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Analyzing startup domain names

Fri, 2018-02-23 17:35

What MassChallenge’s first Texas class reveals about domain name usage.

Startup accelerator MassChallenge has announced the inaugural class of 84 startups for its Texas accelerator. The companies are in a number of industries, so I thought it would be interesting to see what types of domains the companies are using.

67 of the companies in the announcement are linked to websites. Here’s the breakdown of domains they use:

.COM 56
.ORG 2
.CO 2
.NET 2
.US 1
.ME 1
.AI 1
.MEDIA 1
.CA 1

84% of the companies use .com domain names.

Let’s look at some of the companies that don’t use a .com:

FastVisa.us – the .us domain makes sense because the company helps people with U.S. immigration.

NextPlay.ai – an enterprise Artificial Intelligence startup.

Open.media – the company’s name is Open Media. OpenMedia.com has been registered since 1995.


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Related posts:
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  2. Google nixing domain names in mobile search
  3. Company bringing multi-level marketing to domain names
Categories: News and Updates

Some domain name thoughts for your weekend

Fri, 2018-02-23 15:07

Here are a few domain-related notes as you head into your weekend…

I sold my second new top level domain this week. I didn’t get rich. Just $1,150. I stayed away from domains with heavy premiums and focused a lot on the generic top level domain endings. I think the most generic TLDs are the toughest to sell because there’s so much competition. Is there anything that really sets apart .online, .click, and .xyz? How can I hold out for more money for a decent .click domain when someone can just choose the same second-level domain in another generic extension?

The domain I sold was a .cloud, and that means that both of my sales to date have been .cloud domains. That’s not bad considering I purchased about 10 .cloud domains. What made .cloud appealing was low annual costs, decent domains that didn’t have premiums, and a valuable subject matter.

…I went to Vegas last week for the third time this year. This one was for pleasure, and it’s the first time I’ve been to Las Vegas for something that wasn’t work-related. My family wanted to see the decorations for Chinese New Year and catch a cirque du soleil show. The highlight of the trip was hiking in Red Rock Canyon. Those are the mountains you see to the West of the city. It’s incredibly scenic. If you’re looking for something active to do next year before or after NamesCon, I recommend spending a day there. It’s only a 30-minute drive from The Strip.

Also, I saw one .Vegas domain while I was in the city. It was on the screen of a taxi meter.

…A marketplace owner told me January and February are the best months in terms of sales. Perhaps people have goals for the year that include starting a business. I’ve had a bunch more inquiries these first two months than normal and a handful of sales. I usually find December to also be a good month, but December 2017 was slower than usual for me.

…I’ve recorded a few great podcast interviews this week that will be published in coming weeks. Stay tuned!


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Related posts:
  1. Amazon.com foreshadows AWS re:Invent news with domain name registrations
  2. .Cloud hits general availability on Tuesday
  3. .Cloud finishes a strong debut week
Categories: News and Updates

23 end user domain name sales up to $50,000

Thu, 2018-02-22 17:52

A video production company, concierge service and real estate firm bought domain names over the past week.

As usual, many of the end users that bought domain names at Sedo over the past week were companies that already own a matching second level domain in a different extension. That’s the case for the top sale of VideoDesign.com for $50,000 as well as many others.

Perhaps the most notable thing about this week’s list is a lack of cryptocurrency companies making purchases.

Here are the end user domain name sales I uncovered:

(You can view previous lists like this here.)

VideoDesign.com $50,000 – Videodesign is a video production company that uses the domain name Videodesign.ch.

BreakBread.com $22,000 – Andrew Rosener sold the domain but I’m not willing to watch the 47-minute video to figure out who he sold it to. Anyone?

Robotics.ai $12,000 – Food Technologies Limited, which owns a food tech patent (pdf). I’m not sure what its interest is in this domain.

HausMAN.com $11,250 – MAN Holding s.a.l. is a construction company in Lebanon.

Proshop.ch, Proshop.fr, Proshop.it (€7,500, €6,000, €10,000) – Proshop ApS, an online technology seller that owns the Proshop domain in many ccTLDs.

Medterra.com $10,000 – Medterra is a hemp product brand.

APMA.com $10,000 – Amore Pacific is a skincare company.

Conciergerie.fr €7,500 – Bien-Etre Assistance is a French firm that provides corporate concierge services. Conciergerie is French for concierge. The company paid €9,990 for the .com version of this domain name.

