Domain Name Life Cycle – The Omar And Will Version

When we first got started with domain names, we did not understand their life cycle (admittedly, we still kind of don’t).  Pre-releases, pending deletes, deleted etc. What does it all mean?

Basically, it’s all a process that starts off when someone does not renew their domain name.

It goes like this.

Pre-Release -> Pending Delete -> Deleted (dropped, free to register for anyone)

This was the best picture I could find on the net that breaks it down as simple as possible.


(Image Credit: EukHost)

What you will realize when studying this process is simply, you want to do your best to try to get domain names at the PRE-RELEASE level. These domain names will be the ABSOLUTE BEST because they are in the beginning stages of expiration.

The further domains go along the process of expiration, the lower quality they will be.

It’s kind hard for me to explain it to you in a blog post, it will be much clearer when your looking through domain names continuously.

Obviously, this means that Pre-Release domain names may be more expensive because they are more sought after.

That’s true….but not always.

We were able to nab a Namejet Pre-release domain name for a great price and flip it in 5 days, kinda (auction lock issues).

We discuss this topic in the video below:

Domain Name Life Cycle - The Omar And Will Verision - play button

Watch Full Video Here

Here’s what I love about Pre Release domains though. When you get into the auctions on Namejet or Snapnames, you usually get in on a PRIVATE AUCTION.

This is so important.

Companies seem to be moving to public auctions and this majorly sucks. It sucks because anyone can come into an auction at any point in time and outbid anyone else and win the domain name. When an auction is PRIVATE, only people who put in orders by a certain cut of time can participate in the auction.

Omar likes…

Anyway, if no one puts an order in for a domain name in the Pre-Release stage, it eventually finds it’s way to the PENDING DELETE list. The domain name stays on the pending delete list for 5 days. Within the 5 days, Drop catching companies will try their best to “catch” the domain name once it drops.

I am not going to even try to explain that process to you because I still get a headache from it.

There are several companies that you can put orders with but here are the major players that usual “catch” domain names that drop:

  • Namejet
  • Snapnames
  • Dropcatch
  • Pheenix
  • Godaddy Backorder

If you can add more to this list, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

But let’s be honest, these are the MAIN players in the drop game, especially the first 3 mentioned above.

So, if a domain name goes through the pending deletion process and doesn’t get caught, it is officially “deleted”.

This means that you or I can run over and hand register the domain name with the registrar of our choice. Keep in mind though, most of the great/good quality domain names would have been picked up way before this point already.

That’s why it’s EXTREMELY difficult to find gems in the DELETED section but I guess it is possible.

I hope this helped simplify the process of the domain name life cycle, we will call it the Omar And Will Version. Watch the video version here.

If you have questions feel free to contact us.

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Omar is the CEO & Co-Owner of The Limitless Legacy Network LLC, where his company focuses on buying and selling online properties. He also handles the companies domain acquisition, brokerage and media relations. Stay updated to their blog by joining their free newsletter here

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If you are interested in viewing their domain portfolio, visit their company website here.

20 thoughts on “Domain Name Life Cycle – The Omar And Will Version

  1. I wanted to add something…

    As you said about the domain going from Pre Release status to PENDING DELETE. Actually there is another stage in between these two which is Redemption Period during which the original owner/registrant has the chance to redeem/restore the domain by paying a little higher Redemption Grace Period (RGP) fee which varies depending on the registrar domain is registered with. For example Enom charges I think $250 and GoDaddy around $90-$100 which includes 1 year of renewal.

    Thanks for sharing Omar 🙂

    • Hey Abdul,

      Nice thank you! I mentioned something in the video where I said the owner has the opportunity to get back their domain name but I did not know the “proper” term for it.

      Thanks for clearing that up Abdul!


  2. Thanks for the post. Kind of re-learning. Well, I just like to know is it possible to transfer domain to another registrar during deletion/redemption period at reg cost. I think I read it somewhere that it’s possible but not sure.

    • Not at all possible to transfer/renew the domain during PendingDelete status but in Redemption Grace Period status, the original owner/registrant can pay the high fee of restoring the domain and keep the domain. Before that even the original registrant can’t transfer it once the domain enters into Redemption Grace Period or PendingDelete status.

      Correct me if I am wrong 😉

      • Yes, it is possible to transfer a domain between registrars at the standard renewal rate and avoid paying the high redemption fees one would incur by reactivating the domain at the same registrar.

        But this depends on the TLD and the registrars in question.

        For example, if you’ve ever won an expired domain auction only to receive a refund rather than the domain, then check to see whether the domain has transferred from registrar A to registrar B. Frequently, that’s the case.

        This has sometimes been exploited by dishonest domain owners who use shills to drive up bidding on their own expired domains … only to transfer them later and retain ownership.

        But not all cases of late transfers indicate dishonesty. More often, it’s simply a way for a domain owner to keep domains cheaply when he’s too busy to plan renewals ahead of time. When you manage a very large portfolio, deciding which domains to keep and which to let go is a time-consuming endeavor. So it’s not uncommon to fall behind on the decision-making process.

  3. @AbdulBasit. I don’t remember where I read such stuff. Anyway, thanks for the clarification. Anyway, I think some intentionally don’t renew domain on time and let it enter the redemption period to see if some pre-release backodering activity takes place.

  4. The actual redemption fee for Go Daddy is $80 and then the cost of the domain. To see the expiration cycle:

    Also, Go Daddy is the largest registrar and the backorder placed on a domain with them (which is therefore also one of if not the largest domains auction) will place a bid at auction for you as well as monitor the domain. You can read their help article on the backorder process here:

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