In doing some research around the internet, I disappointed to see that no one has yet created a “Parked” WordPress theme. With the increase in the popularity of domain names and parking domains, a few companies have been offering “domain name parking” services for awhile now. Popular examples of this would be Parked.com and Sedo. Unfortunately, when using one of these services, you have limited control over what is displayed, how it is displayed, and limited control over important SEO factors such as keywords/descriptions, etc (which are used to determine which advertisements are displayed).   I’ve always felt that using Google AdSense would be a better option as well.

Because WordPress is free, I’ve noticed that it has become fairly popular for domainers/bloggers to setup a WordPress site on the domain and just place PPC advertisements all over it. This gives them full control over the meta tags and display of the site, as well as helping with search engines because they will sometimes penalized traditional parked pages.

Something I would like to see is a theme designer put together a theme that is designed specifically for parking a domain, instead of for hosting a blog. You could then create some advertisement blocks for users to plug PPC code into and also include room for a picture or two. If setup like this it would be easily interchangeable and used across a lot of domains.  Whoever takes the time to do this would have this niche all to themselves and would probably even be able to charge for it as long as it comes with a multiple-use license.

Anyone have an interest in making something like this?

For anyone who still isn’t sure what I’m talking about, here is an example of a parked page:

Cable TV

As you can see from the picture above, this page includes a title and a place to contact the owner, a picture on the right, and a number of advertisements where the owner of the domain gets paid when they are clicked.

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. Pimp WordPress says:

    That’s a brilliant idea. Recently there’s a released theme for domain parking but no adsense or ads included only for feed subscription.

  2. Giovanni says:

    It’s a good idea, but there some different ways to get almost the same result with kubrick

  3. Simon says:

    That’s certainly an interesting idea. I’m just not sure whether it would work. I have numerous domain currently parked through services like Sedo (you really have to rotate around a few different providers to see what works best for what domain) and I accept that it’s not the most optimised, and I don’t have much control. However, it’s completely hands off for me. I set it up and I don’t have to worry about them (apart from the initial rotation and assessment).

    I think the problem is that many of those who park domains, park 100s, and for them having to host (hosting a single static page is very different to something capable of running WordPress), run and maintain (updates etc.) WordPress installations isn’t really cost effective.

    If I were to seriously think about something like this I’d have a central WordPress “Hub” which then serves parked pages to the other domains. So you’d only have to host/maintain/run one WordPress installation, but this would require some serious WP mojo. You’d also have one very fallible point of failure.

  4. Michael Castilla says:

    A modified version of LaunchPad, with ads, could do the trick.

  5. De Fries says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing as Michael as one of the possibilities. Also, if anyone has a xhtml/css design suitable for the job, I would sure give it a try. My design skills are not up to par (yet) but the coding it I could manage :).

  6. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Matt & Pimp WP – Thanks for the heads up on the theme shaper theme! I believe I’ve actually seen that one before, and it does say that it is a domain parking, but in looking it over and reading the author’s comments, it looks like this was intended as more of a “Under Construction” type of theme. The author states it is a place holder while you are working on building the theme.

    @ Giovanni – Good point. I think Kubrick would be a great place to start if I was attempting to build a template myself.

    @ Simon – I think it is a bit of a trade off in some ways. You get more control, but it would require a little bit more work. In my case, I have about a 100 domains in my portfolio, so if I have a template where I could just add PPC code and a picture, it wouldn’t take long to get 50 of them up there. If you have a good hosting package, you can easily use Addon domains to avoid any additional cost and they can all be controlled from a single FTP .

    Good discussion here!

  7. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Michael – Yeah, that might be the best place to start. My ideal template would look a lot like how Parked.com does their templates, so I suppose I would be halfway there if I started with that template.

    @ De Fries – Thanks for putting that out there! Hopefully someone takes you up on that. I’m in the same boat as you and better on the code side than the design side.

  8. Tao says:

    Hmmm..
    Will give me something to fiddle with at lunchtime!

  9. Tao says:

    If you could get the template up and running, you could feed in a few posts that would be hidden from view using a plugin like:

    http://devthought.com/wp-o-matic-the-wordpress-rss-agreggator/

    Then you would have your own a MFA (made for adsense) wordpress site until you wanted to swap it all for real content.

  10. Jeffro2pt0 says:

    I was going to mention the theme that those who have commented before me mentioned but they beat me too it. At any rate, would it be possible to get the affect you want by creating a specially crafted static front page in WordPress and have WordPress display that front page?

  11. misser says:

    @matt
    @Pimp WordPress
    I think you are talking about a diffrent kind of theme 🙂

  12. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Tao – That is a great idea!

    @ Jeffro – Yeah, that is kind of what I was thinking. I simple static front page with a couple php files to plug in AdSense (or BidVertiser, YPN I suppose) and maybe a file to plug in code for a picture. The picture could just go on the static page, but to be really user friendly I’ve found it is sometimes to better to just create a file and say “insert code here.”

    If no one takes on this project, I may end up adding this to my “to-do” list I maintain!

    @ Misser – Yeah, they were, although the theme they pointed to is advertising itself as a “parked” page. It is more designed as a temporary page for display until the theme is launched.

  13. Ian Stewart says:

    … Well, technically, it is a parking page except instead of advertising random stuff tangentially related to a domain name it’s advertising you to people interested in what you’re up to. 🙂

    Hack WordPress has one more new subscriber.