– another great example on the Epik network

At a previous post I explained why many domains raved over by Epik as money makers, are really obscure long-tail excuses of a reg fee domain. Some are of questionable value as trademark violations, as someone noted.

Perhaps these were the ones Epik registers from the drop lists, so I wondered what the Epik revenue system would do with a quality single-worder. is not owned by Epik but it has been using the Epik system since June, according to the historical WHOIS at DomainTools.

Analyzing the output quality of an automated system in much detail is pointless; however, this particular generated content is in every aspect dull and uninspiring.

The “toppings” cart items are basically unrelated and confusing; when I think of “toppings” I am looking for pizza, gourmet food and definitely not M&M “toppers” or other candy.

If I wanted to browse chocolates and sweets I’d do so at Rick Schwartz’s – Rick receives a percentage from the candy sales, after all.

Stats are shockingly low and revenue is at zero, as one can see at – so what kind of advantage is Epik providing to those using their system, apart from “Epik bucks”?

Is the future of domain development yet another CMS with a brand that wraps uninspiring content with a basic user interface and modified clipart?

Conclusion: With regards to domains, development is an overly abused word, particularly by automated parking systems that bring no personal touch to the look and feel of a web site. Epik’s intentions might be noble but I fail to see any difference from other parking page systems, such as WhyPark or with customization on; or even Sedo, with a careful selection of keywords, template and image. In the long run, putting your best domains on a system with the aesthetics of R2D2 (insert your favorite robot here) might hurt your domain’s performance and value.


  1. Theo what is the fascination with going after EPIK ? Did someone there screw you over ? Or as a developer are you just stating people need full development ?

    Thank you

  2. Raymond – I believe I can write about the things I have formulated an opinion on, based on my lengthy experience as both a developer and a domainer. Two posts about Epik from out of hundreds hardly constitute a “fascination”.

    Do you have any different results to share?

  3. I did not say you don’t have the right to write about anything. I guess it seemed like the tone of the articles was IMO that of someone upset by EPIK.

    Personally I have a couple sites with EPIK and I have got on Rob a lot. There is no admin which I think is needed. I agree that these product portals are not “development” I guess we should use URL Modification. If it makes you money and its legal I guess that should be good enough. did get to the first page of Google, but its only searched 1900 times exact monthly. But I guess its better than if the name was on SEDO because its SE traffic that was getting no direct type.

  4. Raymond – there’s nothing wrong about the tone of the articles, other than stating facts that seem to contradict the overall sentiment that Epik promotes. I’m a man of facts and numbers, it’s easy to simply go with the flow; I prefer to analyze and share my findings.

  5. They are spread too thin, keep adding products, video portal,wiki,directory etc… I think Rob believes its development that anything is better than parking. As far as the tone I was stating my opinion.

  6. Raymond – as I said, the intention is noble but the result is what matters. I ran across and I am not impressed. The overall look and feel is very “artificial” so why is Epik presenting themselves as the paradigm shifter?

  7. We are in agreement there Theo, if you read the post Morgan did on the new domaining dream, I replied to his post (which was good)about Epik not being a leader, they may become one but not yet. I think they are trying but they have not done something domain wise comparable to mapping the human genome as some give them credit.

  8. FYI, the site is still under construction.

    The gating item for site development is usually graphics and original content.

    Per the client’s request, we went live with the non-optimized site in order to start indexing.

    The optimized site should be live on Monday. It is funny that you discovered it pre-launch.

  9. please let me share our own experience w/ epik ‘s currently pointed to epik ,
    over a week ,

    some things concern us just too much
    >> Analytics
    >> Total Visits: NA
    >> New Visits: N/A

    what ??? Total Visits: NA ???

    every day , possesses 2xx uniques , averagely ,
    according sedo stats

    so ,
    how comes that “` Total Visits: NA “” ???

    thanks , 2w

  10. Spot on Acro

    There is a lot of hype going on around Epik. Everybody seems so excited but I just don’t see the logic behind it from a point of a customer.

