Back to Reality |
Neustar Domain Names

Back to Reality


Karen and I had an amazing honeymoon, and I want to thank many of you for your emails and notes while I was away. Although I did spend a bit of time keeping up with the domain news while Karen was at the gym, I didn’t respond to emails. I now have a few hundred emails to go through, and I hope to be back at full speed by the end of the week.

For our honeymoon, we spent two weeks in Croatia and Italy and an evening in London. I am still recovering from the trip, especially that last night in London (barely made the flight home yesterday!) In the meantime while I recover and catch up on some business and emails, here are a few domain observations from my honeymoon:

Country code domains are MUCH more popular outside of the US  – I would estimate about 40% of the Crotian websites I saw advertised used .hr (Hrvatska) and about 85% of the websites I saw advertised in Italy used .it. I also saw several .gr, .eu, .info websites on billboards, television, trucks, boats…etc.  You don’t see much of that in the US with the .us extension.

Companies reaching out to a more global audience (tourism, international companies, real estate companies) used .com much more than other extensions.

Almost everyone we met spoke at least a bit of English, and most were able to understand what we were saying.

While buying country code domain names might seem to make sense, I think it’s essential to determine the proper spelling/meaning or foreign words before investing – (Yeah, I know… “Thanks, Mr. Obvious.”)

I saw quite a few Internet cafes in passing, but even the very nice places I stayed had limited wireless capabilities. Le Meridian in Split, Croatia had wireless in the lobby, but they didn’t have wireless in the rooms. Villa San Paolo in San Gimignano – Tuscany – (by far the nicest spa hotel I’ve visited) didn’t have any wireless that I found. Even the Copthorne Tara in London didn’t have wireless in the guest rooms.

After seeing many advertisements for villas and villa rentals in Croatia and Italy, I believe the recent sale of could be considered a steal. Not only did I see websites advertising villas ( and, many of them were targeting international travelers and used the .com extension.

I had great Blackberry mobile email service throughout the trip – even in Cinque Terre, Italy and Tuscany.  No, I didn’t do business while away, but I did get Red Sox scores and other news remotely.

The biggest domain surprise of the trip was seeing a billboard advertising a .tv website at the Dubrovnik (Croatia) airport. Not surprisingly, it was the only .tv website I saw advertised for the entire trip :-)  Sorry, had to mention it.

Well, that’s it for now.  Time to get back home and get caught up with everything.

    About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

    Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | | Facebook | Email

    Comments (12)


      Welcome Back! We missed your great blog postings.

      Thanks for the insight on how domains names are used in other parts of the world. Very interesting.



      p.s. thanks for the referral to They did a good job for two of my sites!

      August 18th, 2008 at 11:30 am

      EM @ KING.NET

      When I spent my vacation to Philippines, they used their own .PH domains and you will see them in billboards, TV, buses, etc. Local TV stations started to use .TV domains for shows and less for the .com.

      I know .CN is well known in China as the government push to use .CN for their business.

      This is the same for .de and

      If the local government continue to push .ccTLD extension, in years to come the .com will be consider for US use only.


      EM @KING.NET

      August 18th, 2008 at 11:56 am

      Peter Askew

      thanks for that villa info.. I’ve been going back and forth on the purchase of about a year back.. helps to hear what their preferences are over for that, thanks!

      August 18th, 2008 at 12:55 pm


      Welcome back, Elliot.

      Did you eat any Gelato in Italy?
      What were some of your favourite places in Italy?


      We ate some good gelato in Venice :) Dubrovnik seems like the gelato capital. It seemed almost everyone had one after 8pm… it was kind of ridiculous at the amount of gelato tourists were eating there.

      August 18th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

      Ms Domainer


      You and Karen chose a wonderful place to spend your Honeymoon.

      I spent two years in Macedonia (one year in 1988-89 and one in 2004-2005) and also spent time in Croatia (Zagreb and Dubrovnik), Serbia, and Montenegro.

      Macedonia will soon become a destination spot with its lovely Lake Ohrid. If Skopje works on the garbage problem, it could be a wonderful tourist area as well. The Turkish Market is fantastic, with its rug and filligree shops.

      I have a soft spot for the Balkans; historically, it’s been a difficult place to live, with various wars and unrest, but they’re the ultimate survivors.

      Croatia has really recognized its tourist potential, and even when it was part of Yugoslavia, you could tell that the Croats really knew how to cater to the foreign market.

      I did notice that while .com is popular overseas, cc’s are preferred, even English keywords. There’s a national pride in their TLD. That’s why I wasn’t afraid to make a small investment in some .me domains. (Only one word ones, though, and all but one a rich keyword. I couldn’t resist, which I have developed on a blog).

      English is king (as a second language, that is) in Europe, and it’s not uncommon for Europeans to be tri- and even quad-lingual–they have had no choice, but you never hear them complaining. To them, learning second and third languages is considered a joy. So I’m not surprised that you heard English everywhere.

