Sunday, February 28, 2021

Best Domain Brokers

Buying the domain of your dreams doesn’t have to stay a dream. Neither does selling a valuable domain for a nice profit.

With a solid domain broker, you can be well on your way to selling or buying just about any domain you can think of.

The problem is that it can be hard to know where or how to find a reputable and reliable domain broker in the first place.

That’s what I’m diving into today, as I go through some of the best domain brokers out there you can work with in different capacities.

The Top 6 Best Domain Brokers

  1. Namecheap – Best for affordable DIY domain brokerage
  2. GoDaddy – Best for a month-long domain outreach plan 
  3. VPN – Best for specialized domain brokerage
  4. MediaOptions – Best for boutique domain name services
  5. Brannans – Best for .com domains
  6. Domain Holdings – Best for domain valuations and premium transactions

Here’s a closer look at the best domain brokers available today.

#1 – Namecheap — Best For Affordable DIY Domain Brokerage

  • Tons of domain extensions
  • Bid on domains at your leisure
  • Only 10% selling fee
  • Affordable and accessible
Buy or sell today

You might’ve guessed it from the name, but Namecheap is one of the most affordable domain brokers out there both for buying and selling a domain.

It carries tons of domain extensions at often half the price that other competing domain brokers sell them for and offers a slew of additional services on the way too. This means if you need hosting, SSL certificates, or privacy protection, it has you covered.

Now, as far as domain brokerage goes, Namecheap has a domain bidding system where you can bid on high-value domain names at your leisure. Namecheap makes it easy to transfer domains, list domains for sale, or buy domains once you’ve started an account with them.

It’s also a reliable platform that ensures the safe transaction of any domains you’ve listed for sale or want to acquire after reaching out to its owner. If you do sell a domain through Namecheap, it only claims 10 percent of your overall earnings. Not bad at all for cheap DIY domain brokerage that’s safe and affordable.

You can get started with Namecheap here.

#2 – GoDaddy — Best For A Month-Long Domain Outreach Plan

  • Get your new domain within 30 days
  • Dedicated domain brokers
  • 20% commissions
  • Guaranteed privacy until sale closes
30 days to your new domain

GoDaddy has a team of domain brokerage experts ready to work with you to acquire your dream domain over a 30-day period. Once you reach out and set your budget, you’re matched with a dedicated domain broker who reaches out on your behalf.

If the domain owner is open to selling, GoDaddy’s domain broker negotiates the best deal on your behalf. If it succeeds, GoDaddy gets 20 percent of the sale. It’s a pretty straightforward deal that’s not only secure but affordable too, since you get to set your budget from the beginning.

With GoDaddy’s domain brokerage service you don’t have to worry about anonymity, since it ensures your identity isn’t exposed unless the deal goes through successfully.

Keep in mind that additional fees are charged if the domain name wasn’t purchased through GoDaddy once you need to transfer it to your own account.

Get started with GoDaddy’s brokerage services here.

#3 – VPN — Best For Specialized Domain Brokerage

  • High-value domain registrations
  • Personalized negotiation services
  • 15% commissions or lower
  • No upfront costs
Get a free appraisal

Maybe you’re on a quest to acquire a premium high-value domain that’s going to cost you a pretty penny. But hey, you still need it registered to you. That’s where specialized domain brokers like VPN come in.

To date, it’s handled millions, over $65 million to be exact, in domain brokerage transactions. It’s responsible for the 7th largest domain transaction of 2019. As you can imagine, VPN doesn’t work with any run-of-the-mill domains, regardless if you’re looking to buy or sell.

VPN offers:

  • Escrow payment protection
  • Personalized and specialized domain negotiation
  • Free domain name appraisals
  • Domain portfolio management
  • No upfront costs unless a transaction is successful
  • Premium domain management for celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other high net worth individuals

VPN also offers stealth acquisitions, meaning, much like other domain brokers, it keeps your information private as you try to acquire a high-value domain.

