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Parked Domains: What are They and How do They Work? Featured Image

Parked Domains: What are They and How do They Work?

by: Hostwinds Team  /  August 25, 2023


Imagine your domain as a canvas that holds the promise of a masterpiece. Yet, as you formulate your vision, the domain sits idle, waiting for its time in the spotlight. This is where domain parking comes into play.

In this guide, we unravel the mysteries of domain parking, touch on its benefits, uses, potential risks, and illuminate the contrast between parked domains and addon domains.

What is a Parked Domain?

We generally associate domains with websites. For example, the hostwinds.com domain points to the Hostwinds website. This is not the case with a parked domain.

A parked domain is a domain name that is owned by an individual or business but is not directly connected to an online source, like a website. They're essentially not being used for anything.

Why Use Domain Parking?

There are several reasons why one would want to park a domain.

Protecting Brand Identity: If you own multiple domain extensions (e.g., .com, .net, .org) for your brand, you might park the additional extensions to prevent others from using them and potentially diluting your brand's identity.

Future Development: You might have plans to develop a website for the domain in the future, but you're not ready to do so immediately. Parking the domain allows you to reserve it and potentially earn some income while you work on your website's content and design.

Domain Speculation: Some people engage in domain speculation, purchasing domains with the hope that their value will increase over time. Parking such domains can help them generate some revenue while waiting for a potential buyer.

Domain Resale: If you're looking to sell a domain, parking it can help showcase its potential value to potential buyers. The parked page can provide information about the domain and attract interest.

Testing Market Interest: Before investing time and resources into developing a website, you might park a domain to gauge the level of interest or demand for the topic or keywords associated with the domain.

Redirecting Traffic: You might use a parked domain as a temporary redirect to another website you own. This can be useful when you're transitioning from an old domain to a new one or promoting a specific campaign.

Maintaining Online Presence: Even if you're not actively using a domain, parking it can help maintain your online presence. Visitors who type in the domain name will still find some content, even if it's just advertisements.

Waiting for Legal or Regulatory Changes: In some cases, legal or regulatory issues might prevent you from immediately using a domain. Parking it can provide a temporary solution until any legal matters are resolved.

Avoiding "Domain Squatting": If you want to prevent others from registering a domain similar to your brand or trademark, you might park it to show your intent to use the domain in the future.

How to Park a Domain

Setting up domain parking is a straightforward process, not unlike registering a normal domain.

First, check to see if the domain you want is available. A simple web search or using the WHOIS lookup tool will let you know.

If the name is taken, you may want to look into variations of the name as well as the domain extension, or Top-Level Domain (.com, .net, .org, .co).

Once you've found the domain you want, you can purchase it through a domain registrar or your web hosting provider.

Now that you own the domain, all you need to do is "park" it until you're ready to do something, like link it to a website or email host.

Domain Parking Services

Some domain owners want to make some passive income on their parked domains so they'll opt to use a domain parking service. This is where a domain registrar creates a page under your domain name to place advertisements. The revenue from the ads is then split between the domain owner and registrar.

Here's a basic rundown on how to get started with domain parking services:

Choose a domain parking platform: Opt for a reputable domain parking service that suits your preferences.

Sign up and provide domain details: Create an account on the chosen platform and add the domain you want to park.

Configure settings: Customize how ads are displayed on your parked domain, such as ad formats and placements.

Monitor performance: Keep track of the revenue generated and adjust settings as needed to optimize your earnings.

Potential Risks of Domain Parking Services

While domain parking can be lucrative, there are potential risks to consider. One risk is that parked domains might attract low-quality advertisements, which can harm the user experience and ultimately credibility of the domain. This could make it difficult to link and build a website that ranks in search.

Additionally, there's the possibility of losing out on organic traffic if visitors are deterred by the types of ads placed on the page.

To mitigate these risks, it's important to choose a reputable domain parking platform and carefully curate the ads displayed on your parked domain.

Difference Between Parked Domain and Addon Domain

It's important to distinguish between a parked domain and an addon domain as you'll come across both of these options in your cPanel account.

As we touched on earlier, a parked domain is a standalone domain registered in your cPanel account - It is not unique to any specific online content, like a website.  For example, using subdomains of the same name, like cooking.net, to show the same information as cooking.com, or pass through to cooking.com.

An add-on domain, on the other hand, contains another website within the same hosting account with its own unique URL, content, and information.  It appears as a completely separate website when you point it from your original domain to its own folder within public_html.

This makes it possible to have two unique websites on one account.  For example, you can have golf.com as your main domain and also host cooking.com on the same account.  Both will display their unique content in different locations.

Buy a Domain and Park it

Domain parking is not exactly a game changing endeavor but there are definitely valid reasons for why one would want to hold onto one or a few.

So if you've found a great domain name up for grabs but don't have plans to do anything with yet, don't worry - Park it!

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Written by Hostwinds Team  /  August 25, 2023