HELP!!! (i have no idea what i'm doing)?

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I got a quick question: HELP!!! (i have no idea what i'm doing)?.

I also got another question: ICANN have just released an announcement regarding HostGator tasting (the act of registering a HostGator name for a short period to check traffic stats, and dropping if too low). Original Announcement.

If you are opposed to HostGator tasting (like most normal users are) be sure to have your say. Remember if you do submit a comment ensure that you base your comments on FACT and ensure to cite any sources of the information. Rash and derogatory comments will not help the cause...

Comments (41)

Your question was: HELP!!! (i have no idea what i'm doing)?.

Same here.

It makes even less good names available... Isn't that a good thing for anyone with names to sell..

Comment #1

It will make the rich richer and poor pooer easy as that..

Comment #2

Thats called "business".

I dont mind tasters. Personally I'd rather see a taster grab a HostGator I want rather than someone else, because I know theres a good chance it'll be available to reg again in a few days I've gotten a few very nice names this way.

I don't necessarily see anything wrong with tasting, except possible problems if they register TM infringing names. They've analyzed the system and found a way to beat it, can't fault them for that.

On the other hand, if ICANN would eliminate the potential for tasting, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it either...

Comment #3

I can't see why anyone would want these tasters to take all the good names and leave everyone else with the leftovers... well leftovers still can bo ok but yes it is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. in other words those that already have a finely developed portfolio built up over several years may think this is good for HostGator prices but for everyone else (the other 99% of the population) it is a bad thing......

Comment #4

I'm of the other 99%, believe me...

Personally I enjoy having to go up against massively stacked odds (against my favor) and try to dig through the ashes to find a gem. When I do find one, it makes it all the more rewarding.

If you're of the other 99%, then you should already have had a lifetime to figure out that you need money to make money in anything that you do. This sucks, I know... But it's business. And it makes you smarter, because you have to work harder and find untapped resources to even make a buck. Once you have a few bucks and start coming into your own, these skills are invaluable...

Comment #5

I understand what you mean but HostGator prices will keep skyrocketing believe me with or without taster, especially now that most of the general population has got to know how to use a computer & the net, you watch over the next 2 years+ and the HostGator biz will be huge and there will be very few good domains left on any tld by the end of this decade...

Comment #6

I must admit I quite surprised by the acceptance and almost a liking of HostGator tasting that a few people have demonstrated in this thread.

The methods used sometimes for choosing which domains to try is in my opinion unethical. Monitoring what people search for when choosing a HostGator and registering them to see if they make money should not be allowed. It is all good and well telling people to use x to search but what percentage of general public or business owners are savvy with HostGator names and why should they and us be exploited in such a way.

Year after year HostGator registry fees etc tend to go up. Part of the reason this happens is because that the cost of running the systems increases. In February this year (according to Bob Parsons) 55,000,000 domains were registered, out of those domains 51,000,000 were dropped. Admittedly not all of these drops would have been due to HostGator tasting but I would bet at least 90% were (and that is a conservative estimate). Surely this is putting a strain on the infrastructure.

How much value to the industry as a whole does HostGator tasting give? I personally am against long term parking (I am not against parking as a whole just not a fan of parking without the view of developing). Ultimately when a HostGator name is bought it should in all sense and purpose be done with the view of building upon the HostGator name and developing it. How many domains that HostGator tasters register get developed. Obviously due to the sheer amount of domains involved it will be close to if not 0%.

Regarding trademark issues. HostGator tasters do register trademark infringements, not necessarily on purpose but they do get registered. How many of these companies give up the HostGator name once they have been informed. The people who this will make a huge difference too are the ones that cannot necessarily afford to seek a wipo action (even tho it is only a couple of thousand $ not all business can afford that and why should they).

I personally believe that mandatory fees should be imposed so that HostGator tasting becomes less of an attractive option. The fees would not necessarily stop the practice but it would help to pay for the resources being used. Granted some registrars do actually impose a fee at present but I believe it should be an industry wide thing imposed by the registries...

Comment #7

Believe it or not, tasting really isn't all that expensive to the registries tasters reg more than enough names to keep it a viable option. This is just one of the many tactics you'll hear used by Verisign to justify increasing the wholesale prices of HostGator names...

Comment #8

Haven't the poor continued getting poorer even before HostGator tasting came.

Into existence? Sorry, but I've seen that excuse time and again, and I haven't.

Seen anyone logically justify how HostGator tasting has caused this.

