DYDAS Professional Website Design

How .Free Plans to Earn a Profit Giving Away Free Domains

By on November 3, 2010

A new global TLD, .Free is being proposed by Czech-startup company dotFree Group. The company sells software used to set up a domain registrar while offering free .cz.cc domain names themselves.

At the company’s existing free domain website, nic.cz.cc we can find information on what the .Free catch might be. This information is not mentioned or implied on the new DotFree website. With the goal of discovering just how they were making a profit, I explored the website and came across some interesting details.

What’s the catch?

I found that they are offering a premium domain registration option. This turned out to be a list of generic characters and dictionary words that were marked up anywhere from $4.95 to $14.95 per year. This is not a common practice. Most TLD launches typically reserve only the most premium keywords to be auctioned to the highest bidder during a landrush period.

The dotFree Group plans to host the premium auctions in addition to reserving most, if not all dictionary domains for “premium registrations”.

To be expected with any free domain, registrants are subject to various up-sell services including WHOIS privacy, SSL certificates and something called “Domain Lock.” I’m assuming domain lock is to prevent unauthorized transfers, but that seems like something that is typically default on most registrars.

State of .Free

DomainIncite reports 15,000 unofficial .Free pre-registrations have been claimed in the past two days by 2,787 people.

I am skeptical because Not all TLDs are created equal. A major portion of TLD launch success rides on how it is managed. Taking that out of mind, I would say that .Free has a lot of potential due to a wildly popular concept behind the name.

I believe .Free could do as well as .Me, .Co or even .Info if the concept is adopted by businesses. The domains could function as an excellent promotional marketing tool.

The .Free TLD plans to launch after ICANN approval sometime in the 3rd or 4th quarter 2011.

You can sign-up to pre-register a .Free domain now at DotFree.com

Let us know what you think about .Free domains. Would you consider paying for a quality keyword on this proposed extension?


About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.