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So you’ve just started your website. You have everything up and running: a fantastic website name, a unique URL, and a responsive design that works on almost all devices out in the market. All you need to do is to register your desired domain name. But by the time you decided to register, the domain name you want may already be taken.
If you’re an online entrepreneur, parking a domain name can tremendously help you. Here is a background on domain parking, its benefits and costs, and how you could make it work for you.
Definition of Domain Parking
What is domain parking? You may have heard of this term countless times before but have never used it, nor never knew its purpose.
Similar to parking a car on the streets, domain parking allows you to secure a spot on the internet. Think about the internet as a vast parking area. You can’t always park in a space you want especially when another car is already there.
Think like a driver securing his spot in the parking zone. Domain parking means purchasing a parked domain, but not really using it right away. You just want to get there first before anyone else, reserve that name just for you, and drive away potential cybersquatting.
Domain name parking is basically registering for a domain name on the internet that has no associations with any website or email. This can be beneficial for you, as long as you don’t skid along the sidewalks and swerve in the wrong directions.
Benefits of Domain Parking
Wouldn’t it be much easier and simpler for you to just register your desired domain name? Maybe. But most of the time, even the most unique and imitable domain names are unavailable for registration. The internet is fast and websites are constantly eyeing domain names that best represent their brand, values and vision.
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Here are some benefits of parking your domain name:
- It gives you more time to develop your website
If they say build your site first, register later, don’t listen to them. If you’re not ready to launch your website just yet, purchasing a parked domain will give you the extra time you need before making your site available for public access.
Once you’ve already thought about a domain name, register it first. There isn’t a time more perfect to get a domain name than at the very beginning of your website development stage. You can develop your website later, but a domain name lost, is a domain name lost forever.
- It reserves a unique domain name of your choice
A great domain name can be taken up quickly, so you need to act fast. Having a parked website is a reasonable solution to reserve your domain name.
Whether you’re selling merchandise, fashion items, or tech gadgets, you want a name that is brandable and memorable. You don’t want a name that may misrepresent your business, and you definitely do not want a domain name that brings low-quality traffic to your website. This is how domain parking can help you. Having your domain parked early in the process will make your site stand out more from the competition.
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- It protects you from cybersquatting
Cybersquatting happens when a person is parking near the domain name or trademark of a large, prominent company, then sells it at a much higher price. Simply put, cybersquatting is a crime you don’t want to happen to you.
Guard yourself against cybersquatting by having your domain parked. A parked domain allows you to register all creative assets and trademarks of your website, as well as variations of your business name.
You can park the rest of your domain names while using your desired name as the main address of your website. You can also link parked domains to your website to protect yourself from cybersquatting.
- It gives you time to let your website expire
As an online entrepreneur, you may have owned several websites in the past and even until today. But as your businesses expand, you’d recognize that some websites are better off gone.
Once you’ve picked websites that are worth investing more time and money in, you can let the ones you don’t want to use anymore expire. The domain parking practice will save you money because you don’t have to pay for a hosting service anymore.
- It generates passive income
Aside from monetizing your website through advertisements, you can also generate revenue through domain parking. Users can still click on your domain name and access your website even though it’s relatively empty.
But it doesn’t have to be always empty, you can display advertisements on that site. Once a user clicks on that ad, that’s where the money comes in. With your parking domain, you can essentially generate passive revenue. You can even earn money while you’re asleep.
Another way to earn money with a parked domain is through domain flipping. This happens when you buy a parked domain, and it remains parked until an interested buyer is willing to purchase at a reasonable price, sometimes even higher than the initial domain parking cost.
Buying a Parked Domain
Domain parking prices vary depending on who’s selling them. There are many domain parking companies that buy, park, and sell domain names.
Some domain registrars for parked domains are GoDaddy, Dotser, and Namecheap. There are other options where you can get a parked domain. You can look through these domain registrars to find out if your desired domain name is still available.
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If you spot a domain name that you believe is best for your website, you might have to go through negotiations and other agreements to get it. Remember that a great domain name is taken quickly, so you need to present your best offers to make sure you can park the domain name.
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Here are the steps in purchasing a parked domain name:
- Track down the owner
It’s usually very easy to determine who the owner of the domain is through a quick search on the WHOIS database. You can then perform other research to find the contact information of the owner, and specific details and essential technical descriptions of the parked domain.
Once you’ve tracked down the ower, you can either call or email them. It’s usually better to email at first before engaging in a call.
In the email, you must ask if the parked domain is available for purchase. Introduce yourself as an interested buyer, but do not disclose any information about the amount you’re willing to pay. If the owner is willing to sell his parked domain, initiate a negotiation.
Don’t put yourself at an advantage by showing that you’re desperate for the domain. Make it clear to the owner that his parked domain is only one of your many options, even though it may not actually be true.
Consider the price you’re willing to pay for the parked domain. Once you’ve set the budget, see how much the owner is willing to sell. You don’t always have to meet halfway with the price, sometimes an owner is willing to go lower if you promise to pay immediately and in full.
Make sure to give an offer that is reasonable for you and the owner. You can research beforehand and show the owner what you’ve found out about the domain name, This can help in setting up the price.
Don’t haggle with the owner at an extremely low price. If you really want their parked domain name, you have to make sure that you get it, otherwise, the owner will just sell the domain to someone else who is willing to pay.
- Use an Escrow Service when Making Payments
An escrow service is a third-party that keeps the funds until both you and the owner has done their part in the contract.
If you and the owner have finally agreed at a certain price point, payments must be made. But this owner is not your friend, and you really can’t trust anyone these days. To be sure that you can get your desired park domain name without being scammed, use an escrow service.
You won’t have to pay the owner directly with an escrow service. You just have to give your money to the escrow service and they’ll keep it until all necessary transactions and processes have been completed.
Once all these steps are complete, the domain name is finally yours to use.
Domain name parking is necessary when you want to reserve a domain name for your website. It also offers many benefits including having more time for development, name reservation, protection from cybersquatting and even passive income generation. All these things can be essential to you as an online entrepreneur.
Whatever your purpose is for buying a parked domain, it's always important to check it's availability. Once you've decided on a parked domain you really want, you must know the right steps on how to properly purchase one.
Think you're ready to purchase your very first domain? Set up your Strikingly account, and make your website ready for launch.