Fitshop.no €6,000 – T-Fitness Norge in Norway.

Metraj.com $6,000 – The buyer is a real estate company in Iran.

Fellow.co $5,999 – Fellow is a peer feedback system that uses the domain name FellowInsights.com.

ReedsCrossing.com $5,000 – American Newland Communities LP is developing a master planned community in a suburb of Portland called Reeds Crossing.

Soundry.com €4,950 – The site isn’t up yet but the buyer is building a website using AWS for hosting.

Deftli.com £4,700 – The domain is still in escrow but the buyer has a coming soon page.

BeTheMaster.com $3,995 – A man bought this domain name for his book of the same name.

Zone.fi €2,500 – Zone Media in Estonia. They appear to offer website building service on the domain Zone.ee.

IglooEnergy.com €2,500 – Igloo Energy in the UK uses the domain name Igloo.energy, but it just bought the matching .com.

ZZmoney.com $2,430 – ZZ Inc is some sort of product development company.

ESF.co.uk £2,160 – ESF Events Ltd is a sports company that uses the domain name esfevents.co.uk.

Wox.in $2,000 – WOX Systems is a data technology company that uses the domain name WoxSystems.com.

MomentumSocial.com $2,000 – The domain forwards to MomentumSocial.co.uk, an influencer and social media marketing company.


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Related posts:
  1. 15 end user domain name sales from Sedo
  2. See 21 companies that bought domain names last week
  3. What domain names Goldman Sachs and others bought this week
Categories: News and Updates

Bespoke.com domain owner successfully defends another attack

Thu, 2018-02-22 13:57

Judge tosses latest attempt to get Bespoke.com domain name.

You have to feel bad for Garth Piesse.

The New Zealand resident bought Bespoke.com in a competitive expired domain auction on DropCatch.com in 2014 for $18,805. It was a pretty good deal. But now his legal costs have surely dwarfed his purchase price.

First, Bespoke Services Group S.A. of Switzerland filed a UDRP against the domain name. It lost.

Then, a New Orleans company called Bespoke, LLC filed a lawsuit under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

It was going to be hard to convince a U.S. court of jurisdiction over the New Zealand resident, but the Lousiana company tried its hardest with some far-fetched claims. Piesse, represented by attorney David Weslow, filed a motion to dismiss the Louisiana case in July 2017. A judge dismissed (pdf) the lawsuit this week due to lack of jurisdiction.

In some ways, Piesse has a ready defense the next time a company tries to file a cybersquatting claim against the domain: if three companies think that Bespoke.com infinges their trademark, it will be hard to convince anyone that Piesse was targeting them with his domain registration.


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Related posts:
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  2. Jeweler sues Oversee.net for cybersquatting
  3. Libya loses anticybersquatting lawsuit
Categories: News and Updates

Google creates set-it-and-forget it Adsense option

Wed, 2018-02-21 22:01

New option is a brainless way to optimize Adsense revenue.

It’s been well over a decade since the golden days of Google Adsense (for me, at least). There was a short period of time I was making more than a thousand dollars a day from Adsense on websites and a much longer time I was bringing in over a hundred dollars a day.

A lot has changed since then, not the least of which is that the made-for-Adsense sites I created barely receive any traffic anymore and I’ve let many of them expire.

Still, Google Adsense can be a great income source for sites that cannot sell advertising directly due to their size. I still have two sites that I haven’t touched in a decade that generate over $100 a month. Not bad considering I don’t have to work for it.

Today, Google announced Adsense Auto ads, a truly set-it-and-forget-it monetization option for websites. I think this will be an ideal ad monetization solution for creators of small sites. That includes domainers who create small sites on their domains.

Rather than picking ad locations and sizes and inserting Adsense code in each spot, website owners only have to insert one code snippet in the head of their pages. Adsense will determine the locations and sizes of ads to display.

While many people think they are experts at picking the right spots to maximize ad revenue, I’d put more faith in Google engineers to optimize Adsense income on a smaller site. It’s also nice to not have to optimize separately for mobile and desktop browsing.

Site owners still get to pick the ad types that will display. Other than that, everything is in Google’s hands.

A couple of years ago I started a financial site on which I (very) rarely publish. It doesn’t have any ads on it, so I decided to try out Auto ads on the site. You can take a look at UpMoney.com and see the image below.

