domain cost

How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

If you have ever tried registering a domain name, then you must have noticed that the price range varies somewhere between a couple of dollars to a couple of thousand of dollars. 

Sometimes, it’s even been known to go up to millions of dollars—just remember the story of www.lasvegas.com which was sold for $90 million

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that the answer to the question “How much does a domain name cost?” is anything but simple and straightforward.

The price of domains depends on a number of factors, including extensions, availability, and your registrar of choice, which is why it’s important to carefully consider each and every one of them before you purchase your new domain.

So, today we are going to go over these factors, as well as some other useful things you will want to pay attention to when shopping for a new domain, and by the end of the post, you should have a clearer picture of what it is exactly that determines the cost of a domain name.

What Determines the Price of Domain Names?

As we mentioned, there are several factors that affect the cost of domains:

  1. Availability

If you come up with a domain name that hasn’t been registered already, you probably won’t have to pay more than $10-$15 for it (depending on the extension you choose), seeing that new domains are always cheaper than existing ones. So, with a little bit of creativity, you can easily end up with a great domain that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

However, if you really set your sights on a domain that someone else has already registered in their name, be prepared to negotiate and ultimately pay good money for it, because people don’t just sell their domain for the sake of selling it. They are probably aware of just how worthy it is and won’t let go of it easily.

NameSilo can easily help you check whether a domain name is available or not, and see just how much different versions of it might cost you. Keep in mind that checking the availability of a domain is a good starting point regardless of whether you want to buy or sell your domain.

  1. Registrar

Naturally, the price of your future domain will also depend on the domain registrar that you choose. If you are new to the domain buying business, put some additional effort into picking out the right registrar, as picking the wrong one can result in you getting ripped off for your domain.

You will also want to remember that in order to keep the rights to your domain, you will need to renew its registration every year. That’s why it’s essential for you to select a domain provider that’s trustworthy and transparent when it comes to their prices. Make sure not to fall for the talk of big discounts and special offers.

Here’s what to look for in a domain registrar:

  • Low prices—After all, you don’t want to spend all of your earnings or savings on your next domain. Look for registrars that offer competitive prices (NameSilo being one of them) and grab your domain there. 
  • Auto-renewal options—A registrar that can auto-renew your domain for you is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with renewals every year, so make sure to check if yours offers this feature.
  • Free WHOIS protection—If you don’t want people finding out information about you and your domain, then make sure that the domain provider you choose offers WHOIS protection. However, you need to be careful that it comes for free, and not at an additional cost. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
  1. Extensions

Now here’s something that can certainly be a game-changer when it comes to how much you pay for a domain. In short: the “more popular” the extension is, the more you’ll end up paying for your domain.

Extensions such as .COM, .CO, .IO, and even .NET will always come at a much higher price than extensions e.g. .XYZ, .INFO, and other less popular ones. The reason for this is that Internet users aren’t all that familiar with the latter, and don’t trust them as much as they would a .COM domain.

Of course, it’s completely up to you to decide whether you care more about credibility or saving up. If it’s credibility you’re after, then one of the top-level domain extensions is the way to go. If this doesn’t matter all that much to you, then you can go with a cheaper domain extension during your registration.

  1. Keywords

While keywords in a domain name might not be able to impact your SEO efforts directly, they can sure help you build an SEO-friendly website and brand. That’s why domains that contain common keywords with high search volumes are often far more expensive than those without them.

The more people are familiar with the keyword in your name, the more they’ll search for it, and the more popular your domain name/brand will become. That’s one of the reasons why www.lasvegas.com was sold for $90 million dollars—not only are there millions of people living in Las Vegas, but it’s also packed with tourists who are always searching for accommodation, shows to see, etc.

Still, if it comes to choosing between a domain with a common keyword or a completely unique name, we suggest you go with the latter, as unique names are far easier to brand, plus quite a bit cheaper.

Additional Features and Hidden Fees of Domains

These are some of the main factors that might affect the final price of your domain name, but they are definitely not the only ones. When shopping for a new domain, it’s easy to get lost in the whole process and forget about additional costs and hidden fees, but this is definitely something you will want to pay attention to.

So, what are some hidden costs you might want to take into consideration?

Privacy Protection

Remember when we mentioned that the domain registrar you choose should offer free WHOIS protection? The reason we talked about this in the first place is because a lot of providers actually charge for privacy protection on an annual basis, making it a continual cost for you that can sometimes even double the price you pay for domain registration.

So, before you go on to buy your next domain, be sure to check if the registrar offers privacy protection for free or at an additional cost. Since it’s something you really want to have in place in order to avoid people being able to find you and hijack your domain name, then having it for free is a far better option.

Yearly Renewals

When you decide to buy a new domain name, be sure to check if the renewal fees are the same as the original price or higher. A lot of registrars will use discounts to trick you into purchasing a domain for a year, and then forget to mention that the renewal fees are triple the price you originally paid. 

Due to this, it’s important that you are aware of the renewal price from the beginning (if there is one to start with), and decide whether it’s a good fit for you or not. As we already mentioned earlier in the text, you can also opt for the auto-renewal option, and not worry about this at all when the time comes for you to “refresh” your domain.

Transfer Fees

At one point or another, you might decide that you want to switch registrars, so when (and if) you do, be sure to check first if there are any substantial transfer fees associated with this process. Most registrars won’t mention this to you, but when the time comes, they will charge you quite a bit for your domain migration.

Always read the fine print no matter which marketplace or registrar you choose, as this will save you a whole lot of trouble in the long run.

Business Email Domains

When purchasing a domain name, you might notice that some registrars offer add-ons in the form of email domains that are meant to help you set up a professional business account to go hand-in-hand with your new domain. 

In a lot of cases, this is just a way for them to get more money out of you and it’s important to remember that you don’t actually have to get an email domain, especially since a number of web hosting companies offer this feature for free.

Final Thoughts

Picking out a great domain name that you love matters, yes, but what also matters is that you don’t rush into it unprepared and spend your life savings all in one go. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to choose the cheapest domain name available—by all means, splurge on one if you really want to—but it does mean that you should explore your options and do your research before settling for the “one”.

As you’ve seen, there are plenty of factors that go into determining the cost of a domain name, so make sure not to overlook any of them. And if you want to buy a domain name at a reasonable price, then it’s probably for the best that you stick to the following:

  • Choose a new domain name rather than an existing one,
  • Pick a (trustworthy) registrar that offers competitive prices,
  • Get a less popular extension than .COM,
  • Opt for a unique domain name rather than a keyword-based one,
  • Read the fine print regarding privacy protection, transfer fees, and yearly renewals.

We hope this text has given you a better insight into what goes into determining the price of a domain name, and that the next time you decide to purchase one you’ll be fully prepared for any surprises or hurdles you stumble upon. And as always, NameSilo is here to help you not only find the perfect domain for your business but also register it without a hassle and in no time at all.

About the author:

NameSilo Staff

The NameSilo staff of writers worked together on this post. It was a combination of efforts from our passionate writers that produce content to educate and provide insights for all our readers.

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