Once it successfully closes a deal, VPN never charges over 15 percent.

Reach out and inquire here to start working with VPN’s specialized domain brokers.

#4 – MediaOptions — Best For Boutique Domain Brokerage Services

  • Domain consulting and appraisal
  • Secure escrow services
  • Recommended by Amazon
  • $1000 or 15% commission fee
High-value domains

MediaOptions has worked with big names like Amazon and The Motley Fool as an industry leader in domain brokerage founded in 2007. It provides a boutique approach to domain acquisition by tapping into its worldwide network of connections, researching your target, then ultimately customizing its buying or selling strategy to fit your unique needs.

It provides:

  • Domain consulting
  • Domain appraisal
  • High-value domains for sale
  • Secure escrow transactions on deals over $5,000
  • Deals under $5,000 are handled through PayPal

To be considered for its boutique brokerage services, your domain has to be valued at at least $75,000. You heard that right. So a domain that’ll only cost you a couple hundred dollars is better left to other more general domain broker services.

MediaOptions fees are pretty clear cut. Its minimum fees for its domain brokerage service is either $1,000 or 15 percent, whichever is higher. Unlike many brokers, they will often charge at least part of that fee up front as a brokerage retainer, then deduct that amount from their commission after the deal is completed.

If you think your domain transaction fits MediaOptions’ criteria, get in touch with them here.

#5 – Brannans — Best For .com Domains

  • Focus on .com domains
  • Over 10,000 domain deals brokered
  • Buy or sell your domain
  • 95% success rate
Get started for free

Brannans boasts a 95 percent success rate and has handled more than 10,000 domain names for its clients. Brannans offers domain buying and selling brokerage services, premium domains for sale, as well as strategic domain transactions and domain name auctions.

It works on your behalf to acquire a domain of your choice for free until it strikes a deal. Furthermore, it chooses to specialize in, though not only limit themselves to, .com domain transactions, because of how valuable and well-known that extension is.

Brannans is a domain broker that proudly touts its past successes on its site. Some of its notable domain transactions include,,,, and even Needless to say, it knows a thing or two about selling and buying domains across lots of different industries.

To start, you can get in contact with them to discuss an initial plan and to see if it’s a good match for your domain goals.

Contact Brannans here to get started selling or buying your domain name.

#6 – Domain Holdings — Best For Domain Valuation And Premium Transactions

  • Detailed valuation process
  • Over $200 million in deals closed
  • No upfront fees
  • Broad network of brokers
Get started for free

Domain Holdings is yet another reputable domain broker that specializes in the selling, buying, and valuation of domain names.

It works with a wide array of clients ranging from high-profile figures to the average person trying to sell or acquire a premium domain. It has the testimonial and track record part covered as it’s worked with brands like Bustle, Mic, Cheddar, AXS, Target, Deutsche Bank, Girl Scouts, and United Healthcare to name a few. Though, it can’t list specific domain name sales because of confidentiality agreements that are common in the domain brokerage world.

Still, it claims to have closed over $200 million in domain transactions. Because of its collective years of experience, especially with the founder having sold his own domain to AOL in a multimillion-dollar deal, dealing with a brokerage service like Domain Holdings grants you access to a network of domain owners and brokers you might not have otherwise.

As with most other domain name brokers, it doesn’t charge you an upfront fee and only charges you once a deal has been reached.

To learn about its fees and brokerage process in-depth, you’ll need to get in touch with them for more information. You can do so here.

How to Find The Best Domain Broker For You

It’s important to note that there are no licensing requirements to become a domain broker. So it’ll pay off to do your due diligence in vetting any domain broker you come across as a potential partner.

Looking for any publicly listed domain brokerage history and past domain deals can help you get a feel for the quality of the domain broker you want to work with. Once you get in contact with a few, you can also inquire privately through email.

Finding the best domain broker for you can depend on a few factors that’ll determine the potential of your partnership. Here are a few key criteria to consider.

