Our DomainWatch tool debuted on Product Hunt back in March 23, 2018. It’s almost 3 years exact to the date, so I thought it might be a good time to write about domain expiration monitoring.

As you know, monitoring when a domain name will expire, or become available for registration, is a key feature of DomainWatch.

How can I check my domain expiry date?

Just add a domain name to DomainWatch, and the system will fetch some information about the domain name.

  • Registration date
  • Expiration date
  • Registrar name (where the domain name is registered)
  • Hoster (nameservers)
  • Status code
DomainWatch does a great job at domain expiration monitoring

Status code? What’s that? In an attempt to avoid a lot of industry jargon, let’s just say, this is explaining the status of this domain name. In most cases Status code will say “clientTransferProhibited”. I deliberately wrote “this domain name” instead of “your domain name”. Here’s why. Unlike watching your domain names in your registrar account (like GoDaddy, or Uniregistry), with DomainWatch you can watch almost any domain name.

Why this is interesting, you can read later in this post, but for now let’s keep going.

How long do domains take to expire?

Don’t domains expire on the date you see in whois? Well, yes and no. On the expiry date, you can no longer use the domain, and point it to your web hosting. But you can still renew it! That’s how all those companies that forgot to renew their domain didn’t lose it!

Domain expiration cycle, source WhoAPI

It usually takes as many as 45 days for the domain to be returned to the pool, after which the owner can no longer renew it. What do I mean by “return to the pool”? Well, it gets tricky here. Sometimes, the registrar “keeps” the domain name, because they are the first to renew it. You can read the contract you signed with your registrar if they do this.

Or, the domain goes to an auction. If it is a valuable domain name (just like when tema.com expired) it will go to auction and attract multiple bids. And in most cases when a domain is of low value, it will be released back for general public registration. How often does this happen? Well, around 60,000 domain names expire every day.

Source: Expireddomains.net

How do I reserve a domain name that is expiring?

If you want to register a domain name that is about to expire, you have 2 options.

  1. Backorder the domain with a domain backorder provider
  2. Wait for the domain to become available, and register it for $8.03 if it is a .com, more if it is a different TLD (domain extension)

Our DomainWatch can help with the 2nd option. We can email you exactly on the day when this domain becomes available for registration. If it becomes available! Remember, there are no guarantees, because the owner can still renew it after the expiration date passes. And, you never know if there are multiple bidders on this domain name, or if someone has ordered a backorder on this domain name.

With DomainWatch you can track other domains, not just the ones you own

When you track other domains, this allows you to see if a good domain name becomes available for registration. Or, if your old domain (the one you let go), becomes available for registration after all those years.

If I can track someone else’s domain name, does this mean that someone else can track and register my domains after they expire? Well, yes.

What happens when my domain expires?

As you can see in the video above that I shot a few years ago someone else can register the domain name you let expire, and then post any content they want.

The video is a few years old, but now it’s even more relevant since more businesses, but also criminals, are buying expired domain names!

Domain expiration notice

In the past, only domain registrars would send you a domain expiration notice. You would then log in to your account, and renew your domain name. Unless you had an auto-renew option, and the domain registrar would renew your domain name automatically.

When webmaster.ninja sends you a domain expiration notice, it is just a secondary reminder. You can’t renew your domain name with us. Unfortunately, there are some criminals that would ask you for a payment to renew your domain name, when in fact they are not working with your registrar or domain name name.

Fake Domain Expiration notice

Let’s come back to the light side, and end this blog post in a positive tone. In case you would like to protect your private domain names, or the domain names of your company, you can set up a free domain expiration monitoring, and receive emails when that faithfull date is approaching.

Then just log in with your registrar, and check that the payment details are in order, and that the renewal will be on time.

Free domain expiration monitoring

With DomainWatch, on webmaster.ninja, you can set up a free domain monitoring for up to 10 domain names. In case you own more domains, and you are looking for great domains that expire, you will need to upgrade to a paid account.

But, paid accounts are not so bad, as they have several tools and monitoring options that every webmaster will love them.

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