- Most expensive domain name ever currently receives 88,000 visitors per month
- Third costliest domain name has no registered monthly traffic
- Top seven sites cost a combined $109 million
How much is a good website name worth? People and companies have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for specific domain names – but is it always worth the return on investment?
A new study by web hosting provider Hostinger has investigated the top seven costliest domain names ever, to see how the sites are doing now, what traffic they receive and whether the outlay was worth it.
Cost: $30 million in 2019
Current monthly traffic: 88.8k
The voice.com website describes Voice as “a team of technologists, artists and curators using the transformative power of NFTs to make digital art collectable.”
The company bought the domain name in June 2019 from enterprise analytics and software company MicroStrategy, but the $30 million investment doesn’t appeared to have delivered much return so far – Voice.com’s monthly traffic according to SimilarWeb currently stands at around 88,800.
Cost: $17 million in 2015
Current monthly traffic: 23.9 million
360.com belongs to the Chinese internet security company 360 Security Technology Inc, and currently receives 23.9million monthly visitors, which ranks it as the 154th biggest website in China. The domain name was bought from Vodafone in February 2015 for $17 million
Cost: $15 million in 2022
Current monthly traffic: data not available
NFTs.com is one of the most recent sales in the top ten, after it was purchased in August 2022 for $15 million. The site currently contains very little information, but says it is “powered by DigitalArtists.com Marketplace”.
Despite the large price tag, there isn’t enough info for SimilarWeb to estimate its traffic, indicating that very few people are visiting the site.
Cost: $13million in 2010
Current monthly traffic: 64 million
This domain name was sold in November 2010 from Escom to Clover Holdings after it won an auction.
The provocative name receives more traffic than the rest of the top five sites combined, with 64 million visitors each month, and it was recently announced that the name is on sale once more, with minimum bids of $20 million.
Cost: $12 million in 2008
Current monthly traffic: 293k
Describing itself as “Your #1 source for financial information”, Fund.com was reportedly sold for $12 million in 2008, although some are skeptical of the figure. It has since been sold again in 2019, and currently sees around 293,000 monthly visitors.
Cost: $11 million in 2001
Current monthly traffic: 44.5 million
This is the oldest sale to make the list, and when adjusted for inflation, the $11 million paid for Hotels.com in 2001 is around $18.4 million in 2023. The site receives the second most monthly traffic in the list, with around 44.5 million visitors
Cost: $11million in 2014
Current monthly traffic: 16.9 million
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that it took 10 years to buy the Tesla.com domain name, eventually securing it from Silicon Valley engineer Stuart Grossman for around $11 million dollars.
Today the site receives nearly 17 million monthly visitors, and the company’s market cap is around $630 billion.
Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Hostinger said: “It’s fascinating to see how much money has exchanged hands for specific domain names – the cost of the seven names in the list adds up to more than $100 million. For multi-billion-dollar companies, the outlay is relatively small, especially if it secures your presence on the web, strengthens your brand and provides a good stream of traffic to your site. However as this study shows, spending millions of dollars on the domain name doesn’t guarantee millions of website visitors.”
The study was conducted by Hostinger, a web hosting provider on a mission to bring success to everyone who goes online. It is dedicated to constantly improving server technology, providing professional support, and making the web hosting experience seamless.
*List of most expensive domain names ever taken from Wikipedia, limited to pure domain name and cash-only sales. Traffic figures are sourced from SimilarWeb by hostinger.com.