Domain value

Some domain brokers specialize in high-value domain brokerage, like VPN for example. This might also mean that it’s selective with who it chooses to work with as well.

While you can also reach out and work with more specialized domain brokers, it doesn’t guarantee a partnership. This is true because many domain brokers don’t make money from selling or acquiring a domain until the transaction is finalized. So they’re essentially working for free.

All that to say, your domain value can determine which domain brokers you’re a better match for. Are you holding on to a high-value domain you want to sell for top dollar? Or are you trying to buy a high-value domain that’s already registered by someone else?

Considering how easy or hard it is to work with your domain can help you narrow down the list of domain workers you’ll want to work with.

Track record and testimonials

Some domain deals can’t be publicly disclosed. But there are plenty that can. Lots of domain brokers will have a dedicated page on its site where it lists its track record selling or acquiring domains for past customers.

It’s important to look for this as proof of its brokerage process and as a way to measure its success rate. At the very least, testimonials can help you get a better-rounded idea of the quality of services offered.

I highly recommend you do this with every domain broker you’re thinking of working with as you narrow down your search. While some domain brokers are a full-blown team, others are a small business of two or three that work on a more intimate level. The more proof you have of a successful track record of some sort, the more trust and confidence you can have going into a deal.

Marketing strategy

Whether you’re selling or buying a domain, a domain broker’s marketing strategy is important to consider as it’ll help you vet and understand its sales process.

This can be a determining factor in deciding whether you estimate you’ll find success with the domain brokerage process. Not to mention you’ll ensure a smoother partnership, since brokering a domain successfully can potentially take months if not longer.

Usage of escrow services

Granted, if you decide to go the more DIY domain brokerage route and try to sell or buy a domain through platforms like Namecheap, you can rest at ease knowing your online transactions are safe and guaranteed with them as a reputable broker.

When you’re dealing with boutique domain brokerage firms that aren’t as known and only work with a select group of customers, you’ll want to inquire about safe payment transactions to ensure a clean deal and to have clear expectations going in.

It’s common practice in the domain brokerage world to work through an escrow service when finalizing transactions to ensure the safety of funds and assets of all parties involved.

If you decide to work with a domain broker that doesn’t provide clear guidelines for finalizing transactions, you open yourself up to potential issues in the process. It’s best to look for and work with reputable domain brokers that use tools like an escrow service for your own peace of mind.


There are plenty of domain broker services floating around online. But it’s worth paying closer attention to the best ones to determine which one is best for you and your specific domain goals. To help, here’s a recap of all the domain brokers I reviewed and recommended:

For a month-long domain brokerage partnership with a trusted domain broker in the industry, go with a broker like GoDaddy.

For a more specialized domain brokerage service that specializes in high-value domain names, go with a domain broker like VPN.

For a more DIY approach to domain brokerage where you can take care of domain transactions on a budget, go with Namecheap.

If you’re sure you need a boutique approach to your domain needs for a high-value domain, a broker like MediaOptions or Domain Holdings can be your best bet.

When you’re ready to make a decision on the best domain broker to go with, make sure you revisit this guide to make your final choice.

from Quick Sprout

Weekend Favs February 27

Weekend Favs February 27 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • GPT-3 Demo– GPT-3 is the world’s most sophisticated natural language technology. Discover how companies are implementing the OpenAI GPT-3 API to power new use cases.
  • AddEvent -Add to Calendar and event tools for websites and newsletters. Event with RSVP. Use in email campaigns, MailChimp, Marketo. Used by Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot.
  • Type Studio – Type Studio translates your videos into many different languages. The video translation runs online in your browser with over 240 translation possibilities.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

from Duct Tape Marketing

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Best SSL Certificate Provider

Website security is a top concern for site owners and visitors alike. If your site isn’t secure, people won’t feel safe browsing, purchasing, making clicks, or entering any information on your pages.

Furthermore, search engines like Google penalize websites that aren’t secure.

