Domain name pricing (including renewal fees)
November 5, 2017 2:45 PM   Subscribe

A relative wants to buy a cheap domain for non-commercial use but I'm concerned how the renewal fees might change over time.

It's a long time since I bought a domain name .

There are now a lot of possible top level domains. Some of these are very cheap, for instance .xyz can currently be bought for USD2 ish. Equally some are very expensive (>200USD).

I've owned .com domains for decades and the renewal fees don't change much is there any indications of how 'alternative' tlds will alter in price in years to come ? Also if a tld is being discounted today what the actual renewal fee will be next year ?

I don't want to tell them to buy for $2 only to find the renewal if $100.
posted by southof40 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite which seems like a very ethical provider is about $10/month and you can pay about ten years in advance. I guess I'd expect deals below that to be lost leader, but if I saw one at $2 and could pay in advance, might go for one.
posted by sammyo at 3:08 PM on November 5, 2017

It costs me $15.00 a year per name to renew all my domain names, & that's $5.00 too high. A lot of registrars charge $10.00 a year. I've had a couple domains since 2000 or so & the price for renewal once I bought them has never gone up. I keep them all at the same registrar because I'm too lazy to move them for the ~30.00 a year it might save me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:20 PM on November 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I use for all my domains. I’ve picked up a few of the newer less popular TLDs (.xyz, .online) for dirt cheap on sale but the renewals are always around $10-12. Some TLDs are more expensive (.io for example) but as far as i can tell renewal price is still consistent year over year. I’ve been with namecheap for eons and have never once really felt ripped off. (i do have minor issues with them charging me for the whois protection after year one, but... meh. I’m not gotta deal with the hassle for $2/year)
posted by cgg at 7:45 PM on November 5, 2017

I'm another happy Namecheap user (and use nearlyfreespeech for *very* cheap, nearly free hosting).

One thing to watch for is that when renewal time is getting near, certain scammy but authentic-looking outfits mail official-looking offers for vastly overpriced renewal .. just stick with namecheap and ignore the rest.
posted by anadem at 8:17 PM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Basically, there are no guarantees. Lease through one of the less expensive outlets. If this is a domain that your relative is going to want to hang on to for a while, look for places that'll let you lease the domain for 5 or more years. Prices are unlikely to get cheaper.
posted by dws at 8:23 PM on November 5, 2017

Some TLD's allow you to renew for multiple years (including .com/.net/.org, for 10 years). This can be used to lock in your pricing. You can find what wholesale resellers are paying by checking over at OpenSRS, which can give you some idea of what the resale terms for a given TLD currently are. Unfortunately, the underlying registry prices have tended to slowly increase over the years, but there have also been some reductions, so there aren't any perfect answers here. The whole thing is a bit of a scam, as the prices do not really reflect actual costs, and registries generally charge what they think the market will bear. .xyz might be $2 right now, with $2 renewals, but if Microsoft names their new game console the XYZbox in a few years, that could change that very quickly.

It may help to remember that prior to 1998, Network Solutions charged $100 to register .com/.net/.org domain names and $50 to renew, and then $70/$35 after 1998, so I guess I just don't find modern domain pricing to be horribly onerous. If you want stability, you're likely to see more pricing stability with .com because of the inertia and scale, along with the ability to lock that in for ten years at a time, and it is unlikely that the .com registry operator (Verisign) is going to experience any sort of catastrophic business failure that would cause .com to fail. It obviously is not the cheapest option, though.
posted by jgreco at 12:47 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Right now, the three standard options have basic pricing ($10-15/year depending on registrar; occasionally cheaper for the first year or two), and .whatever domains range from $1 (.xyz) to $150 for exotics.

The $1 domains aren't going to get cheaper, but the $150 will want to entice people away from .xyz, as soon as .com/.org/.net aren't considered the only "normal business" domains. If you want one of the current ultra-cheap domain extensions, lock it in for several years; they're not going to be throwing away .xyz domains forever.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:05 PM on November 6, 2017

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