Once you decide on the perfect domain for your online business or blog, it's time to buy your domain name. There are tons of different domain providers on the internet, and most of them claim to offer the best prices and value. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell if you're getting a good deal.
If you want to save yourself as much money as possible, it's essential that you don't overpay for your domain registration.
So, how much does a domain name cost? It may cost from nothing to millions of dollars. And there are plenty of things that affect the final price - so let's go through them all.
Here's what things determine the cost of your domain name:
- The availability of your domain
- Your domain provider
- The keywords in your domain
- The extension you choose
- Your privacy choices
- Additional features or packages
1. The Availability of Your Domain
You will first need to make sure that your preferred domain is available. Unfortunately, many of the top domain names have long been taken by bigger organizations or companies. To check the availability of your domain name, head to a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Google Domains to search for your desired web address.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of companies and individuals that buy up domains as investments. Their goal is to resell the domain for a much higher price in the future.
Some of these domains can fetch millions of dollars. For example, SEO.com was sold for $5m in 2014.
If you do end up wanting a domain that's already owned by someone else, expect to pay a pretty penny for it. Unfortunately, if the owner's details are often hidden from the public registry, you may find it difficult to get in contact to make an offer. It's good to know, though, that there are a number of different organizations that can help you make offers for domain names.
For example, GoDaddy has a "Let Us Help" service, which will contact the owner of the domain and attempt to arrange a transaction between you.
This, for example, could be a great help for you.
2. Your Domain Provider
The next biggest determinant of price is the provider you choose to purchase your domain from. If you've never purchased a domain before, you need to make sure that you don't get ripped off by a domain provider that overcharges for registration services.
Fortunately, there are plenty of domain providers that charge in the $10 to $15 per year range.
Domain registration will need to be renewed every year if you want to keep the rights to your domain. Some domain providers will offer big discounts on first-year registration. It's essential to understand the full price of the company's domain registration services. Otherwise, you may get a nasty surprise when your second-year registration payment is due!
3. The Keywords in Your Domain
Another primary factor that determines domain registration cost is keywords. As websites try to build organic traffic, there has been a significant emphasis on keywords. Search engines, such as Google, use keywords to help web users find pages that are relevant to their requested searches. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using keywords in website content to boost search engine performance.
For example, a website about hosting reviews would do really well if it was called something like "Hosting Review". 😏
While keywords aren’t thought to impact SEO directly, they can help you develop an SEO-friendly brand. This means that domains with popular keywords will often demand a higher price. If you want a common word or phrase as your domain name, expect to pay a premium.
4. The Extension You Choose
Getting an answer to the question 'how much does a domain name cost' also means thinking about extensions. Currently, the extensions .com, .org, .net, and .co are the most popular to choose from. They can, therefore, be the most expensive, especially if they're paired with popular keywords or names.
You can save money by choosing a more obscure domain extension. For example, a .xyz or .info extension are much cheaper than more popular .co or .tv ones.
Just make sure that your domain extension doesn't impact the overall flow of your domain name. In most cases, the more common the extension is, the better.
5. Your Privacy Choices
You may not realize it, but there is an international database (ICANN WHOIS) that hosts the contact information for all domain owners worldwide. The intention of the database is to ensure there is a central location to help determine the true owners of domain names.
The problem is that shady businesses use this list to send you spam and sell web services. If you want to avoid getting phone calls and letters from salespeople, you can pay extra to have your information hidden on the platform.
This is also important if you want to avoid having your domain name hijacked. Scammers can use your online information to try and contact domain registrars while posing as you. If scammers don't know who owns a site, they'll have a much harder time hijacking your domain name.
So, how much does a domain name cost if you want to factor in privacy protection? As many providers charge this on an annual basis, it's a continual cost that will sometimes even double the annual price of your domain registration. A provider that offers free privacy protection is, therefore, more valuable than you think!
6. Additional Features or Packages
Finally, you should also factor in the range of other features or packages you can obtain when you register your domain name. Many of the top hosting providers in the industry will provide you with free domain registration when you sign up for specific hosting packages. This can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Hostinger and Bluehost both provide free domain registration with certain package sign-ups. If you don't already have a hosting provider, packaging your domain and hosting together can help you save money and streamline your set-up process. To see which hosting providers are best for starting a new business, make sure to check out our best hosting providers rating.
Price Comparison of Some Leading Domain Providers
So, how much is a domain name? After you've considered the factors above, it's time to choose a domain name registrar. Below, I'll take a look at three domain providers to help you better understand which ones offer the best prices. The table also includes additional information about the services of each provider.
The three that I chose are GoDaddy - a popular web services company, offering over 400 domain extensions; Google Domains - web giant's domain service; and Hostinger - a web hosting provider, giving you a free domain with a web hosting purchase.
|First Year Price (.com)||$2.99||$12.00||$8.99|
|Second Year Price (.com)||$17.99||$12.o0||$10.99|
|Privacy Protection (Per Year)||$9.99||Free||$5.00|
|Free Domain with Hosting||Yes||N/A||Yes|
So, how does a domain name cost? It will depend on the provider that you choose. Each has its benefits, so make sure to see which one suits your overall needs the best!
Your Domain Name Matters
While many people aim to save as much money as possible when they start building a new website, it's essential to buy a domain name that can help your platform grow.
Website domain cost matters, but it's also important to purchase a domain name that can provide your website with branding authority. Don't forfeit a great name over a few dollars. If you'd like more information on picking great domain names, make sure to check out our how to choose a domain name tutorial.