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The Lowdown
August 2020 Archive
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Welcome to the The Lowdown from 
DN Journal
- your source for notable news 
and information from all corners of the global domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

After Traveling a Parallel Path to Success, Efty and DAN.com Join Forces in Marketplace Integration

Efty.com and DAN.com have been two of the most innovative companies to emerge in the domain space over the past five years. Efty brought a unique software-as-a-service business model to the domain aftermarket, allowing customers to pay a membership fee to use their marketplace instead of paying commissions on their sales. DAN.com (short for Domain Automation Network) shook things up by slashing commissions and fees when they introduced the first marketplace that can handle fully automated domain transactions (including sales, rental and escrow functions). Since their debut DAN has booked over $100 million in domain sales.

An interesting aspect of these companies is 


the parallel paths they have traveled. Both are Netherlands based, both had their first face to face meetings with domain buyers and sellers when they set up small booths at the 2016 NamesCon conference in Las Vegas and now they have formed a new partnership that has leaders from both companies fired up.


EFTY Co-Founder Doron Vermaat

Efty Co-Founder Doron Vermaat said, "We're excited to make DAN.COMís frictionless escrow process, speedy payouts, and seller protection available for all Efty users. Integrating DAN.COM into your Efty account allows you to display Buy-It-Now buttons on your For-Sale landing pages and/or Efty marketplace sites. Buyers will be redirected to a safe and secure checkout on the DAN.COM website where they can immediately pay for the domain with a wide range of payment methods that include credit card, PayPal, Alipay, Wire and Bitcoin. All transactions from Efty sellers are processed by DAN.COM at an industry-low commission of 5%."

DAN.com CEO Reza Sardeha added, "When we look at which trends are dominating the world but also high-tech, we observe that there is too little cooperation and too much protectionism of own interests across the board. What excites me about this partnership with Efty, is that we can make a stance and proof that collaboration between industry leaders to deliver great value on all ends of the spectrum still has a place in this market and the world. Hopefully, this inspires more cooperation between not only domain industry players but beyond."

Sardeha added, "We look forward to working with one of the best companies out there. I know for a fact that Doron and Lionel are grinding day in day out to add value to their users and we're proud to work with them."

DAN.com CEO Reza Sardeha

(Posted August 25, 2020) To refer others to†the post above only†(and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


NamesCon Online Agenda Features Over 50 Sessions Spread Across 3 Days Next Month 

The full agenda has been released for NamesCon Online, a 3-day virtual conference that is coming up September 9-11, 2020. The current Covid-19 pandemic forced NamesCon to make this edition of their popular show an online-only event but that doesn't mean they will be cutting any content corners. If anything, it looks like they are turning the volume up, with over 50 sessions across four tracks, a live domain auction, online networking and visits to a virtual Exhibit Hall all being shoehorned into a 72-hour sprint. 


It all gets underway at 11am (U.S. Eastern daylight time) on Wednesday, September 9 with a Welcome Session featuring NamesCon President & CEO Soeren Von Varchmin and conference moderators Bill Sweetman, Christa Taylor, Braden Pollock and Michael Cyger. Bill & Christa will stay over to explain how to get the most out of the platform and network before the first business session begins at 11:30am. Opening day will proceed through 14 different sessions held across three tracks - the Keynote Hall, Breakout Hall and Americas Track

On Thursday (Sept. 10)  a fourth track focused on South Asia will start running. All told 17 business sessions are scheduled Thursday (including one at 11:30am Eastern when Giuseppe Graziano of GGRG.com will be joining me to talk about the State of the Domain Industry Aftermarket. That will be a timely topic with the show's live domain auction, power by GoDaddy, following just a couple of hours later at 1:30pm (US EDT). 

In addition to being the final day, Friday (Sept. 11) looks like it will also be the busiest, with 20 sessions spread across the four tracks. As will be the case every day, the Friday sessions will be wide ranging, covering everything from domain monetization to marijuana and 

blockchain domains to appraisals and how to guard against an economic downfall. These sessions will feature dozens on well-known industry experts (the speakers for each session are listed under the session title on the agenda pages.

NamesCon President and CEO Soeren von Varchmin speaking at the 
2020 NamesCon Global conference held in Austin, Texas pre-pandemic in January.

We are all navigating a new world right now and even though there will no hugs or shaking hands online, NamesCon Online is determined to deliver the same kind of enriching educational experience they always have to help you succeed in this business. The virtual model will also make it possible for far more people to attend as the financial barrier has largely been removed.  While it typically costs hundreds of dollars to attend an in-person event (thousands when you add in the cost of travel and lodging), NamesCon Online is a true bargain with a standard registration fee of just $59 - and if you have never been to a NamesCon event before you can register free!  Hope to see you all (virtually speaking) there!

(Posted August 21, 2020) To refer others to†the post above only†(and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Domain Monetization Expert Michael Gilmour Gifts Industry with Series of Free Master Class Videos

After buying and monetizing domains for nearly two decades now, ParkLogic.com Founder Michael Gilmour is a universally acknowledged expert on domain monetization. If you have gone to any domain conference, practically anywhere, and the topic was monetization, you most likely saw Michael on stage, often on the dais alone as a keynote speaker. We told the personable Australian's life story in 2008 DN Journal Cover Story that still attracts a steady flow of readers today.

Looking for a way to give back to an industry that has given him and his family so much support over the years, Gilmour, who is also an author and veteran blogger, hit upon the idea of a 


completely free site where he could share his expertise through a series of videos. That way anyone who wants to learn more about the topic can do so whether or not they are able to travel to conferences. Michael's vision, MasterClassLessons.com is now online (it can also be reached through the MCL.club shortcut.  


