Over the weekend, I wrote about Brent Oxley listing a portfolio of one word .com domain names in the NamesCon auction on NameJet. Perhaps, even bigger news can be found in a comment that Brent posted in response to another reader’s comment about the Create.com domain name:
“The reason I have create.com listed at $3mm is that I plan on turning this into my new hosting company I hope to launch within a year. At the time of selling hostgator we hosted more domains than godaddy and had I not sold I’m confident hostgator would be larger than them today and I’d have billions of dollars to fund my charity give.com I’d like to start.
A day doesn’t seem to go by without an old customer reaching out to share all the issues they’re having at HG. When I was shopping hostgator all interested parties always asked what the secret sauce was and when I told them customer service and uptime they’d hate my answer. The reason is because they all thought they could make millions more by outsourcing to India and that the customers woudln’t notice.
I’ll be coming back with a vengance and this time I won’t be a selllout!”
As you likely know, Brent was the founder of HostGator, one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. Brent sold HostGator to Endurance International Group (EIG) for a reported $225 million in 2012. It would be quite interesting if Brent got back into the hosting business. I am sure much has changed in that space since 2012.
Brent did not share much about his plans to start a new hosting company, but he did tell me that he would be self-funding the business.
Create.com is obviously a great domain name and would certainly make a nice brand name.
Just saw that NamePros has an interview with Brent discussing his portfolio of domain names:
Elliot I would love to see you tweak some settings if you can so that links don’t take one off your site, plus I would think that would be desirable.
I’m the “other reader” Brent replied to in the previous post, and I wanted to reply back here. So this will be a reply to Brent specifically and also relating to the topics in general.
As I have stated many times in the blogs, I am an end user first, seller and investor second. And when it comes to being an end user, HostGator was most definitely my “first love.” Not my first host, but for many years and perhaps not even that long after Brent even started the business my first love. I hosted and used as an end user hundreds of domain names with HostGator over many years. HostGator could be trusted and relied upon. HostGator was positive. HostGator was quality. The support was spectacular. Honestly, it was like a marriage, and I was perfectly happy and looking forward to growing old with HostGator for the rest of my life, even though I’m sure I could have saved a bit by jumping ship. It probably would have taken nothing short of a nuclear bomb to make me ever want to leave HostGator, and figuratively speaking and much to my dismay an ever growing stream of nuclear bombs to the final last straw is exactly what it did eventually take to make me leave. And what an inconvenience and loss of invested time that was. The post-Brent Oxley HostGator might as well have been simultaneously on its knees begging me to leave and hate it at the same time in terms of the reality of the situation. I left with extreme prejudice as the saying goes, and while hate is a strong word that I normally use (and experience) sparingly, I had genuinely come to nothing less than hate the post-Brent Oxley HostGator, with a passion. Had never thought anything like that could happen with HG.
Needless to say, customer service after Brent became a nightmare beyond your wildest nightmares. People don’t always like it when my comments are long, and this one already is, so suffice it to say the handwriting was on the wall probably by the time they abandoned the ticket system. Then it soon became a nightmare of (extremely problematic, time wasting) chat and phone only. No concern about what people really want, no concern about a “golden rule” approach, just a nightmare. And I could elaborate in some very damning ways. There is no substitute for having a real ticket system, and a real ticket system means visible tickets in place for all posterity and reference, like HostGator had originally and which was done beautifully and excellently, not a pseudo ticket system like some do now. And I didn’t need it much, but when the time comes that you do need that you really need it. And for any future hosting service, by the way, people don’t want paid SSL as the only option available. These days there are great features with a number of cPanel hosting providers to implement free Let’s Encrypt and free Comodo SSL, quickly and easily, but if a hosting provider thinks it’s going to be paid SSL only or the highway, then I love highway driving and I’m sure millions of other people do too.