    So they charge you to develop your domain and then they take 50% out of the revenue???????

    It’s like in the real estate to hire a painter for you rental property and then in return of cheaper service to split the rent you receive with the painter. It just doesn’t make any sense to me ….

  11. I’d like to see a real beyond hype comparison of the free “developed” parking offerings like Smatname Shops or Whypark v. Epik which charges $200+ for each domain.

    @Arco – great article. This is a topic that should be discussed a whole lot more. Seems RH is being unusually defensive 😉

  12. I’m sure Rob is a great guy and there’s no doubt he has a bright mind but the idea of paying to park and splitting pennies is ridiculous.

  13. I’m pretty sure those sites are violating Google’s Adsense TOS. Putting some other widget there would definitely make them look less spammy…

  14. Spot on Acro.

    I am following many epik websites from last april/may and see almost zero revenue for most of the sites.

    Check this great name which went live in april/may and still zero revenue.

    Rob said “The optimized site should be live on Monday. It is funny that you discovered it pre-launch.” But I find it funny that even after 90% of epik sites are making zero revenue, same customers are still praising him.

  15. Since Rob appears to be very transparent and has data now for 5000+ sites, here is what I would like for him to share: I would like to see a breakdown of monthly revenue for his sites in this order:

    1% $1000+ monthly
    50% $5 monthly
    45% $3 monthly

    As per Peters post, I would assume 99.5% of the Epik sites are earning pennies per month. I could be wrong here.. Rob, can you share these details as you did with your post “Where the money is on Epik” ? That would be interesting data and would stop a lot of the banter and speculating..

  16. Nice article and follow ups from everyone, I have a couple of premium domains that I’ve been talking to Rob about developing but I can’t see the value in them right now.

    I was quoted a $249 site development fee, along with $500 budget for SEO, so my upfront costs are $749 and then I need to share my revenue 50% with Epik?.

    I need to make over $1300 a year, split that into 50% with Epik and I’ll break even, the model seems great by Rob but the numbers don’t make sense to me yet.

  17. Why does Rob only discuss as his success story on his blog. Aren’t there other success stories that he can come up with if there are over 15k portals live on EPIK?

  18. Name Here – seems to be doing well, with almost $6 last week. Again, I don’t know if that’s before or after splitting revenue with Epik.

    I’m not sure if there are 15k portals on the Epik network, my count showed a bit less than 11,400 – still a considerable number.

  19. nice another $6/wk site. Probably could make that parked. Many people have seen their $ disappear from these rapid site creators. It would be nice to see some more successful $xxx weekly revenue sites from epik.

  20. I like this one better:

  21. The traffic story is a pretty familiar one. Until a site is on page 1 of Google, the amount of traffic and monetization will be modest. This post does a good job discussing it:

    Also, keep in mind that I personally approve every single site that gets built on Epik. The decision to take on a development comes with a commitment to keep on it until it makes money.

    And if a site does not make money within a reasonable amount of time, it is standard procedure at Epik to provide the domain owner with a development credit to build another site while keeping the other site online.

    The model does work, but for anyone who thinks that their parked domain will be a cash machine within 30 days, our experience is that the ROI takes months not days. It does come. More importantly, we don’t stop working on it, until it does.

    Bottom line: I expect Q4 will be very exciting for the Epik Developer community. This will be even more clear for those attending DevCon.

  22. Anyone who has developed sites knows that the money is on page one and yet getting there is not automatic with Yahoo/Bing and rather challenging with Google. How many developers commit to stick with a project until it makes money or provide a development credit for another site? Website development requires skilled human resources which come at a cost.

