What Is a Parked Domain?
A parked domain is a domain name that has been registered but does not display a website. Instead, users will see a message that a domain has been parked. Companies may purchase a domain in anticipation of later using it and park it until they are ready to put up a website.
Businesses who have an idea for a good domain may set up domain parking even if the domain may not be used in the future. However, waiting allows others a chance to purchase that great domain, which can mean lost revenue or require a company to come up with a new name and branding ideas.
Parked domains may display a message that a website is under construction or coming soon, allow visitors to contact the website owner for more information, or even advertise the domain as for sale.
One use of parked domains is domain monetization, which displays advertisements and links that are related to the subject of the domain name. This provides ad revenue to the owner of the domain and may still direct the visitor to the intended website or one that is equally as useful. While domain monetization is often used by a domain registrar, a company from which users purchase their domains, it's possible to buy and park a domain to earn passive income in this way. Unused domains can also become parked pages to generate income with little effort by displaying ads. Even an unused domain can pay for itself by showing ads and links, and some buyers own domains for this reason alone.
Some companies purchase domain names that are similar to their own to ensure that competitors do not purchase those websites and use them to make money from ads or by fooling unsuspecting visitors. Intending to use a domain to infringe on another company's business is known as cybersquatting, and it can be profitable. One option to combat cybersquatting is to park domains, but businesses may also choose to redirect visitors from the incorrect domain to the correct one. Alternatively, domain owners can forward a similar domain to their correct website. Forwarding is seamless, and the visitor may not even realize they typed the wrong website address into the search bar.
In a few instances, domain owners may park a domain that they intend to sell. The parked domain may contain information and allow potential partners to contact the owner of the domain name if they are interested in purchasing the parked domain. Parked domains may still have associated email inboxes.
How Does Domain Parking Work?
While it's uncommon to find a free domain, domain name parking is usually offered for free by domain name registrars.
When someone purchases a domain name, they typically buy a Web hosting plan as well. Both of these services may be purchased from the same company, such as GoDaddy or Namecheap. However, consumers can choose to purchase a domain from a registrar, separately from the hosting company. After setup, the domain points to the server that hosts the website content by entering the hosting name servers into the domain control panel, allowing visitors to see the correct website when they type the human-friendly domain into the address bar of their Web browser.
However, a parked domain is not associated with any Web hosting account. Instead of pointing to hosting name serves, the parked domain displays a placeholder landing page that displays a Web page on the registrar's name servers.
Domain name parking may allow certain customization so that the parked domain is useful to the visitor or represents the brand.
How Do You Park a Domain?
The various domain name registrars may handle domain parking differently. Users may be able to set up domain parking after purchasing a new domain. Domains can also be changed from in-use to parked by changing the A record from a control panel or customer portal such as cPanel. However, users may have to use a specific Web page and not cPanel to set up domain parking or make changes depending on how the domain name registrar works. It may be possible to control a parked domain from the command line as well.
After the changes are saved, it can take up to 72 hours for changes to take effect, and a parking page appears in place of the website. Unused domains can become reactivated when a company needs it again.
Website owners could create a simple index.html page that contains similar information as a parked domain and even add code to display ads on the page if the owner has registered with an ad revenue service. While this method does provide more control to the owner of the domain, it will also require more effort and knowledge to maintain and set up and will not be as dynamic as a domain that's specifically parked.
A domain parking service can make it easier to park one or more domains and to manage parked domains, especially when a company owns numerous domains. For example, parking services can allow domain owners to easily sell their domains and receive funds via PayPal or to list for-sale domains in marketplaces that prospective buyers can browse. Parking a domain allows a company to track visitors and determine the value of the domain name. They can use this information when negotiating the sale of the domain name.
Some parking services allow domain owners to change the template of their parked domain name, a feature that may not be provided by some hosting companies or registrars. In addition to this, a domain parking service may allow the owner to type-in appropriate keywords to ensure that search engines direct users to the parked page.
A dedicated domain parking service can also allow owners to make the most money from their parked page with the least amount of effort. Not all parked domains utilize ads by default so domain owners may be missing out on the chance to make money from their parked domains.