If I Were You…

People often say you shouldn’t develop a domain name just to develop it. You should either have a passion for the topic or have knowledge about the industry, as a development project is difficult, and if you don’t enjoy that business, you are going to have regrets. While that advice may be 100% accurate, I think high value domain names need to be secured, and it appears that development may be the best way to secure them. After the recent LH.com UDRP decision, I would advise people to develop the domain names they can’t afford to lose via UDRP.
Yes, the chances of losing a name via UDRP are still arguably slim, but with each decision like the LH.com decision, it becomes easier and easier for companies to cite other similar cases when they file a UDRP for a generic domain name. I do understand the difficulty of developing all of your domain names if you have hundreds of names. I would argue that if you do have hundreds of domain names, you are probably at the greatest risk of losing your names – even if they are generic. In fact, the LH.com decision cited:

…Respondent’s business model involves the indiscriminate acquisition and use of as many such domain names as possible. The traditional analyses of the rights to or legitimate interests element should not apply in gross when a registrant is not seeking to use any particular domain name to conduct business, is not otherwise known by that name, and has no interest in the nature of the transferor’s rights there from.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to develop domain names. I haven’t started soliciting advertisers for Lowell.com, and as such, I am only making a few dollars from the hotel and job boards at the moment, but I know with optimization will come advertising dollars. This is a full scale business I have developed, rather than just a developed domain name. There are plenty of options out there to develop where you don’t need to spend a ton of time or money. If I had more high value domain names, I would be developing all of them quickly.
Incidentally, check out Salinas.com to see a site that was fairly quickly put together.   Maybe I could generate a little more revenue if it was parked, but as it is, I have closed close to 25 hotel reservations in less than 2 months, have generated good revenue from the job board, and have a nice deal with the photographer. Once I develop the domain name more fully (in a couple of months), it will look even better.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Hi Elliot, you brought very useful points. That ruling should be a wake up to most domainers. Even if development is not that easy, as long as one is domaining for a living he or she should learn how to develop or outsource cheaply. As DomainFliper blog indicted earlier today that at least blog with some ads links could be better than parking a high value name.

  2. It’s not necessarily difficult to develop web properties. As with most things that involve technical skills, of course, it seems intimidating to people who are inexperienced. Before domainers panic, I think they’d do well to look for people who do have the experience, and who can help them. A couple of weeks ago I made a post on Rick’s board asking if anyone wanted help with developing, and was surprised at the lack of response. People seemed more interested in talking about their favorite pizza place than about how they can partner with people such as myself to develop their properties. Are domainers all talk when it comes to development?

  3. Excellent post! I know that I feel a lot better about the health of my domain portfolio when I actually convert a domain name into a functional website or point it to a website in it’s respective category. It really is what it is – Domainers that pro-actively integrate development into their domaining strategy are building the meaningful web one domain at a time, all the while better securing their domain portfolios into the future.

  4. The problem with doing this is that you’re a lot less likely to get end user interest in your domains if they’re developed. End users are likely to figure – oh, there’s a website there already – the domain probably isn’t for sale. I’m all for development, but I think that slapping up a website because of fear of a UDRP is counterproductive and costly.

    If an end-user wants the name (and is willing to pay), I am sure they will do whatever they can to get it. BTW, my advice is for premium domain names only rather than mid-level domain names.

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