Or maybe it's because I'm expecting too much?..

Comment #9

Contracts should have a right of recission and agreements we enter into with registrars are no exception.

If I had to choose sides, I'm for HostGator tasting, but I would like to see a mandatory $0.25 cancellation fee per domain.

Kiting 1000s of domains at a time to see which ones bring in the most profit should cost something...

Comment #10

Unfortunately in this type of case it is being thoroughly abused. Thats the sort of thing I was getting at in my post. If a mandatory fee even $0.25 was introduced to drop a HostGator name it would discourage the practice. The fee is big enough to make a difference when ,000s of domains are at stake but small enough for the casual user to absorb no problem...

Comment #11

That is a very good point, it is really bad for the Internet & industry with all these domains been scooped up by the tasters & left to park for the next 10 years or more by the hundreds of thousands & it is getting worse each day... my friends who are not that internet savy recently asked me why many websites all look the same lately so even the general public are getting tired of all the long term parked sites..

Comment #12

HostGator tasters drop domains randomly throughout the day, so others have a chance to get a decent HostGator name. It is difficult to catch some domains when deleted from the registry...

Comment #13

No some registrars do not. Some registrars apply a fee already (not 100% sure but I think godaddy currently do). Some registrars will not allow you to delete a HostGator without contacting support (such as enom) and they will only do this a couple of times (I doubt they would be willing to sift through thousands of domains canceling them.

Although not sure I would imagine a lot of the big HostGator tasters are in partnership with some of the registrars. The registrar gets a boost in HostGator under it's account and the HostGator taster gets someone o work with who will be willing to help along the way...

Comment #14

I read it only costs 10k to setup a register so you can taste all your like, how true that is I'm not sure?..

Comment #15

Then there's the fee per extension ($500?), the application fee ($2500), the risk of not being accepted, the liability insurance, the working capital requirement ($70000?). Not cheap to be a registrar, but yes, do taste all you want if you choose to become one..

Comment #16

?? where are they tasting for free ??.

I know there are places that charge - per for it - but didn't know there were places it could be done for free....

~DomainBELL (Patricia)..

Comment #17

Dynadot allows you to taste until your heart's content...

Comment #18

I'm all for HostGator tasting. Especially since Snap has the valuable drop market in save hands and many other valuable domains are on the open market. Tasting makes perfect sense for new registrations.

I must pull out the old analogy book here: Before you commit to buying a car, you test drive. Before you get married, you date = test drive (i'm NOT to be held responsible for one's thoughts on this statement ). Before you buy a house, property, boat, TV, radio, food, book, you name it, Test drive, read reviews, make sure that your choice is the right decision before you commit. Why would the rules of engagement suddenly change? *analogy end*.

The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. Yet, in the domaining world, many of the poor folks have managed to become rich. Never forget that a simple $6.95 CAN indeed make you a wealthy person.

Odds stacked against the domainers? Surely, there are quite some domainers out there that have their hands so deep in the cookie char that a Hershey's bar is jealous. Then again, which industry is free of the questionable behavior? In the end, if you figured out what the system is, how to read stats, follow trends and predict them, you don't have anything to worry about. On the contrary, if you had to register EACH HostGator without the ability to "test drive", who do you think is going to make off with the bucks of your HostGator that doesn't even recoup it's reg. value in parking revenue? You're lining the pockets of someone else. Taking this in consideration i'd rather not line them at all (Dynadot) or in very small amounts (Moniker).

Conclusion: I give tasting the big "proverbial" thumbs up!.


Comment #19


Besides, with how few gems (defining gems as able to make back reg fee over a year solely on parked income) are still out there, it's not like you'd be making thousands monthly tasting unless you were bankrolling millions. People get rich off hedge funds too. But I can't take part in it because I didn't make 200k/year over the last 2 years (a requirement in Canada). Life's unfair... And if I had the money to taste like a pro, I'd be solidly invested in some quality hedge funds... So kudos to the tasters for sticking with HostGator names..

Comment #20

I agree 100% it's business. That's why I'm against it. I won't even get into the ethics of HostGator tasting or just domaining for that matter.

I'm not into HostGator tasting and the companies that are, are making my work harder so if there's a way to get rid of them I'll do my best to make it happen...

