Domain portfolio management tools exist, but they don’t get talked about that much. I came across a recent question on the Aussie domain forum that I help run asking what tools people use to manage their domain portfolio. The question seems to come up quite often. The common answer most people respond with whenever this question is asked is “Excel”, which after all, is the Swiss Army Knife of desktop data tools – and a valid answer. However, there are quite a few specialized tools that help with domain management, so we thought we’d take a look at what’s on the market in 2015. If we’ve missed any please make sure you let me know.
Who Needs Domain Portfolio Management Software?
Let’s first answer this question. You’ve probably heard people say “why would someone ever need more than one domain”. I don’t often come across businesses that just have one domain, even small-medium sized businesses can easily accumulate more than a handful of domain names. And once they start doing more online, that only increases. It makes good sense to keep tabs on these valuable digital assets.
It’s not just domain developers, flippers or investors that can benefit from dedicated tools to help them with their portfolio. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the average IT or Comms departments to be managing dozens or even hundreds of domains. These could be spread across different registrars, so providing a birds eye view of these assets can be very useful. It can also help reduce the risk of mismanagement causing domains to accidentally “drop”, which happens all too frequently.
If you ask experienced industry professionals what they use, many will tell you they’ve built their own custom tools, which is always a great option, but it’s not the only option. We’ll now jump into some of the off-the-shelf options available today.
So let’s get stuck into the actual tools!
Watch My Domains/Domain Punch
Watch My Domains have been developing domain name portfolio management tools for a long time and they have, by far, the widest range of products in this category of application.
They have several versions that cater for all sizes of domain portfolios.
The Watch My Domains product range from Softnik seem to get mentioned quite often, and it’s easy to see why.
Here’s what the various products look like, the offerings start at simple desktop applications for Mac OS X and Windows all the way up to a feature-rich, self-hosted web application.
Watch My Domains Pro for the Mac Desktop
Watch My Domains Pro for the Windows Desktop
Watch My Domains SED For Web Servers
For those looking for a serious solution, something from Watch My Domains would definitely be my pick.
More info: https://watchmy.domains/
DomainBrain 2 is an updated version of their Mac OS X application. It’s a nice looking application, something many Mac users will appreciate.
This application comes with some handy configuration options, as well as the ability to create custom categories with their own custom fields. See below for an example of a new category called “Brokering”.
More info: http://domainbrainapp.com/
Domainer is a very simple application, but if you’re not looking for all the bells and whistles, then this is something worth checking out.
More info: http://www.ragesw.com/products/domainer.html
DNS Portfolio is a free, open source web application that is primarily focused on selling. However, it still has some portfolio management features, and since it’s open source, we thought it was worth including.
You can take the demo for both the admin and the user interfaces for a spin.
More info: http://www.dnsportfolio.com/
While in beta, Efty looks promising and deserved to be included. We don’t know enough about this one yet, other than it’s a nice looking web app that has some nice features.
More info: http://www.efty.com/
IP Neighborhood isn’t just a domain management tool, it’s a complete competitive intelligence platform. Some of the features in IP Neighborhood are domain history, due diligence, IP reputation and intelligence, brand and trademark monitoring – and more.
More info: http://www.ipneighborhood.com/
DomainTools is a popular domain intelligence tool, however they also have a little known feature called “Domain Monitor”.
More info: http://www.domaintools.com/monitor/
My Domain Portfolio at Flippa
Some marketplaces have bulk domain management features. If you’re an active marketplace user this might be an attractive option. If all you’re looking for is a basic overview, this might be enough for those focussed on selling providing you keep tabs on renewals at your registrar.
Flippa has a new and improved portfolio management feature, you may have noticed some recent changes or read about the improvements that were announced here just over a month ago.
More info: https://flippa.com/
Domain Registrar Options
It’s also worth mentioning that some domain name registrars have developed powerful features targeted at large portfolio holders. There are way too many registrars to mention and all have their pros and cons, but I’d highly recommend shopping around if you have a large number of domains. Most registrars will offer you some sort of discount or incentive to get your business.
What Do You Use?
Have I missed anything? Does anyone use these applications, or have you rolled your own? I’m very interested to know what you use and hear your feedback.