I am trying hard to calm down. I just was on the phone with a domain registration company, because I thought I had waited too long to renew a domain name. Fortunately, I was not looking at the correct date, and it was not too late to get the name renewed. That put an edge to my nerves, but the thing that made me almost blow my cool was the price they wanted to renew the domain – $34.95. My reaction was, “WHAT!!??” I also let them know I thought that was a rip-off, and I felt it was unbelievable for a company to just have a domain listed with them for so much more than others charge – it doesn’t seem like they have to do very much work to earn their money for one measly domain name! If hosting was involved, it would be more logical to have a higher price, but today even hosting prices are much more affordable.
Domain Registration Then and Now
When I first started to purchase domains and was learning about registering them, I felt that I had crossed over to some secret world (inhabited by possibly shady characters) and I was a total outsider who didn’t know the secret password or handshake. Becoming more comfortable with how buying domains and how to transfer them works has been a great relief to my nerves. Hosting was the next hurdle, but I am over that one too.
What I did not know was that when you “buy” a domain name. You are the owner but the names are managed by companies that called registrars. The registrars maintain the databases of all the domain names and have regulations to follow in order to allocate names as people buy them. They also have to work with the organization that gives these names the ability to be part of the internet (by giving each a IP address).
You see, most of the domains I own are registered with different companies that charges far less (around $8-10). I try to avoid the really, really cheap domain registrars because the functionality of their sites is usually not very good. Most companies have discount coupons available and special codes for those who buy bulk domains (more than 50 seems to be the amount that will get you a code for a discount on your purchases or renewals).
I have received scam letters which notified my to renew domains (for $24). Those letters I were from Domain Registry of America. The reason they are scams is because that company WAS NOT the registrar for my domains. They basically collect the domain registration data which is listed in the whois database for websites with which they have no existing business relationship. Then, they try to trick uninformed domain owners into thinking they need to respond to these “official-looking” renewal letters. Those who know better, know that the company that is in charge of the registration details of their domains will send them an email when it is time to renew a domain. And, the renewals can be managed through the registrar’s website – they are rarely done through the postal mail.
What Should You Pay for a Domain Registration?
One thing I knew for sure (as soon as I realized I still had time to transfer that domain away from the current registrar) – I knew I was NOT paying almost $35 for a year. I quickly transferred the domain to my favorite (NameCheap). And it cost me under $9* and the privacy feature (which they call WhoisGuard) is free when you transfer to them. Many companies will offer a low first-time purchase price and specials on domain transfers. Do your research if you like saving money as much as I do!
I save money when I register domain names with Namecheap. Their prices are not the rock-bottom, but their domain management system is easy-to-use and the time it takes to manage domain transfers seems to be faster and simpler than some other companies I have used.
My second favorite place to buy domains is
GoDaddy. They used to have a kind of bad reputation, but I think they have made significant improvements and I haven’t had any problems using their services for a long time.
So, don’t get ripped off when you buy a domain name – both of the companies I have recommended here are reputable and they have good support for anyone who is new at this (or nervous about it, as I was when I started).
*price is based on the fact that the domain was a .biz and I used a coupon for the transfer (SWITH2NC).