Category Archives: Domain Names

Understanding Nominet UK Domain Deletion Process and Drop Date

This is a short post from UK Domain Registrar,  to help domain owners understand how to tell if they can still renew a .uk domain name or whether it has gone into the final deletion state. We end by suggesting ways to help re-register a domain it is too late to renew.

UK Domain Lifecyle

Lifecycle at expiry for .UK
Lifecycle at expiry for .UK


The diagram shows that after a UK domain name expires there is a 90 day period in which it can still be renewed. However after 90 days, there is a 5 day period in which is still registered, but cannot be renewed. This change to the previous system was introduced in 2022 and brings .uk more into alignment with gTLD domains.

Domain Owner Concerns about Failed Renewals

What 2020Media has seen as an Accredited Nominet Registrar is that domain name appear as still registered and with a status of “renewal required” even when they are in the final 5 day period. And according to Nominet rules, they cannot be renewed in this period. They are scheduled for deletion at the end of the 5 day period, and nothing can change that.

How to Check if a UK Domain can be Renewed or Not

There are two ways to check if an expired domain name can still be renewed or not.

Option 1 – Calculator

A straightforward way is to look at the expiry date of a UK domain and calculate 90 days from that date – if it’s more than 90 days, then unfortunately that domain is now in the final 5 day deletion process and cannot be renewed any longer. Here is a link to a general date calculation tool, and you do not need to enter the domain name.

Option 2 – RDAP

The only problem with the Calculator method is that it does not take account of the time of day. The RDAP option provides an 100% accurate report of the domain’s status. RDAP is a replacement for WHOIS, providing more information and in a machine-readable format.  Here are a couple of public RDAP lookup tools:

Nominet Lookup


Here are results from 2 domains, showing the different status. Screenshots from Nominet Lookup tool.

Domain Status Showing Domain Can Be Renewed:

Domain In Redemption - Can Be Renewed
Domain In Redemption – Can Be Renewed

Domain Status Showing Domain CANNOT Be Renewed

Domain In Deletion - Cannot Be Renewed
Domain In Deletion – Cannot Be Renewed

It’s significant that “pending delete” is shown in both cases, so do not be fooled by this  – it simply shows the domain is past expiry and the initial 30 day grace period when a .UK domain is still active.

Recovering / Registering Domains that Cannot be Renewed

If the domain name you want is in the status where it cannot be renewed, the only option is to try and register the domain name the moment it is released for re-registration. This is a free-for-all process and there is competition amongst domain name investors and others over sought-after domain names.

It is possible to find out exactly when a UK domain name will become available again by using the Nominet Drop List. This is a daily updated list and is very long.  You can ask a friendly Registrar, like to help!

It’s important to note that domain names are cancelled for reasons other than expiry. Registrants can put in a deletion request at any time during a domain’s lifecycle, and there may be other registry processes which result in a cancellation.

New Domain Extensions Update

The governing body for international domain names, ICANN, has produced a report outlining two options for releasing brand new extensions.

The last “round” had been completed way back in 2012, leading among other things to the creation of community-based extensions like “.london”, “.scot”, “.store” or “.sport”. There are approximate 30 million of this type of domain now registered, which is still a relatively small number compared to the over 150 million .com domains and 130 million country code domains in use today.

Option 1 is to proceed in the same way as before, but incorporating all the new requirements. This would require ICANN to spend £100 million upfront in order to open a single application window after five years. At that point, around 2028, each application would cost £200,000. The first resulting internet extensions would likely go live sometime in 2029 or 2030.

Option 2 is to proceed in smaller stages, called “cycles”. Instead of conducting a single application window, the plan is a program split into 4 (or possibly more) annual cycles, each with its own application window. This drastically reduces the risk and complexity for all parties involved. With Option 2, the first application window might be announced as early as 2024. The cost of an application would be £180,000 here, but it’s possible that it could be lowered for subsequent cycles.

ICANN’s presentation, transcript, and audio and video recordings are available here.