The ad behavior isn’t optimal yet, probably due to the low site traffic. It appears that Google is making room for ads but not always delivering them. In the image below you will see two blank spots without ads and one with a correctly inserted ad. About a half hour after taking the screenshot, ads started showing in some of the white spaces but other white space was added.

I think the location selection is pretty good, but making blank space instead of ads is an issue.


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Related posts:
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  2. Google Now Targeting Ads to Users, Not Just Content
  3. Adsense as a Platform and What it Means for Publishers
Categories: News and Updates

Asia Inspection acquires Inspection.com domain name for $335,000

Wed, 2018-02-21 21:37

Company in Hong Kong buys Inspection.com.

A Hong Kong supply chain technology company has upgraded its domain name with the purchase of Inspection.com for $335,000.

Asia Inspection uses the domain name AsiaInspection.com. It is forwarding its new, simpler domain name to the longer domain name.

Kate Buckley (podcast) brokered the sale of the domain name:

Thrilled to announce I've just closed the sale of https://t.co/rFOIuIVSBH for $335,000. Congratulations to both buyer and seller! #domains #brands #marketing #scaleup #BuckleyMediaGroup

— Kate Buckley (@katebuckley1) February 21, 2018

The domain’s Whois record has been private since 2008.

I suspect the new domain name will help the company grow beyond Asia while also giving it more credibility.


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Categories: News and Updates

How domain name registrars can win over domain investors

Wed, 2018-02-21 14:33

Here’s what domain name registrars need to do if they want to get domain investors as customers.

I get lots of pitches from domain registrars that have added nifty new features or are offering rock-bottom prices. It takes more than this to win domain investors as customers. It takes a complete package. Here’s what domain name registrars can do if they want to win over domain investors.

You can’t win on price, but you can lose on price. I often get pitches from domain name registrars about how they’re great for domain investors because of their low prices. But when it comes to .com domains, you simply can’t win on price. There are many registrars out there that offer essentially break-even pricing on .com domain names. The only way you can beat your competition is by losing money. Even when it comes to short-term discounts below the wholesale cost, I think most domain investors are smart enough to realize that registrars aren’t willing to lose money in the long run. So you’re not going to win on price (at least for .com), but you can lose on it. If you’re charging more than $9.00 or so, it’s going to be hard to win domain investors.

Security is a must. There are many things at play when it comes to security. These days it’s necessary to offer two-factor authentication, ideally through an app instead of SMS. U2F is even better, and Fabulous offers this.  One of the better security offerings I’ve seen is from GoDaddy, which lets larger domainers enable call-based security before a domain is transferred out. A GoDaddy representative will call the account owner and ask for a pin number before authorizing an outbound transfer.

Then there is the security that you don’t notice as much. It’s hard for me to evaluate if a registrar has good backend security but if they don’t follow visible best practices, I get worried. An example is sending emails to customers that require action and these emails don’t identify the customer by name or another identifier. That makes it more likely someone will fall for a phishing scam in the future.

Make it simple to manage domains. Domainers want lots of account admin features but they also want a good user interface. If a registrar creates something that looks like a programmer designed the front end, then it’s in trouble. Think about the types of actions domain investors need to perform and make it as easy as possible. Bulk actions are a must. Oh, and if you don’t offer bulk auth code downloads for transferring out, then domainers should be wary about transferring in.

Your business is important to us, but please hold. There are two essential elements of support: a good online knowledgebase and great support. Answer the phone quickly with knowledgeable reps. Promptly respond to email. Make chat support available.

Show me the money! OK, so you can’t win on price. Security is a must but it’s more of a disqualifier than a qualifier. And you need a good baseline domain manager plus good support. So far, there’s nothing that can really separate a registrar from the pack. There’s one key thing that can make a registrar truly stand out: help domainers make more money.

It used to be you could do this with a good domain parking program, but that has basically disappeared. Now you need to help them sell domains. That means integrating with AfternicDLS or SedoMLS (preferably both). Help domainers analyze their portfolios. Provide tools that enable them to make renew/drop decisions.

Helping a domainer make more money will far outweight discounted domain prices in terms of value. It might actually help you turn domainers into profitable customers, too.


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Categories: News and Updates

Crypto and Blockchain are registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:53

Want to register a new TLD with one of these suddenly hot terms? You’re going to deal with the TMCH.

Remember the Trademark Clearinghouse for new top level domain names?

