This year, I’ve covered several domain upgrades. Most notably was Stash’s upgrade from StashInvest.com to Stash.com and Orchard’s upgrade from OrchardHomes.com to Orchard.com. It’s a surprise, then, to see a company downgrade.
In 2015, the company Manor (then known as Upside Door) was founded with an aim to help “homeowners maximize and accelerate outcomes related to their homes and associated values.” The company has raised a total of $2.7 million in funding and recently announced a partnership with real estate company Xome.
Nothing out of the ordinary there. However, there is when we look at their domain name usage. The company went from Manor.com to ManorFinancial.com, a significant downgrade.
In January 2019, Upside Door rebranded to Manor. The company looks like it struck a deal with Digimedia, the owners of Manor.com, to use the Manor.com domain. Perhaps on a lease or lease-to-own deal.
Manor used the domain to host their website and promote their product through 2019 and into 2020. According to WHOIS history, by July 2020 the domain reverted back to using Digimedia’s nameservers (ns1.digimedia.com, and ns2.digimedia.com) and also started redirecting to Digimedia’s website.
By September 2020, Manor.com showed Digimedia as the owners again, ending the eighteen months or so when the domain was under WHOIS privacy protection.
Manor now uses ManorFinancial.com. Why did Manor move from Manor.com to ManorFinancial.com? We can only speculate. Perhaps the company felt the domain wasn’t getting enough of a return on investment to warrant payments for Manor.com.
After publishing this article, Josh Reason gave another possible valid explanation for stopping use:
When you’re faced with economic hardship do you simply shut down or cut expenses?
The answer is the latter. Assuming this was a large monthly expense during a time of uncertainty for the company it was likely a necessary evil.
— |🎙️| Josh.co |🌐| (@JoshDotCo) September 22, 2020
This isn’t the first time a downgrade has happened. As I tweeted last year, a company called Kudos sold Kudos.com a promptly rebranded to the not so elegant “spot.lite”:
Kudos & Co (raised $5.7m since 2014) looks to have sold https://t.co/lemFHniEO6 a few months ago, and have rebranded to “spot.lite”, using https://t.co/pVwgmn1p2V. https://t.co/lemFHniEO6 was acquired by Kudos of Canada, upgrading from https://t.co/bMbGeipEUg.
— James Iles (@jamesiles) December 7, 2019