That Which We Don’t Understand Scares Us: Don’t be afraid of ccTLDs and IDNs but Be Careful

Mar 13 2010

the_plugs_don't_even _workOver the last few days I have been working with Aaron of IDNTools on registering IDNs (full story at a later date) and friend Morgan Linton has recently unveiled his new site (he’s evidently made some money because he bought the i in this name).    I am smart enough to know that there is a whole market of non regular TLD domains that are still in growth mode, I just don’t know where to start.  What I do know is those two sites are as good a place as any. I explained it to my wife as buying domains for places where my electrical plugs don’t work.

I now have a whopping two days under my belt and I already have learned enough to cause trouble but not even close to buying yet (except for a few practice purchases, story later here as well)

1.  Online translators can be a little off.  If you really want to get correctly translated names your best move would be to find someone fluent in that language.  Finding people fluent in Russian, Chinese, and Japanese are very easy for me.  I live a mile from a major University and have thousands of students that work for peanuts. I highly suggest that you get second opinions on what you are about to buy.

2. Before you buy, know what you are going to do with the name.  It’s not like you are going to just put up a site.  You don’t even speak the language.

3. Registering IDNs are a piece of cake.  They simply change over to Unicode and can be registered at Godaddy.  Took me the same time as a regular dot com and was only $8

4. You have a little time left to get into the German market (.de) but the window is closing quickly.  These domains are skyrocketing.  I’m trying to find the next .de

5. Do Your Homework.  Buying  IDNs and ccTLDs take ALOT more work but the rewards can be tenfold.  There are so many people that don’t do enough homework that people seem to be overpaying for domains that they have no idea of what it REALLY means or how it translates. They are easy picking for some sellers

6. Never trust a posters translation of a word.  Don’t even trust an online translator. Get it to a fluent speaker before you buy.

7.  Ask questions.   The people at the two sites and forums within are as nice of people as you’ll meet.  They are like a small social group that shares the same hobby and are willing to help out anyone that wants to join along.

So after two days, I have a ton to learn and although I will never completely immerse myself into IDNs or ccTLDs,  I am going to add some garden related domains into my domain portfolio.  Fortunately every country in the world has gardeners.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Ms Domainer



    Good points.

    Also KNOW the rules of the ccTLD registrar, which can vary widely from the gTLDs. You may not even be allowed to register some of them unless you are a citizen or a foreign business in that country.

    Also consider that some of the ccTLD fever is a result of a few major domainers pumping these ccTLDs and selling domainer to domainer.

    Happy investing!


  2. Aaron Krawitz

    Nice post. Especially good point about automatic translators not being as reliable as a natives. I also agree that even if someone doesn’t want to be a full time IDNer, it makes sense to diversify one’s portfolio by embracing innovation rather than be scared by it.

  3. Mike

    Do all registrars support unicode idn registrations? i didnt realize this..

    also how did you get $8 pricing at Godaddy? mine was $10.69. actually $10.87 after fee

    1. Post author


      Actually that was the price was $7.57 ($10.69 -3.30 discount) the problem is I don’t know why I got the discount. I didn’t even put in a code. I always know I was special but I didn’t think Godaddy knew 🙂

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