According to a Tuesday post by Elliot Silver on his domain name industry blog Elliot’s Blog, Sedo domain broker Dave Evanson announced the sale of the web hosting related domain name webhosting.co.uk for $500,000 on Facebook and Twitter Tuesday morning.
While Evanson congratulated the “buyer and seller” in his post, he didn’t specifically identify either. The domain isn’t currently resolving to anything, but according to the cached copy on Google, and screenshots on the site screenshots.com, the domain was in use by a web hosting business as recently as July 18, 2012.
Based on the site, it appears to have been a shared web hosting business with a major focus on the BaseKit website building software. The domain also appears, in recent years, to have been home to a simpler attempt to monetize traffic by sending it to web hosting providers via a set of “reviews.”
A sparingly tended Facebook page for the web hosting company is still live, but doesn’t offer any useful detail about the business.
The sale of the domain appears to have been a case of the asset itself being more valuable than the business or businesses the owner was trying to operate via the site.
With the buyer unknown at this point, there is no indication of what exactly the intention for the domain is, but $500,000 is a big investment. The price tag seems to have been the source of much of the attention in the domain business, in part because the sale is the largest ccTLD sale of the year by a significant margin.
In his post, Silver links to the DNjournal year-to-date domain sales chart, which lists the previous high for a ccTLD as being just under $200,000.
The other big issue related to the domain’s price is the potential arrival of a strong competitor for the .co.uk domain in the proposal for a .uk domain submitted by Nominum, which, if it were to succeed, could certainly diminish the inherent value of .co.uk domains.
For companies in the web hosting business, the sale may be an interesting endorsement of the value of the term “web hosting” itself, a phrase that may have lost some of its edge in the “cloud” era. Somebody with deep pockets clearly thinks there’s profit to be made from the term “web hosting.”
Talk back: Do your customers still identify you as a “web hosting” company? Is there a value in the term? Is there enough value to justify spending $500,000 on the webhosting.co.uk domain? Let us know in the comments.