Header Text - Top 10 Most Expensive Domains

Domain names are a critical component of the internet’s infrastructure and in this blog we are going to cover the most expensive domain names ever sold to date!

Beyond their functional role, as discussed below, domain names can have immense value. Just like prime real estate can sell for jaw-dropping prices, some domain names can sell for astronomical amounts too. In this blog, we’ll explain how domain names are structured, why some can be so pricey, and the top 10 most expensive domain names. We’ll also look at how to choose and register a domain name with Hosted.com. Having the right domain name is more than just a website URL, it can be an investment in your business.

Understanding Domain Names

Domain names are digital addresses for websites, allowing users to find and remember the names of websites without memorizing complex IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. They serve as a way for people to access websites without having to remember complex numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses – the series of numbers that browsers and servers use to identify each other and bring up a website. The Domain Name System (DNS) translates these names into the corresponding IP addresses that computers can understand.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees the global coordination of the DNS, and IP addressing, and manages the authoritative list of all TLDs.

Domains are managed by organizations called Domain Registries, responsible for the registration and administration of specific Top Level Domains (TLDs), the last part of a URL e.g.: “.com.” For example, Verisign is the registry responsible for the “.com” and “.net” TLDs, while Public Interest Registry manages “.org.”

When you type a domain name into your browser, the DNS servers look it up to find its corresponding IP address. Once the IP address is found, your browser then uses it to retrieve and verify the website you want to visit. This process, known as a Domain Handshake, happens in milliseconds.

How Are Domain Names Structured?

A domain name consists of a hierarchical structure that creates a complete web address. Here’s how they are made up:

Top-Level Domain (TLD): This is the part of the domain name at the highest level. It appears at the end of a domain name appearing after the final “.”. There are several categories including:

Generic TLDs (gTLDs): These are the most common and widely used TLDs, such as .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz.

Country-code TLDs (ccTLDs): These represent specific countries or territories, such as .us for the United States.

Sponsored TLDs (sTLDs): These are specialized TLDs that are sponsored by specific organizations, such as .edu for educational institutions, or .gov for government departments.

Alternative TLDs (ALTs) or New gTLDs: These are a newer set of gTLDs introduced by ICANN to provide more options and cater to specific interests or industries. Examples include .io and .ai which have become increasingly popular with the tech industry.

Second-Level Domain (SLD): SLDs are the part of a domain name that comes directly before the TLD. They are the most recognizable part of a domain name, as they are usually the name of the website or business. For example, in the domain name “mywebsite.com”, the SLD is ” mywebsite”.

Subdomains: These optional additional parts of the domain name are used to organize and navigate to different sections of a website. Subdomains are added to the left of the SLD and are separated by dots. They can be used to create distinct addresses for different areas of a site, such as “blog.mywebsite.com” or “shop.mywebsite.com.” Subdomains offer a way to structure a website without registering new domain names for different parts of your site.

Strip Banner Text - Domain Names Can Boost Your Brand's Identity And The Success Of Your Website

How Do Domain Names Get Expensive?

Domain names can also play a huge role in branding and marketing. A memorable and relevant domain name can make it easier for customers to find and return to a website. This helps contribute to stronger brand recognition and loyalty. Looking at them this way, domain names are not just web addresses but assets that can boost your brand’s identity and the success of your website.

Premium Domain Names

Premium domain names are high-quality web addresses that typically come with a higher price tag compared to a standard domain. They are divided into two main categories:

Registry Premium Domains:

These are identified by Domain Registries as being particularly valuable due to the characteristics mentioned above. They are then set a higher purchase price for them.

Aftermarket Premium Domains:

These domains were previously registered by someone else and are now being offered for sale on the aftermarket, often by domain name investors. The price is determined by the seller and can be quite high depending on the perceived value of the domain.

The value and cost of these domains are influenced by several factors, each contributing to why some of them can become incredibly expensive.

