What is a parked domain name?
Put very simply, a parked domain (or parking a domain) is when you purchase a domain name such as
sitebeginner.com but you don't associate it with any web services like email or web hosting. Instead, you “park” it for later use – often with a landing page or holding page.
Usually, when you set up or start a website you would want to register your domain name for an annual fee. Then, you'd point the domain to a website so that the website appears when visitors go to the domain name.
In some cases though, you may just want to purchase the domain name initially and park it, ready for use later.
Why you might want to park your domain name
By definition, parking your domain means you don't intend to use it right away. Much like you might park your car ready for use later. There are plenty of good reasons why you may want to use domain parking for your new name:
- You haven't had time to start your website yet. To use your domain name, you need to be able to point it towards a web hosting account. If you're just started out you may not have had a chance to sign up to a host such as Bluehost or Web Hosting Hub yet so there's nowhere to point your domain.
- You're buying domains to reserve them for later use. Parking a domain or domains that you want to use later makes sense because once you do have hosting ready, you can quickly connect them and start to create your website using the domain names – it also prevents somebody from registering them in the mean time and protects your name.
- To generate additional income. You might not have a particular idea for a website, but are instead investing in a good quality domain name. Here, you can display advertising on your parked page to earn income whenever somebody visits your page and clicks on one of the advertisements. It's very quick and easy to do, and is passive income in that you don't need to do anything for it to continue.
- You no longer need your website and are waiting for it to expire. If you have many websites, you may want to park the ones you no longer intend to keep until they expire – again, you can earn additional income from these until they have expired.
Domain name parking services
There are services out there that will allow you to have free domain parking in exchange for a percentage of the earnings made through advertisements on your parked page. If you have no interest in making money off your parked domains and just want to park them for future use, you can use your registrars free option to park this at no cost.
The below registrars all offer a free parked domain option:
If you are looking to make money from your parked domains, I'd recommend using Sedo. It's free to park your domain with them (many others charge you a fee and a large percentage of your advertising revenue) and they have a very active and large marketplace.
Personally, I do not park domains because there is a danger that people may associate the ad-heavy parked pages with your domain name if you later decide to add a website to that domain. The cost of your brand and reputation may suffer because of this. This is why I do something a little different with domains to allows me to “park” them myself.
My alternative to domain name parking
This is a great way to manage your domain names if you're not ready to build your site just yet and don't want to park your domain name either.
What I do is take one of my unlimited web hosting accounts, which lets me add as many domain names to the account as I like, and I add each domain to this account when I purchase them. Then I create a very simple
index.html page with a little bit of content about the domain and, if I want to, some Google Adsense advertising.
This works so well because shared web hosting is very cheap and it only costs me $3.99 a month to run my unlimited Web Hosting Hub account.
Here's my step-by-step process for parking my own domains:
- I purchase my new domain with the registrar Namecheap (who I use for all my additional domains)
- I “point” this domain toward my Web Hosting Hub account
- I create a simple
index.htmlfile, similar to my Dreamweaver tutorial
- I place some Google Adsense ads on the page (optional)
For the grand total of $3.99 a month I can have as many parked domains as I like and I can completely control what content is show on those parked pages as well. I can control my brand and my reputation and I get to keep 100% of any revenue I make.
So, you can see that domain name parking is a very simple concept and it is also something you can do very easily yourself too.