Header - How to Buy an Expired Domain

A domain is a key element of your online identity – as owning a website has become a prerequisite for any small businesses or personal brand.

However, finding the ideal domain can be challenging, as most memorable and well-known names are usually already taken.

This is where buying an expired domain comes in.

Acquiring a previously registered domain that has not been renewed by its owner might seem like a complicated process. Nevertheless, with the right knowledge, purchasing an expired domain can be a valuable investment for your online presence.

In this blog, we share tips on how to buy an expired domain, and explore the benefits, and best practices of going this route. 

What Is An Expired Domain?

An expired domain is one that was registered previously by another individual or company – and is no longer in use. After a domain name is registered, it is generally leased for a period between one and ten years. When this time frame and grace period has lapsed it will eventually become available for the public to purchase. The process of a domain name becoming available for registration after its expiration is what is known as an expired domain.

Domain names can expire for various reasons such as the owner being unable to pay the renewal fee, not receiving the renewal notification, or simply forgetting to renew the domain. Another reason for a domain name expiring, could be that the owner or individual has gone out of business or no longer needs it.

How Domain Expiration Works

  • Once the lease has ended and a domain name expires, it goes through a grace period, during which the owner can still renew it without any additional charges. 
  • The length of this grace period varies depending on the registrar or hosting provider but is typically 30 days. 
  • If the owner fails to renew the domain name during this grace period, it then goes into a redemption period.
  • During this phase, the owner can still renew the domain, but they must pay an additional fee. 
  • The redemption period can last around 30 days, depending on the registrar. If the owner still fails to renew the domain name during this period, it is then released to the public for anyone to register.
Banner - Did you Know That An Expired Domain Could Have Good SEO Built Up Already

Why Buy An Expired Domain?

With scores of compelling factors to be more unique on the internet, why would anyone be interested in registering an expired domain? 

One of the first good reasons why it is a good idea to buy an expired domain is because it may have a good search engine ranking. Especially, if it has been used for a long time.

When you register a new domain, you must start building its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) from scratch and begin to establish its online presence, which can take months, if not years, to achieve. 

Another reason expired domains become popular is because they have a well-established brand name and a history of backlinks. Over time, a domain name accumulates backlinks and traffic.  This is beneficial for businesses to improve their search engine ranking and attract more traffic to their website.

When domain names are easier to remember or pronounce, they become more valuable than others. This is especially true for expired domains that were previously reserved for successful businesses.

Despite these benefits, previous owner’s activities can impact the domain health; including spamming or black-hat SEO techniques. Hence, it is crucial to check the domain’s history and backlink profile to ensure it is clean and does not have any penalties that could have been imposed by search engines. 

Thorough research around an expired domain name, will ensure you achieve your objectives and mitigate risks involved that could arise after purchase. Hence, it is important to know where to find and monitor expired domain names, as well as evaluate

Finding Expired Domains

Finding expired domains can be a valuable strategy for various purposes, however it is important to define your criteria and consider factors like niche relevance, domain authority, backlink profile, and spam score. Knowing what you are looking for will help you narrow down your search.

Domain Lookup Tools

Domain search tools like the feature found on Hosted.com can help find Nameserver Information, Website Verification and Domain Status Information such as Domain Registration and Expiry Dates and Registrar Details.

Domain Drop-Catching Platforms

Often services that specialize in purchasing expired domains as soon as they become available have tools available to filter domains based on your criteria. Some popular drop-catching services include:

  • SnapNames: This site is a well-known domain drop-catching service that auctions off expired domains.
  • NameJet: This website is another preferred platform for catching expired domains through auctions.
Banner - Use WHOIS Lookup To Find Expired Domains

Monitor Expired Domain Lists

Various websites publish updated lists of expired domains which can often be a useful resource. These lists can be found on:

Forums & Sites

Participate in domain-related forums and communities where members often share lists of expired domains they have come across. The NamePros platform is a domain community forum where members of the public share lists of expired domains and discuss domain-related topics.

The Expireddomains.net website provides a list of expired domains along with various metrics to help you find and filter what you are looking for.

Set Up Alerts

Many domain marketplaces allow users to set up alerts based on specific criteria such as keywords, domain metrics, or price range. You can also create Google Alerts for specific keywords related to expired domains. Whenever a domain meeting your criteria becomes available, you will receive a notification.

Domain Newsletters

Some domain-related websites and services send out regular newsletters containing lists of expired domains. You can subscribe to these newsletters to receive updates directly in your email inbox. 

Evaluating Domain Quality

Once you have identified potential expired domains, it is crucial to thoroughly evaluate their metrics. Consider factors such as domain authority, backlink profile, spam score, and relevance to your niche. There are various resources to aid in researching domains and assessing their metrics, some preferred platforms and websites including:

  • Ahrefs, which boasts a ‘Site Explorer’ feature that allows for analysis of backlinks, organic traffic, and other metrics for both active and expired domains.
  • Moz Link Explorer, which can provide valuable information on a domain’s authority, backlinks, and spam score, giving insight into the potential value of an expired domain.
  • SEMrush, which offers domain analytics tools that can assist in evaluating expired domains based on their backlink profile, organic traffic, and other metrics.

