It seems that information on the topic is a bit sparse in the wild. How do you go about back ordering a domain?

If you do find a service that will do it for you, does the current owner of the domain name know that it is back ordered?

How does it work if I back order with one domain registrar and then host the site with another? Does it work something like a normal domain transfer?

  • Domain registrars maintain domain registries. They don't host websites. You don't need to transfer your domain anywhere. You just need to point the domain to your web host's DNS servers, which is what you're paying the domain registrar to do. Web hosting and domain registration are to completely separate services. – Lèse majesté Oct 9 '10 at 3:38

I have backordered a few domains... with some one nice catch.

My recommendation: backorder on snapnames.com AND pool.com. These two services seem to be currently the 800-pounds gorillas in the game. I had one name with each of those. You pay only to the service who gets the name for you, so might as well request to both... you never know which service will catch the drop.

You can also backorder with namejet.com.

Don't worry about the owner: the owner already has ample reminders from its registrar. Either he is not interested to keep the name, or he/she does not check emails.

If it's a popular backorder you'll go into an auction.

  • My concern with the current owner being notified is that they will renew it and try to sell it to me for more. I would rather they have no idea that anyone else has any interest in it and then I can register it myself. – Icode4food Oct 12 '10 at 12:01
  • jbCode, the current owner will not be notified. Anyway, depending on the status it might be too late for him to renew. If the whois info says "Pending delete" it's too late to renew. – Timothée HENRY Oct 12 '10 at 17:23
  • 3
    Have you read this story: mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2005/03/… ? – Timothée HENRY Oct 12 '10 at 17:24
  • The article above is pretty good. – Clay Nichols Jun 19 '11 at 14:24
  • I talked to SnapNames today and they confirmed this is how it still works. – Clay Nichols May 18 '12 at 18:36

Backordering a domain means using a third party service to order (and usually pay for) a domain which is currently owned by someone else, with the aim to get the domain as soon as it will become available.

The most part of hosting services usually offer this kind of service. You pay a yearly fee and they will try to register the domain for you as soon as it will became available.

The current owner of the domain doesn't know anything about it. The service provider doesn't need to inform him. It simply monitors the domain for chances and tries to purchase it in case it becomes available.

Usually, the provides simply registers the domain. Then, once you become the new domain owner, you have to purchase a separate hosting service, use your own or transfer the domain.


A domain name backorder means paying a domain registry to monitor an existing domain name that someone else owns, and if it becomes available the registry attempts to register it for you.

There are many such services, and in fact most domain registrars provide it.

However it's not 100% successful. Particularly popular domain names may be backordered by many people, so when it becomes available several automated systems may be attempting to register it at the same time, but only one will succeed.

The current owner of the domain name is not notified, but check the fine print of the backorder services you evaluate.

Keep in mind that if someone else backorders the same domain, on the same registrar, you suddenly have a conflict - which of you two will the registrar actually attempt to register the domain name for? The registrar may not tell you that the domain name you've backordered has also been backordered by other customers of theirs. You might consider asking them how they manage such situations.

Read the backorder terms. In general if you backorder the domain and the attempt is successful, then you own the domain just as though you had registered it yourself, and you can use whatever hosting provider you choose.

If you backorder through a domain registration service that only bundles domains with hosting packages, then you may be stuck with them for hosting.

Whether you should buy domain names and hosting from the same service is a separate question entirely...

  • I've yet to encounter a webhost that forced you to register the domain from them or a registrar that forced you to host with them. There may be hosting deals that provide a free domain or domain registrations that provide free parking, but they're not fixed contracts. Also, I believe most registrars offer an X month grace period for the current domain owner to renew, so they do have precedence over backorder customers. – Lèse majesté Oct 9 '10 at 17:53

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