Picture this: It’s 3 in the morning and you’ve been jolted awake in a feverish sweat. For some inexplicable reason, you were struck with the idea to start a podcast where you interview sports team mascots; or a cooking blog where every meal contains coffee; or an app that tells you what food to order based on your mood. As you can see, I’ve had a few of these moments myself.
After seeing if your idea exists already, the next step is typically to buy it a domain name. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your idea has a home whenever you get around to working on it, even if you’re not ready just yet. This got us thinking: how many of our customers actually do something with their domains? Do most people buy a domain and forget about it, or do they actually get to work and do something with their idea?
We decided to roll up our sleeves, dust off our calculators and dig up our books (or, more accurately, run a few Excel functions) to find out.
First we took a look at how many of the domain names registered through Hover are actually set up with websites. Specifically, we looked at whether the CNAME records, nameservers or A records had changed from the default values that are present when a new domain is purchased. In other words, if you logged in and changed a domain’s records in a certain way, we’re assuming that this was done in order to point the domain towards a website.
Once we had all the data in place, we ran the numbers. As it turns out, most people do something with their domains!
Though it would be great if 100% of domains were actively used for interesting projects, 67% was still an inspiring number to discover. It’s important to note, however, that we were unable to verify whether this 67% of set up domains are for active or inactive websites — for example a daily blog vs. a domain parking company’s name servers. We’re optimistic, though, and like to think that they’re all being used for unique and exciting projects!
Next, we wanted to dive a littler deeper into the nature in which these domains were being used.
If you manage a website, it’s unlikely that you have just one domain in your account. A website will typically have numerous domains that forward/redirect to a primary domain. This can be for any number of reasons, including alternate spellings of a domain, additional words, alternate generic top-level domains (like .tech or .net) or country-code top-level domains (like .ca or .uk).
Of the 67% of domains that are set up, here’s how many are primary website domains vs. forwards:
Though people are buying domains to complement a primary domain, most of our customers’ domains are primary domains pointing to individual sites. We’re definitely happy to see the large majority of Hover domains are being used for unique projects and ideas.
The final question we had was where are people using their domains. We recently launched our Connect feature, which allows you to connect your domain with your favourite site builder by logging into the connecting service and simply pressing connect. Here were our findings:
Squarespace is by far the most popular service that people use in conjunction with Hover. Of the top eight, four of the services are currently a part of Connect. But don’t worry if your favourite isn’t on the list just yet — we’ve got even more coming soon.
How many of your domains do you use vs. are lying around in your account? Where do you point them to? Let us know in the comments!