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What is a Parked Domain? A Beginner’s Guide

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If you’re looking for a unique domain name for your website, ask yourself the following question: what is a parked domain?

You might not be familiar with this term yet, but it’s key to understanding why it often seems impossible to find an original domain name.

Parked domains are in limbo. They don’t point directly to any working website on the internet, but they have an owner. Therefore, you can’t use them to name your new business site.

Frustrating, isn’t it? 🤔

The good news is you can park a domain for your benefit. You may even earn a profit from it!

👉 In this article, we’ll introduce you to domain parking and guide you through the process of parking a domain step by step.

Here’s everything that you’ll learn:

Let’s get started!

What is a parked domain?

A parked domain is a domain name not connected to a website or an email address. It’s registered but inactive. Owners are just waiting for the right moment or opportunity to give them use in the future.

Parking a domain is like buying a car and keeping it in the garage for a later purpose (or maybe keeping it locked up in a showroom so that other people can see it but not use it).

Let’s say you buy a 4×4 for winter. You purchase it in summer and park it in your garage to use in December.

The car has been failing to fulfill any function for months, but no one else can use it except you. You registered it by your name and own it.

Although the comparison is not 100% accurate, it’s an easy way to understand how parking a domain works. When you park a domain, you’re keeping it for your convenience. You can use it when it’s more appropriate.

What is a parked domain example? Four different parking pages

When you type a parked domain in your browser, you might experience different things depending on how the parked domain is configured:

  • Error page – if the owner hasn’t bothered to configure the domain at all, you might see an error like DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.
  • Purchase/sales page – if the domain owner has plans to sell the domain name, you might see a basic page with information on how you can purchase it.
  • Ads page – the owner might try to make a little money by showing ads.
  • Parked-for-free domain page – you might see a message from the owner’s domain registrar, as most quality domain registrars offer a free parking service.

Here are some different parked domain examples to illustrate these points:

Error parked domain example:

what is a parked domain error page

Sales/purchase parked domain example:

what is a parked domain sales page

Ad page parked domain example:

what is a parked domain ads page

Domain registration free parking page example:

what is a parked domain parked for free page

What is domain parking?

People use the “parked domain” and “domain parking” terms interchangeably, but they’re slightly different.

Domain parking often refers to registering a domain, parking it, and earning money while it’s parked. It’s closely related to a cash parking domain strategy, where owners make money every time a user visits the domain name and clicks on ads.

Domain parking ads

Why do people (really) park their domains? Four main reasons

Now that you know what is a parked domain, let’s go over some of the reasons why domain parking exists.

There are many reasons why someone would decide to park a domain. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  1. Reserve a future business name
  2. Send users to the main website
  3. Earn a profit by reselling the domain or displaying ads
  4. Prevent cybersquatting

1. Reserve a future business name

Choosing a domain name for your site can be challenging. Hundreds of thousands of new websites, each with an authentic domain name, are born daily.

How can you anticipate your competitors’ moves and register the best name available? Buying and parking a domain is a smart way to reserve it, even if you’re not planning to launch your site just yet.

Your business name is gold: it’s what potential customers type in web browsers, and it’s how search engines find you online. To some extent, the success of your new project depends on it.

Consider registering and parking a domain as soon as possible to get a proper name for your future blog or ecommerce site.

2. Send users to the main website

Web traffic is essential to growing your business and keeping new clients coming to your site. But what if someone types your domain name wrong?

To prevent users from landing on an error page when mistyping your domain name, consider buying and parking similar names. Then, redirect traffic from the wrong domain names to your main site.

For example, if your site is called mynewestsite.com, you can register and park the following domains:

  • mmynewessttsite.com
  • mynewestessiite.com
  • mymnnewestsites.com

This way, whenever a user types your name wrong, they won’t land on an error page, but your site instead.

Another tactic you can use to drive more users to your site is buying and parking multiple domain names with different extensions or top-level domains (TLDs).

If you already own mynewestsite.com, consider purchasing mynewestsite.org or mynewestsite.net as well. After doing it, point these parked domains to your site.

3. Earn a profit by reselling the domain or displaying ads

Domain names can multiply their value over time.

The domain Business.com was valued at $7.5 million in 1999. In 2007, it was sold for a whopping $345 million [1]. That’s 47 times more than its original value!

This example shows how profitable parking domains can be. However, it’s better not to get too excited about these astronomical numbers.

Making money selling domains is complicated. Those who decide to park a domain as an investment opportunity are looking to earn a few hundred dollars in return. They do it in domain marketplaces like Flippa or Sedo.

Keep reading if you’re interested in getting extra cash parking domains. We’ll cover this topic later in this guide.

4. Prevent cybersquatting

What is a parked domain cybersquatter?

Well, it can be a frustrating part of trying to create an online business.

In a nutshell, cybersquatting is when someone registers a domain name identical or similar to trademarks or brand names to make money from it.

For example, if your site is called domainexample.com, someone may try to misuse your company name by buying and registering domainexamples.com or domainexample.org. Cybersquatting aims to steal traffic from your site and benefit from your business’s success.

How can you prevent this from happening?

When starting a site, buy your main domain (domainexample.com) and other variations such as domainexample.org, domainexample.net, or domainexample.co. Registering domain names using different TLDs is an increasingly common practice among startups and new businesses.