Memorability and Branding

First, a domain name that is short and catchy can increase its value. These domain names are generally more valuable because they are easy to remember and type, and less prone to typos. A domain name with fewer characters is usually more user-friendly and better for branding and marketing.

This can make it more desirable, especially if it can help businesses stand out from the competition. Following that, competition can also increase demand for a specific domain name, influencing its price.

SEO Potential

Keywords that are frequently searched for on search engines can drive organic traffic to a website. Domain names that contain keywords relevant to a high-demand industry or niche can command high prices. While not guaranteed, domains with those keywords could give a slight SEO boost, potentially driving up the price.

They often use the most popular, well-known TLDs, especially “.com.” People associate these TLDs with trust and legitimacy, making domains using them more desirable and expensive.

For popular TLDs, finding and registering a specific domain name is much harder. Since there are only a limited number of options, scarcity drives the price up.

Strip Banner Text - Short And Catchy Domains With A Popular TLD Are More Desirable

Choosing The Perfect Domain Name

When you start looking for the perfect domain name, here are a few things to consider.

  • Keep it Short and Simple: As a rule of thumb, the best domains are short and simple. This is because they are easier to remember and type. Avoid using complex words or long phrases that might be difficult to spell or pronounce.
  • Also, while it was considered bad to use hyphens, using them can be beneficial. Search engine algorithms see them as spaces, not characters, meaning if the domain name you want to use is taken, using hyphens in the right place can provide a practical solution.
  • Be Unique: Your domain name should stand out and reflect your brand’s identity. Try not to use generic terms and be creative to make it distinctive and brandable.
  • Your TLD: There are many TLDs available, and “.com” is considered the most popular, credible, and trustworthy, especially for businesses. While “.com” may be the most sought-after, don’t be afraid to explore other TLDs that might be more specific to your target market, such as .tech, .io, or .us. Just ensure that it’s relevant and suits your brand.
  • Include Keywords: Including relevant keywords can make your website more visible when users search for those terms. However, Google’s algorithm prioritizes high-quality content over exact-match keywords in domain names. So, while they may help with visibility to a degree, having great content on your site will make a bigger SEO impact.
  • Check Availability: Finally, before settling on your domain name, make sure it’s available for registration. It’s also a good idea to check for similar ones to avoid confusion with other websites and make sure you don’t lose potential traffic.

Registering A Domain With Hosted.com

Registering a domain with Hosted.com is an easy process you can complete in minutes by following these steps:

  • Create Your Account:  If you don’t have a Hosted.com account, create one. If you already do, you can just log in.
  • Check Availability: Once you’ve decided on a domain, use our domain search tool to check its availability. Enter the domain name you want on our Domain Registration page, and our search tool will tell you if it’s available for registration. If your domain is already taken, we’ll suggest alternatives or variations.
  • Register the Domain: Next, you’ll need to provide Registrant information. This includes your name, business details, address, email, and phone number. This information will be associated with your domain in the WHOIS database, which is a public directory of registered domains.
  • Choose Registration Period: You can register a domain name for a period ranging from 1 year or up to 10 years. Decide how long you want to register the domain and select the appropriate option.
  • Complete Payment: Review your order and complete the payment process.
  • Verify Ownership: After payment, you’ll receive an email from us to verify your registration. This step is crucial to confirm your ownership of the domain name and complete the registration process.
  • Renewals: Keep track of your domain’s expiration date and ensure you renew it on time to avoid losing ownership.
Strip Banner Text - Register Your Perfect Domain Name With Hosted.com

The Top 10 Most Expensive Domain Names

The right domain name in the right market can be worth millions, as you’ll see in this list. In most cases, these domains were acquired for their high commercial value in specific industries, markets, or services. The generic and highly relevant nature of these domains, combined with their potential for attracting significant organic traffic, and generating leads and revenue, drove the high selling price.

