 750,000 domains expire
every month. This fact gives you a chance at acquiring
expired domain names as soon as they become available.
There are more than 30 million domain
names that have been registered under .com, .net, and
.org. Although there are so many domain names taken,
only about ten percent of domain name are in active
use. The others eventually expire and become available
to whoever can claim them first. Clearly, your best
chance at a valuable domain name is to "back-order"
one that has already been registered.
Services That Help You Protect Your Domain Name
There are online services that specialize in helping
companies acquire expired domain names. The most effective
and cost efficient of these is Snap Names and their
domain 'back-ordering' network.
The way Snap Names works is that you order a "Snap"
on a particular domain name that you want to register
the moment it expires and is made available to the public.
Any expired domains that are registered by one of the
18 major Internet registrars working on behalf of Snap
Names are automatically registered in the account details
of the person who purchased the "Snap" on
that particular name. If a domain expires and drops
but is registered by a registrar which is not part of
the Snap Names network, you will be the first to be
notified by Snap Names and can exchange your domain
back-order subscription to another domain.
In addition to Snap Names, there are some other services
that basically function as expired domain auction sites.
The most well-known of these web sites are NameWinner,
Pool, NIC Genie, Godday Backordering and Expire Fish.
Of course, if the domain name you want is a very common,
popular, or is simply a good one, you should certainly
expect that other people are out to get that same domain
name. Such auctions can obviously turn into small bidding
wars. There are basically no absolute guarantees that
you can get a specific domain name this way, but at least
it offers you a reasonable chance whereas without these
services you have none.
Expired Domain Names - The Expiry & Deletion
To understand how expired domain names become available,
you need to understand the typical paths a domain name
can take during its "life-cycle":
- A domain name is registered for a fixed period
of 1-10 years.
- As the expiry/renewal date approaches, the owner
of the domain name is sent reminders to renew, and
that they must pay the domain name renewal fee.
- If the domain name owner renews the name, then
the domain name returns to its status in Stage 1.
- At the renewal date, if the domain name is not
renewed it is put on hold. Another effect of the hold
period being placed upon a domain name is that the
domain name is no longer transferable to another registrar
(for example, one with a lower renewal fee!)
- Most registrars have a "grace period"
(sometimes detailed explicitly on their site or by
email, oftentimes applied without comment) after domain
names have expired. During that grace period, the
original owner of the domain name can pay to renew
their domain name (and hence remove it from "on
hold" status and reactivate it). Some registrars
may impose an additional administrative "penalty
fee" to renew domain names during their grace
period. If the domain name owner renews during the
grace period, then the name returns to Stage 1.
- At the end of the grace period, the existing owner
can no longer renew their domain name and has lost
all control over it. The domain name will return to
Understanding domain name status codes.
If the domain name is considered valuable, there may
be many interested parties lining up to try and grab
it, i.e. to attempt to secure it the moment it is deleted.
Using at least one of the services for registering
expired domain names listed on the next page can help
you be the winning bidder, or the first in line.
here to find and compare Domain Name Back Ordering Companies