By getting a mark filed with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), a company can get first rights to a domain matching the mark when a new TLD goes through sunrise. Also, people that try to register a domain matching the mark get a warning during the start of general availability. This triggers a notification to the trademark holder, too.

I’ve documented how some companies tried to game the system. But with new TLDs coming out with lackluster interest, the concept of premium domains with premium pricing, and new TLDs rolling out slowly now, you don’t hear about it much more.

So you might be surprised to see that Blockchain and Crypto are in the TMCH database.

I might give the crypto trademark owners a break. There are three marks in the database, apparently from two different companies using Swiss trademarks. Their websites are bordotek.com and crypto.ch. I’ll cut them some slack because they are in the crypto-security space, not cryptocurrencies.

But blockchain? A French technology company called Athanor has registered its mark in the TMCH database. Hmm.

There are no registrations for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  3. Sorting facts from fiction in the Trademark Clearinghouse
Categories: News and Updates

Domain investor trio acquires DNForum

Tue, 2018-02-20 13:37

Three domain investors will be the next to try to restore DNForum to prominence.

Domain name forum DNForum has been sold to three domain name investors who will operate the site and hope to restore it to its former glory. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I asked the new owners for a quick overview of who they are. One of the promising things about this trio is its geographic distribution. This gives them more timezone coverage as well as an multinational perspective.

Here are the new owners:

Oliver Hoger
Oliver has been an active trader of high-quality domain names the past 10 years, both as a buyer and seller of domain names and also as a broker for many high-profile clients. Oliver is a well know trader amongst the regulars of the high-end domain aftermarket. Oliver is based in the Euro time zone.

John Nguyen
John has been in the IT consulting business for the past 34 years. 15 years of those in the domain name business as a well-known short name investor. John also has a long and valued history at DNForum.com both as an active member but also as a moderator and administrator. John is based in the US.

Lars Lima
Lars been in the domain name industry for the past 13 years as an independent investor and broker of short domain names at www.DNand.com. He carries an MSc in International business management and has a history in sales and marketing. Lars is based in Denmark.


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. Survey: DNForum Tops NamePros
  2. DNForum Now Easier to Access on the Road
  3. DNForum (and its user database) is for sale again
Categories: News and Updates

Insurance giant AXA loses fight for AXA.org

Mon, 2018-02-19 17:51

Company provides the evidence that panel used to dismiss the dispute.

Insurance company AXA has lost a cybersquatting complaint it brought against the domain name axa.org.

The owner of the domain name did not respond to the complaint, yet AXA itself provided the evidence necessary for the panel to reject the claim.

AXA provided evidence that a group called Advocates Across America previously used the domain name. AXA argued that the group was dissolved in 2016 after failing to file annual reports with the State of Arizona.

But to win a cybersquatting case under the UDRP, a complainant has to show the domain was registered in bad faith, not just used in bad faith. The evidence AXA submitted showed that the domain was almost certainly registered in good faith by an organization using AXA to mean “Advocates Across America”, not to take advantage of the insurance giant.

AXA made the argument that AXA wasn’t an acronym for the group despite the common use of ‘x’ to mean across. It also argued that the domain was registered to take advantage of the insurance company. I can’t imagine a reason that a group that advocates for people with learning disabilities would want to trade off the goodwill of an insurance company.

In fact, you could make a good argument that this is a case of reverse domain name hijacking:

1. AXA knew the domain was registered in good faith.
2. It made a bad claim about how AXA is not a reasonable acronym for Advocates Across America
3. It waited over 20 years to bring its claim against the domain, ostensibly because the organization recently dissolved


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Related posts:
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  2. St. Louis bank sues to take over gripe domains
  3. PCO.com saved in UDRP despite no-show by domain owner
Categories: News and Updates

Christa Taylor talks domains – DNW Podcast #173

Mon, 2018-02-19 16:30

An in-depth discussion on the state of new top level domains.

What makes for a good top level domain name? Well, it starts with the ABIC test. Christa Taylor of dotTBA has helped many companies apply for, plan for and/or launch top level domain names. This puts her in a unique position of seeing new domains at many stages and monitoring different strategies. On today’s show, we discuss what has happened with new top level domains so far as well as what she expects will happen in years to come. We also discuss the challenges of domain names in the Middle East. You’ll also hear about Christa’s ABIC test for determining if a new top level domain name is good. You can actually apply ABIC to other things, too. Also: Much ado about ado.com, Donuts goes travelling, Google Chrome and Verisign’s missing news.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. How to Sell More Domains with Adam Strong – DNW Podcast #158
  3. Reviewing this year’s predictions – DNW Podcast #161
Categories: News and Updates

Kitchens To Go tries to reverse domain name hijack KTG.com

Fri, 2018-02-16 22:42

Broker offered domain name for sale, which Kitchens To Go used as an opening to get domain below market value.