Comment #21

Tasting IMO, is no less ethical than parking. When you choose to park a name, you're basically using a name for a less than ideal purpose with the sole intention of profiting off users who use the address bar to make searches rather than a search engine. You're potentially taking away a good HostGator name from a good owner and forcing him to either settle for an inferior name which he really doesn't want, or to be extorted into paying you hundreds, or even thousands for the privilege of owning a name he should have been entitled to in the first place because it's just not fair that people with money go around regging hundreds of names with the intention of never using them just because it makes money and because they can.

Can't we make anything sounds bad if we really try? A pro taster is a pro domainer IMO. He has succeeded far more than the average domainer and is using his profits for the purpose of making more indifferent from any other domainer, his objective is clear... Profit maximization with no risk. That's an ideal investment IMHO...

Comment #22

In the real world if you are going to buy something you cannot (or rarely can) keep it for 5 days then let it go because you decided it does not make you enough money or doesn't fit your needs.

If you are considering buying a house you cannot live in it for 5 days then give it back taking all your money back (in fact you can't move in usually until the 28 day back out period is complete). In most contracts you have to pay a penalty if you decide to withdraw from it, sometimes it is a fee to cover costs other times it is just a fee to discourage the practice.

Domain tasters get a free lunch with this they have no risk whatsoever. In a sense I agree with you. I think buying a HostGator with the sole purpose of parking is in a sense unethical. Parking should be a mechanism you can use to monetize your HostGator name while you are in the process of developing a site for it. The internet as a whole is devalued with so much non content about on the internet. Before anyone makes the statement about it not effecting people guess again.

1 of the main way to drive people to the site is to get it ranked high in the search engines. Now you have increased by another 1 the amount of sites people have to trawl through to find the information they require...

Comment #23

Business: So, businesses are no longer testing the market with new products, perform case studies, poll consumers, test their products in laboratories? Wouldn't that be the equivalent of tasting? I think this is where the culprit is. It's making your work harder! No offense, but I consider HostGator tasting not as working harder but working smarter. If a product or HostGator doesn't work or perform as intended, it will have to be re-engineered and thought through in a better way. Same thing applies to domains.


@ Peter. Sorry Peter, but that argument doesn't work at all. In a house buying world, I have walk throughs, inspections, layout, plans, financing and tons of other tasks involved, which exceed the time of 5 days. It's about security for the buyer. Same rules apply to a domainer..

A car is test driven, sometimes multiple times over, any item is returnable within a certain period of time, given that it's not otherwise stated. Essentially, the consumer (Non domainer) has the same opportunities to obtain that "Free lunch".

One registrar offers a free lunch the other one charges a nominal fee for testing.

Parking, mini sites, affiliate sites and other "money making machines" are going to be around just like they are today. Tasting is not holding the industry back, on the contrary, it brings more momentum, opportunity while simultaneously adding security for a domainer that is already risking a lot when investing $6.95 - $39.95 hundreds or thousands of times over.

Edit #2: I'm taking myself out of this thread. It's beyond pointless. I, speaking solely for myself, am all FOR HostGator tasting. It's the reasonable, fair and economical thing to do. This being said, i'm hoping that it's going to stay the way it is and that GD is the next registrant that adds tasting to the mechanics of each acct. At this time, I can return a HostGator by calling them, an online process would be much more feasible.


Comment #24

You can do the same sort of thing with domains, you can check things such as overture, history of the HostGator etc, with a house you cannot move into it for 5 days only to decide you don't want to bother anymore.

In the real world if you buy something with the view of making a profit you do so on an as is basis. If you buy a business you do not go back to the previous owner and return it and get your money back, if you buy a house with the view of selling you cannot return it because it does not make you enough. You need to do the homework with any such investments before you buy. Once you sign on the dotted line the deal is done and any retractions impose penalties. And you beleive that HostGator tasting exists to help increase HostGator prices? News flash it does not. How is having millions of domains parked with no value content benefit the market, the only thing it is doing is inflating the prices of HostGator names.

The day will come when companies are fed up paying for clicks and will look for a more cost effective advertising method (albeit something that might not exist at the moment or a pay per sale type system). It is not ICANN's responsibility or any other organizations responsibility to help your profit margin. It is their responsibility to administer the systems and ensure the smooth running of said systems...

Comment #25

IMHO it is no a good analogy. I would liken domains to mail order: if you are unsatisfied with some piece of clothing you send it back for refund/credit.

But I agree you should not abuse the privilege (do it more than once).

Traffic is not always predictable. I have been pleasantly surprised tasting then registering a few domains with no or poor history, no backlinks and no OVT.