How to park a domain? Two methods

There are two ways you can park a domain:

How to park a domain via your domain registrar

Parking a domain is straightforward. You just need to register it in a domain registrar and park it for future use.

But before that, you must find an original domain name. For that purpose, you can use a domain name generator like DomainWheel.

These AI-powered tools are an excellent help for picking the right name for your domain. Not only will DomainWheel help you find quality domain names, but it will also check if they are actually available to purchase.

Domain name generator to park domains

Once you choose a domain name, go to a domain registrar like Namecheap and register it.

Namecheap to park domains

You can buy and register a domain name for as low as $13.98. These are the prices for Namecheap’s most popular TLDs:

  • .com – $13.98 (currently on sale at $9.58)
  • .net – $12.98 (currently on sale at $10.98)
  • .co – $26.98 (currently on sale at $9.48)

Now that you own a domain name, you’re ready to park it.

How to park a domain via your hosting provider

Parking a domain via a hosting provider is a perfect option for you in the following cases:

  • You already have an account with a web hosting provider.
  • You plan to start a business in the future and want to park a domain while you set up the site.

Why? 🤓

Well, to park a domain, you don’t necessarily need to connect a domain to a hosting provider. If you just want to earn profit parking domains, we recommend you buy a domain, register it, park it, and sell it.

For people who want to reserve a future business name, prevent cybersquatting, or keep a domain name while building a site, parking a domain via a hosting provider is the smart way to do it.

With a hosting provider like Bluehost, you can get a domain name and a hosting plan in the same package. When you sign up for a hosting plan for as little as $2.75, Bluehost will often give you a free domain name for the first year.

Bluehost park domains

How can you park a domain once you’re all settled up? Follow these steps:

1. Go to the Domains tab in your Bluehost dashboard and click Assign:

Bluehost park domains first step

2. Choose to assign an existing domain associated with your account or a new domain name:

Bluehost park domains second step

3. Verify the domain ownership. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process:

Bluehost park domains third step

4. Click Parked Domain:

Bluehost park domains fourth step

5. Click Assign this Domain:

Bluehost park domains fifth step

6. Now you should see the domain listed in your Domain Manager tab:

Bluehost park domains last step

How to make money parking domains

Now – let’s move on to the next question – what is a parked domain monetization strategy that you can use to earn money?

There are two main strategies that you can use to make money from domain parking:

1. Domain flipping

Domain flipping is a popular strategy to make money buying and selling domains. The basic premise of this investment method is to buy a domain at a low price and sell it to a third party for a higher price.

Is it easy to get started? Can I really make money with it?

Short answer: yes. 😎

Anyone can start flipping domains with a low budget. You can buy a domain for as little as $10 and earn a profit with a future sale. However, exploring the market and finding a suitable buyer requires time and dedication.

Follow these steps to make money flipping domains:

1. Go to a domain marketplace like Flippa or Sedo. Or, you can go directly to a domain owner and make an offer – there are lots of ways to find out who owns a domain name.

Domain parking with flippa

2. Choose a domain name. Before buying it, you should consider aspects such as:

  • The initial price and the value growth potential.
  • The popularity of the TLD (.com, .net, org…).
  • The domain name memorability.
Domain parking with flippa second step

3. Visit a domain appraisal service like Estibot to determine if your investment is worth it.

Domain parking with estibot

4. Buy the domain. You can contact the seller first or make an offer on the go.

Buy a domain in flippa

5. Park the domain. Wait for the right moment to sell it.

6. Whenever you think your domain has increased its value, sell it. Start promoting it in a domain marketplace or list it on your website. You can create a banner on your homepage with a sale ad or build a landing page to allow buyers to send you an offer directly.

2. Ad revenue

This is arguably the most popular way of earning money parking domains.

What is a parked domain advertisement?

Well – it’s exactly what it sounds like: people land on your parked domain web page, they click on ads, and you make money from it.

See the example below:

GoDaddy ads page

We mistyped the domain name goddady.com and landed on a parked domain page. The links called “related searches” are ads. When someone clicks on them, the domain owner makes money.

Regarding GoDaddy, this domain registrar and hosting platform also offers an excellent domain parking service. With GoDaddy’s CashParking, you can earn 80% of advertising revenue on a parked domain.

GoDaddy cashparking

Once you choose a plan (starting at $9.59 per month), you need to add a domain or domains to your CashParking portfolio and point them to GoDaddy’s park web servers.

That’s it. GoDaddy will set up your page with ads so you can come back every month and see how much money you’ve generated with your parked domain.

What is a parked domain? Now you know! 🙋

So – what is a parked domain?

Well, at this point you should have a pretty good idea of how to answer that question.

You’re more than prepared to park a domain and benefit from it.

🏁 To recap what we discussed above, there are many reasons why you’d like to park a domain:

  • To own a domain name and keep it while you build a website or create a new business.
  • To send users to your main website when they mistype your domain name.
  • To earn a profit.
  • To prevent cybersquatting.

For further reading, check out our guide 👉 on how to choose a domain name. You can also use a free domain name generator 🎡 like DomainWheel to come up with some great suggestions that are available for purchase.

Still confused by the question of what is a parked domain? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to help!

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