Finding cheap domain names can be a confusing process when you consider the actual cost of the domains. For example, Godaddy will often run specials advertising dot com domains for 99 cents. Sounds like a good deal, but of course there’s a catch.
The Truth About Cheap First Year Domain Name Registrations
A common sales tactic for domain name registrars is to offer a discount on the first year registration. Namecheap offers $.88 domains on several TLDs when you register a new domain for one year. What many people do not realize however is that the domain prices jumps to $25+ when you go to renew it.
When Registering a Domain Name ALWAYS find out the regular price to ensure you won’t get screwed when it comes time to renew.
Those Godaddy Domain
Godaddy has been around for quite a while and is one of the most well-known domain name registrars. At one time they would offer cheap first-year registrations with no catch. Nowadays the registrar markets domain prices with an asterisk.
The Catch: You must register the domain for two years in order to get the discount. Additionally, the discount is only good on the first year.
Domain privacy is a must have in my opinion. By not having private registration you leave your door open to spammers as well as exposure of your personal information and address. I learned this the hard way recently when I registered a .us domain (.us domains do not allow privacy). Within a few hours of registering the domain, I was receiving spam emails from web design companies and online directories.
Free Private Registration
While many registrars now offer free domain privacy, some still make you pay extra to keep your information private. Godaddy, for example, charges $7.99 per year in addition to the registration fee if you want private domain registration. These fees add up when you consider the domain renewal rate (currently $14.99 per year at Godaddy for .com).
Finding the Best Deal on Domain Names
Consider these three questions before registering your next domain name:
- What is the “Regular Price” for this TLD (.com, .whatever)?
- Is free domain privacy included with the domain?
- How long do I plan on having this domain?
If you plan on having the domain for while you should consider the annual renewal rate. In some cases, it might be better to register the domain for several years up front. You might also want shop around and see if the domain is cheaper at another registrar. If the domain is for a temporary campaign then you might be okay just registering it for a year.
Recommended Domain Registrars
The only time I will register a domain from Godaddy is if it’s a Godaddy Auction domain that isn’t available anywhere else. For overall value the two registrars that I use most often are:
Both of these registrars offer competitive pricing on .com domains. Uniregistry is the overall best deal that I’ve found for dot-coms with prices fixed at $8.88. Additionally, they both offer free privacy and tools to easily help you manage and forward your domains.
Be aware of the discounted first year. NameCheap and Uniregisty both offer first-year discounts on certain TLDs. I’ve seen some domains discounted for under a dollar for the first year with renewal rates of $99+ per year! Remember first-year discounts are usually only a good deal if renewal rates are reasonable and/or if you are using the domain for a tempory campaign.
Compare Prices at Uniregistry
Enter a domain name below to see how much Uniregistry is charging for that TLD.