How can you improve site security and privacy on your website? At a minimum, you need to have an SSL certificate.

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer.” This is a protocol to encrypt the links between servers and web browsers. With an SSL, visitors see “HTTPS” preceding your domain when they land on your site (as opposed to HTTP, without the “s”). SSLs ensure that the site is encrypted, authentic and that a third party has not altered the pages in transit from the server to the web browser.

In short, an SSL certificate not only makes your site more trustworthy but also improves security and privacy.

The Top 6 Best Free SSL Certificates

  • Bluehost — Best Web Hosting Provider with a Free SSL Certificate
  • Wix — Best Website Builder with a Free SSL Certificate
  • GoDaddy — Best Free and Paid SSL Certificates
  • Let’s Encrypt — Most Popular Free SSL
  • SSL For Free — Best For Free 90-Day Certificates
  • GoGetSSL — Best Free SSL For Fast Verification

There are dozens of ways to get an SSL certificate online—some free and some paid. After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down the top six free SSL certificates available on the web today.

#1 – Bluehost — Best Web Hosting Provider with a Free SSL Certificate

  • Automatic renewal
  • Free SSL certificate with web hosting
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Get your site and certificate

Bluehost is one of the best web hosting companies in existence. Over two million sites worldwide rely on this provider—the company’s reputation speaks for itself.

Every Bluehost hosting plan comes with a free SSL certificate.

Technically speaking, you’ll still be paying for something. But you won’t have to pay for the SSL certificate. You need web hosting to get your site up and running anyway, so it makes sense to go with a hosting provider that will give you freebies like this. In addition to the free SSL certificate, Bluehost also offers a free domain for the first year of your subscription.

Bluehost is an excellent choice for new and existing websites that want to switch web hosts.

You don’t have to worry about renewing the SSL or anything like that. Bluehost takes care of everything for you.

#2 – Wix — Best Website Builder with a Free SSL Certificate

  • Website Builder + SSL
  • No coding needed
  • SSL certificate included
  • Thorough security protocols
Build a secure website

If you’re creating a new website from scratch, Wix is arguably the best website builder available on the market today. The platform makes it easy for anyone to build a site without any coding or design knowledge.

Just choose a template and use the drag-and-drop builder to customize your site, all from an intuitive web-based interface.

Every Wix plan comes with a free SSL certificate. So, you can rest easy knowing your site is secure without having to go through any extra steps.

Additionally, Wix has other security protocols built-in to its plans, including:

  • Level 1 PCI compliance
  • ISO 27001 & 27018 certificates
  • 24/7 site security monitoring
  • DDoS protection
  • TLS 1.2
  • 2-step verification
  • GDPR and CCPA compliance

For an all-in-one solution to building your website and getting a free SSL certificate, look no further than Wix.

#3 – GoDaddy — Best Free and Paid SSL Certificates

  • All-in-one website provider
  • Free SSL certificate with web hosting
  • Single or multiple sites
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Try it risk-free

GoDaddy is a name that many of you are likely familiar with. This company provides an extensive list of web services, including domain registration, web hosting, web design services, SSL security, and so much more.

More than 20 million customers worldwide rely on GoDaddy for various needs. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for hosting, domain registration, and site security, GoDaddy should definitely be on your radar.

When it comes to getting an SSL certificate with GoDaddy, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Technically, the SSLs alone are not free. If you’re seeking an SSL, and only an SSL, expect to pay.

However, you can get an SSL for free with GoDaddy by purchasing another service. For example, select web hosting plans with GoDaddy come with a free SSL. Depending on the package you select, you could get a free SSL for one year or even a free SSL for your plan’s lifetime.

All GoDaddy SSL certificates offer:

  • SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption
  • Free SSL checker and free malware checker
  • Unlimited servers and reissues
  • Site secure trust marks

GoDaddy’s SSLs are compatible with all major web browsers and mobile devices. You’ll also benefit from award-winning customer support from the GoDaddy team, 24/7.

