Do you want to know how much you should actually pay for a domain name?
If you run a search for a domain name, you’ll likely see a range of prices and renewal costs that range from $1 to thousands of dollars.
There are multiple factors that play a role in the price of a domain and once you understand them, you’ll know exactly which domain name to choose and how much you should pay for it.
In this guide, we’ll help you do just that. We’ll reveal how much a domain should cost and show you how to get a great deal on your domain name. Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- How Much Does It Cost to Register a Domain Name?
- Best Deals on Domain Name Registration Cost
- Who Decides the Cost of a Domain Name?
- What Factors Affect the Cost of a Domain?
- Hidden Costs of a Domain Name
Let’s dive right into the cost of domain names.
How Much Does It Cost to Register a Domain Name?
We’ll give you a price estimate based on the type of domain you want.
Cost of a New Domain
Generally, a new domain name can cost between $8.99 to $14.99 per year. This can vary depending on the factors such as the extension you choose, the marketability of the domain name, and so on. It could also differ from registrar to registrar. Find out more here: Factors that Determine the Cost of a Domain.
You may also come across domains that are as cheap as $0.99. But you should know that these cheap domains always come with a catch. You’ll need to register the domain name for at least 2 years. Only the first year will be $0.99 and the second year will be at its full price, which is usually much higher than what other registrars charge.
Premium TLD Domain Name Cost
Premium domain names are already registered and are up for sale on a domain aftermarket service. These are usually short and brandable domains so they’re in high demand. The pricing can range between a few thousands to millions of dollars.
To give you insight into just how valuable some of these domains are, here are some of the most expensive domains sold in history:
Insurance.com – $35.6 million
PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million
Hotels.com – $11 million
Fb.com – $8.5 million
Business.com – $7.5 million
Usually, such sought-after domains are sold through domain brokers to ensure website owners get the best deal they can.
Expired Domain Name Cost
If a domain owner fails to renew the domain name within the expiry date, it goes back on the market and you can register it in your name. This usually costs the normal yearly rate applied by the domain registrar company.
Now if you want a domain name that is set to expire, it’s best to use a domain backorder service. This allows you to place an advance order for the domain name.
If it’s a sought-after domain, you will have competition, and getting the domain will be hard. If not, you can easily secure the name. Most domain name companies charge a small one-time fee ($25 – $99) to provide this backorder service.
Cost of a Taken Domain Name
If you have your eye on a domain name that is already taken but not listed for sale, you may still be able to get it. This will cost you more than buying a domain name that is available simply because the domain owner may put up their price or if you use a brokering service, you’ll incur their fees as well.
Now you may be wondering how you can get a domain name that’s already taken. Well, many website owners create a simple online presence, or they start a website and abandon the idea, and they are willing to sell it later on.
If the domain name has a website, then you can use the contact form on their website to reach out to the owner.
You can also find the domain owner using a Whois search tool.
If you’re lucky, you may get their contact information and you can send them a message to show your interest.
Finally, you can also use a domain broker to strike a deal on your behalf.
Learn more here: Domain Brokers: What are They and Should You Use Them?
That’s it! Now you know how much a domain name should actually cost. Now we’ll show you how to get the best deal on your domain name.
Best Deals on Domain Name Registration Cost
When you’re just starting out, registering the perfect domain name can be out of budget. That’s why we’ve worked out amazing offers for you so that you get your domain name for free.
Our Bluehost offer gives you a free domain name with a web hosting plan.
If you want to launch a website, you WILL need a hosting plan. One of the most reliable and affordable web hosting services is Bluehost. They are also officially recommended by WordPress.org.
Bluehost is offering Nameboy users 60% off on their web hosting plans + a FREE domain name for the first year, along with a free SSL certificate and CDN.
So you’ll get a domain + hosting plan starting at just $2.75 per month.
Other great deals include:
- Domain.com: Get a domain name for as low as $2.99 per year. A .com domain usually costs around $9.99 per year.
- Network Solutions: Get a .com domain costs $9.99 per year.
- HostGator: Get a free 1 year domain with a hosting plan starting at $2.64 per month
- GoDaddy – Get domains for as low as $0.01 for the first year (requires a 2-year registration with the second year at regular cost)
- DreamHost – A top hosting provider that offers a free domain with hosting plan starting at $2.59 per month.
Again, the cost of your domain name can vary depending on the domain extension such as .com, .net, .org, .xyz and so on. It can also vary between different registrars.
Who Decides the Cost of a Domain Name?
