When coming up with a domain name for your online business, one good advice is to have a number of alternatives as backup. When you know that any of them can be used, picking one becomes an important choice, since it affects how well your website runs and gathers traffic.
You can test how your domain functions before making the domain name purchase. This is done by adding a grace period to your domain name. But some people misuse this grace period to make or save money through inappropriate methods.
The Grace Period
When you apply for domain name registration, you can request for a grace period. Most of the time, this is a period of five days. In this time, you can return the domain name or cancel the registration without a penalty. You won’t be asked to make a payment for the domain name before the end of this period.
Some people misuse this grace period to register a domain name. This is either done with the objective of extracting more money from you for the domain name (domain name front running). These people are called domain tasters or domainers.
The Add Grace Period (AGP) option was initially designed to allow genuine buyers to test the functioning of their domain name before they bought it. But with increasing malpractices, people have started to misuse AGP to earn profit.
This is another malpractice using AGP. Domain kiting refers to the constant registration and unregistration of a domain name within the AGP. This essentially means that they avoid paying for the domain name.
A domainer can also register several domain names with the AGP and retain ownership of those domains being used by customers. They generate revenue from these sites by using click to pay ads.
If these pages exist in large volumes, then the domainer can make a lot of money in just the grace period. One popular incident was that the CEO of Name Intelligence, a Google AdSense partner, who used domain kiting to make $3 million per month. It was all done with just pay-to-click ads on websites with domain names registered using the AGP.
Measures To Curb Domain Tasting And Domain Kiting
In 2009, ICANN, the organization that handles the domain name system, took measures to reduce these malpractices. One method was to add a fee to these grace periods.
If you want to change your domain name, you can apply for one within this period. This is only done if the new domain name you are purchasing is similar to your old one. The decision of granting this request lies with the registrar. But no matter the reason, the money that you pay will not be refunded.
Another is to remove the grace period from the registration process. If you’re a legitimate buyer, then the cost for registration doesn’t really affect you. But the cost will affect a domain taster, who relies on volumes to generate money.
There are domain name registrars available even with software solutions like Shopify. One good thing is that when registering for a domain name from services like Shopify, you won’t be given the option of adding an AGP to the domain name. This is a measure that Shopify takes to avoid malpractices related to domain names.