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Bob Hawkes

Ten of the Best Domain Hacks in Active Use

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By Bob Hawkes, Sep 17, 2019
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    A domain hack uses content from both sides of the dot to form a word or phrase – for example: s.top. While domain investors have created many imaginative domain name hacks, the number in actual use is much smaller. In this post, I look at a selection of short single-word domain hacks currently in business use, either as a main site or for redirection. I also offer tips for finding domain hack sales history and pose the question about whether we should change the name for this category of domain names, given the historically-negative connotations associated with hacking.


    A Selection of Short Domain Name Hacks
    In this article, I’m interested in domain name hacks of a single short word that spanned the two sides of the dot. I only included domain names that are in active use. While multi-word domain hacks are certainly possible, I want to highlight some of the best short single-word hacks. It’s likely that all of these domain names sold for 5 figures or more, although in a few cases I could not determine the exact price.

    Ta.co
    This superb domain hack is used for redirection by Taco Bell. The use of the name was recently shared on Twitter by the .co registry, but I could not find a publicly-announced sale of the domain name. It is currently listed as their website on Taco Bell’s Twitter account.

    T.win
    This has to be one of the best domain names in the .win extension. The name sold earlier this year for $22,500, and it’s already in redirection use by the Twin online casino business. It will be interesting to see if ultimately they use it for their main site or simply wanted it for redirection.

    S.top
    The .top new extension makes for numerous great hacks, including this one that is in direct use by the Chinese Super Token cryptocurrency site. The domain name sold for $161,684 in 2017 direct from Jiangsu Bangning. This could have been a superb domain name for many different types of businesses, and it’s not surprisingly the highest-value sale of a domain hack in the NameBio database.

    Me.me
    This interesting domain hack is also a domain twin, a repeated word on both sides of the dot. It is in use by a site that sells various meme-themed merchandise. There is currently not a public record of its sale price.

    Local.ly
    The .ly extension is used in many domain hacks, including this one that sold for $100,000 in 2011. It is currently used for redirection to the products page at Infor, a hybrid cloud artificial intelligence products promotion company.

    W.et
    This domain hack sold late in 2017 for $25,000 at Flippa. While it has an almost endless number of possible uses from pools to waterparks and swimwear to diving equipment, it is currently used by Jon Buch for redirection purposes to the .com of his own name. He is a founder at Vio Publishing and previously was a creative director at Gigya. Gigya is now part of SAP.

    Ma.de
    The German .de extension makes for lots of good hacks, such as ma.de that sold for $25,000 at Sedo in 2012. The domain name is used for the main website of MADE, a talent curation company.

    A.top
    The word “atop” means simply on top or first, and this domain hack is used by the A.top Asian digital asset exchange. The domain name sold for $96,670 in 2014 at Com.top.

    Di.et
    Not surprisingly, this descriptive domain name is in use for a diet site. The domain name sold for $10,000 in 2016.

    Movi.es
    The .es domain extension can be used for plurals of various words. The domain hack movi.es sold in 2009 for $10,695 at Sedo. Wisely, it is in use by Netflix as a redirect.

    Discussion of Domain Hacks
    There have been a number of discussions about domain hacks on NamePros over the years, including this thread started in 2010 that asks Are domain hacks good? Some posts in that thread indicate differences in opinion over what is a domain hack. Some domain investors use the term more generally, for example, considering two words split by a dot also to be a hack, while some experts have referred to that as expanding the dot. An interesting question is whether the demand for domain hacks changed with the introduction of the new domain extensions.

    Finding Domain Hack Sales
    A little known feature of NameBio is that you can easily search domain hack sales history. From the main menu, select Niche under the Category field. Then select Domain Hacks within the Subcategory. Note that you can use any of the other NameBio features to narrow your search, such as domain hacks in a particular extension, price, or date range. You can even view the full list of NameBio-listed domain hacks. NameBio currently shows 594 domain hack sales with an average price of $3872. The highest NameBio-listed domain name hack sale was s.top at $161,684. Many of the high-value domain name hack sales listed are not in use with a number of them currently listed for sale.

    Time for a Name Change?
    The word “hack” has, at least historically, had a negative connotation since it has usually been associated with someone improperly gaining control, although the negativity is waning due to tech communities, such as Hacker News, hackathons, programming, and companies like Facebook with their headquarters located at 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA, USA.

    I think the domain community should come up with a more positive name. What about unidot or trans-dot domain names? I am sure readers can come up with better possibilities! Why not share them in the comments?

    Have Your Say!
    Please provide your input in the comments.
    • What great single-word domain hacks in current use are missing from this article?
    • Do you invest in domain name hacks? Have you sold any yet?
    • Do you think domain hacks are more popular in certain geographical regions or subject niches?
    • Do you think that the new domain extensions have decreased or increased interest in domain hacks?
    • What would be your choice for a better name for domain hacks?
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 7th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
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  5. Comments (59)

  6. MrAcidic

    MrAcidic Account Auto-Closed Gold Account

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    Nice article @Bob Hawkes

    Don't forget Ethical hacking is a positive thing..😁😉
     
  7. The Durfer

    The Durfer Upgraded Member Blue Account VIP

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  8. scanner2005

    scanner2005 Established Member

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  9. Viet

    Viet Established Member

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    Super fan of domain hacks here. I love ta.co on the list the most.