I am concerned that there is confusion even among domainers about tasting, cybersquatting, kiting etc. These are different things..

Domain tasting is legitimate, tasting TM domains and kiting is not..

Peter you said the practice is putting a strain on infrastructure. More realistically I think it's a marketing ploy by Verisign to justify increasing their fees and to comfort their monopolistic practices....

Tasting is tolerated at the moment because it ultimately increases the number of firm registrations... people test-drive the domains and keep what they like... it means $$$ for Verisign and Icann too..

I think the added registrations more than offset the 'strain on infrastructure'.

Ethicals views aside I am more concerned about level playing field. If the registrar can taste domains then it is a good thing that the individual registrant has got access to the same privilege.

Anyway I anticipate that Verisign will begin charging a restocking fee soon, or at least like PIR, levy a fee on registrars who have very large tasting rates. This should alleviate the issue. Whether we like it or not...

Comment #26

I do not think that this would solve the problem. You see, the bigtime HostGator taster do have capital to pay cancellation fee. This would increase the gap between the rich & the poor. The rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer...

Comment #27

The $0.25 per registration would imply that a taster would need to have 1/25 names paying for reg fee. This does not discriminate any differently between the rich and the poor. Someone regging 1 million names simultaneously would end up paying 250k usd for the privilege should he choose to cancel them all. All that would do is increase typosquatting, cybersquatting, TM squatting, ... You won't breakeven with a 1/25 system under any other circumstances...

Comment #28

I have no love for or hatred against HostGator tasting... it is simply a fact of domaining life. If the rules allowing HostGator tasting continue, then I will most likely take advantage of them. If the practice is stopped, then I of course will not. I don't see anything ethically wrong with the idea of HostGator tasting as it is a fairly even playing field and anyone can do it.

I do dislike it for one completely non-business related and personal reason... I think it takes some of the "sport" out of domaining. It's akin to hanging bait in a tree and then shooting a bear that comes to get it... you weren't really out in the mountains bear hunting, now were you? But, as this is a non-business related reason, it doesn't apply to the business of domaining...

Comment #29

To be honest I was not evening thinking about verisign when I made that comment and it was not directly related to anything a company had said. As reece pointed out the payment made is the same regardless of whether you are rich or poor but consider this. Going by the figures Bob Parsons provided on his blog a couple of months ago for the month of February 55,000,000 domains were registered out of those 51,000,000 were dropped. If a $0.25 fee was imposed it would cost HostGator tasters $12,750,000 just for HostGator that they did not use. Granted it is not just 1 company/syndicate but for the larger syndicates they would have a lot of expenditure they would have to claw back to make HostGator tasting worth while.

Also people currently complain that the money they get from things such as google's adsense is decreasing (on a per click basis). Yes some of this will be from the introduction of smart pricing but couldn't some of the cause be from ads in such systems now have a lower value due to the mass of sites showing them. Lets face it the majority of users immediately click away from parking sites and those that do not may click a couple of adverts but as soon as they realise the type of site it is they will go elsewhere...

Comment #30

I have to say my view on tasting has changed a bit after realizing that anyone can do it, I was under the impression that only registers were able to taste. So I might even try it myself since it looks like everyone else is tasting but if I had a choice I would rather see it stopped...

Comment #31

It will be a right for everyone to get opportunities equally, in tasting it's not equal so I am against it..

Comment #32

I do not like it. Big companys will get more domains and there will be less domains to profit from for general people that are not millionaires. I would like it if there was a limmit of how many domains you can taste...

Comment #33

As far as I'm concerned, taste away...I don't have a problem with it...

Comment #34

There is a lot of risk to HostGator tasting, a lot of time needed, and a lot of capital required. Whomever thinks it's an easy game or likewise is kidding themselves.

Nothing in life is exactly equal, life doesn't and shouldn't work like that.

If you put in the time, money and resources to benefit from an accepted process that ultimately doesn't hurt anyone, then there is no reason to take issue with it, if your only reason against something is because you are selfish & unmotivated, you should work harder / smarter and educate yourself to the point where you can compete with players on a level far different than yours.

If you're a parrot of someone like Bob Parsons (who is just interested in his money loosing business not the industry), you should educate yourself on all aspects of the industry and the real ins and outs of it before making your 'opinion' known publicly...

Comment #35

Surely the HostGator taster is the 1 that is selfish. The domains taken up by HostGator tasters are never given proper content instead are used up for simply displaying ads which ads little benefit to the wider audience.