Nominet Registry Advisory Council Voting

Rex Wickham from @2020MediaCom is standing in the #Nominet elections for the newly formed UK Registry Advisory Council.

If you’re a Nominet member, we’d love your support for him.

Rex is standing in the ‘Large Registrar’ category and supports reform of Nominet along the campaign aims. You can read more on why Rex and 2020Media want Nominet to change in our blog post 2020Media Supports Reform of Nominet UK
2020Media is perhaps the only one of the “Large Registrar” category who are not a corporate behemoth and as a candidate Rex is very much grounded in day to day operations of a UK based hosting company.

Here is the election statement from Rex:

I’m standing for the UKRAC because I care about shaping the future registration policy of Nominet.  Sadly members are not getting a fair say over all Nominet policy but the RAC is a start. I believe I can represent the views of the retail registrar. My company, 2020Media, has been registering domains for over 20 years, with a customer base ranging from individuals to corporates and
Membership of RIPE and ICANN for many years has also influenced my decision to stand -there’s a lot to learn from these organisations (both good and bad) and I hope my experiences will make the UKRAC a more effective voice for members.
Outside of the internet world, I’ve a wider interest in good governance and currently hold the post of school governor co-chair of a primary school federation, secretary of my co-op resident’s association and I’ve just completed a stint on the PCC of my local church.
I did support the Public Benefit EGM to restore Nominet’s purpose and I remain committed to seeing Nominet enact real change. I want to see Nominet lower executive pay, fairly set domain pricing, increase spending on meaningful public benefit causes and refocus on core registry operations and finally become more open and transparent with members.

Voting is already open and runs until 22nd July.

Other candidates who have declared support for reform of Nominet along these lines are shown in the table below. If you share these views, please vote for any of these candidates.

If elected, Rex welcomes input from Nominet members – please email in the first instance but telephone and chat are also available.


2020Media Supports Reform of Nominet UK

The management of 2020Media supports the PublicBenefit campaign in it’s aims to restore Nominet UK to it’s original purpose.

The PublicBenefit aims in detail:

  1. Increase Public Benefit Donations
  2. prices
    (Achieved via reducing Director remuneration and expensive future diversifications)
  3. Improve communications with members and listen to their feedback on key topics.
  4. Adopt the “UK Corporate Governance Code”.
  5. Ensure Nominet remains independent and has a strong financial future.

Our view of Nominet UK

Nominet is the Registry for all .uk domain names but also runs registry services for other domains, works in cyber security for the UK goverment network, plus a number of other tech areas. It makes large profits from the .uk domain registry business and in the past donated a lot of money to good causes.

In the past few years, there has been a deliberate attempt to transform Nominet into a commercial entity with forays into a series of non registry ventures. Alongside these, boardroom salaries have risen steadily and good cause spending has dropped.

2016 to 2020: Revenue +50%, Public Donations -38%, Top 3 Director pay +70%
2016 to 2020: Revenue +50%, Public Donations -38%, Top 3 Director pay +70%

Although members like ourselves have engaged with Nominet over the years about the direction of the organisation, our concerns have been dismissed. The governance structure of Nominet is complex and has allowed the board to continue in the way they wished.

The Campaign

The PublicBenefit campaign has changed this – a call for an EGM (Emergency General Meeting) required 5% of the membership vote and we were able to use our voting power to help reach the 5% goal. Since our EGM petition was submitted, the trickle has become a flood with 30% of members publically backing the changes the campaign wishes to bring about. This is an unprecedented amount of support and comes from all quarters of the industry.

The EGM is today at 3pm – the result should be known by 6pm.

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Domain Trustee Service – EU domains

From 1st January 2021, UK citizens and organisations are no longer permitted to hold .eu domain names (as the UK has left the EU).

We offer a Domain Trustee Service for UK citizens and organisations who wish to register or maintain a .eu domain name for business, personal or brand protection reasons.

This type of service is also called a domain proxy service or .eu proxy service.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more.