Well I have more to say but this will do for now. If Brent is going to embark upon providing hosting service again, then that sounds great to me, well worth anticipating and looking into if and when it comes. Now because of the virtual “PTSD” of the post-Brent HostGator I’m extremely cautious, and use multiple providers instead of one, all cPanel (hate proprietary interfaces so far). I would love to see something like the old original HostGator in the marketplace, that could only be a good thing, and while I’ve always opted for Linux based I might want to try Windows too. And it goes without saying as far as I’m concerned that there is no proprietary interface that has not been a nightmare compared to cPanel for the former. They just don’t cut it. In fact I was commenting about DreamHost and how I left them because of that over at Andrew’s DomainNameWire just recently. Create.com would be an excellent domain and brand for any new hosting service Brent Oxley is involved with. Okay may want to share more later, otherwise happy holidays as applicable to all.
“The reason I have create.com listed at $3mm is that I plan on turning this into my new hosting company I hope to launch within a year”
How do you turn create.com into a hosting company if it is sold for $3M to someone. Not sure of what this mean. Is he expecting to get advertisement just by listing for sale without really selling it? Can you explain please.
I think he means he will use Create.com of it does not sell.
I think Give.org would be more appropriate for a non-profit.
Thats owned by BBB.org.
Hope everyone had a great day yesterday. Wanted to add a few more thoughts:
So it was being primarily an end user for years – mainly at the old original Hostgator – that enabled me to know and understand and see firsthand the real world real value of domain names – instead of just seeing them from the one dimensional “domainer-think” tunnel vision perspective that far too often and far too prevalently affects and “infects” the industry. That is why I am also in a far better position and far more equipped than most who have not had such experiences to honestly assess and see the real-world value and potential of a domain, whether long or short.
Now not only have some seen me post from time to time about being an end user first and domain investor second, but doubtless many have also seen me comment from time to time about the issue of domain name quality and length. Just as above, it was also mainly at HostGator that I discovered and witnessed firsthand – as an end user – the “great discovery” I have often commented about regarding that. It was during the “good old days” of old original HostGator that I saw and learned firsthand the power and value of domain names no matter the length, and how even three and four word domain names held great power and end user value – if they are the authoritative or one of the authoritative top-of-mind phrases for a given subject. The bottom line was that no matter how long the phrase, if it is really top-of-mind, then visitors are ready, willing and even eager to search for it no matter what – not just the keyword phrase, but the very domain name itself. And as I have written numerous times before, not just the domain name itself either, but multiple variant forms of the domain name which are exactly identical and only differ in terms of adding spaces in various part of it.
I used to love reviewing the old “legacy” style “visitors” stats on HostGator – the “legacy” version for those stats is still my favorite and was also more informative compared to newer cPanel versions. In those good old Hostgator days, the SE’s including Google used to let you see the exact search url by which the visitors came to your site, and I used to love taking the Google search url and recreating the search myself. As I have also written about before, in the many, frequent and continual instances in which visitors would actually search for the domain name itself even it it was three and four words long, or an essentially identical “domain-ized” version of it, Hostgator “legacy” stats is where I discovered what visitors do for top-of-mind domains no matter how long they are. Three words is one thing, but it was a massive four word beast .com that I used to experience continual traffic on that finally inspired me to want to talk about it (and to some degree another four worder too), though originally this was something I pretty much wanted to keep to myself while acquiring good domains for end use and enjoying my Hostgator-derived discovery. So for instance, aside from searches on the SLD keywords themselves, visitors constantly searched on ExampleExampleExampleExample.com, and (note the insertion of spaces next) ExampleExample ExampleExample.com, Example Example Example Example.com, ExampleExample ExampleExample .com, Example Example Example Example .com, etc. It was quite a discovery about the real, real world value of domain names indeed, both long and short, not just either/or. And that reality is why total quality both with and without regard to length trumps everything when it comes to honestly and accurately understanding the value of domain names, why I could still show a three word .com easily worth 9 figures if I was willing to call attention to it, and no doubt why a stock exchange listed company even came calling for my most highly trafficked four word .com beast as well.