Domains are typically associated with websites. For example, head to Name.com and you’ll see our homepage in all of it’s Name.com glory.
However, it’s also possible to register a domain name without connecting it to other services or pages. Known as domain parking, this approach offers several benefits for companies looking to make the most of their online presence.
In this piece, we’ll break down the basics of parked domains, take a look at some key benefits, explore how parked domains work, examine some of the most popular types, and then dive into how to make domain parking work for you.
Put on your seatbelt, put it in drive and let’s go.
What Is a Parked Domain?
So, what is domain parking, exactly?
Domain parking happens when you purchase a domain but don’t connect it to any other online services.
Let’s say you register “mycompany.com”. If you already had a website built (or one in development), you could connect your domain and your site so that when someone types your domain name into a browser, she or he is directed to your site.
In the case of domain parking, you would purchase the domain name but store or “park” it for future use. You might decide to simply show a “domain parked” webpage or a page that says, “Coming soon!” You may also redirect users to another site or simply display a “This site can’t be reached” message.
Benefits of Domain Parking
While parking a domain name means you’re on the hook for the cost of keeping the domain registered, opting for this approach comes with several benefits.
First is the ability to lock down a particular domain name ASAP rather than waiting until your website is complete. For example, if your company sells hats and your company name is Cool Caps, it makes sense to register coolcaps.com. You might also want to consider registering similar domains such as coolcaps.org, .biz, .fashion, etc.
Parking a domain also comes with the potential benefit of lowering your total spend over time. Here’s why: If another person or entity registers your preferred domain name before your site is finished, you’ll need to convince them to sell it if you still want to use that domain.
Depending on the popularity of the name and how much potential traffic it could generate, you could end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. Purchasing and parking a domain name means it’s there when you need it.
How are Parked Domains Used?
There are multiple ways to make use of a parked domain. Some of the most common include:
Protecting a Domain Name
As noted above, parking a domain name can protect it for further use. So long as you don’t allow your domain registry to expire, it remains yours until you’re ready to use it. Stay vigilant!
Sending Users to Your Primary Domain
You can also buy a parked domain and have it send users to your primary domain by redirecting from one domain to another. Be in multiple places at once.
Selling a Domain
Domains that include the names of popular products or services — and those with common suffixes such as .com or .net — can sell for significant amounts of money, making these parked domains a potential avenue for investment.
Generating Ad Revenue
Think outside the box. It’s also possible to have your parked domain display ads while the domain is inactive to help generate revenue.
Keeping Possession of a Domain
There may be situations where you want to keep possession of a domain name for an extended period. For example, you might plan to expand your business into another market niche or segment and choose to register a specific domain for that growth plan. Alternately, you might choose to register and hold names that might be used by a close competitor, let the arch-rivalry commence.
Most Popular Parked Domain Types
While it’s possible to park any type of domain, they don’t all offer the same value. Here’s a look at three popular parking options.
Let’s say you’ve purchased coolcaps.com for your website. It’s also a good idea to purchase common misspellings of your domain name and redirect them to your primary website. This means it may be worth purchasing coolcapz.com, koolcaps.com, and coolcapss.com to capture the most visitors.
Brand New Domains
New domain suffixes are periodically released or opened to the public — for example, .org was previously reserved for government agencies, but these domains are now fair game for any business.
In some cases, high-value domains will expire and become available for a much lower price than if privately sold. As a result, it’s worth checking popular domain name sites — such as Name.com — to see if you can buy an expired domain.
How Does Domain Parking Work?
Thinking about parking a domain on Name.com? No problem.
First, log into your Name.com account. Then, click “My Products”, and click the link for your hosting account under the Hosting section. Then, scroll to the DNS Management drop-down menu, select the domain name in the Currently Managing menu, then click the DNS Templates button.
Select Name.com Web Hosting from the new drop-down menu and then Update DNS Records. Now, you’ll see two “A” records that point to your current Hosting Server IP address. If you have a parked domain owned elsewhere and want to use Name.com’s hosting dashboard, update your records with your current registrar to allow Name.com to manage them using this format: ns1.name.com, ns2.name.com, etc.
The result? You’re now pointing a parked domain to your site and reducing the number of missed visitors.
How Do People Make Money With Domain Parking?
It’s all about domain investing. If you can find domains that are on track for high interest and high demand or can hold onto a great name long enough to use it for your site, you could generate significant revenue. The caveat? It takes time and patience to see returns on domain parking efforts.