To understand how domains get their pricing, you should know the different parties involved.
1. ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) manages and coordinates the successful operation of Top Level Domain Names (TLDs). They charge domain registries annual fees and administration fees.
2. Domain registries such as Verisign, Neustar, Afilias, and CentralNic acquire domain names in large quantities and set wholesale domain name prices.
They have to submit their pricing proposals (including revisions) to ICANN for approval. Then they sell domains in bulk to domain registrars.
3. Domain registrars like Bluehost, Domain.com, and GoDaddy then markup the domain price to what they think will sell fairly in the market.
One thing to keep in mind here is that the domain industry is very competitive as there are over 1,000 ICANN accredited domain registrars. This keeps the price of domains in check.
4. Domain brokers buy, sell, and trade domain names for a profit. They operate by buying up valuable domains and parking them till an interested buyer comes along and makes an offer.
In cases like this, the value of the domain can go up to thousands and even millions.
Aside from the fees and price control by different parties involved, domain names get a different price tag depending on a number of factors that may or may not add value.
What Factors Affect the Cost of a Domain?
There are multiple factors that can have an impact on the price of a domain name:
- Domain name extension: This is the end of your website domain name like .com, .net, .biz, .us.
- Domain validity: How long do you want to register the domain in your name. Usually, the minimum period is 1 year and the maximum period is 10 years.
- Add-ons: Domain registrars sell addons like website builders, domain privacy protection, marketing tools, email accounts, and more, that could increase the cost of your domain registration
- Marketablity: Domain names that are short, memorable, and easy to spell and pronounce, are highly-sought after. These popular domain names are easy to build a branding strategy around and are also great for SEO (search engine optimization). The price of such good domain names like amazon.com or vogue.com tend to be much higher.
While there are many factors ad parties that play a role in the price of a domain, there are also hidden costs that you should look out for.
Hidden Costs of a Domain Name
Sometimes, the domain registrar may automatically add extra features to your cart that they think will be valuable to you.
You can remove these addons to save costs especially if you know you can get the same for free elsewhere. So here are the hidden fees you need to keep an eye out for that can inflate the cost of your domain.
Domain Renewal Fees
Many domain registrars give you a domain for cheap for the 1st year. But this is only on the condition that you register the domain for at least 2 years. You’ll need to pay that upfront and it will be full price for the second year.
Learn more here: How Much Does It Cost to Renew a Domain Name?
WHOIS and Domain Privacy Protection
ICANN makes it mandatory for all domain owners to provide their personal contact information such as their phone number and address.
This is added to a public record called WHOIS database. Learn more about that here: What is WHOIS and How Does it Work? (+ Tips on Free Domain Privacy)
The database is helpful for people or businesses that want to contact domain owners about partnerships, domain sales, or even copyright issues.
But this can lead to unwanted spam calls and emails too. To hide your information, domain registrars offer Privacy Protection.
When you buy this, they’ll replace your data with their company information.
Business Email Accounts
Registrars and web hosting services also offer business email accounts so your email matches your website. For example, if your domain name is coolcats.com, your email address can be [email protected].
You don’t have to buy this since you can get it for free with many providers. Bluehost also offers free business email accounts with their hosting plans.
SSL and Security
An SSL certificate keeps your website’s data safe and it’s recommended that you add it to your site. Google will mark your site as ‘Not secure’ if you don’t have a valid SSL certificate installed.
This can jeopardize your rankings on search engines. However, you don’t have to pay for this either. Check out our guide: How to Get a Free SSL Certificate For Your Domain
Website Builder & Marketing Tools
Other common addons include website builders to create and launch your site, marketing and promotional tools, and SEO tools.
When you’re just starting out you may not be ready to invest in all of this. Plus, you can get better features with companies that focus on marketing and SEO rather than have it as a side project.
The best way to create and run a website is using WordPress. It powers around 43% of all websites on the internet. It’s customizable, flexible, and scalable, and it’s free!
Get started here: How to Start a Small Business Website (Step by Step)
WordPress is home to tons of free website themes and plugins to create an awesome site. Check out these complete lists to help you get started right away:
And that’s all for today. We hope this guide helped you understand the real cost of a domain name and how to get a good deal on it.
Up next, you’ll be interested to read our guides on:
- How to Check a Domain’s History Before Buying it (Steps + Tips)
- 8 Best Domain Name Registrars for 2022 (Compared)
- How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website (Beginner’s Guide)
These guides will help you register a domain name that will work in your favor so that your new website is a smashing success.