A Guide to Dropcatch Domains

Nile Flores

Written by WordPress Expert

A Guide to Dropcatch Domains

What happens when your domain is about to expire? Can someone just grab it up right away? And what is a dropcatch domain? Is drop catching domains something legal you can even do? You’ll learn all about the lifespan of a domain, as well as a bit about dropcatch domains.

A Guide to Dropcatch Domains


There are around 350 million registered domains online in 2023. This means that when you want to start a new website, and register a domain for it, that you might have a hard time getting the name you want. This is where dropcatch domains can be an option to consider.

What is a dropcatch domain?

A dropcatch domain is a type of domain that was registered once the registration has lapsed. This means that someone owned the registration of the domain, and forgot to renew it, and then someone else bought the registration when the previous year’s registration had expired. It can sometimes be known as domain sniping.

What is the lifespan of a domain?

When a person buys a domain, they can buy it for a minimum of 1 year, or for several years. They get a whole year to do whatever they want to do with the site, whether make a website for it or sell it to someone else.

If the domain owner has only purchased the domain’s registration for a year, they will usually receive an email at the 11-month mark to let them know they can renew the domain for another year, or for multiple years.

Once the domain expires, regardless if the domain is associated with a live site or not, the domain registrar will put it into an auto-renew grace period for about 15 days. If the domain owner either forgets to renew or just doesn’t want to renew after that time, the registrar puts the domain in a redemption grace period (RGP) for 30 days. During the RGP, the domain registrar tacks on a sort of redemption fee.

The redemption fee might seem like the domain registrar is holding the domain hostage, but by the time that the domain has gone to RGP, and with all the renewal reminders since the month before the domain’s expiration, the original domain owner had plenty of time to pay the lower fee. It’s important for any domain owner to keep their contact details up-to-date, and to check their email for anything concerning their domain, including renewal reminders.

After the 30 day redemption grace period, the domain registrar puts the domain in a 5-day pending deletion phase. From there, people can snag it up once the domain is released, or the domain may be sent to a domain auction.

What is the redemption period of a domain?

The redemption period of a domain is the time 15- 30 days after the registration’s expiration, where a domain owner can retrieve their domain. This specific time is more costly than a regular renewal, as the domain registrar has allowed the domain to sit through a non-penalty phase.

During the redemption period or RGP, the domain registrar isn’t trying to be mean, but it is trying to run a business. When anyone signs up and purchases a domain, the terms of service include how long the domain is live, and what the user can do to keep the domain after one year. They also make sure to let buyers know what happens after not renewing a domain. However, a lot of people miss reading the terms.

When can drop catching occur?

Drop catching can occur when the domain is at the end of the deletion pending phase, and about to be released either to be an option to buy again or released to domain auctions. This is a small window of time, and a risk, as you’re not guaranteed that you’ll get the domain, especially if someone else purchased a backorder.

A domain backorder is not the same as drop catching, and it is where someone wants a specific domain, and will wait until the original domain owner no longer has control over the registration. This means that sometimes the person backordering the domain may wait a long time. If the original domain registration holder continues to keep the domain, then the backorder may not be fulfilled. This is a risky way to try to gain an existing desirable domain, without negotiating with the domain’s owner.

With drop catching, once the domain leaves the deletion phase, it’s mere seconds that the domain could be grabbed up by someone. That’s why it’s often known as domain sniping - you have to be quick to get the domain.

Can you do drop catching yourself?

If you have the resources and patience to do drop catching, you certainly could take a stab at it. However, there are companies like DropCatch.com and CatchTiger.com, that specialize in drop catching, and grabbing up oodles of domains that were fresh out of the deletion phase. You’re better off using those types of services if you don’t know how to go about it or have your own automated drop catching program put together.

Is drop catching domains legal?

Drop catching is legal. The domain, by the time it has been released from the registrar, is free and clear of the previous owner. Say the previous owner didn’t check their emails for renewal reminders or they weren’t attentive in seeing that their website was down. They also went through the entire redemption grace period without renewing.

Unfortunately for them, it’s all fair game when the domain is released. That’s why it’s extremely important to renew your domain’s registration on time, or buy multiple years, and set your account to auto-renew the payment.

In Summary


Dropcatch domains are something you have to have skill in catching before others snatch up the domain or auction it off. Hopefully this short guide on dropcatch domains has given you an idea of what they are about, or it has given you an option on how to acquire domains using a dropcatch service in the future. Happy domain hunting!

You’ll likely need high-quality web hosting to go along with your domain name, so don’t forget the variety of shared hosting plans and managed servers we offer to facilitate your startup.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a domain name?

Every single site has a domain name. A domain name is the name of a site. In order to get one, you need to get it through a domain registrar.

What is domain flipping?

Domain flipping is the practice of getting a domain name as cheap as you can and then selling the domain name to an interested party for more than what you paid.

What makes a certain domain valuable?

Valuable domains are usually memorable, easy to spell, pronounce, and short.

What are some popular domain marketplaces?

Popular domain marketplaces include BrandBucket, Efty, Namecheap, Sed, and Flippa.

Nile Flores
About the Author
Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time professional blogger, as well as WordPress website designer and developer from the St. Louis Metro East. Nile blogs at NileFlores.com, where she’s passionate about helping website owners, whether they’re small business owners or bloggers. She teaches about Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and WordPress. Additionally, Nile loves to speak at WordCamps (WordPress conferences) across the United States. When Nile isn’t knee-deep in coding, she’s a proud mom of a college student, and enjoys oil painting, cigar smoking, nail art design, and practicing traditional Okinawan kempo karate.

View all posts by Nile Flores
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