Evaluating domain quality involves assessing numerous factors that contribute to its overall value, relevance, and potential for use. TLDs such as .com, .org, and .net, are generally more trusted and have better SEO value than others. Here are factors to consider:


Older domain names tend to have more authority and trust among search engine algorithms. However, age alone does not determine quality.

Ensure that the domain name you choose is not closely linked, or similar to an established brand. This could result in potential legal issues over copy right infringement.

Domain and Page Authorities

Metrics provided by some SEO tools can indicate the overall authority and strength of a domain. Higher Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) scores usually signify better-quality domains.

Analyze the domain’s backlink profile to assess the quality and quantity of inbound links. Focus on those coming from credible and authoritative websites. 

Traffic Metrics

Evaluate the domain’s traffic metrics, including organic search traffic, referral traffic, and direct traffic. Tools like Google Analytics can provide insights into the website’s traffic sources and volume.

Social Media Presence

Check if the domain has an active presence on social media platforms as these can indirectly impact brand visibility.

Domain History

Research the domain’s history, including past ownership, website content, and any penalties or manual actions imposed by search engines. 

Banner - Sign Up For The Best cPanel Web Hosting Here

Registering An Expired Domain

Once you have decided on your chosen expired domain name, registering it involves several steps and may vary depending on the domain registrar that you select. 

The domain will expire, after it has passed the grace and redemption period, and should become available for registration by a new owner – giving you an opportunity to purchase it from a registrar or hosting provider.

Acquiring the Domain

Ensure that your choice of web hosting aligns with your website’s specific requirements. If you are launching a small home-based business, ensure that your service provider and the plan you choose offers sufficient coverage for your website and email needs. As your business grows and demands escalate, particularly if you are venturing into e-commerce,  cPanel Hosting would be ideal.

Once the expired domain is available for registration, you can acquire it through a domain registrar or hosting provider. Search for the domain name on the service provider’s website and follow the instructions to complete the purchase process. Be prepared to provide your contact information and payment details.

Transfer Initiation & Details

After successfully acquiring the expired domain, you may need to initiate the ownership transfer process. This typically involves unlocking the domain and obtaining an authorization code (also known as an EPP code) from the current registrar. You may also need to ensure that any privacy or registrar lock features are disabled to facilitate the transfer.

If transferring the domain to another registrar, provide the new registrar with the domain name, authorization code, and any other required information. Follow the registrar’s instructions for initiating the transfer and completing any necessary paperwork or verification steps.

Confirmation & Approval

Once the transfer process is initiated, both the current registrar and the new registrar will typically send confirmation emails to the domain owner’s contact email address – if this is necessary. Review these emails and follow any instructions provided to confirm or authorize the transfer, if you are required to do so.

The domain transfer process may take several days to complete, depending on the registrar and any additional verification requirements. During this time, monitor your email inbox for updates from both registrars regarding the status of the transfer. You may receive correspondence or instructions to follow during this time, depending on both registrars. 

Update Domain Settings

Once the transfer is approved and completed, log in to your account with the new registrar and access the settings to manage the domain. Update the domain’s contact information, nameservers, and other settings as needed to ensure it is properly configured for your purposes.


  • Expired domains offer valuable opportunities for building an online presence due to their established history, backlinks, and potential SEO benefits.
  • Before buying an expired domain, thorough research is required to evaluate its quality.
  • Factors such as domain age, relevance, backlink profile, and traffic metrics play a crucial role in determining the quality of an expired domain.
  • Use domain lookup tools, drop-catching platforms, and expired domain lists to find potential domains that meet your criteria.


Are expired domains worthwhile?

Expired domains have many potential benefits compared to a brand-new domain. The authority of an older domain can sometimes transfer to the user, as they are likely to have an existing backlink profile and rank higher in search engine rankings than new domains.

How long does it take for an expired domain to become available?

Availability can take between 75 and 90 days. However, this timeline can vary based on registrar policies and the domain’s specific circumstances. Most registrars provide a grace period during the domain expiration period, which lasts between 30 to 45. After this, the domain name will enter a redemption period for 30 days, where it is still available to renew at an additional redemption fee. If it is not restored, the domain name will enter a pending delete.

Who owns a domain name?

A domain name is owned by whoever first registered it with an accredited registrar or hosting provider. For a person to maintain ownership, they must pay registration fees, renew the domain when required, and ensure that all their contact details are up to date.

How to buy a domain name permanently?

You cannot buy a domain name permanently. Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis. However, you can prepay for up to 10 years, which guarantees that you will have a domain name for 10 years.

How do I know if a domain name is taken?

The quickest way to check for the availability of a domain name is to do a simple web search. Type in the name you want to use, including the top-level domain, or TDL extensions, such as .com or. net.

Other Blogs of Interest:

What Next After a Domain Name Purchase? Follow these 6 Easy Steps

Web Hosting Versus Domain Name – All the Facts Explained

International Domain Name Registration: What You Should Know

How To Buy A Domain Name Permanently

How To Buy an Email Domain – 6 Tips When Choosing