Kitchens To Go, LLC has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking for a cybersquatting complaint it brought against the domain name KTG.com.

The owner of KTG.com died and left the domain names to his sister. His sister then hired a domain broker to try to sell the domain names, and the broker contacted Kitchens To Go to see if it wanted to buy the domain. Kitchens To Go uses the domain name KitchensToGo.com but also owns K-T-G.com.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel determined that Kitchens To Go did not meet any of the three elements necessary to win the case. The panel neatly summarized Kitchens To Go’s actions:

The facts point clearly towards the Complainant, having taken no steps in respect of the disputed domain name since it was first registered in 2001, taking the opportunistic view that, once it had been offered the disputed domain name for sale for a sum greater than the likely costs of registration, it could force the Respondent to sell it for a sum which was less than its market value. Failing that, that it could try to apply further pressure by bringing an unmeritorious claim under the Policy which made exaggerated accounts of rights and sweeping and unsupported assertions of bad faith against the Respondent.

Kitchens To Go was represented by Tressler LLP, which doesn’t appear to have specific experience with IP or domain name disputes.

The domain owner was represented by Zak Muscovitch of Muscovitch Law P.C.


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. UDRP complainant shoots self in foot with supplemental filing
  3. Telepathy scores $40,000 from reverse domain name hijacking case
Categories: News and Updates

Video: Talking Domains

Fri, 2018-02-16 15:11

Joe Styler interviewed me about the domain name business. Here’s what I had to say.

Last year at NamesCon I sat down with Joe Styler of GoDaddy to do a video in conjunction with NamePros. It took NamePros a year to edit and publish the video, but I think it turned out well. Thankfully, I didn’t make bad predictions about what would happen in 2017, and I think it’s still relevant.

We discuss:

* What I like more about investing in domains than in stocks
* How new top level domains can become more popular
* Why large companies sometimes have limited budgets for domains

Enjoy:


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Categories: News and Updates

Domain names Amazon and other end users bought

Thu, 2018-02-15 18:24

Huge companies buy domain names along with cryptocurrency companies.

Two very large companies made domain name purchases at Sedo over the past week. Amazon.com bought a generic and Statoil, a $74 billion market cap energy company, bought a domain corresponding to one of its projects.

Of course, there were lots of cryptocurrency related purchases as well, led by Bitkey.com for $25,000.

Here are a baker’s dozen end user sales from Sedo:

(You can view previous lists like this here.)

Bitkey.com $25,000 – The domain is in escrow but I can’t imagine it being anyone other than the owner of Bitkey.io.

Potpourri.com $22,500 – What a deal for Potpourri Group, Inc., a direct-to-consumer merchandiser. It upgraded from PotpourriGroup.com to Potpourri.com for a low price.

HiChat.com $16,800 – It looks like this will be used for a chatting app, but the buyer’s identity is unclear.

UOTC.com $5,299 – A “coming soon” page says it will be a cryptocurrency trading platform.

DoggerBank.com €3,450 – Energy giant Statoil acquired the domain name for one of its offshore wind farm investments.

SBTP.com £2,800 – SBTP Group Ltd is a newly formed company in London. The domain doesn’t resolve yet.

BWYS.com $3,500 – Bluewater Yacht Sales bought its acronym.

LuisFer.com $3,500 – This is short for the personal name Luis Fernandez.

OneDayGroup.com $2,495 – OneDayGroup in China owns the domain name one-day.cn.

AudioLibri.it €8,600 – Amazon bought this descriptive domain which means “audio book”.

DrGrammer.org $8,540 – Stands4 LTD owns Abbreviations.com.

WANDX.com $3,000 – WANDX is a cryptocurrency exchange that uses the domain WANDX.co.

Cakewalk.co $2,000 – This service helps you find and book event space.


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Related posts:
  1. What domain names Mozilla and others bought last week
  2. What domain names Goldman Sachs and others bought this week
  3. More end user domain name sales
Categories: News and Updates

Tutorial: Domain Availability Search Using GoDaddy API and PHP

Thu, 2018-02-15 16:18

Alvin Brown provides a tutorial on using GoDaddy’s API.

