How Much Does A Domain Name Cost? (Updated 2017)
If you are new to web hosting, this is a question you will want answers to very soon. After all, you are going to need a budget and knowing how much is it to buy a domain is just as important as every other important thing in web hosting.
Obviously, each of us has their own unique hosting needs which means our domain requirements are going to be different as well. While some will opt to buy a new domain straight away, some will go for the used or old domains. Sometimes you will encounter a situation in which your domain of choice is already in another person’s hands but sellable all the same. All these and many other factors affect the price of a domain.
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But before we pour you the answers to how much is a domain name, let’s retreat back a bit and define what a domain name is.
Domain Name Defined
A domain name is to your website what a home address is to your residence. It’s an address in the form ‘yourdomainname.com’ where your site and sometimes professional email will reside. In our case, our domain name is ‘howtostartablogonline.net’. A domain name is one of the prime things you will need to set up a website.
Understanding Domain Value
Brand new domains are a little bit cheaper than aged domains. For about $10-$50/ year, you can get a new domain depending on the domain registrar you choose.
Aged domains, on the other hand, mostly cost higher than that for various reasons. In fact, there have been situations before in which aged domains were sold for millions of dollars. This includes the likes of hotels.com which was sold for $11 million back in 2001 and also beer.com which was sold for a whopping $7 million back in 2004.
There are quite a number of other factors that affect the value of a used domain name. And in understanding just how much does it cost to buy a domain name, you also need to learn about them as well.
When searching for a domain to buy, one thing to keep in mind is whether the name contains some of the most frequently searched for keywords. This will mostly depend on your niche. For instance, the words ‘blogging’ ‘blog’ or ‘blogger’ are quite old and searched often so there’s a high chance using either of them in your domain name will bring better results. Domain speculators will definitely go for domains that contain such words since they have a huge potential for value.
The Commercial Factor
Commerciality is a term you will run into often as you look for a suitable domain. Basically, the term refers to the commercial value of a domain. If you want a domain that relates to something that can either be marketed or sold, chances of you paying higher for an aftermarket one are high.
Shorter domain names have a higher value than those that are lengthy. One reason for this is because shorter domains tend to be more popular and naturally easy to remember than the longer names. Also, a shorter domain name puts to a minimum the chances of typos. Nowadays, finding a domain name that is less than six letter is almost impossible.
Think of eBay, Ask, Go, Google, Bing, and many others. Very short, memorable and popular. Your chances of finding a shorter domain will largely depend on your specific niche but bottom line, if you lack one, you will definitely fork out up to $10,000 for an existing one.
Age Of Domain
For existing domains, age definitely has some effect on how much they are going to retail for. In many cases, a domain that has been around for many years and has plenty of links to itself has a higher potential to attract more users than a new one.
In ranking websites on their search engines, Google, to an extent, puts some focus on the age of a domain because if you are up on their SERP for long, it means you’re giving out quality content. There’s a lot more to domain age and Google ranking and watching the video below will help you understand this better:
However, if your wish is to have a used domain that appears to have a huge potential to attract more users, then also prepare to fork out thousands of dollars.
So if you are going to purchase a used domain name, these are some of the things you should bear in mind in ascertaining its value.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Domain Name
Far away from what we’ve looked at so far, there are also other factors that you MUST consider before going ahead to purchase a domain. A domain name could pass all the above tests but still there’s so much more to that and in answering the question ‘how much does it cost to purchase a domain name?’ we simply can’t pass this up. So let’s have a look at them.
Critically Examine Expired Domain Names
More often while searching for a domain name, you will come across already used but expired domain names and not all of them are good. Going for them without doing a background check might put your website at risk of failure. So before buying one, head over to the Whois database or CheckDomain or Moonsy.com and use either to find the basic information about the domain. You also need to analyze backlinks (ahrefs.com is a perfect choice for doing that). If there’s none, that means it’s a fresh domain and so you are guaranteed safety with it.
Blacklisting By Google
Some of the domains that have been used before don’t bring with them a good reputation. Whether you are buying a used one from a third party seller or an expired one that seems to have great potential, it’s important to find out if that domain is in good standing with Google. There are various ways to do this including checking it out on bannedcheck.com or isbanned.com or iwebTool.com.
Copyright & Trademark Issues
You’ll be at risk of facing legal action if you go for a domain that is same or close to another famous trademark. In fact, the big brands will likely sue you without hesitation. So before going ahead to register your new domain, it’s important that you do a thorough check of existing trademarks. To check if your trademark is available, you can head over to USPTO.gov (in the United States). Alternatively, you can also check it out at copyright.gov. If the results from either show that your trademark is available, then you are in the safer zone.
Not too long ago, we only had a handful of choices when it came to extensions most notably .com, .net and .org. Nowadays though we have plenty of other options to pick from in addition to those.
