Advice News

Ten Things Domain Investors Should Know (Apr 4, 2019)

One of the greatest contests in NamePros history, price caps may be eliminated for .org, .info and possibly .biz, Efty has released big improvements, the Alpnames bulk transfer situation is clarified, it is now possible to exclude a term in a NameBio search, and much more in this issue. The bonus item has important information for those holding co (.uk) domain names.

Each week or two I put together a list of ten items domain investors should not. While not all items will apply to all domain investors, each will be of interest and importance to some domain investors. Here are the ten things I see as noteworthy. With this concise list and the 25+ linked articles may aim is to provide you with the knowledge you need.

The List of 10

  1. Hand Reg COM contest Vote NOW! 
    If you have not already done so go right now to NamePros and vote in the COM HandReg contest for March.  In a process that included both community vote (via  the like feature) and a selection by an expert panel 27 finalists from the hundreds  of submissions were identified.  You can vote for up to 3, but you must select all 3 at the same time and  press the vote submission button once. NamePros user BrandCougar did a truly amazing job supervising and promoting the competition. It became one of the most popular contests in the long history of NamePros. Due to generous sponsorship the winner gets $200 plus an Efty Growth subscription.
  2. ORG and INFO (and BIZ?) Price Increases Coming?
    One of the surprises coming out of the ICANN 64 meeting in Japan was a proposal to take the price caps off ORG and INFO.  You can read about it on DNWire – this is currently in discussion phase if you want to let your voice be heard. Just as we went to press a domain blogger reported that another legacy extension, BIZ,  is also seeking to have price caps removed
  3. Efty Releases Big Changes! 
    Domain management and sales platform Efty have released some big updates.  One of the most significant is a chat feature for interacting with potential customers.  They also did a makeover on landers, based on an analysis of the lander features that resulted in more closed sales. Many bloggers have already written about the changes, for example Andrew covers it in DomainNameWire here. Efty keeps getting better! 
  4. Alpnames Transfers
    On March 15 ICANN officially announced the closing of Alpnames, and now they have identified which registrars the domains will be going to under ICANN bulk transfer provisions.  Legacy extensions .biz, .com, .info, .net, and .org will be going to Moniker, with .pro and other extensions going to Key-Systems.  Under ICANN  bulk transfer provisions registrants do not pay for the transfer (no year is added). At time of writing the transfer was taking place on a TLD  by TLD case with some already transferred.  A representative of Key-Systems is active on this NamePros thread which you should follow for updates.  This article at Domain Name Wire provides additional background.
  5. Your Best 5 New Extension Domains
    Well known new gTLD expert (NP username) lolwarrior has launched a thread where new extension investors can list in one post the 5 (or fewer) best new extensions from their portfolio.  The contest will be  open for about a two week period, and will be followed by a voting stage to choose between finalists. This is a good chance both to see some great examples of new gTLD domain names and to showcase a few of your own.
  6. Weekly Look At Sales
    Almost all domain investors watch each week for Ron Jackson’s superb DNJournal.  However since that report concentrates on the big (generally $$$$ and up) sales, it is also important to track more typical sales regularly.  While the NameBio Daily Market Reports are a great resource, another one you should  consider is the NameTalent weekly analysis.  It is based on NameBio data.  A couple of features that it provides are a daily look at  the median sales price as well as how many sales are at $1000 and above. The most recent two are here (week ending March 26) and here (week ending April 2).
  7. New NameBio Search Feature
    It has not received the notice it deserves, but NameBio now make it possible to do searches that exclude a certain term. Michael explains how it works here, using the example of searching for domain sales that include block but not chain.  You simply search on the term block!chain.
  8. Price Increase News
    Although they don’t take effect until October, the Donuts registry has announced price increases of varying amounts on many of their extensions. The average increase in wholesale price is 7% but varies with extension (some not increasing at all). You can register in advance to take advantage of current prices. Please note however that the price for .group is going down substantially (about 35%) so if you can holding off on your renewals for that TLD makes sense. Some did not notice this from January where .club announced phased increases over the next three years.  They had kept pricing stable since 2014. In other price news the co-CEO of the .best registry announced that effective in 
  9. Estibot Marketplace Live
    Well known domain tool Estibot announced and opened a  marketplace.   It is not a marketplace in the traditional sense, but rather a place where domain names for sale  in  some other venue can  be collated. There is no commission charged  by Estibot for inclusion in the marketplace, but you do need to be a subscriber to one of their plans to list there.
  10. Registration Growth Stats
    Both Verisign and CENTR came out with reports in the last little while.  The Verisign report (for Q4  2018) showed a year over year increase of 5.4% for .com/.net, country codes were up 5.6%, while new gTLDs were up 15.5% year over year. The CENTR report showed the slowest growth since they started their series, although it was still positive growth.  Differences in methodology and time frame help to reconcile the apparent differences.  You can download the CENTR report here.


While a several items from the previous top 10 also were included in this top 10, such as the .com March hand registration contest and the Alpnames  situation, we also wanted to update you on some others.

The DEV domain extension rate of increase has now levelled off somewhat, standing at just under 120,000 registrations when we went to press. Dev has now reached 36th place overall among the new extensions. The .app, another Google extension, currently sits in 12th place.

We mentioned Dofo in our previous report. Since then Dofo put together some great infographics on the domain industry and show the power of their platform in looking at some of the older registrations. Note that you can access the document directly on the Dofo blog. I continue to be amazed at how flexible and powerful their platform is for both those researching domain names and seeking to purchase a domain name.


While we keep this list to 10 items, most issues will also include one bonus item.  This bonus is critical reading for those invested in third level domain names in .uk, such as co(.uk) domain names. You only have a few months to secure your matching domain in the .uk extension.  Read about the details here. 

We weren’t able  to squeeze in an item on the April promotions, but the $5.95 .com promotion at Dynadot deserves a shout out. 

Get In Touch

We noticed a number of other interesting domain developments in a very active couple of weeks, but want to keep each issue to just 10 items (plus sometimes a bonus item). Stay tuned for another list of 10 things I think you should be sure to notice! We expect the next to be about two weeks from now.

Have an idea you think merits attention? Reach out to me by email (Bob (at), on Twitter (@AGreatDomain), at NamePros (DM Bob Hawkes) or through comments to this post. If there are any corrections, please make them in the comments or reach out to me.  

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Final Words

What excited me most this week?  I really like the new search feature at NameBio which makes  more sophisticated searches easy to do. While I am not currently using Efty, there is a lot of justified excitement about the changes. 

Missed our previous report in this series? You can find it here.

Disclosure: I have no association with the products and services listed here and were not compensated in any way to mention anything in this list. 

About the author

Bob Hawkes

Domain analyst and commentator with particular interests in quantitative analysis, new uses for domain names, nontraditional end users, and bridging the gap between the domain community and end users. Background in science, research, education, outreach and communications, as well as almost two decades running a small home-based business. My first domain name acquisition was 2001. I hold a modest domain portfolio with legacy, country code and new extensions. Based in western Canada, but my domain outlook is global! My goal is to provide fresh insights and an evidence-based balanced outlook on the domain industry.

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