The Challenge of Development

One of the dashboards of my new development.

About ten years ago I wrote an article that the holy grail of domain monetisation is the ability to manage mass developments and for management to be able to have a meaningful impact on them. In this article I hope to share some of my own thoughts and experiences on developing a platform to achieve this goal.

Escrow.com

I should say from the outset that one of the great things about traffic monetisation is that it’s very scalable and requires comparatively little work to manage. I also don't believe in development for developments sake but rather I view development as less about a technological build and more about building sustainable businesses.

Domain investors often have thousands, if not tens of thousands of domain names so any viable solution needs to be able to tick a two high level boxes:
1.    Scalability
2.    Management Impact


Scalability

Obviously, any solution needs to be able to handle the traffic demand on the servers but what I’m talking about here is less about Internet traffic (ie. depth) and more about numbers of domains (breadth).

Platforms such as Joomla and Wordpress are ideal for building a single website but domain investors are looking at potentially building all of their assets into valuable properties. This change in mindset forced me to evaluate and ultimately build a new type of platform that could overcome the challenges of less scalable systems.

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2018 - The Year That Was...

The year that was and the year ahead!

At this time of year, I like to spend some time reflecting on the state of the domain industry and in particular what I’ve been up to the past twelve months. Let me say from the outset that I’ve seen a LOT of changes take place and from my perspective most of them have been good.

Escrow.com

Development
At the end of 2017 I wrote about a project that I was working on that took domain development to a whole new level. Internally we now refer to this project as “Sites” and it’s now integrated into the main ParkLogic core systems.

Along the developmental journey there were a number of critical factors that needed to be resolved. Without revealing too much, amongst many other things, “Sites” now contains:

  1. A flexible templating system to display landers that is very different compared to any of the currently available platforms (eg. Word Press, Joomla etc.). Widgets can be placed anywhere on the page and they both display information to the user AND also pass data back to the traffic quality system.
  2. A quality system that used both web and behavioural analytics to determine the quality of the traffic being received by a domain. Each and every piece of traffic is scored appropriately, and this score is aggregated at the domain and account levels.
  3. A reporting system that produces actionable reports based upon analytics at a dashboard, domain and traffic level.
  4. A fully configurable API so that any data can be pulled from any “Sites” server and then analysed by either “Sites” customers or the ParkLogic team.
  5. A back-end administrative interface that provides the necessary data for managing massive numbers of instances of “Sites” as well as assisting in determining more optimal monetisation solutions.

At the moment “Sites” processes around five million queries per day and in 2019 we see it continuing to grow as we focus our analytical skills upon it. It’s been quite a journey since its inception and it’s definitely not over yet….not by a long shot. When you control the page there’s a HUGE amount that is possible and this innovation will flow on as a direct benefit to ParkLogic clients.

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How to Turn a Profit with Domains

Planning for profit

Over the last few years I’ve watched many domain investors throw money at some pretty crazy ideas and invest in nonsensical domains. Some of these investors have already completely burnt their cash and have exited the industry.

I’ve also watched the quite diligent investors that have methodically planned how they are going to get a return on their investment….and they’re making money hand over fist!

Escrow.com

The secret to any business really isn’t a secret at all but it does require a sustained level of tenacity and diligence. Everything in business starts with a plan and the end point of the plan should ultimately be how the business is going to be sustainable and turn a profit.

When I look at investing in domains it’s exactly the same thing. You need a plan. If you don’t have a plan, then you are very likely about to burn through some of your kids’ inheritance.

Let’s get down to the basics. If you have a reasonable sized domain portfolio, I can almost guarantee that 20% of the domains should be monetised for their traffic. This will provide an immediate cashflow that will at the very least help out with renewals or you may find yourself in the enviable situation of turning over an immediate profit.

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The Big Issues in the Domain Industry – Part 3

I’ve seen so many domain investors look at their domains and have delusions of grandeur with building them all out. A huge amount of money has been sacrificed on the developmental altar with very few people being successful. So why is this the case?

Escrow.com

I want to say up front that there is no such thing as developing a domain name. Too many people believe that if they have the right domain they can just build a quick Wordpress site and voila! The masses will arrive and make them rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix etc. are fantastic at solving many of the technical problems associated with development. What they don’t solve are the business problems.

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mgilmour
You raise a really important point and one that we are starting to tackle at ParkLogic right now. The first phase was to build a p... Read More
01 December 2017
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Video - Thoughts on Development

As a part of the 10 year anniversary celebrations I discuss my thoughts on development. I hope you enjoy this second video in the series.

Escrow.com

I have developed a lot of different websites over the years using a large variety of software platforms. From this experience the current suite of content management systems (eg. wordpress, Joomla etc.) lack a number of key components that domain investors require if they are to scale their development effectively.

In the video I discuss a number of the projects that I'm working on that endeavour to solve many of these problems.

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mgilmour
Thank you for that!
26 April 2017
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