Author: ToughDomains

Free Domain Portfolio Manager Tools


If you own more than a handful of domain names, then you will need a system to help you manage and track important information regarding those domains.

Tough Domains Portfolio Manager have features that will dynamically update important information related to your domain including:

  • Domain Age (automatic update)
  • Expiration Date (automatic update)
  • Registrar (automatic update)
  • Current DNS Name server (automatic update)
  • Whois contact email (automatic update)

As you may or may not know, domains are an asset and you are required to report your assets in your annual taxes. Tough Domains will also allow you to edit information like:

  • Domain Buy Price
  • Domain Sell Price
  • Buy and Sell Date
  • Registration Fees
  • Commissions Paid
  • Net Profits
  • Historical Offers received
  • Domain Visits (last 30 days)

This Portfolio manager will allow you to have all this information in one page for your convenience.

Another Portfolio tool out there is DNMin which offers more condensed data on your domains. This tool will show you information like:

  • The creation date of your domain
  • The expiration date
  • Registrar
  • Page Rank
  • Alexa Rank

This tool is great if you need easy access to this type of information immediately. DNmin offers this service for up to 100 names.

Flippa has a domain portfolio system for selling domains. It will include information including:

  • Domains
  • Status
  • Offers
  • Minimum Offer
  • Buy it Now

These are some of the tools available on the internet and there are software you can download to manage your portfolio. Those software will cost money like the one on Domain Punch.




Did You Know You Can Turn Favorite Emoji into a Domain?


In late 2016, GoDaddy released an emoji search service at ❤️❤️❤️.ws❤️❤️❤️.ws was created to allow users to find and register emoji based domains. Currently .WS is the only Top Level Domain (TLD) that offers an emoji based domain and you can register yours right now. You are allowed to put up to three emoji into one domain name. The only drawback right now is that you are not allowed to mix and match characters and emojis due to the three character limit.

These emoji based domain uses a system called “punycoding” where it will convert the emoji into a sequence which is why you see instead of ❤️❤️❤️.ws in your address bar.

This is GoDaddys attempt to get millennials into the domain business by allow them to register emoji domains. Emojis are one of the most popular forms of communication where individuals use to express emotion and it is universally understood by all. The future for this type of domain is unclear, but big companies like coca cola launched an emoji based domain campaign in 2015 which was http://www.😃.ws.


The Domain Cycle By Tough Domains


Tough Domains has developed an industry concept called “The Domain Cycle”. The domain cycle is a strategy that every domainer should follow when buying and selling domains. There are four major elements to the domain cycle and they include: Discover and Buying Domains, Managing You Domain Portfolio, Monetizing Domains, and ultimately Selling, Holding, or Dropping domains.


There are multitude of ways discover great domains names. There are many domain name generators where you can get creative domain name ideas. You can use the name spinner or word generators to help you find the perfect name. Each generator will offer something slightly different. You can also hand reg names, check for expiring domains, purchase the domain from an auction or check domain directory listings.

Managing Domain Portfolio:

Many Domainers don’t realize that domains are a digital asset very  much like a stock or real estate assets. With any asset, you will need to declare the asset in the end of the year for taxes. In order to do that, you need the buy/sell, and net profit/loss information associated with each domain. You can read about domains and taxes here.

After a name is purchased, you are going to need a central location to organize and consolidate all your domain information. Often times, domains are purchased from different locations such as auctions and resulting domains hosted in many different registrars. You will need to manage your portfolio to verify where your domain is listed and when it will expire.

There are traditional tools like a spreadsheet from google or excel, and programs like Domainpunch, which is a desktop softwareThere are also online domain management portfolio software that will back up your information on the cloud.

Monetizing the Domain:

There are many options when it comes to monetizing a domain. They can include the following:

200 domain names at a $10 registration fee result in $2,000 in annual registration fees per year. Monetizing the domain is a great way to offset registration fees.


Like all assets, everything has to turn a profit. You can choose to sell a domain for a price that satisfies you. You should continue to register domain names that you think will have a great return in the future. If the domain has low-interest or you think is low value, you should consider dropping it.

Some options to sell your name includes:

  • List your domains at an auction (Flippa, NameJet)
  • List your names in a marketplace (Afternic, Sedo)

Buying an ICANN Accredited Registrar v. Applying for ICANN Accreditation


The first major step in becoming an ICANN accredited registrar is to decide if you want to purchase an existing registrar or apply for ICANN accreditation.

