How Much Does A Domain Name Cost?
When someone envisions themselves starting a new website, they generally focus on the niche they’re targeting and the content they wish to provide. Details of logistics often come last, and this is the point where the complexity of domain name costs surprises prospective webmasters.
There are many costs to take into account when it comes to purchasing a domain name. Registering a domain name comes with yearly fees, and purchasing the lease rights from someone can entail a tough negotiation period to discover a fair one-time price for the purchase of those rights. The final cost of your domain name will be the cumulative value of both figures.
How Much Does It Cost To Register A Domain Name?
Registering a domain name typically costs a flat fee in the range of $10-$15 per year. This varies depending on factors such as the top-level domain; .com websites are more expensive, while obscure domains are generally cheaper. However, it’s very rare that a webmaster only spends $15 per year on their website. They typically end up handling a suite of additional expenses, which means that they pay a considerably higher price each year.
How Much Does A Domain Name Cost Per Year?
The amount of money you spend on a domain name per year depends on various factors. It’s common to buy supporting domains for each website. Furthermore, registrars almost always provide certain additional features that are indispensable for running a successful website.
Additional Domain Name Expenses
Depending on what you’re using your website for, you may be all but required to pay more for your domain name each year. However, improved website security, personal privacy, and other features are bargains at the prices registrars offer them at.
When you lease the rights to a domain name, your registrar is obligated to provide your name to ICAAN. ICAAN is the international nonprofit that governs domain names, and it keeps email addresses, phone numbers, and related data in a public registry. However, this can often turn into a source of unwanted anonymous contact. Unless you intend to sell the domain name or don’t mind your information being public, you should purchase the addon that conceals your information.
One of the first lessons that people receive with regard to modern websites is the importance of the https prefix to a web address. This denotes a secure website, as opposed to an insecure http website. If you want your customers to input any sort of sensitive information on your website, then it’s vital that you purchase the SSL certificate addon. This makes your website secure, which interested parties observing your website will see in the form of the https prefix. Furthermore, SSL certificates boost SEO in Google and other leading search engines.
Business Email Addresses
If you’re operating a simple blog or personal website, you may not need a business email. However, larger organizations benefit from having their own internal email system and addresses. Many registrars allow you to purchase a business email address for a small additional fee, and it’s often worth it.
SSL certificates, privacy protection, and a business email are just a few of the many addons that can increase the price of your domain name registration. While you might not need them, most serious websites will want at least one. For that matter, it’s likely that other value-added features of this sort will prove valuable for your website and increase the cost of your domain name further.
Some registrars such as GoDaddy offer domain name deals that demand you take a good look at the fine print. GoDaddy specifically is famous for $1 domain name registration, but any deals like this are often subject to caveats such as dramatically increased fees later. These practices are surprisingly common across the industry, but you can avoid them by being attentive during the registration process.
So, how much does a domain name cost? Depending on the TLD, add-ons, and other features, you might pay as little as $10 or as much as $100 per year for your registration. The next big factor that can increase the cost of your domain names is leasing multiple names, although it won’t necessarily multiply your expenses.
Leasing Additional Domains
When someone goes searching for a website, it’s common that they type the name incorrectly. In particular, there are certain predictable typos that drive a great deal of empty traffic to empty websites. If your website starts driving traffic to these unused domains, someone may take them and begin profiteering off of your IP and potentially damage your brand. For this reason, people often lease domains that they expect to receive a large number of typo visits. By redirecting them to your website, you can recapture this otherwise lost traffic and preempt any attempts at IP infringement.
While this will drive up your yearly registration costs, it’s not as bad as it seems. There’s no need to use SSL certificates and other addons for such domain names, so you’ll only be paying the basic price. With your first, full-priced domain name, you shouldn’t pay more than a few hundred dollars per year. However, that’s a far cry from the hundreds, thousands, and millions of dollars that people have paid for domain names. The gap between the built-in costs of domain names and the high price tags that many domains command is the premium status of those domain names.
Why Premium Domain Names Are Expensive
On a technical level, premium domain names work the same way as others. Since the yearly registration fees aren’t so significant, those don’t meaningfully contribute to the cost of premium domain names. Rather, the defining characteristic of a premium domain name is its ability to effectively draw traffic and support a brand. Both the top-level domain, the suffix such as .com or .net, and the second-level domain, the unique name contribute to premium status.
What Makes A Domain Name Premium?