      Even our cleaning lady was tri-lingual: Roma, Macedonian, and German, though she couldn’t read (I soon discovered).

      Anyway, I hope you’re recovering from jet lag by now.

      And now you and Karen can embark on the exciting next phase of your life together.

      Best wishes and welcome back!

      August 18th, 2008 at 3:30 pm


      Hey Elliot. Interesting observations on domain names.

      I posted something similar on DomainNameNews recently, but wanted to share my domain name/internet experiences here, as well:

      – 5 months this year traveling in Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

      – .com was TLD of choice in probably 80% of the URLs I saw

      – WIFI is everywhere in tourist areas, but internet connections in people’s homes are still too expensive for the vast majority of families. It’s not that people don’t want to use the internet (internet cafes everywhere….often used more by ‘locals’ than tourists), it’s just too expensive right now. $30-$50/month is ALOT of money in these places.

      – In Ecuador specifically (and I suspect some of the other countries), people with money would love to buy things online from outside the country, but a) shipping costs are absurd, b) import taxes are absurd, and c) the postal system is corrupt…..the contents of many foreign packages are stolen.

      (Also, if you haven’t been alerted yet, it looks like your videos aren’t currently working on


      I saw a few T-Mobile wifi hot spots, but for the most part, I didn’t see too much wifi – even in the hotels. We did stay in some touristy hotels in touristy places as opposed to business centers, so that could be a reason the wifi wasn’t as prevelant. BTW, I just checked a few of the videos in Safari and Firefox on, and they seem to work…

      August 18th, 2008 at 4:51 pm


      Dear Elliot,

      First, my heartiest congrats on your wedding and glad to hear you and your wife enjoyed your honeymoon. It is interesting to see how you and I would say like most domainers look at thing in …com,, .de, .it, .in…Its very interesting to note you mentioned about how other countries are using their country codes like .de,…and I personally believe that these will become localized and vertical markets for these countries. Speaking of, .De, and .in I own some generic domains hence would like to share my domain list with you and get your feedback. I looking to connect, engage and share knowledge amongst domainers. Looking forward to hearing from you once you have a moment.

      Again Congrats and many years joyous & prosperous years ahead for you and Karen.


      August 18th, 2008 at 7:07 pm


      I forgot to mention one other thing I noticed. It seems that many businesses simply use domain names as their business title. For example,, and were two businesses that didn’t have a traditional business name. There were others but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

      August 18th, 2008 at 7:16 pm


      I’m happy you made the flight back to the US :-) Hope to see you again



      It was a great night – although it wasn’t so easy to wake up! Great to meet and to know you. Stay in touch!

      August 18th, 2008 at 8:05 pm



      Sounds like the Honeymoon was wonderful – coastal Croatia and Italy are tops.

      And your comments on ccTLDs and internet access make me fee better about my one .me reg:

      Time will tell…


      August 19th, 2008 at 12:41 am


      People here in Europe are using country codes in 90%. I actually don´t know any major .com website in Ital, France, Germany or Czech republic. It´s maybe quite different situation in Croatia, where they often use .com, because it is hard to get .hr for non Croatia resident (you must have established company to do that).

      August 19th, 2008 at 7:32 am

      Ed Keay-Smith

      Hi Elliot,

      Congrats on your wedding mate!! :-) and glad you had a great time on your honeymoon.

      As you may know my family and I are travelling around the world for 7 months (see we are 2 months into it so far and having a ball I might ad.

      We have been in the UK (mainly Scotland) for the past 2 months and we head off to Europe for 9 weeks at the end of August.

      What I have noticed in the UK so far is a very high useage of the extention at about a to ratio.

      This makes me happy as I have over 300 names. :-)
      and about the same in & .in.

      To me it makes perfect sense that people / businesses are using their own countries ccTLD as 99.99% of the .coms are gone what choice do they have unless the have a bit of cash to throw at purchasing a .com

      In Australia the is seen in advertising at a much higher rate than the .com

      I hate to say it but in my experience I think people in the US can be a bit insular in regards to the habits and ways of other countries and disregard ccTLD’s and just focus on the .com. It does have its limits in this day and age to only focus on it.

      For those of your readers that have not seen it yet, Rick Latona made a post on his blog on the same subject this week about wishing he had paid more attention to the ccTLD’s

      I did see a very strange domain name yesterday in Dundee Scotland . I did not even know that existed. Not much type in traffic for that site I expect.

      Would love to catch up with you and your wife in New York as we will be passing through for 5 nights from the 7th of November on our way to Canada.

      We can chew the domain name fat over a nice bottle of red!

      Cheers mate.


      Ed Keay-Smith

      August 23rd, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Leave a Reply

    Name *

    Mail *