Find out when it will be released
A general rule of thumb is a domain will drop 90 days after the expiry date.
To break this down; 30 days after a .uk domain name has expired, the domain is suspended for 60 days.
If the domain is not renewed during this 60 day period, it enters a queue pending deletion, and will eventually be deleted from the registry database. Once deleted, the domain will be available for anyone to register on a first-come, first-served basis.
If it’s a premium domain and you expect there will be other people trying to register it – then you need to backorder.
Find as many companies that offer domain backordering and place the domain you want on backorder. This will mean the domain registrar will automatically attempt to register the domain for you as soon as it becomes available. They will check the domain status thousands of times throughout the day and register it as soon as they notice it has become available. The more companies you have trying the catch the domain for you, the better chance you have of snatching it.
Once the domain is on backorder there is very little more you can do, but sit and wait. Check periodically throughout the day and check your emails every hour or so to look for the prized “Domain caught” email to land in your inbox.
If it’s to good to be true..
If you find a domain like hotels.co.uk or pizza.co.uk that has been suspended with “renewal required” be warned.
A lot of professional domainers and domain banking companies will re-register their domain on the very last day of expiry. To a potential buyer it would look like the domain will expire, but at the very, very last minute these companies will re-register. You haven’t got a chance!
Have a back-up domain just in-case
I’ve learnt over the years to always have a back-up plan and domain. Nothing is guaranteed with domaining and it could be that someone else swoops in and registers the domain before you. Don’t worry, calm down and think logically about moving forward. Don’t let a domain name put you off starting that million pound business or pursuing that awesome idea. Keep going!