James Iles

100,000 Hits Per Day in 1999: A Brief History of Santa (.COM)

By James Iles, Dec 19, 2016
  1. One of the most synonymous cultural figures surrounding Christmas is Santa. Also known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Kris Kringle, this legendary figure has been the subject of many movies, websites and apps. Santa trackers, messages from Santa and other similar products can be very lucrative, with some services apparently making thousands of dollars per day at this time of year.

    As with any popular term, the domain name is extremely important. Since this is a domaining blog, we’ll be taking a look at the history of, and what it’s used for now.

    The domain itself has been registered since 1994, and has active records of the website going back to April 1997. At that point, the site enabled you to send an email to Santa, but that was it. The site stayed that way for a couple of years, before being developed into an informational site that contained gift ideas, trivia and games.

    In a 1999 ComputerWorld interview, the magazine spoke to’s director of technology. He revealed that even in 1999, the domain name was receiving 100,000 hits per day, with the most popular features of the site being the holiday checklist and the wish list. It’s a great interview to read, if only for the question “Must people carry beepers and cell phones?”, which I found quite amusing.

    A couple of years after this interview, the domain was redeveloped after a period of inactivity. was turned into a mini-site, which looks to have relied heavily on displaying parked pages. I’m sure that with the level of traffic the domain received, the owners were making a small fortune from advertising revenue. Several sites were created over the next few years by Holiday Channel Inc, until it was acquired by Santa Holdings, LLC.

    According to reports, this was a domain investment that was made by Andrew Rosener (@MediaOptions), CEO of Media Options, along with two other partners. Screenshots show that no website was developed on the domain name, and in 2015 it was announced that Hilco Streambank was working with Andrew and his partners to broker the sale of

    At the time, Hilco Streambank’s CEO, Gabe Fried, said: "Santa is probably the most recognized character name in the world. The domain has a broad application for e-commerce and brick & mortar retailers looking to increase sales volume, as well as advertisers looking to promote their products during the holiday season.”

    It certainly looks as though the name ended up in the right hands. In October 2016, Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly wrote an article stating that the domain name had likely been sold, since it had moved into’s holding account. As of writing, the domain is still in’s account, but it is forwarding to a website called was created by Jennifer Schell of New Jersey, who used her degree in software engineering to create the service. This is a popular festive website now has over 114,000 likes on Facebook, and a US Alexa ranking of just over 100,000. The service offers daily texts from Santa, plus a Christmas morning photo for a small fee.

    Alongside, the company bought The .ORG was acquired for $13,500 in August 2016, and is being used by the company to promote their community donation initiative. According to a Facebook post, every purchase on gives back to the community donation program. In a recent update, the company announced that they had raised over $11,500 in a fairly short amount of time.

    Buying was, I think, an inspired business decision that is bound to give TextsFromSanta far more exposure and recognition than they could possibly achieve with traditional marketing methods. The addition of for charitable purposes is a great move that hopefully works well for the company. It’s unknown whether TextsFromSanta will continue to forward to, or whether they will change over to in the future. Whatever they do, I look forward to seeing what has in store.

    Update on Mar 22, 2017: @MediaOptions has confirmed that after several payments the buyer defaulted on the deal. The domain name is now back under the ownership of Media Options.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry professional currently working on numerous domain industry research, acquisition and sales projects. Contact [email protected] For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 300th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (10)

  6. OnlineDomainCom

    OnlineDomainCom VIP Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Do you know what people meant by "hits" in 1999? Every item on a webpage like an image would count as a hit. A page could have 10 or 50 or even 100 hits.
    Probably was getting 10,000 page views or so per day.
  7. Yes, I'm aware of what a hit is :) - I thought it was still interesting to note this.
  8. Sdomainer

    Sdomainer Established Member

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  9. The Durfer

    The Durfer Upgraded Member Gold Account Blue Account VIP

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  11. elevator

    elevator VIP

    Likes Received:
    This is a great Santa info indeed.
  12. Mr. Deleted

    Mr. Deleted 800-266-2728 VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

    Likes Received:
    Nice name.

    In related wintery domain name news, I was the max bidder on at Name Silo then the owner renewed it today. A few more days to go, and I would have had it.
  13. DomainPluto

    DomainPluto Dashawn R.

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  14. baseballworld

    baseballworld Restricted (Market)

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  15. MediaOptions

    MediaOptions VIP Member DomainSherpa PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

    Likes Received:
    Just to update this article, the buyer, paid their payments for several months and then defaulted on the deal. The deal would have been for $1.1 Million (apx).

    So we have the domain back now.
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