Whether you need to protect a single site or multiple sites, GoDaddy has you covered. Even though you have to pay for an SSL certificate as a standalone product, GoDaddy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try it risk-free.

#4 – Let’s Encrypt — Most Popular Free SSL

  • Nonprofit Certificate Authority
  • Highly transparent and secure
  • Works with your web hosting
  • Certified over 225 million sites
Try it for free

Let’s Encrypt has become a name that’s synonymous with SSL certificates. As a nonprofit certificate authority (CA), Let’s Encrypt has provided SSL certificates to more than 225 million sites and counting.

One unique standout of Let’s Encrypt compared to other SSL providers is the fact that it’s a nonprofit organization. The service is run for the public’s benefit and is backed by sponsors like Cisco, Mozilla, Google Chrome, AWS, Shopify, Fastly, Facebook, and other industry leaders.

Anyone with a domain name can get a Let’s Encrypt SSL for free.

Let’s Encrypt was founded on the concept of creating an internet experience that’s private and secure. They want people to install free SSLs in a way that’s as user-friendly as possible.

Another reason why we recommend Let’s Encrypt is because of its versatility. You can install a Let’s Encrypt SSL using SSH access from your web host or through control panels like cPanel, Plesk, and WordPress.

Let’s Encrypt recommends installing your SSL with built-in support from your web hosting provider. If your hosting provider does not offer Let’s Encrypt support, there are clear instructions that you can follow online to install it manually.

Transparency is another key component of Let’s Encrypt. Every certificate issued or revoked by Let’s Encrypt becomes a public record, and it’s available online for anyone to view. Let’s Encrypt uses advanced security best practices on the certificate authority side and ensures that website operators can secure their servers properly.

If you’re searching for a free SSL certificate, Let’s Encrypt should be one of the first places to start.

#5 – SSL For Free — Best For Free 90-Day Certificates

  • Free 90-Day Certificates
  • Certificates in under a minute
  • No strings attached
  • Trusted by 99.9% of browsers
Get Your 90-Day SSL

As the name implies, SSL For Free is another way to get SSL for your website at zero cost.

Getting started is really simple and straightforward. SSL For Free issues certificates in less than one minute. The platform supports single domains, multiple domains, wildcard SSLs, and more.

Over three million SSL certificates have been created for free from this provider. There are dozens of free tutorials on the SSL For Free website with instructions about SSL verification and installation, depending on your server’s setup.

Unlike some of the other SSL providers on the web, SSL For Free truly lives up to its name and offers free SSLs with no strings attached.

Anyone can quickly create an SSL using any modern web browser. SSL For Free uses the Web Cryptography API and generates a private key to create the certificate.

You can use SSL For Free to generate 90-day certificates. But you’ll have to keep renewing the certificate manually. That’s the only catch and one of the reasons why the service is free. Fortunately, the process is so easy that the extra couple of minutes every three months isn’t bad. The hardest part is just reminding yourself to take care of it.

#6 – GoGetSSL — Best Free SSL For Fast Verification

  • BV, EV, and wildcard SSL
  • No paperwork or callbacks
  • Free for up to 90 days
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Get Your Certificate

GoGetSSL is another highly trusted name in the world of SSL certificates. It’s trusted by over 81,500 customers in more than 220 countries worldwide.

If you want to get a free SSL quickly, GoGetSSL should be a top consideration. You can use this provider for a domain validation (DV) SSL certificate without filing any paperwork or waiting on a callback from someone to verify the details. GoGetSSL’s automated system issues SSLs in less than five minutes.

In addition to domain validated SSLs, GoGetSSL offers business validation (BV) SSL certificates, extended validation (EV) SSL certificates, and wildcard SSL certificates. The BV SSLs are typically validated and issued within two to four days. EV SSLs are issued within two to seven days.

Technically speaking, GoGetSSL is not 100% free. But you can try it free for 90 days, which is long for a free trial. Beyond that, GoGetSSL offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied for any reason, you can get a full refund for your SSL purchase.

