How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

Madhu Murali
Madhu Murali

Published:

 Domain names directly represent your brand, so picking the right one that stands out is crucial. If you're in the market for a new domain, your first question is likely how much does a domain name cost?

How to buy domain name; person holding a laptop with a rocket symbolizing how their business is going to take off after having a custom domain name

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.

Connect a Custom Domain to Your Website Free

Let’s find out how much a domain name costs, the factors that drive up the cost, domain registrars, and more.

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.

Domain Name Examples including youtube.com and irs.gov

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.

Registrar

.com

.org

.us

.net

NameCheap

$14.17

$13.16

$8.60

$14.17

GoDaddy

$9.99

$9.99

$1.99

$16.99

HostGator

$12.95

$12.95

$5.95

$12.95

BlueHost

$12.99

$9.99

$18.99

$18.99

Domain.com

$10.99

$8.99

$8.99

$12.99

 

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.

Additionally, you can transfer your domain to a different registrar at any time, which could help you save some costs in the long run (although transferring a domain name will also cost money).

Hidden Fees of Domain Names

Luckily, there aren’t too many extra costs associated with buying a domain name, but here is a couple you should be aware of.

Renewal Fees

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

You must also register personal contact information to the Whois database when registering a domain. 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.

Hosting Providers

Part of owning a domain name also means you'll need a hosting provider to host and maintain your website. You can get started with HubSpot's CMS tool as the best way to build a website to grow your business. You will get free web hosting and HubSpot's software even lets you connect your custom domain with its CMS for free. 

If you're building your website through WordPress, then you have plenty of options at your fingertips as well. Make sure to pick a reputable platform to host your website with tools to help you manage everything, so that your perfect domain name can attract the widest audience possible.

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. 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 a content management system (CMS) to help you make a website even with limited resources and technical knowledge. 

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Topics: Web Hosting

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