How to Backorder a Domain

Backordering a domain involves attempting to secure a domain name currently owned by someone else but is about to expire.

What does it mean to “backorder a domain”?

When a domain’s registration expires, it goes through several phases before it becomes available for registration by the general public. During these phases, individuals and businesses can backorder a domain through specialized services offered by domain registrars and backordering platforms.

Placing a backorder essentially means expressing interest in obtaining the domain if it becomes available for registration again. If no one else places a higher bid or backorder on the same domain, and if the current owner does not renew the registration, the individual or entity with the highest backorder can secure the domain name. However, an auction process might determine the final owner if multiple backorders are on the same domain.

Why would I backorder a domain?

There are several reasons why you might want to backorder a domain.

  • Desirable Domain Name: Backordering allows you to potentially acquire a domain name that is particularly relevant, memorable, and aligns with your brand, business, or personal identity.
  • Expired Domains: Many valuable domain names are not renewed by their current owners for various reasons. Backordering allows you to snap up an expired domain that fits your needs.
  • SEO and Branding: Having a domain name that reflects your business, industry, or key terms can positively affect your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and branding strategy.
  • Prevent Competitors: Backordering can help prevent competitors from acquiring a domain name that could divert traffic or confuse customers looking for your products or services.
  • Investment and Resale: Some individuals and businesses engage in domain flipping, buying domains and intending to resell them later at a higher price. Backordering an attractive domain could lead to a profitable resale opportunity.
  • Online Presence: Having a relevant and easy-to-remember domain name can enhance your online presence and make it easier for people to find and remember your website.
  • Rebranding: If you are rebranding your business or changing your focus, a backordered domain that aligns with your new direction could be beneficial.
  • Marketing Campaigns: Acquiring a specific domain for a marketing campaign or product launch can give your target audience a clear and memorable destination.
  • Protect Intellectual Property: Backordering domains related to your business or trademarked terms can help protect your intellectual property and prevent unauthorized use.

It’s important to note that while backordering a domain offers many potential benefits, it’s not a guaranteed process. As a matter of fact, it’s more difficult than you may imagine. There may be competition from other parties interested in the same domain, and the current owner could also decide to renew the domain registration, rendering your backorder unsuccessful. It’s a strategy that requires patience and a willingness to adapt your plans if needed.

How do I backorder a domain?

Here are the general steps to backorder an internet domain.

  1. Choose a Domain Backordering Service: There are several domain backordering services available online, such as GoDaddy’s “Domain Backorder” service, NameJet, SnapNames,, and DropCatch. Choose a service that is reputable and suits your needs.
    • NameJet and SnapNames are the same company now. Backordering a domain on one of those sites will essentially do it on both.
    • Tip: If you use only one service, use DropCatch, which has the highest catch rate, according to Matt Davies.
  2. Search for the Desired Domain: Use the backordering service’s search functionality to check if the domain you want is currently registered and when it is set to expire. Remember that not all domains become available for backordering, as the current owner might renew it before it expires.
  3. Set Up an Account: Create an account on the chosen backordering service’s platform if you don’t already have one.
  4. Place the Backorder: Once you find the domain you want to backorder, place a backorder through the service’s interface. You might need to provide your payment information at this stage.
    • Tip: Order your desired domain on as many backordering sites as possible. This will increase your likelihood of obtaining an expiring domain.
  5. Wait and Monitor: After placing the backorder, you’ll need to wait until the domain’s current registration period ends and it enters the expiration phase. During this time, you should monitor the backorder status through your account on the backordering service’s platform.
    • Tip: Watch for the domain to reach the “pending delete” status. This 5-day period is a domain’s last stage before it expires and is released into the public pool of available domains.
  6. Compete for the Domain: If multiple people place backorders on the same domain, a domain auction might occur once the domain expires. In this case, you’ll bid against other interested parties for the domain.
  7. Successful Backorder: If your backorder is successful and no one else bids higher than you in an auction (if applicable), the domain will be transferred to your account with the backordering service. You can transfer it to your preferred domain registrar after 60 days.
  8. Unsuccessful Backorder: If you’re outbid in an auction or if the domain’s current owner decides to renew it, your backorder will be unsuccessful, and you’ll need to decide whether to continue monitoring the domain for future opportunities or consider other domain options.

It’s important to note that backordering a domain doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to acquire it. Many factors, such as the domain’s popularity and the actions of the current owner, can influence the process.

Additionally, the steps and details may vary depending on the specific backordering service you choose. Always make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of the service you’re using before proceeding.

What are all the lifecycle statuses of a domain?

The lifecycle of a domain name involves several statuses that indicate its current state and availability. These statuses can vary slightly depending on the domain registrar and domain extension (TLD), but here are the common statuses you might encounter during a domain’s lifecycle:

  1. Active: The domain is registered and fully functional, with all associated services (website, email, etc.) operational.
  2. Auto-Renew Grace Period: After the domain expires, it might enter a grace period during which the registrar offers a chance for the domain owner to renew it without any additional fees.
  3. Renewal Period: This is the period after the expiration date and grace period, during which the domain owner can still renew the domain. There might be additional fees involved.
  4. Redemption Period: If the domain is not renewed during renewal, it enters the redemption period. The owner can still restore the domain, but there are higher fees associated with doing so.
  5. Pending Delete Period: After the redemption period, the domain enters the pending delete phase. During this time, the domain cannot be renewed or restored. It is being prepared for release back to the public.
  6. Deleted: Once the pending delete period ends, the domain is deleted from the domain registry and becomes available for registration by anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.
  7. Registrar-Hold: The registrar has placed a temporary hold on the domain, often for administrative reasons. This status can prevent the domain from being transferred or modified.
  8. Registry-Hold: The domain registry has placed a hold on the domain, which can happen due to legal or policy reasons. This status can also prevent domain transfers or modifications.
  9. Client-Hold: This status is typically used by the domain owner’s registrar to temporarily prevent changes to the domain. It’s often used when the owner has requested a hold.
  10. Pending Transfer: When a domain owner initiates a transfer to a different registrar, the domain might enter this status while the transfer is being processed.
  11. Transfer Period: During the transfer process, the domain might enter this status to indicate that it’s currently being transferred to a new registrar.
  12. Locked: A domain can be locked by the registrar to prevent unauthorized transfers. This status is used to enhance security.
  13. Unlocked: This status indicates that the domain is not locked and can be transferred to a different registrar.
  14. Expired: This status indicates that the domain registration has expired. The domain is no longer active, but it might still be possible to renew it during the grace period.

Remember that domain lifecycle statuses can vary depending on the specific domain registrar and the top-level domain (TLD) being used. It’s important to consult the documentation and policies of your chosen registrar for accurate information about domain statuses and their meanings.