One of the first things people see when visiting a website is the domain name. Domain names directly represent your brand, so it’s crucial to pick the right one that stands out.
A domain name usually costs between $10-20 but can vary depending on popularity, domain registrar, and other factors. The price will be higher in some cases, and in other cases, you can even register your domain name for free.
Let’s find out how much a domain name costs, the factors that drive up the cost, domain registrars, and more.
How much does a domain name cost?
New domain names will generally cost between $10-20 a year, but there are some notable exceptions. Pre-registered domain names will cost more since you’ll have to bid for your preferred domain name through an auction site. Many domain registrars also offer heavy discounts for the first year of a new domain name, and these prices can be as little as 99 cents.
A domain registrar is a website where you purchase a custom domain, like GoDaddy or Domain.com. Each registrar has varying pricing and offers depending on what kind of domain you’re looking for.
There are two kinds of domains that you’ll commonly find: top-level domains (TLD) and country code top-level domains (ccLD):
TLDs are universal domains like .com, .net, and .org. People tend to trust these domains because they are so commonplace.
ccLDs are used to indicate different countries like .uk (United Kingdom), .in (India), and .fr (France). These domains are a great option if your website caters primarily to users from a specific country.
Here are some examples of well-known domain names.
Now that we know a little about the different domain types let’s see how the most popular registrars break down their pricing.
Domain Registrar Pricing
These numbers were pulled directly from each registrar; you can click on the registrar's name for more types of domains and their correlating prices.
For the most part, note that these are introductory prices, meaning that the prices will go up after the first year. Take GoDaddy, for example, .us is only $1.99 for the first year, but that price shoots up to $19.99 in the second year.
As you can see, domain name prices can vary quite a bit. Many registrars offer a lower price for the first year before increasing the price upon renewal.
Luckily, there aren’t too many extra costs associated with buying a domain name, but here is a couple you should be aware of.
At the end of the first year of owning a domain, you can either renew your domain name with the same registrar or transfer to another one. Some renewals will cost far more than the first year, so if you started only paying $2 for a domain name, expect that price to go up significantly.
Renewal prices will generally cost anywhere from $8-30, depending on the registrar you’re using and how much you’re currently paying. Some websites are automatically set to auto-renew, so make sure to check your settings to see if this is something you want so you can avoid the fee.
Transferring a Domain Name
Instead of renewing your domain, you also have the option to transfer to a different domain registrar. There are many reasons one would transfer a domain name like if your current registrar increased prices, your site is taking too long to load, or maybe you just found a better deal somewhere else.
Transferring your domain to a different registrar is possible, but it will not be accessible. You can expect to pay for the renewal of your domain name and, in some cases, a flat fee for the transfer itself. You can generally expect to pay between $5-10 as a flat transfer fee.
Buying an Auctioned Domain Name
Sometimes when brainstorming domain names, you’ll find that the name you want is already taken. You could always come up with a different domain name, but if what’s taken is the name of your business, you might want to stick with your original idea.
If you’re looking to use a domain name already in use, you will need to do so through a domain auction website. Because some of these names are in high demand, you can expect to place bids starting from $80 in most cases.
Privacy and Protection
When registering a domain, you must also register personal contact information to the Whois database. Many registrars will charge you to protect this information after the first year of owning the domain name. You don’t technically need to protect this information, but it’s highly recommended you do for privacy reasons.
Getting Started With a Domain Name
Choose a domain name, check to see if it’s available and easy to remember, then pick the domain registrar that’s right for you. The popular domain name registrars make the process as easy as possible so you can focus on creating and maintaining a great website.
Having a domain name is just the first step to building your website. If you want to jumpstart your website, consider acontent management system (CMS) to help you make a website even with limited resources and technical knowledge.
Originally published Jul 26, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated August 08 2022