All you need to know about stuff related to domain names and web hosting

Archive for June 2010

Think there’s no such thing as squatting on the internet? Think again. Domain name squatting has been getting increased criticism as this questionable practice receives more widespread attention worldwide.

What is domain name squatting? Well, think about what traditional property squatting is. People move into a space and live there; it may not technically be their property, but no one was using it. Domain name squatting is similar. Someone buys the domain name of a high profile individual; it’s not actually their own name, but no one had bought the rights to the URL, so nothing stopped them from creating a site there.

But that’s where the differences end. While itinerant squatters are generally just looking for a free place to live, domain name squatters are looking to profit from snapping up the name. Why would someone pay a lot of money to recover a domain for a site they had no previous intention to build? Well, because it may be damaging for that domain name to exist under the control of someone else.

When a person’s name is the entire domain name, it will perform very well in the search engines when that name is searched for; after all, it’s a perfect match. Domain name squatters may even pursue SEO to get the name ranking highly. When it comes up on the top, they can redirect visitors to damaging pages, including inappropriate content, sites with poor security reputations, and competitors’ websites. This can be incredibly damaging to the person whose name has been ‘squatted,’ so they may be willing to pay high sums of money to gain domain registration control over the address.

To clarify, this is not the same as buying a domain name and building a brand around it, then selling it to a company or business who would benefit from owning that name. If you buy a domain name that you think will be potentially popular or useful to a company down the line, but it’s not a trademarked name or the name of an individual person, that’s one thing. But if you buy a domain name with the sole purpose of pressuring that person to buy it from you to avoid negative branding, that can be considered extortion and is against internet protocol.

Knowing the risk of domain name squatting is a good argument for buying up domain names similar to your own name or your business name. There’s no guarantee that someone will squat it if you don’t buy it, but there is a guarantee that they can’t squat if you get to it first.

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When it comes to your financial relationship with domain names, you may think that you will always spend money on them, and never have opportunity to profit. However, buying expired domain names can be a smart and simple way to make some money without having to do much work.

How would this be profitable? Well, imagine that a company starts a website to sell products online. For our example, we’ll use paperclips. They purchase a domain name such as “thepaperclipstore.com” (which is actually available at the time of this blog post) and run a moderately successful business there for a year or two. However, they also own a different site that earns them more money, so they decide to put all of their efforts into the second site, ultimately letting their domain registration over “thepaperclipstore.com” expire.

That web address is now available for purchase. When you buy a domain name that has already been in use, like with this example, it offers quite a bit of potential that isn’t found in brand-new domains, such as:

  • Existing back links. Back links are essential to the SEO performance of a website. Some are better than none, so starting out with a few hundred is still a good place to start.
  • Residual traffic. If the previous domain name owners did any advertising, the fruits of their efforts may still be paying off and sending traffic in the direction of this site. Why not take advantage of it by putting something useful there?

What’s more, as pricing goes, expired domains can sometimes be purchased as some of the cheaper domain names, so it’s quite possible to get a good deal.

But what do you do once you’ve chosen to buy a domain name that has expired? Just getting that traffic doesn’t instantly mean you’re profiting from the purchase. Here are some ways to take advantage of domain name registration expiration:

  • Buy an expired domain name and build a profitable website using its existing traffic and back links as a starting point.
  • Buy an expired domain name and sell it to someone interesting in building a website at that domain name address.
  • Buy an expired domain name and use the site to point traffic to various other businesses of that type that aren’t generating traffic on their own. You can sell the right to be listed on your site much like you might sell advertising space.

Sometimes, high traffic expired sites are expensive, and sometimes you can find a good deal. Know what you’re looking for and what you’d like to do before deciding to buy a domain name that has expired. But once you’re ready, this can be a good way to profit from other people letting their domain name registration expire.

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Whether you are a business owner or just a person who enjoys connecting with people and sharing ideas via the internet, creating your own website may be the next step for you. Choosing to buy a domain name and enlist the services of a web hosting company are simple, but how do you know that it’s time for you to start a site of your own?

With the fast advent and incredibly fast expansion of the internet, personal and company websites have completely changed the way most of us get information. We make friends, have debates, choose products, and hire services all directly from the computers we have in our homes, or even from mobile web devices on the go.

So why start your own website? Well, there are a lot more than 5 reasons, but here are the 5 that we find to be the most compelling and convincing of all:

  1. Connect with loved ones. A personal website gives you a lot more control over the information you share with loved ones, and can provide an outlet for more content-rich sharing with friends and family than you’ll find on cookie-cutter social networking sites.
  2. Call your own shots. When the whole website is yours (i.e. you bought the domain name and have your own web hosting, not just a single page on someone else’s server) you get to make creative choices as to the design and layout of your content.
  3. Make new friends, from anywhere. With the internet’s growth, the whole world is your neighbor. Whether you’re looking for personal or professional dialogue, a website puts you out there, so you can connect with anyone you like.
  4. Stay versatile. Websites can be very simple (with just a map, list of services, and contact info for your local business) or complex (with e commerce services and individual logins for visitors). When you own the site, you can choose how much space you want from your web hosting provider, and you can adjust as you go to fit your changing needs.
  5. Go far on a limited budget. Especially as businesses are concerned, this is one of the best aspects of having a website. The cost it takes to buy a domain name and hire good web hosting is really not very much at all. Your site makes it easy to get your information out there without spending an arm and a leg to do so. You can put the money you save back into your business, or into new advertising and marketing strategies.

With the simple and reliable services of domain name registration and web hosting, you’re off to an easy start connecting however you like, with whomever you like, through your very own website.

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