GoGetSSL also offers a price-match guarantee. So if you can find a cheaper SSL from another provider, just contact their team to get the best possible price.

For those of you who are new to SSLs and how they work, the security experts at GoGetSSL have an awesome resource and detailed comparison tool to help you compare the different SSL certificates available. The resource is 100% free, which is super helpful as you’re shopping around and comparing your options.

How to Find the Best Free SSL Certificate For You

With so many different SSL certificates available on the web, finding the right one for you and your website can feel like a tall task. Here’s the methodology that I used to pick the winners listed and reviewed above. These factors will help you narrow down the best free SSL certificate for your unique situation.

Type of SSL Certificate

Generally speaking, SSL certificates fall into one of three categories:

  • Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
  • Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
  • Extended Validation (EV) Certificates

DV certificates are the quickest type of SSL validation available. You don’t need many documents to apply for one. This is the lowest level of encryption, and it’s generally reserved for internal projects, as opposed to the open web. But some sites that don’t need strict encryption can get away with a DV SSL.

OV certificates fall into the medium-range for encryption. The certificates are issued after multiple steps are taken by the certificate authority to verify who owns the domain and ensures the organization operates legally. OVs can take an extra day or two to get issued, but they offer a higher encryption level than DVs.

An EV SSL certificate is best for sites that need a high standard for security. This is for you if you’re collecting sensitive visitor data or credit card information for online transactions.

Beyond these certificate types, every SSL certificate will fall into another category—single-domain or wildcard. Single-domain SSLs are cheaper because they are used to protect a single website. Wildcards are a bit more expensive because they help protect multiple subdomains.

Ease of Implementation

Once purchased, the SSL certificate isn’t automatically installed on your website. Some additional steps need to be taken.

Look for detailed instructions for getting started. You should have an in-depth explanation of the procedure for getting the SSL validated by the certificate authority and getting it installed. The steps required and length of time to implement the SSL will vary from provider to provider.

If you’re not too tech-savvy, it’s probably in your best interest to go with an option that involves the least amount of manual work on your end.

Encryption Strength and Warranties

Standard SSL certificates typically offer 128/256-bit encryption. But the actual encryption strength will actually depend on other factors, such as the end-users and the processing power of your servers. For example, a 256-bit encryption strength only refers to the certificate’s capability, not necessarily the encryption’s actual strength.

It’s common for SSL certificates to come with warranties if there’s an issue due to a mistake by the certificate authority. Low-end warranties might cover up to $10,000 in damages. High-end SSLs could cover up to $1.5+ million in damages.

The warranty is actually in place to protect site visitors, not the website itself. If a CA issues a certificate to a fraudulent site, users could potentially take legal action against the certificate issuer and website. That’s where the warranty comes into play.


With any free product or service, you should always be asking yourself, “What’s the catch?”

Not every free SSL certificate comes without strings attached. In some cases, you can only get a free SSL certificate at the most basic encryption level, which won’t be enough for certain websites. Furthermore, many free SSLs are only issued as 90-day certificates. So you’ll have to keep renewing them every few months.

Some service providers offer free SSLs when you purchase another related product or service. For example, you can get a free SSL from a website builder or web hosting company. Technically, you’ll still be paying something, but the SSL itself is free.


What’s the best free SSL certificate? It depends on what you’re looking for.

GoDaddy has both free and paid SSL certificates. To get a GoDaddy SSL for free, you’ll need to sign up for another qualifying service and choose the right package. Wix is a DIY website builder that offers a free SSL certificate with every plan. If you want to get a free SSL directly from your hosting provider, go with Bluehost.

Let’s Encrypt and SSL For Free are both quick and easy ways to get an SSL without paying anything. GoGetSSL offers 90-day free trials and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Regardless of your needs, you can use the reviews in this guide to get a free SSL certificate for your website.

from Quick Sprout