Grab a beverage, put your “coding” hat on for the for the journey ahead. Why? Today we’re tackling a simple coding tutorial.

That’s right, we’re coding a bit today as we aim to create a custom domain search feature with a bit of PHP, HTML, and GoDaddy’s Application Programming Interface (API).

Before diving into this tutorial, be sure you have the following:

  • A web host environment or localhost environment, preferably Linux hosting
  • A GoDaddy Developer account (sign up)
  • GoDaddy API Credentials (see here)
  • A text editor (Notepad++, Sublime, TextWrangler, Dreamweaver, Notepad)

If you encounter issues setting up or logging into your GoDaddy Developer account, then watch this video.

You’ll also need to become familiar with learning to use PHP curl to execute GoDaddy API calls.

NOTE: This tutorial is a “quick and dirty” approach that uses procedural programming and not object oriented programming (which I highly recommend).

I’m using procedural programming as this tutorial considers someone who does not come from nor have they ever had any experience with software development in general.

Once procuring the aforementioned items, then you’re ready to proceed with the tutorial.

Create Domain Search Form Using HTML and PHP
Open the text editor of your choice, naming and saving the following PHP file: dnsearch.php.

The first thing to do is to create a HTML5 form using a bit of HTML, inline CSS (I know it’s bad), and a bit of PHP.The code below is all the HTML you’ll need to create the domain search form (as shown in the image above).

Within the code, notice the following PHP variables echoed: $msg and $_POST[‘domain’].

The $msg variable is used to display success or failure text when executing a search.

The $_POST[‘domain’] variable is the name of the input field receiving input (the domain name to be searched) from the user when executing a search.

Notice the @ symbol proceeding the $_POST[‘domain’], which suppresses an errors, yet displays the domain name entered into the domain form field by the user upon form submission.

Click to enlarge image.

Create Logic to Sanitize and Validate Domain Search Using PHP

NOTE: This tutorial is simply an example and not one I deem using for production-ready environment. This tutorial is only meant to show how you might use the GoDaddy API in conjuction with PHP.

Now that you have the domain search form created, you’re ready to add a bit of logic to search, check, sanitize and validate the domain’s availability using PHP.

One of the first things to do is define an empty $msg variable. The $msg variable, as mentioned in the previous section, is used to display success or failure text when executing a search.

Once the $msg variable is in place, then we’re ready to establish whether or not the submit button has been pressed and if its value equals “Search” using an if statement.

Within the if statement, assume and define an error message as the default message using the $msg.

Next, create a few string replace and trim functions for the $_POST[‘domain’] form field using PHP’s built-in str_replace and trim methods.

I’ve also include the use of filter_var to sanitize and validate the url (i.e., FILTER_SANITIZE_URL) or domain entered is valid.

As a side note, it’s ALWAYS good to check, sanitize, and validate user input as this reduces, if not eliminates, the risk of SQL injections and cross-scripting attacks. ????

At this point, the goal is to only use and display the domain and the top-level domain (TLD) (e.g. alvinbrown.com instead of http://www.alvinbrown.com or www.alvinbrown.com).

Click to enlarge image.

That’s all for checking, sanitizing, and validating user input. It’s now time to move forward with making GoDaddy API call to check the availability of submitted domain.

Execute Domain Search Logic Using GoDaddy API and PHP

Before executing and making GoDaddy API call using PHP, use an if statement to ensure a domain is still defined after sanitization and validation checking has been successfully performed.

Within the if statement, assume the domain has successfully been sanitized and validated, and is ready to be passed to GoDaddy API.

I won’t cover all the nitty-gritty details of executing a GoDaddy API call using PHP, but feel free to read up before moving ahead in this tutorial by reviewing Getting Started With GoDaddy API Using PHP.

In short, define $url and $header variables, setting each to its respective and expected values. The $url variable expects a full path GoDaddy web url while the $header variable expects the appropriate API credentials (see GoDaddy API documentation for more assistance).

Once both have been defined, then the GoDaddy API call can be executed using PHP’s built-in cURL method.

To capture the response data from the executed GoDaddy API call to check the availability of submitted domain, define a $response variable and set its value equal to PHP’s curl_exec method, closing the cURL call using PHP’s curl_close method.

After closing the GoDaddy API call, define a $dn variable to decode the JSON response received from the previously executed GoDaddy API.

