Domain history: Twenty years after registering my first domain name

Twenty years have passed since I registered my first domain name, on February 12, 1997.

At the time, I was already involved with the Internet access provider industry for several years, so to some it’d seem surprising that it took me a while to get my own domain.

For at least three years prior, I researched and “window-shopped” for domain names but only for entertainment purposes. I’d be amazed at the keywords that were available to register.

However, not many people would spend $100 dollars for a .com at the time, and there were plenty of free providers such as Geocities to host your web pages, if needed.

I took the big step though, and wired the funds to a web hosting provider in California, after coming up with the domain timechange.com.

They registered the domain for me, becoming the admin and tech contacts, and hosted my content, which was meant to be my web design portfolio.

Not too long later, I realized that “timechange” was a popular keyword about “daylight saving time.” So twice a year, I’d get swamped with hits – up to a million – from people seeking information on when or why they’d have to change their clocks.

I maintained traction and traffic to the site by adding a section dedicated to daylight saving time; even responding to people’s inquiries about the “time change” events they were curious about.

Eventually, I sold the domain, and the buyer promptly flipped it. These days, it’s listed at Afternic for $25,000 dollars – a bargain, if you ask me.

It’s hard to believe that 20 years passed by, and if I could go back in time I’d write myself a note with a “not for sale!” message.

Comments

  1. Cool story, too bad site isn’t up anymore.

  2. Your story brings back some memories. I was hosting PalmSprings.com in 1995 with a local guy in Santa Monica who’s little company was named BrandX.net. He converted his apartment into login location for dial up modems. I visited the place and it was so hot from all the computers that he had running there. He mentioned to me in 1997 that he had missed the boat on registering domain names because he was so busy with his business. I remember that my site was co-located with many other virtual websites, one of which was Film.com. It took up 95% of the traffic on the server . I see it is now owned by MTV. Interesting that all of our websites from back then are still in use today. 20 years seems like so long ago. 🙂

  3. WHJ – Thanks.

    Michael – Twenty years can be a blink in a lifespan, but it’s almost the entire span of the commercial Internet so far. Thanks for sharing those memories. 😀

  4. Ivan Micic says:

    Well, I have to agree with you that not many people would spend this amount of money for .com domain name at that time.

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