If the recent changes with .org and .com pricing plans is any indication, what we pay for any domain extension could be going up soon.
Discover what you need to know about the secret negotiations and how much your domain renewals will be in the near future.
What are Tier 1 Domains?
Did you know there are tiers to domain extensions?
A Tier 1, or Top Level Domain (TLD) is the most expensive, mainly because it is also the most trusted.
Those Tier 1 extensions include:
Who Controls Domain Extensions?
There are organizations and companies that control the issuance and use of those TLDs.
The Public Interest Registry controlled the .org extensions and set the prices for them. But in spring of 2019, Ethos Capital, a private equity company publicly announced their intent to buy the Public Interest Registry and the whole world freaked out because they also announced price increases for .org domains.
ICANN, which is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the non-profit that oversees and regulates all of the organizations and companies that control the different domain extensions, agreed to take the pricing cap off .org domains. So the Ethos Capital folks are free to raise those rates. This is still a developing story nearly a year later.
And now, ICANN has agreed that .com domain prices can increase too.
ICANN has a contract with Verisign, who is the company that regulates the .com domains.
In early January the two of them came to a secret agreement about all of this.
In this new agreement, Verisign will pay and extra $20 million to ICANN over the next 5 years.
Fighting Against the Price Increases
Namecheap published a post saying they are leading the fight to keep prices on .com from soaring in the next few years.
Here’s the price increase plan, as stated in the Namecheap post:
“Verisign will be allowed to increase the wholesale price to registrars for .COM domains by 7% each year in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. After a two year “freeze”, Verisign can increase prices by 7% annually during 2026-2029, then another two year “freeze”. This cycle will continue, meaning that within 10 years, .COM domains could cost approximately 70% more than the current wholesale price of $7.85 — and the sky is the limit.”
Are Free and Cheap Domains Gone Now?
Namecheap also states that it doesn’t know how long domain registrars will try to absorb these prices.
Keep in mind that there is a “race to the bottom” type of price war with domain registrars now.
Domain registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy have to compete with hosting providers who offer at least one free domain registration with the hosting package.
For hosts, domain registration is a “me too” offering and their interfaces usually reflect it in that they are sparse and don’t offer fancier registrar services, like forwarding a domain.
And we don’t know if they will continue to absorb the cost of domain name price increases or simply roll those increases into their hosting package prices.
Plus, hosts charge what they want for domain privacy, which makes the domain owner’s info anonymous. That info includes the owner’s name, email, and even snail mail address.
While Namecheap is one of the few registrars to make this WHOIS privacy protection free, most other registrars, including hosts, charge $10/yr extra for it.
Will All Domain Extension Prices Increase?
I think the two most recent .org and .com price increases set a precedent for all domain extensions, not just the top Tier 1 domains, to also increase their pricing.
So, for those who are holding every possible extension on our brand name, this could get expensive.
But, for those who want to hold every possible extension on your brand name, better buy them up now before the prices go up even higher than it already is for the rest of the Tier 1 extensions.
Who I Help
All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup.
Care to Share?