Buying an ICANN accredited registrar will most likely allow you to get your business up and running a lot faster than applying for the accreditation. The price of an accredited registrar is typically around $10,000. There might be other fees associated with buying a registrar like lawyer consultation fees. One major up side in buying an existing registrar is that you will start with clients. The business will also be up and running a lot quicker than it would be if you are applying for ICANN accreditation. Most registrars that are available for purchase will allow their clients to purchase .COM or .NET names, but not all of them will allow it. There are registrars out there that will not allow their users to register .COM or .NET, instead they offer other TLDs like .XYZ or .CLUB. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you plan to do with the registrar, so it is best to research the registrar you are planning to buy.

Before buying an existing registrar, you should be aware of what contractual agreement the registrar currently has. You do not want to be buying into something that might limit what you plan to do with the company. When buying a registrar, you will have to notify ICANN of the change in ownership of the registrar. You will probably have to go through ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

The other open is to apply for ICANN accreditation. One thing to note is about the application process is that it will cost $3,500 to apply. The major benefit from apply for an ICANN accreditation is that you will have no prior obligation from any contractual agreements. You can develop your own brand without any limitations like purchasing an existing company. One major issue with applying for ICANN accreditation is that it might take months before you can get your application processed.

If you are in no rush in getting an ICANN accreditation, it might be better to apply for ICANN accreditation. While it can take months to get the application processed, you have more control of what you can do with the registrar. There will be no previous contractual obligations and you can ensure that it will not have any negative connotations attached to the brand.

Four Things you didn’t Know about the .Net .Com Price Increase


1. The government froze .COMs prices in 2012 at $7.85 per domain name.

Originally there was a price increase of 7% per year from 2007.

VeriSign has a deal with ICANN for the .COM domains that originally allowed them to increase the price of the .COM domain registration by 7% per year. The U.S. government came in and froze the price at $7.85 in 2012. The contract was originally suppose to end at 2018, but VeriSign and ICANN renegotiated the contract to end at 2024. This article goes into more detail on the ICANN and VeriSign deal.

This chart details the price increase for .COM domains with the original price of $6.00.

Price (.COM) % Increase
$6.00 (Original Price) 7%
$6.42 (2007) 7%
$6.86 7%
$7.34 7%
$7.85 (2012) 7%

2. .NET prices did not increase every year until 2012 at 10%.

The price of .Net domains did not increase consistently at 10% until 2012. Originally the price increase were more sporadic before 2012. With the upcoming price increase of .NET domain names in February 2017, we have created a list of all the price increase on .NET names going back to 2007. The original price of a .NET domain was $3.50 and the price of these domains have been increasing by 10% each year starting from 2012. The price of a domain in $4.65 in 2012 and it will cost $8.20 on February 2017. This article talks about the first price hike for .COM and .NET.

The list of all the price increases from VeriSign over the years with .NET and a projection on what it will cost in 2024.

Price (.NET) % Increase
3.50 (Original Price) 10%
3.85 (2007) 10%
4.23 (2008) 10%
4.65 10%
5.11 (2012) 10%
5.62 (2013) 10%
6.18 (2014) 10%
6.79 (2015) 10%
7.46 (2016) 10%
8.20 (2017) 10%
9.02 (2018) 10%
9.92 (2019) 10%
10.91 (2020) 10%
12.00(2021) 10%
13.20(2022) 10%
14.52(2023) 10%
15.97(2024) 10%


3. VeriSigns contract with ICANN for the .COM and .NET domains expire in 2024.

This article goes more in-depth into the deal with VeriSign and ICANN.

4. If domains are 7.85? How does GoDaddy sell it for $.99?

The answer? They can’t. GoDaddy is charging you $.99 cents for the first year and it is $14.99 the second year. You must buy a domain for 2 years for a total amount of $15.98. If you divide that by 2 years it is $7.99, still making a profit. Here is their actual disclaimer.