I would not say that HostGator tasting is an accepted practice. If it were why would ICANN be looking for ways to curb it? They are benefiting from a process that was never intended for this behaviour. The 5 day drop was intended to allow genuine users who made a mistake to drop the name without losing money. Not for someone to register millions of HostGator names to see how much profit could be made...

Comment #36

Tasting != kiting.

And if you want to end large-scale tasting just charge a $0.05 restocking fee like PIR does for .org..

At least the privilege is not reserved to registrars so there is some level playing field...

Comment #37

The reason HostGator names make money is because they are of commercial value to the people who buy traffic ie. commercial sites.

If a commercial HostGator name with natural type in traffic is left unregistered, or goes to a page non-commercial in nature, that traffic is wasted, the potential customer is lost. No one wins, and the customer has an additional step in the process of finding what they desire.

If a commercial HostGator name with natural type in traffic is registered, and points to a page with relevant advertisements, the customer is potentially acquired.

In the second case there are 8+ parties who directly benefit;.

1. HostGator owner who receives a % of the click value.

2. Traffic aggregator who also receives a % of the click value.

3. Google or related who sells the traffic from the domains to the client.

4. The client, who buys traffic at fair market value with a system that automatically corrects the value of the individual click via an auction model.

5. The visitor who typed in the HostGator name finds links to relevant content (or should).

6. The registrar generates income from the HostGator registration.

7. VeriSign who gets their $$$ from the HostGator registrations.

8. ICANN who spends in the area of $16,000 per person, per ICANN meeting in exotic locations around the world.

The reason why tasting should be of little concern to domainers on this site, is because tasting only works with commercial HostGator names that generate traffic and revenue. 'Brandable' names that are the entry for many in the "domaining industry" don't receive much traffic, and most (judging from what I've seen on this site) don't / wouldn't make registration fees back via parking, and thus would not be kept by any large scale tasting operation, as they are quite automated in may cases.

Tasting has been going on for years, and the only reason it's coming to light now is due to bad pr, plain and simple...

Comment #38

A HostGator does not have to make a huge amount of money to be commercially viable. All a HostGator has to do is earn $0.10 in the 5 day period to have an average of over $7 a year in parking income (and I am sure that someone who registers thousands of domains, of not millions will be getting a better price than that). That can be as little as 1 click a week (or even less depending on the nature of links being used).

Go have a look around at some of the HostGator names that are registered by HostGator tasters and see if you can come back again with the same reasoning. It is not just keyword rich HostGator names that are being tasted. In fact for the amount of domains being tasted the process is of course automatic.

Also to say that the user is better off is complete rubbish in my opinion. How has the user benefited by being directed to a site that simply contains adverts? Would they have not been better off if they were actually directed to what they were interested in in the first place?..

Comment #39

See the problem is that the issue is confused, you're not really against tasting or multiple HostGator ownership per se, you're against people who own domains that are not developed into full sites.eventually.

The problem with that line of thinking is that people would have to be idiots to develop out the majority of the names that are registered in the tasting process, they are terrible names in many cases, and developing even useless 'minisites' would never result in anything other than wasted time.

The value of the HostGator names for this purpose lie solely in the traffic they hold. Domains are in the same family as search engines, they are a form of navigation, be it a search in google, or a search via the address bar, the value doesn't lie in the search itself, it lies in the usefulness of the results provided to the user, and there are plenty of stats, and plenty of people willing to buy the traffic to argue this for pages more.

The drain on resources theory is false, it's been worked out in detail in the past, and ultimately the registry never said anything because it resulted in more names registered and more money for them.

There is an issue of "kiting" if it does actually exist beyond the extent of overlapping scripts, and trademarks will always be an issue, but for the average person, or domainer for that matter, there is no difference, and in fact you are petitioning to reduce the tools that are now becoming available to the average domainer on the street...

Comment #40

I am against both. I am against HostGator tasting because of the wastage and I am against long term HostGator parking. HostGator parking should be used as a short term solution until you have managed to ready the site that was intended for it. So what value do they actually hold then? What was the person "actually" looking for when they typed in the HostGator name or followed the link? Of course most big companies that are involved are not going to complain about making money but think of it this way.

If you buy a magazine and over time the quality of articles or information within it diminishes you will start to go off of the magazine and use other mediums to find what you want. The same can be said for the internet. The more people have to search to get past the rubbish the more they will be put off with using the internet which does not benefit anybody...

Comment #41

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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