Even though it’s recommended to stick to what has shown great potential to work, also put into consideration your niche or business. Some of the newest extensions include .me, .biz, .shop, .info just to mention but a few. Some of them will better describe your niche correctly than the obvious extensions we are used to.
But since the majority are used to .com, that might also mean you are at risk of losing out on potential traffic.
Fees (and Scams) Associated With Domain Buying/Registration
Thought we are done in explaining 'how much does it cost for a domain name?'? Well, not yet, but almost there. As we’ve already seen, the cost of a domain depends on quite a couple of things and to add on to that, we’ll take a look at some the fees associated with domain buying and also the scams that one should watch out for.
At one point, all domains did cost the same price - $70 for the first 2 years then $35/year thereafter. But thanks to competition, this is no longer the case. For as low as $10, you can get a domain these days and some even charge less than that. But always scrutinize the price when the deal looks too good to be true.
Some domain registrars will entice you with ridiculously low prices as $0.99 only to charge you a renewal fee of $15.95 thereafter. So always be on the lookout for such. Back to our earlier question on how much does a domain name cost, here are the fees associated with domain buying that you should know about.
First-Time Registration Fee
This is basically the first-time payment you will make in exchange for a domain name. Each domain registrar has their own prices which also varies based on the extensions. More often, most of the domain registrars have running promotions in which domain names go for anything between $0.99 and $35. But as we noted earlier, always scrutinize the deal so as not to end up with regrets later on.
You will remember that a domain doesn’t become your property on the first payment. To put it simply, you are actually renting it for a specific period of time and so to continue your possession of it, you have to pay some yearly renewal fees. In most cases, this is done on a yearly basis but if you wish you can do it on a 5-year or 10-year basis. If you fail to renew it, it will expire and another person could register and it becomes theirs. If your brand is huge, you don’t wish such a thing would happen to you because getting it back is sure to be another nightmare.
Transfer Out Fees
Sometimes you will run into a domain registrar that offers cheaper prices than your current registrar. This might prompt you to shift which is basically what we call domain transfer. Each registrar has their own domain transfer fees and so it’s up to you to find that out before registering a domain from them. Some charge high fees while others charge low.
Domain Privacy Fees
While registering your domain, you will be required to give out your contact details including your phone number, email address, and physical address. Anyone who wants to check your domain records will be provided with that information. Mostly, the details are saved in the whois database.
Unfortunately, when your details are in the open, that puts you at risk of being taken advantage of by spammers who will steal your address, mostly email address, then start to send you unsolicited spam messages.
So to prevent this, some domain registrars offer domain privacy services in which your personal details will be hidden from the public. Of course there’s a fee associated with this kind of service.
Whois Database Scams
Some domain registrars, especially those you’ve never heard about, will entice you into registering your domain for a ridiculously cheap price only to show up later with some crazy fees disguised as ‘administration fees’ when you request to edit your whois records.
Worse, some will lockdown down your domain every other time you attempt to edit your records and this lockdown can last up to 60 days meaning there’s nothing you are going to do about it for the next 60 or so days.
Domain privacy services have also been criticized by many for various reasons. In most cases, when a domain registrar claims to offer domain privacy, what they actually mean is that they are going to use their own info instead of yours in the records.
But one thing you need to know here is that whoever is listed as the domain registrant in the Whois records is assumed to be the legal owner of that specific domain name according to ICANN rules or CIRA (in Canada). Should a dispute arise, this could have far-reaching implications.
But if you don’t wish for such services, you can opt for myprivacy.ca, which is a reliable and free service that will protect your email without charging you a cent.
Are you satisfied with all the answers so far to your question ‘How much does it cost to get a domain name?”? Well, another thing we can’t pass up as you look forward to buying a domain is to ensuring that you are dealing with a reliable and reputable domain registrar. Don’t know how to tell one? Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- No hidden fees
- Allows direct access to your records on the Whois database.
- Allows you complete control over the DNS settings associated with your domain.
- Offers whois email privacy services for free.
- Has excellent customer support
- Pays the registry up front and for the exact number of years you register your domain for
To sum up, in finding all the correct answers to how much does a domain name cost, you also need to understand all the factors that are associated with its pricing. And so failing to put to into consideration all that we’ve mentioned is a sure way to make an incorrect decision as far domain buying is concerned. If anyone else asked you ‘How much do domain names cost?’ Be sure to share the same thoughts so not to mislead them.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to buy a domain name separately, you can as well go for the whole package which includes the domain name plus the web hosting and a couple of other important things you need to set up a website.
HostGator is a trusted web host you will never go wrong with when in need of such services. Besides, they have user-friendly prices and packages that come complete with everything you need to successfully get your website up and running.
However, if your wish remains to buy a domain name separately, then be sure to put into consideration all the factors we mentioned.