To decode JSON, use PHP’s json_decode method, passing it the $result variable as the first argument and ‘true’ as the second argument.

Click to enlarge image.

GoDaddy API Call Error Checking and Response Display

Before displaying the response data to the web browser received from making GoDaddy API call using PHP, apply simple error checking code using an additional if statement.

This if statement will check to see if the $dn variable has ‘code’ set as an object key. Said another way, has an error code been returned and encountered when making GoDaddy API call?

If $dn[‘code’] DOES exist, meaning there is an error code of some sort return, then prepare to display the error message wrapped in HTML H2 header tags.

Review GoDaddy’s API documentation to determine the respective error codes likely encountered when using the /v1/domains/available API service to check domain availability.

Else if $dn[‘code’] DOES NOT exist, meaning no error code returned, then prepare to execute yet another if statement to check whether the domain returned available or registered.

This if statement checks to verify that $dn[‘available’] exists and its value is equal to ‘true’, meaning that the submitted domain name is available for registration.

Within this if statement and because the domain is available, set the $msg variable to display a congratulatory message along with domain linked to GoDaddy to create a streamline purchase process.

With the else section of the same if statement, set the $msg variable to display a sorry message to indicate the domain is registered and NOT available for registration.

And that’s all there is to checking the availability of a domain making GoDaddy API using PHP!

Click to enlarge image.

Time to Bring it Together and Test!

If this is your first coding experience as a domainer, then you’re head is likely spinning at this point in the tutorial. ????

But the good thing is you’ve endured to the end, and now it’s time to test your pseudo technical prowess. The code in its entirety should look like the dnsearch.php file contained in the dnsearch.zip file.

DOWNLOAD dnsearch.zip for GoDaddy API Domain Search Availability

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO ADD YOUR GODADDY API CREDENTIALS OR THIS TUTORIAL WILL NOT WORK!

Download, extract and save the dnsearch.php file to an accessible web directory. Open dnsearch.php via a web browser (just like how you would visit a web page).

Once file is opened and executed via a web browser, attempt to search for both a domain you know to be available and a domain you know to be registered.

The available domain should display a message similar to the following when submitted:The registered domain should display a message similar to the following when submitted:

Closing Thoughts

Congrats! You now have your very own domain availability search feature. This is the first of many GoDaddy API tutorials to come.

My hope is that each tutorial teaches you to become more effective and efficient in various aspects (i.e., development, integration, automation) of your domain investing experience.

Although simple in nature, the principles of this tutorial will and can unlock the door to solving tomorrow’s more complex technical challenges pertaining to domain investing.

For instance, I could see someone taking this code and automating it to periodically check a list of expiring domain auctions not won (hint, hint). ????

Whether you’re technically-challenged or not, but I encourage you to take the dive in learning a new skill.

In closing, please do not hesitate to leave me questions, comments, or propose ideas for future tutorials using GoDaddy’s API.

Thanks and that’s all for now!


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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  2. GoDaddy sold $1.4 million of domain names from Marchex portfolio last quarter
  3. GoDaddy (GDDY) reports earnings, domain revenue of $263.3 million
Categories: News and Updates

Tucows’ CEO Elliot Noss on domains as an asset class

Wed, 2018-02-14 20:57

Elliot Noss explains how domain name portfolios can be treated as an asset class.

Tucows (NASDAQ:) held its investor conference call this morning to discuss Q4 and full year results.

During the call, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss referred to the deal the company did with GoDaddy (without mentioning GoDaddy) last quarter to sell some of its domain names. GoDaddy paid $2 million and acquired about 10% of Tucows’ portfolio excluding the surname portfolio.

An analyst asked about the deal and how big deals like this come about. Noss explained that domain names are an asset class:

So when it’s portfolios as opposed to individual names, then it does tend to be people looking to deploy capital. Domains are an asset class. They are an extremely obscure class with a small pool of investors, but it’s an asset class that performs like any other. You have people who sort of pay attention to different elements of the asset class and who deploy capital for different reasons. In our case, we’re very plugged in the industry. It’s known where we are when somebody wants to deploy capital or somebody wants something else from us, there may be some portfolio transactions that go along with that. So I think that — what would I describe it as, you close the seven-figure deals irregularly, but you discuss them constantly.

That “something else” Noss referred to was a deal for GoDaddy to resume selling Tucows’ expired domain name inventory.