    As a fan, I own several domain hacks as well, here are some shameless plugs:
    • vi.et: I use this as my personal URL shortener, such as vi.et/fb
    • m.ly: Used to be for my Emily Labs brand because mly sounds like Emily
    • ng.org: used to be redirected to nguyen.org (because in Vietnam, people write Nguyen as Ng in shortened form)
     
  10. spoofies

    spoofies Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Sold these to end-users:

    vit[.]al
    pla[.]id
    dea[.]ls

    Still have my two favorites available

    hote[.]ls
    vau[.]lt

    There was also the recent wall[.]et sale to an end-user by another member.
     
  11. The Durfer

    The Durfer Upgraded Member Blue Account VIP

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    superb choice of hacks. They have to be just right and this list is. Kudos on choices, Bob.
     
  12. Makbliss

    Makbliss Cancer Survivor, domain and crypto enthusiasts Gold Account

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    Love it! I own this domain hack, thinking I should hang onto it for awhile..

    S.exposed (Sex-Posed)
     
  13. spoofies

    spoofies Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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  14. MadAboutDomains

    MadAboutDomains Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    me.me used to be owned by Yahoo. It didn't do very well from what I believe and they handed it back to the .me registry.

    https://meme.yahoo.com it redirects still but no longer exists.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  15. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    I understand there are some big companies who own hacks, but I don't see a big 'need, want, desire' or demand for them. For that reason, I choose to stay away from them and appreciate their beauty from a distance.
     
  16. phelo1

    phelo1 Upgraded Member Blue Account

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  17. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I did not know that. Thanks for the information! Did they just use it for redirection or for a specific project?

    Yes, I think while that is true for domains in general, but particularly for hacks. The difference between a worthless hack and an amazing one can be slight. I admire those who have had big success with them.

    I agree it is a beautiful hack and one I investigated but at least when I looked it did not resolve to a business use therefore did not make this list. But I like it a lot!

    Thank you very much for the link to the domainhack tool and also some great additional hacks in use by major companies, @phelo1 . You have added significantly to the discussion.

    I agree that pep.si is a particularly nice one in use! I had looked at ti.me prior to publishing article, but was not sure whether linking to Bitly was genuinely an end use.

    How is summit.cx a domain hack? I see it as a great domain name with interest in customer experience, but don't see it as a domain hack?

    Thanks for all of the great input, everyone!

    Thanks again,
    Bob
     
  18. RheiHawk

    RheiHawk Established Member

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    Great information, as usual. Thanks, Bob!

    I really like the thought leadership regarding getting away from calling them domain hacks. People outside of the community and interest may get the wrong idea. I definitely vote "unidot" for the name change. Feel free to hit Like if you vote the same ;)
     
  19. Jay Ha

    Jay Ha Exploring.. Gold Account VIP

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    Thanks Bob for the article. It comes at the most suitable time for me as I'm in negotiations to sell a 4 worder domain hack. Their valuation is not way off the price I'm willing to sell for. Let's see if I can get 4 digits tho.

    As for the term domain hack, I think it is suitable but that's just me.
     
  20. RubenDario

    RubenDario Established Member

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    Hi Bob, thanks for the information
    One of the first domains that I registered and that I have for sale, was
    lowpric.es.
    The Spanish extension is useful for composing several words in English.
     
  21. falez

    falez Established Member

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    youre wrong about the history of the word 'hack'. youre misattributing the meaning of the word 'crack' or 'cracking' to the word 'hack'. the word 'hack' has always meant something entirely different to the technology community, even though people sometimes and even often misconstrue the word
     
  22. pablohc86

    pablohc86 Top Member VIP

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    nice article Bob and i totally agree also that this category of domains should be called in another way.. hack has too much a bad connotation.
     
  23. pablohc86

    pablohc86 Top Member VIP

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    i agree with you but... just ask to 10 random people if when they hear the word "hack" they think something good or bad.
     
  24. phelo1

    phelo1 Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    I believe it is a great domain hack same as pep.si or any listed above because hundreds of companies exist in cx space like examples below that could use the same domain hack as summit.cx used examples being
    Cxcompany.com
    Thecxcompany.com
    MaritzCX.com
    Cxconference.cz
    Cxservice360.com
    virtualcx.com.au
    2019cx.com
    Chasmcx.com
    Successcx.com
    digitalcx.com
    Cryptocx.com
    And many many more

    When out bounding domain hacks I do not use the word hack as I feel it has negative connotations I prefer using domain name concatenation :) lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  25. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    This is an excellent article exploring an interesting topic so a big thanks for the write up.

    As to the name Hack, just like the real meaning a domain hack can be good or bad so that applies and works.

    On the other hand, I think hack doesn't really describe what is going on. Instead I'd say it's more being MacGyver'd :)

    Which is piecing together different parts to make it work and sometimes it works well.

    I also recently picked up a MacGyver'd domain...

    CrimeS.top
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  26. DeliDomains

    DeliDomains Oswin

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    @Bob Hawkes I have sold Info.graphics which is currently in use.
     
  27. Reddstagg

    Reddstagg Established Member

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    How about saying they are 'dotinated'?

    I've recently hand regged three with a Spanish twist...
    www. alg.uno (any)
    www. mont.uno (from the mountain)
    www. desay.uno (breakfast)
     
  28. CrocBuzz

    CrocBuzz Established Member

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    Found a couple more Orlando-based companies using domain hacks as their primary domain. They are not for sale. Just thought I would share how they are being used.

    big.vision (digital marketing agency)
    real.life (a church)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  29. spoofies

    spoofies Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Really like this one.
     
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