1.       Business.com – $345 Million

The record belongs to business.com selling for a whopping $345 million in 2007. The high price in 2007 was driven by the inflated valuations of internet companies, leading to some overspending on domain names. Unfortunately, the buyer, RH Donnelley, declared bankruptcy two years later.

2.       LasVegas.com – $90 Million

Sold in 2005, LasVegas.com is a highly valuable domain due to its association with the famous city and its tourism gambling industry. The buyer was VEGAS.com, LLC, which aimed to use the domain to promote the city and potentially consolidate the two domains into one.

3.       CarInsurance.com – $49.7 Million

Sold in 2010, CarInsurance.com is a highly lucrative domain name for the car insurance industry. The buyer was QuinStreet, a company specializing in online marketing and lead generation for various sectors, including the automotive and insurance industries.

4.       Insurance.com – $35.6 Million

Another purchase by QuinStreet in 2010. It is a broad term in a large and profitable sector. Clearly, they recognized the strategic importance of owning another valuable domain in the insurance industry.

5.       VacationRentals.com – $35 Million

Brian Sharples, the founder of HomeAway bought VacationRentals.com in 2009. This makes perfect sense, considering HomeAway is a major player in the vacation rental market.

6.       PrivateJet.com – $30.18 Million

This one speaks to an extremely specific audience. Sold in 2012 to a travel services company called Nations Luxury Transportation, LLD, which aimed to use the domain to generate leads on its booking platform.

7.       Voice.com – $30 Million

One of the biggest cash domain sales of all time. Voice.com was sold in 2019 to Block.one, the developers behind the Voice blockchain platform.

8.       Internet.com – $18 Million

The third purchase by QuinStreet on this list was sold by WebMediaBrands, Inc. The purchase also included several other top domains in the deal.

9.       360.com – $17 Million

Sold by Vodafone in 2004, 360.com was purchased by Chinese company Qihoo. As number-based domains aren’t very popular in the West, this was a strategic move to cater to the market in China.

10.   Insure.com – $16 Million

Finally, with the most purchases, we have QuinStreet buying Insure.com to further expand in the insurance market by having a domain offering news, insights, and articles.


  1. Domain names provide human-readable web addresses instead of numerical IP addresses. The DNS translates them into IP addresses for computers; ICANN oversees all domains which are managed by registries.
  2. Domain names have a hierarchical structure consisting of a TLD and SLD and optional subdomains, separated by dots to form the complete web address. Examples of TLDs are gTLDS and ccTLDs.
  3. Domain names can play a role in contributing to brand recognition, memorability, and customer loyalty. Premium domain names are more expensive, as they are memorable, incorporate popular keywords, and use popular, trusted TLDs. Their scarcity drives up their cost.
  4. When choosing a domain name, keep it short, simple, unique, and easy to remember. Use hyphens if needed. Opt for TLDs like .com, or niche-specific ones relevant to your target market. Use keywords but prioritize high-quality content for better SEO. Verify availability and check for similar names.
  5. To register a domain with Hosted.com, create an account and check its availability. Provide registrant and payment details and complete the purchase. Verify ownership via the email sent to you.
  6. The top 10 most expensive domain names are: Business.com, Lasvegas.com. Carinsurance.com, Insurance.com, Vacationrentals.com, Privatejet.com, Voice.com, Internet.com, 360.com, Insure.com.


What is the most expensive domain ever?

Business.com, worth $345 Million, is currently the most expensive domain name ever.

What is a Premium domain name?

A premium domain is a high-quality, in-demand domain name often paired with a popular TDL like .com which costs more to register than a standard domain.

Can I transfer my domain name?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name to another provider by unlocking it at your current provider and initiating the process.

How are domains sold?

Domain names can be sold in a few ways: By registering a new one. Buying a previously registered domain through a reseller, at auction, and directly from the owner.

Which domain is the best for an online business?

The best domain for an online business varies. It should be short, memorable, and relevant to your business.

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