* Plus ICANN fee of $0.18 per domain name per year. $0.99* price good for the first year of one new or transfer .com per customer. Additional years or .COMs may be purchased for $14.99* per year. Discounts cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Not all payment methods valid with this offer, acceptable payments will display in cart at checkout. Your discount will be applied in your shopping cart. After the initial purchase term, discounted products will renew at the then-current renewal rate. GoDaddy reserves the right to deny use of this offer and/or cancel domains purchased using this offer if the offer is abused or used fraudulently, as determined by GoDaddy in its sole discretion.

Non-Human Traffic (NHT) and Online Ad Fraud for Websites and Domains

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Non-Human traffic (NHT) and Bot Traffic has been an issue for online advertisers as well as platforms that depend on these ads to generate revenue for a long time now. Anyone with stakes in online advertising should take a careful look at where their internet traffic is coming from. It is not just the individual paying for the ads that are losing out, the owner of the website can suffer losses as well. Bot traffic only boost the amount of views on a website, but it will not lead to any conversion for the ads. When advertisers are not making money from the ads, they are more likely to spend less on internet marketing and everyone loses in this situation.

Another issue for online advertising is domain masking or URL masking. This is when another individual copies content from your website while having a similar domain name. Advertisers can be fooled into buying ad spaces on these fake site and it can hurt the reputation of the original site when they are not getting any feedback from the ads. These masked domains generally offer very little engagement or views for the ads. This will hurt your chances of getting advertisers to advertise on your website based on past experiences from phony sites.

Statistic on click fraud:

  • 11% of display ads and 25% of video ads are viewed by software and not people.
  • 36% of views online is automated and are not viewed by actual people.
  • Advertisers can lose up to 7.2 billion dollars globally in 2016.


One solution to non-human traffic or bot traffic is to show the advertiser you have an engaged community on your website. It is important to have interaction between users on your website to show that people are coming into the website on a daily basis. Non-human traffic will cause your website to have a low interaction with the ad for the size of your community. The low response rate will create a poor reputation for advertising on your website and will lead to less money coming in. Another option is to block traffic from these malicious IPs to stop the inflation of views on your website.

Every dollar that goes into phony traffic or online advertising fraud is a dollar that could be going to you. You have to constantly monitor the type of traffic coming into your website and ensure that there are no URL masking going on with your website. It does not take a lot of time or effort to login and check what type of traffic is coming into your website. By doing so, it will allow the advertisers to buy targeted ads to a specific audience with the guaranteed that they are getting the best for their money.

Companies have sprouted up to combat ad fraud:


2016 4 Letter Liquid Domain Analysis

Four letter domain names have officially become the new liquid digital asset. These domains could be brought and quickly sold in any auction for quick liquid cash. They are considered as good as cash with rather steady minimums for premium and non premium names.

We compiled sales data of 4 letter domain name sales for August, September and October 2016 from all major auction houses Namejet, Godaddy, Sedo, Dropcatch, Flippa, Dynadot and Ebay and summarized the results below and in a report.

In order to normalize the sales data we divided the domains into 3 different categories

  1. premium (no vowel no v)
  2. non premium (with vowel with v)
  3. outliers (sales over $1,750 USD for premium and sales over $1,000 for non premium)

Summary Analysis premium sales were scarce in all the auction houses except for Namejet.

During this 3 month period Namejet sold 290 of the 367 premium domains (~79% of all sales).

Total Number of Premium Sales : 367 (14.5% of all sales)

Total Number of Non Premium Sales: 2,533 (85.5% of all sales)

Top 10 Most Expensive Domain Name Sold From
August to October 2016
Rank Domain Name Price Venue
1 $93,000 namejet
2 $79,000 flippa
3 $50,000 godaddy
4 $27,161 dropcatch
5 $24,000 sedo
6 $18,472 sedo
7 $18,000 sedo
8 $16,000 sedo
9 $15,000 namejet
10 $14,188 namejet


After reviewing sales data from this time period, we have concluded that:

Auction house with lowest sale price for non premium 4 letter domain is at ebay. (average price of $268 a domain with 115 domains sold )

Auction house with highest sales price of a non premium 4 letter domain is Sedo (with an average price of $401 with 23 domains sold.)  

~$133 difference in total sales price between the two auction houses.

