Whether you own one domain or hundreds, it can be hard to manage your web address when it's not in use. Managing a series of domain names can also be expensive if you don't approach the process in the correct way.
Fortunately, there's a low-cost solution for holding domain names when you're not ready to build a new website: domain parking.
So, what is parking a domain? It's the process of holding a domain name while it is not currently acting as a purpose-built website.
In some cases, people or companies use domain parking to reserve domain names prior to developing new sites. In other cases, people park domain names because they have bought them as investments.
No matter what reason is behind the domain name parking, it's important to find a domain parking provider that's trustworthy and affordable.
In no particular order, here are some of the best domain parking services currently available on the market:
- GoDaddy (Monetize your parking, cheap registration)
- 1&1 IONOS (Monetize your parking, free privacy protection)
- Google Domains (Free privacy protection, excellent customer support)
- InMotion Hosting (Excellent introductory pricing, instructions for domain parking)
GoDaddy is one of the most famous domain registrars in the USA. The company now also works with domain purchasers around the world. If you're yet to purchase a domain name, GoDaddy has some extremely affordable price points. You can buy a .com domain for just $2.99 for the first year.
While this does rise to $17.99 for the second year, it's still a great pricing structure. GoDaddy also offers its clients access to over 400 different domain name extensions. You can purchase plenty of extra extensions to park if you want to redirect traffic to your main site.
One feature that makes GoDaddy one of the best domain parking partners is the 'CashParking' feature the firm offers its customers. If you want to generate revenue from your unused domain name, you can use CashParking to host ads and receive a profit share. The fee you pay and the returns you receive will depend on the plan that you choose; most plans provide you with 60%–80% of the ad revenue.
Privacy Protection at a Cost
You may not realize it, but your personal details are posted on a database when you register your domain name. This database is used to verify the ownership of domains around the world, but it also leaves you exposed to unwanted sales calls and mail. Hundreds of companies search the WHOIS ICANN database to try to sell web products to domain name owners.
Not only this, but there are also people who attempt to hijack domain names by using your contact details to pose as you. Once they transfer the domain name from your current registrar, it may be hard to get back.
At GoDaddy, you have to pay $9.99 per year to hide your details on the database. Keep this cost in mind when you're considering where to park your domain.
- CashParking feature allows you to profit from your parked domains
- Privacy protection allows you to shield your domain name while it's parked
- Cheap first-year domain prices
- Large range of domain extensions
- Price increases after the first year
- Have to pay for privacy protection
- Its customer service record is mixed
1&1 IONOS is another domain provider that allows you to park domains once you’ve purchased them. Like GoDaddy, 1&1 IONOS offers excellent domain name price points that can help you save money when you register and hold your current domains. You can access .com domain names for $1 for your first year, but this rises to $15 per year for the second year.
1&1 IONOS Referral Program
Like GoDaddy's CashParking, 1&1 IONOS offers a domain parking system that can help you generate revenue from your unused domain names.
Instead of displaying a range of different advertisements on your domain homepage, the 1&1 IONOS Referral Program advertises specific 1&1 IONOS services and provides you with a commission when someone signs up. This is another excellent way to generate revenue from your domain name.
Free Privacy Protection
Unlike GoDaddy, you don't have to pay to privately register your domain name at 1&1 IONOS. This is an excellent feature for people who want to keep their parked domain name ownership anonymous. Just make sure to sign up for private registration when you purchase the domain name.
- 1&1 IONOS Referral Program allows you to profit from domain parking
- Free privacy protection
- Excellent first-year price points
- Easy domain registration
- Domain price rises after the first year
Google Domains is the domain registration platform offered by Google, one of the largest tech companies on the globe. This is a relatively recent venture for Google, and the company doesn't offer as many hosting options as you may find with other providers on this list.
Still, if all you're trying to do is park your domain name, Google isn't a bad choice. What is more, it offers most .com domain extensions at a flat $12 rate! The price will not increase after the first year.
Free Privacy Protection
One of the reasons that Google Domains is such a good domain parking option is that it doesn't charge extra money for privacy protection. This means that you can keep your site's ownership under wraps without having to pay annual privacy fees.
While Google's domain name registration fees are slightly above GoDaddy and 1&1, if you plan on parking a domain name for a long period of time, you may be able to save a lot of money.
Excellent Customer Service
Google also benefits from an excellent customer service team that can help you manage your domain names if something goes wrong. As one of the largest tech companies in the world, you have access to Google's robust customer support team 24/7 if you're a Google Domains customer.
- Affordable flat rate pricing
- Free privacy protection for parked domains
- Easy domain registration
- An excellent customer service team
- No additional hosting options if you require them
- No introductory price offers
InMotion Hosting is a hosting platform that provides excellent domain parking features. You can purchase a domain for $1 per year on its platform, though this price will rise to $14.99 after the first year.
Best of all, InMotion Hosting provides easy instructions for parking domains on its website. You can use this to set up domain parking through cPanel if you're working with a hosting plan. It can be a good way to set up a custom page on your parked domain.
Unfortunately, InMotion Hosting has the most expensive privacy protection plan on my list. It will cost you $12.99 per year to keep your details hidden on the WHOIS ICANN database. For this reason, this probably isn't the best option if you want to remain anonymous on the domain database.
- Excellent price points if you're registering domains
- Full instructions on domain parking
- The highest cost for domain parking privacy on my list
Which Domain Parking Platform is Best for Me?
Now that you know the best domain parking services on the market, it's time to find out which one is right for you. Most domain and hosting providers offer free domain parking, so it's important to look at the other costs and features that will influence your domain parking experience.
Below, I'll outline the top features of each of my best domain parking options.
- GoDaddy is best for those who want to monetize their parked domains and benefit from cheap domain pricing.
- 1&1 IONOS is best for those who want free privacy protection and parked domain monetization.
- Google Domains is best for those who want easy domain parking, free privacy protection, and excellent customer support.
- InMotion Hosting is best for those who want cheap first-year domain registration and easy domain parking instructions.
Do you use a different domain parking service? If so, comment below about your experiences using your domain parking provider!