Domain Buying Is A Big Deal.
The Internet has become the medium of communication and source of information for most people, but many still remain mystified by domain names, their pricing structures, and how domain buying works. While having a website is absolutely essential for every business, it is the domain name that makes navigating easier by helping users locate sites and direct email traffic. Finding the domain name that you want can be quite a challenge in itself and added to that there is even more confusion around domain name pricing. In the rush to get their site online, businesses frequently overlook important factors when purchasing a domain. In this article we take a peek into the world of domain names so that you can make a more informed decision with your next domain purchase.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is like a virtual street address or identification label for any website location on the internet. Domains are easy to remember labels for technical network addresses that allow everyone to access websites directly. Simply put, a domain name is the address that you enter into a browser address bar to get to a website. For example, the domain name for this website is http://smokehouse.myexcellentsiteonline.net/
The Domain Name System (DNS) provides shortcuts to help users find their way around the Internet. All computers on the Internet have a unique numeric address comprising of a string of numbers, much like a telephone number, referred to as the “IP address.” Internet Protocol Addresses are tough for most people to remember so the Domain Name System (DNS) was invented to make finding a location on the Internet easier. Going back to the phone analogy, just like a central numbering plan ensures that each telephone number is unique and connects to a particular location when you dial a number, the DNS works along similar lines. The DNS assigns memorable alphanumeric addresses known as the domain name to the underlying arcane IP numbers.
A domain name has two components, the Top Level Domains (TLD) arrange the name space into subsets, with either a global scope (nearly two dozen gTLD) such as com, .info, net, org or that are country specific (more than 250 ccTLD) such as .us, de, .jp, fr TLD’s are further subdivided into Second Level Domains (SLD) comprising of letters, numbers and hyphens only. An Internet domain name is a combination of a TLD and SLD amounting to a maximum of 67 characters in total, separated by a colon. There are three gTLDs (.biz, .name and .pro) with eligibility requirements attached to them, for example .biz is intended only for businesses. There are other gTLDs (.asia, .coop, .edu, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .travel) that can be registered only by persons or entities of a defined community. The rules for registering domain names in the ccTLDs vary significantly so you should get specific terms and conditions with the registrar offering ccTLD registration. It may be expensive to register in one of the restricted gTLDs because of the verification costs associated with the registration process. You can check the availability of the domain name you have chosen on the site of your chosen registrar by performing a simple search. Many businesses may find their first choice SLD still available in a new gTLD rather than in an established one, such as .com.
What Does Registering A Domain Name Mean?
Just like your fingerprint, a domain name is unique to your website and cannot be shared between different websites. Upon registration of a domain name, an entry is made into the directory of all the domain names and all related computers on the net. Domain buying signifies securing that specific Internet address so that no one else can use that domain name on the Internet.
A domain name can remain unchanged even when a site is moved to a different host computer or server because the DNS can be directed to point the existing domain name to a new IP address. It is like a business moving location or changing street address; the business name stays the same.
In the primary market whoever files a domain registration for a domain first receives this domain at a modest registration fee to the TLD registry. The domain registration of your desired gTLD domain gets processed by an ICANN accredited company through the authoritative database registries. Domain names can be secured through different stand-alone domain buying registration companies or even through a web hosting provider such as Lunarpages. A domain has to be renewed in periodic intervals, at a fee so that the domain buying owner can get full ownership benefits, including the option of renting out the domain or for selling it in the secondary market. Domains that are not renewed become available for purchase again. The majority of re-sales of domains are closed privately or through competing trading platforms (Sedo) that offer marketing and transaction handling services to buyers and sellers.
Cost Involved In Domain Name Registration
Each registrar has the flexibility to fix the price it charges for registering names and it can offer initial and renewal registration in yearly increments, for a total registration period of ten years. Domains such as .biz, .com, .info, .net, .org and .tv can be registered for up to 10 years, while .design, .site, .online can be registered for anywhere between 1 and 9 years and .co for up to 5 years only. Many registrars offer discounts on multiple-year registrations though it entails more of an initial financial commitment, it does save you the trouble of having to renew your registration every year before it expires. Prices can vary significantly among different registrars depending on whether it is a top level domain, value-added services, domain support, and customer service among other factors. Research and check out the web sites of some of the registrars such as Tucows, #1 Internet Services International or locate other companies from the Accredited Registrar Directory of the InterNIC site to find the best offer for your needs.
Generally a domain name will cost you around $8 – $20 per year. Check out the domain name prices at Lunarpages domains. Do remember though that an in-demand domain name can trade at 5 or 6 figure dollar amounts. Premium domain names are highly valuable one or two word domains that are memorable and command high visibility across major search engines such as casino.com, fitness.com or seo.com. Its intrinsic value also depends upon the price and availability of alternatives. Aftermarket premium domains are offered for resale by owners and can be renewed at the regular price for the TLD of the domain, whereas registry premium domains are offered by the registry and the additional years of registration, transfer or renewal are charged at a premium price rather than the base price for the TLD. You can look up sites like Estibot for a rough domain name valuation.
Factors Affecting Domain Price
Domain prices are forward looking, indicative of expectations about future cash flows and advertising opportunities as well. Price differences can be attributed to several factors and knowing these reasons will help you make a good choice when registering your domain with a provider.
- Top-Level Domains: Top level domains such as .com or .net can be compared to major cities in virtual space. The high demand for an extension can be measured by the total number of domains registered that result in higher prices being paid for locations within that space. Top-level domains can often go on sale, so the same domain can have different pricing. You can pick up a cheap domain on sale but be wary of the renewal cost.
- Name Recognition: Difference in domain prices can also be attributed to the brand-potential and universal appeal inherent in the domain name. Short, catchy, and easy to remember names always sell at a premium above registration costs. The popularity of the domain’s key terms also has an impact on the cost of the domain.
- Market Conditions: Companies supporting enterprises can charge more than companies aimed at small users and personal websites. Smaller companies often offer discounts to gain more customers and as a means of entering a mature market.
- Extras: Many registrars often rope customers in with cheaper domain names but make their margins through up-selling additional services such as privacy, hosting, email or a website builder. Look at your registrar’s website to see if your domain includes any extras that provide better overall value.
- Domain Buying Support And Customer Service: The most important factor to consider is availability of 24/7 phone and email support to answer questions or fix problems when something goes wrong with your domain name. Cheaper hosts will not be able to offer this support to resurrect your website should it stop working.
Dominating The Domain Market
You should consider price and what is included in the price when registering domain names. But you must also look at the finer details besides a domain name’s price when comparing domain providers, such as privacy, customer support and more. Domain buying doesn’t have to be complicated if you’re not sure what you need give us a call and let us help you through it. We offer a simple pricing structure with no hidden charges to register your domain name, within minutes!