Click this link to see the source data

How to Apply for a Brand TLD/ gTLD program-How to get your own Domain Extension



A Brand TLD is very similar to a gTLD except it is not offered to the general public. A major benefit in having a Brand TLD is to have 100% control of your domain. It provides greater protection for your brand because no one else can get that domain. When more companies switch to brand based TLDs it will create a higher sense of trust for non .COM domains. As of right now, a lot of companies are still using .COM, so having your own TLD is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Anyone can have a, but owning something like home.yourbrand will make your domain feel special.

Another major benefit of having a Brand TLD is controlling who is allow to use your domain. You can create partnerships and affiliate programs by having partnerfirm.yourbrand as a way to build a connection between the two companies. This will also ensure that your customers are going to the right place for an additional feel of security.

Major companies that have acquired their own Brand TLDs are:

The cost of registering a brand TLD is $185,000, but there are support programs that will help lower the cost from $185,000 to $47,000. This is still a substantial cost for newer companies so it still seems to be geared toward companies with a lot of disposable income. The window for new gTLD is currently closed and it is not an easy process to apply for your own brand TLD. The process will go through an application review, then there might be a dispute resolution and other process highlight in this chart.

You can visit the ICANN website here.

Which Domain is the Right Name to Develop?


How do know the domain you are developing is the best opportunity? This is the first question that comes up when you decide to develop a domain. You may have hundreds or thousands of domains in your portfolio, so how do you know which one is the best to develop. If you are going to be spending time and money on website development and marketing, you want to make sure you are choosing the right domain for your investment. 

Hopefully you are at least parking your domains. Perhaps you are noticing a few of them are generating more income than others. We have written an article about domain parking here. Parking is a good way to discover how much traffic and revenue you can get with a new domain before development. Not knowing traffic levels is one of the common mistake novices domainers make when selling domains.

Other than parking, you can use a service that offers instant domain development. Instant domain development is a method of developing hundreds of domains as quickly and as cost effective as parking. 

Things you should consider before developing the domain name:

  • How much traffic does the domain receive?
  • What audience makes up that traffic? Is it existing traffic or type in traffic? Will people take action based on the name? Backlink traffic from an existing site?
  • What is the effective value on the audience? Is it healthcare audience with high CPC or general audience with a lower CPC.
  • What is the RPM(Revenue per thousand) per page?
  • Using keyword cost estimation and volume tools as the Google Keyword Planner Tool to determine which keywords will generate higher CPC and Traffic.

Using our tool, we have seen cases of developed websites with more general audience make less revenue per month than a high CPC instantly developed domain with a high revenue audience.

The amount of traffic, the quality of the traffic, the geolocation of the audience, and active audience is what you should focus your time and money on first. ToughDomains allows users to instantly develop hundreds of domains in minutes and start receiving traffic and referral data on those names. Before you spend any time or money, make sure you have all the insight data to choose the right name to develop.

How To Check If Your Domain Is Banned In Adsense


Google Adsense is one of the most popular monetization service in the world. It is used by virtually everyone on the internet because of the quality of the ads, the timely payout compared to their competitors, and Google being one of the most famous advertising companies in the world. Many bloggers as well as parking companies will use Adsense as a way to generate income for the content they are providing. If you are planning on buying a domain or an existing website, it is a good idea to check if there is a ban placed on it from Adsense.

There are many ways to check if your domain is banned from Adsense. The quickest way to check is to go to the webpage and see if there are any ads. If there are no ads, there is a high chance the domain is banned from Adsense. There are websites that can check if a domain is currently banned from Adsense. One of my favorite sites to check for ban status is IsBanned. This site accurately told stated which of my sites were fine and which were banned from Adsense. I also tried other tools like CheckAdsenseBan and it was inaccurate. This site told me all my websites were ban despite only one of my site is currently banned. BannedCheck on the other hand told me all my sites were fine despite having a site that is currently banned.

If you are banned from Adsense, you can either try to fix your site to meet Google’s guidelines or move to a tier 2 ad network. You can read about Google’s Adsense Guidelines here. If your site does not meet the guidelines or Google never approved your account, you can try tier 2 networks like Zeropark or Media. There is a high chance that your domain revenue will not generate as much income as it did with Adsense.

Before submitting an appeal, take a careful look at your website for any violations to Google’s Guidelines. You can see the Adsense Terms and Conditions here. During the ban on your domain, take this opportunity to update and upgrade existing parts of you website before filing the appeal for a higher chance of being unbanned.

Link to submitting an Appeal for Adsense