When you visit MCL you will find 10 well organized video lessons, each running about 15 minutes in length. There is also a short preview (typically in the two-minute range) for each lesson than you can view to decide if you want to dive into the full lesson. This is especially helpful for those who are already familiar with some aspects of domain monetization and may want to concentrate on topics that will be most useful for them. The series includes these lessons:


1) Introduction
2) The Four Domain Business Models
3) Is Domain Monetization Dead?
4) Understanding the Fundamentals
5) RPM, A Misunderstood Metric

6) Measuring Success
7) Benefits of Traffic Routing
8) Rotating vs. Algorithmic Switching
9) Impact of Direct Advertising
10) Managing a Large Domain Portfolio


Michael Gilmour delivering a keynote speech on domain monetization at the 2020 NamesCon Global conference in Austin, Texas in January.


If people find the current Master Class Lessons useful, Michael told me he may follow the domain monetization series with new master class curriculums in the future. He mentioned Domain Sales, Website Development and Business Development (all areas where he also has extensive expertise) as possibilities for Gilmour's appealing video treatment. You may have your own ideas about subject matter you would like to see - but one thing I think we can all agree on is this - you can't beat the price! 


(Posted August 18, 2020) To refer others to†the post above only†(and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


New FLATSite Converter Aims to Make WordPress Sites Faster, More Secure and Cheaper to Host

Since entering the domain business in 2002 one of my greatest pleasures has been watching so many of the smart entrepreneurs I've met along the way create innovative new products and services. Frederick Schiwek, who was an Executive VP at EuroDNS when I met him at one of the first domain conferences 15 years ago, has chalked up multiple successes as a domain investor, developer and businessman since then. Freddy just contacted me about his latest creation - FLATsite - a service that converts existing WordPress websites into flat HMTL sites that allow them to be hosted anywhere (a big money saver when it comes to hosting) while running faster and more securely than they do in their original format.

The majority of sites on the web are WordPress sites but Schiwek noted that popularity comes with what can be a stiff price for site owners. "They all share the same problem," Schiwek said. "WordPress has security issues, itís resource hungry, and also very costly - we all know good WordPress hosting is expensive. So, we built a product for agencies and developers, so that they can continue to build great WordPress sites and host them on any dirt-cheap hosting plan - even without PHP and a database. FLATsite 

Frederick Schiwek
FLATsite Founder

turns a WordPress website into a flat, light-weight CSS/HTML website and comes with a WordPress Manager and built-in security features."

Schiwek added, "A flat CSS/HTML website has no security holes because there is no PHP or database (which can be hacked). So, without the FTP password you canít get access. FLATsite is perfect for all domainers, many of whom started building small or large websites many years ago but were slowed down by high hosting prices, security issues and mediocre speed. Weíve fixed all these problems. We store your website files locally in the FLATsite server and youíre able to choose the cheapest hosting plan on the web, using just the disk space. FLATsite provides an easy way to manage and secure WordPress sites and comes with a static site generator built-in which lets you deploy your WordPress static site seamlessly with just one-click."

If you want to try FLATsite out, the company offers a 30-day free trial.

(Posted August 11, 2020) To refer others to†the post above only†(and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


New Domain Marketplace at SAV.com Offers Buyers & Sellers a Full Featured Economical Option

Attractive options for domain buyers and sellers continue to expand with the arrival of a new domain marketplace at SAV.com. SAV was launched by veteran domain investor Anthos Chrysnathou last year as an ICANN accredited registrar. Knowing cost is a key factor for domain investors who typically hold hundreds or even thousands of domain names at a time. So, he decided to compete on price, even though margins are already slim in the registration space. With an eye-popping introductory offer of $5.95 for new .com registrations (that a year later are still priced at just $6.95), the strategy worked. Anthos, who I've known since he entered the business in 2004, told me the company already has over 300,000 registrations on the books and the number continues to grow quickly.

With that part of the business now well established SAV had taken the next step with the rollout of their new domain marketplace - and again, the company is banking on "an offer you can't refuse" to get the ball rolling. They are charging a sales commission of just 4%, a fee that will barely cover their credit card processing cost. That still makes sense to Chrysanthou because he continues to rely on the long term view he employed to become a successful domain investor himself. Anthos said,  "We wanted to make it a compelling, easy decision for domain investors to use Sav.comís 

Anthos Chrysanthou
Founder & CEO, SAV.com  

domain marketplace. Our goal is to build and maintain the largest inventory of quality domain names in order to attract the largest number of end-users possible. Not only will this volume of end-users maximize retail priced sales for everyone, but it will give Sav.com the opportunity to convert end-user entrepreneurs and SMBs into customers of our registrar and the disruptive website building service that we plan to launch in early 2021."


Chrysanthou noted, "Still, We are not relying solely on pricing as the differentiator that drives domain investors to use our marketplace. For example, they will enjoy a variety of features and benefits such as automated fulfillment of domains through Afternic and Sedo, instant ownership transfer of domains on Sav.comís registrar, instant cash payment after reaching $100K in sales, free whois privacy, a growing list of bulk tools, buy now listings, no-reserve auctions, great customer service, and more."

"In addition, we are particularly excited about the initiatives we are rolling out to support higher domain sell-through rates. For starters, this includes the use of a domain-for-sale lander that is the product of nine monthsí worth of extensive testing. We started the testing process using typical lander designs in order to get a benchmark on conversion rates. Then we started testing a wide range of innovative lander designs. In the end, one of those innovative designs emerged as the clear winner. It converts at a rate that is 218% better than the typical landers."


You can learn more about the SAV.com marketplace and request access to it  here.

(Posted August 4, 2020) To refer others to†the post above only†(and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


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