(On a side note, Noss is recuperating from double hip-replacement surgery and I wish him a speedy recovery.)


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Categories: News and Updates

WebMD can keep its IVI.com domain, panel rules

Wed, 2018-02-14 17:18

Infertility company fails in cybersquatting claim for IVI.com.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ruled against Spanish infertility medical company Equipo IVI SL in a dispute over the domain name IVI.com. Equipo IVI argued that WebMD was cybersquatting by owning the domain name.

WebMD did not respond to the cybersquatting complaint. Despite this, the panelist determined that WebMD did not register the domain in bad faith. This was primarily because the complainant did not show that it had trademark rights in IVI at the time IVI.com was registered in 1992.

It’s not clear when WebMD acquired the IVI.com domain name. The company was not founded until 1996 and DomainTools’ oldest historical record for the domain is from 2001. This record shows WebMD as the owner.

Had WebMD bothered to respond, it could have poked a lot of holes in Equipo IVI SL’s case. Here is one of the more laughable arguments in Equipo IVI’s filing:

The Respondent, by rejecting the Complainant’s offers prior to the filing of the Complaint and by keeping the disputed domain name inactive since the date of registration, is engaging in passive retention, clearly jeopardising the Complainant and preventing it from providing the products or services corresponding to its business activity;


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Categories: News and Updates

Donuts acquires .Travel domain name

Wed, 2018-02-14 14:00

Donuts acquires a sponsored top level domain name for the travel industry.

Top level domain name company Donuts announced today that it has acquired the .travel top level domain name from Tralliance Registry Management Company.

It is the 239th top level domain name that Donuts will operate, but this one is very different from the others.

.Travel is a sponsored top level domain name that was authorized by ICANN in 2005, well before the recent domain expansion took place. As a sponsored domain, it has restrictions not found in new top level domain names. While these restrictions have been watered down over time, registering a .travel domain requires more work than the other domains Donuts sells.

Registrants must have an affiliation with travel. Before registering a domain name they need to obtain a member number from the .Travel registry. This number must be provided to the registrar when registering a domain name.

Perhaps because of this added friction, many large registrars such as GoDaddy do not offer .travel domain names.

As of the end of October, EnCirca and Name.com were the top two registrars for .travel with 3,397 and 2,770 names respectively. There were about 18,000 .travel domains registered at the time.

I suspect that Donuts will work to remove the member number requirement and move fully to a post-dispute model in which people can challenge registrants for not meeting eligibility.

The acquisition should end the saga that .travel and its ownership have gone through over the past decade. It puts it in the hands of a well-capitalized registry that has many travel-related domain names such as .flights, .holiday, .tours and .vacations.


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Cryptocurrency domains are no longer trending

Tue, 2018-02-13 23:34

From total domination to “where did those go?”.

Verisign released its latest report of the top trending keywords in new .com domain name registrations, and something is noticeably absent for January: cryptocurrency terms.

For months, domain names including terms such as coin and crypto have been on the trending list. But this month none of the top ten spots include these terms.

There are a couple possible reasons for this.

First, the trending terms list looks at the percentage month-over-month increase in domains registered that contain the word. It’s harder to grow percentage-wise as the base gets bigger.

Second, crypto-related domain names have been largely picked over.

You might also argue that interest in cryptocurrencies is starting to wane with price drops, but I wouldn’t write that on a blog like this and have crypto bettors fill up the comments with hate comments.

So what took over for crypto? Take a look:

1. near
2. cell
3. dispensary
4. stem
5. claim
6. centers
7. hole
8. residential
9. nano
10. cane


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Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Donuts is shutting down HotKeys next week

Tue, 2018-02-13 18:02

Parking company gets the axe.

Donuts is shuttering domain parking company HotKeys next week, the company announced in an email to clients today.

The new top level domain company acquired HotKeys when it bought Rightside last year.

The service hadn’t been marketed to domainers in a long time and mostly monetized large portfolios from direct relationships as well as Rightside’s own domain portfolio.

After Donuts sold the domain portfolio to GoDaddy, it probably didn’t make sense to continue operating the parking company.

Michael Blend founded HotKeys in 2001 and sold it (along with a portfolio of great domain names) to DemandMedia, which later spun out Rightside.

HotKeys is the second business that Donuts acquired from Rightside that it has announced will close. Last month it announced it was closing RegistrarStats, which had been on life support for many years.

The company is referring clients to Sedo.


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Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

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