Trusted Top-Level Domain
The top-level domain that you choose for your website has a considerable effect on the perception of your website by potential visitors. In particular, .com and .co represent a gold standard in reputability and reliability. While some top-level domains such as .biz have a lower cost for yearly registration and would be cheap to buy, you can’t afford to use them; precisely because people don’t trust such websites.
In general, low-cost TLDs quickly become favorites of scammers and malicious actors who choose the cheapest domain names to maximize their profit margins. As such, you should avoid the temptation to save a few dollars per year, given the way it will taint your website by association.
However, .com and .co aren’t the only trusted domains. Other options such as .net, .org, carry positive connotations that your website will be fine with. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that .com stands at the top of the pack. While all of these TLDs have good reputations, .com has a vital advantage. When someone forgets the correct name of a website, they almost always assume that it ends in .com.
Premium Second-Level Domain
While not all premium domains end in .com, it is the gold standard. On the other hand, evaluating the value of a second-level domain is somewhat trickier. There’s a virtually infinite number of possibilities, but you can assess the value of a second-level domain by considering how brandable it is. Think in practical terms about how easy it would be to find a website using this domain name, how likely you’d be to misspell or forget it.
Some of the key factors to look for in the SLD of a premium domain name are:
- Contains useful keywords
- Possesses generic value that makes it useful for many potential customers
- Older domain with high domain authority
- Concise and memorable; ideally an acronym-friendly string of letters or one to three words
- All component words have their proper spelling
Each of these features offer concrete or general benefits. Old domains that have accrued a high level of domain authority will enjoy a major advantage in domain authority, and generic value domain names have a high level of demand. In general, the most valuable domain names of all time are usually generic in a way that means there’s a high degree of demand for them, such as CarInsurance.com and PrivateJet.com.
How Much Does A Premium Domain Name Cost?
No matter how many add-on services you use, the inherent costs of your domain name amount to pennies compared to the one-time purchase cost. If you find an unclaimed domain name, you shouldn’t have to pay any remarkable fees for it. However, it’s normal that premium domain names have already been claimed. When it comes to reselling premium domain names, the costs can rise into the millions depending on demand. Some of the largest domain name sales in history have commanded eight-figure prices, such as:
- CarInsurance.com — $49.7 million
- Insurance.com — $35.6 million
- VacationRentals.com — $35 million
- PrivateJet.com — $30.18 million
- Voice.com — $30 million
Thankfully, most premium domain names don’t cost millions of dollars. Furthermore, negotiation skills and a high level of domain name expertise can allow you to cut down the cost of your domain names considerably. Since most people are not experts on domain names and the intricacies of the industry, you should put your trust in someone who is. Premium domain names can cost considerably less when you reach out to an experienced brokerage.
Domain Brokers Can Help You Save On Premium Domains
The same domain name is likely to cost two different people different amounts of money. This will be because one person is better prepared, understands the industry better, and has more experience in negotiations than the other. The ways that industry expertise cuts down on the cost of premium domains include greater valuation skills, experience, and anonymity.
Expert Domain Valuation
Properly evaluating the price of a domain name is a skill that takes years of experience in the industry to master. If you aren’t confident in your evaluation, it will be easy to get pushed into accepting a price that’s higher than what you should go for. Accurate domain name price valuation is the cornerstone of any negotiation strategy, and premium domain brokers are the top experts in this field.
Experienced Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is a fine art, especially in a complex, niche field such as domain names. It’s not just a matter of being firm over the bargaining table, but entering negotiations with a sound strategy and firm price limits for yourself. The capacity for this kind of strategy and understanding is a skill that domain brokers spend their entire careers honing.
Protect Your Anonymity
Any domain investor is going to research a prospective buyer to try and find the highest price they can bear and to gauge the importance of the domain. This sort of anonymity can be quite valuable; when Facebook’s leadership decided to buy fb.com from the Farm Bureau, they ended up paying $8.5 million.
By working through a domain brokerage, you maintain your anonymity and enjoy a stronger position in negotiations.
Find Your Premium Domain Today With VPN.com
VPN.com is a premium domain brokerage with a proven track record of successful deals. We’ve arranged numerous high-value premium domain sales, including the million-dollar domain that hosts our website. If you need assistance buying or selling high-class domain names, get in touch today.
Worldwide Premium Domain Brokers
Helping you acquire premium domain names in any country you desire. Inquire today about our Global Brand Protection Program if you want to register your brand in EVERY country.
North America Domains
Central America Domains
Middle East Domains
South America Domains