  23. Rob,it’s clear that you dont have nice friends.Dont take it personal on what they say.I belive in Epik,that’s why i will give you my first set of 1000 domains to work on.As for you gentelmen,base on your low ball numbers $15/month on a 1000 domains/sites a year is $180,000 substract $15,000 registration fee 15,000 Epik ,i could still make $150,000 a year.Not bad

  24. Richard, if you are so confident the entire portfolio of 1,000 domains will perform at $15 /monthly you should be receiving that already via parking. Why split the revenue with Epik?

    As for your statement that Rob doesn’t have nice friends, that’s obviously an attempt to downgrade the research results shared by several people in this post. There is nothing personal against Rob or Epik. When people claim numbers and numbers don’t exactly match, that’s when one has to do their own research.

    Leonard – quality cannot be sustained by robotic sites that perform as seen at many “/stats” links provided by Epik. While Epik takes pride in what they do, they are far from being different than parking sites – the revenue numbers speak for themselves.

    Rob – I understand the Epik model is far from old in the business and thus some lenience is needed. That’s why facts and figures are important to be disclosed in public, not just for the best performing IceCreamMaker model but across the board. For those of us that won’t be at DevCon – best of success with your conference.

  25. Thanks all.

    We welcome the open review of the facts. Nobody ever said domain development on a larger scale would be a walk in the park.

    We have some proof points already but are just getting warmed up. I could not be more excited for the future of domain names as an asset class.

  26. Domainers the good news is this; at Epik we look at people that develop with us as partners not clients. We would not accept a name that we felt could not perform. Since we approve the names if a name does not perform after 1 year we will make it right as Rob mentioned earlier – I would love to see another platform back that kind of a guarantee up.

    No one else will stand behind their platform as we do with ours. The idea is not to make a sale but a lasting relationship. Rob and I are both businessmen and it is our goal to empower other entrepreneurs to create their own passive income. We are happy to help serious developers. We consistently are going above and beyond the expected duties of any developer. We routinely do things like help domainers with Google reconsideration requests to get their sites back into the Google index often caused by parking. We work all hours and take responsibility for dropping any balls and reciprocate above and beyond.

    I hope that makes sense and we look forward to helping domainers make development a fruitful endeavor.

    Luke Webster

  27. @Acro

    We are manually building out these sites in America. The products are all hand picked and it is not an automated process done by a bot. The META is all hand dialed in as well. Over 65% of our sites are less then 6 weeks old. So many of the /stats that your checking will not show anything earth shattering for several months. See this blog for indexing time frame:

    We have recently started going back through our historic sites (2 months and older) and updating all of the products and SEO all by hand. We have a large group of skilled techs here and I just thought you should know this is not an automated bot process. The SEO is ongoing and if a domain is not gaining traction we are going to start pushing…

    The Epik holdings we use a standard Logo. Hope that makes sense.

    Luke Webster

  28. Luke – No matter how you want to name the Epik product, this is not development.

    By simply renaming a widgetized content management system (at your back-end) as development, when none of the front end is controlled by the user, you’re giving the impression to many that $$$ are to be expected, regardless of the domains involved. If indeed you’ve hand-picked these domains that produce such paltry revenue, then there is something wrong with this model.

    Again, I see nothing earth-shattering in Epik’s “developed” sites, because aesthetically they offer not much more than parked pages. There is more customization via Parked and WhyPark, so why share the revenue with Epik?

    Domainers deserve good solutions, not simply the cheapest way to serving up content loosely related to the domain keywords.

  29. Acro,

    This is pointless good luck with parking.


  30. Luke – debunking myths is never pointless. Maybe rebranding to “Hype” would be more accurate?

    The advantage of addressing a group of domainers that have no other means of comparison is lost when you’re talking with real developers.

  31. Acro,the deal that Epik gave me on 1000 domains are 100% revenue to the domainer,not to mention that my sites look better then any parking out there.

  32. Richard – 100% of pennies is still pennies. I know you posted some wishful numbers but without having used the Epik system for a year it’s still wishful thinking. What domainers don’t realize is that half-baked solutions are worse than less aspiring solutions that work in the long run.