The cost to register and renew .COM domains is very likely going up…but it probably won’t make much of a difference to most people

In case you haven’t been following the incredibly boring world of big companies working out agreements with the US Department of Commerce, here’s the skinny.

Verisign, the company that currently runs .COM has been working on inking a deal that could allow them to increase prices by 7%. They have approved from the US Department of Commerce but in order to get the deal done they need sign off from ICANN.

The good news for Verisign here is that ICANN wants to distance themselves from regulating domain pricing…which means, if it was already approved by the DOC, they’re likely going to defer to them.

Now before you get too upset, the reality is we’re talking 7% over the next four to six years which means very little impact to most people. If you own thousands or tens of thousands of domains you’ll feel a bit of a sting but if you own hundreds of domains it’s honestly not going to impact you very much.

Let’s do the math here. Let’s suppose you own around 500 .COM domains, and you’re going to renew every single one next year. If your current renewal price is $9.99, your new renewal price will be $10.69. So rather than spending $4,995 to renew your domains you’ll now be spending $5,345. That’s an extra $350.

While I know nobody wants to spend an extra $350/year I don’t think it’s going to break the bank for someone that owns 500 domains, nor will it for. someone that owns 1,000.

Now once you’re at 5,000 domains, an extra $3,500/year might sting a bit but I sure hope you’re making quite a bit of money if you own 5,000 domains in which case, it’s all relative and that $3,500 should feel like the $350 does to the person who owns 500 domains.

Of course I know what you’re going to say now. Why the heck should these big companies continue to take money off of normal people for no additional value add? I don’t have a good answer for you there and like everyone I’d love to see things get cheaper, not more expensive. That being said my point is, unless you have thousands or tens of thousands of domains, it’s not really worth getting too upset about because the impact is pretty minimal.

Well that’s my two cents. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Mark Thorpe October 28, 2019, 8:55 pm

    Corporate greed at it’s finest!

  • Free Market Freddie October 28, 2019, 9:16 pm

    You mean a 7% increase in four of the six years of the contract, so the total increase is roughly 30%. That $9.99 registration becomes $13.09 and the $4,995 becomes $6,547.

    You would not like it if your business had cost increases that were more than three times the rate of inflation arbitrarily imposed upon it that you could not negotiate out of and were forced to absorb because your business depended on it.

    Your line of thinking legitimizes a de facto monopoly that never, ever has to compete for its survival – unlike every other business does – thanks to a never-ending, no-bid contract. That’s not how free markets should work, and millions of domain registrants will be parted with more and more of their money – to the benefit of one company – because of it.

  • Don Murray October 28, 2019, 9:49 pm

    It’s not the percentage that matter it is the dollar$$ amount. Your health going up 10% a year is way more in dollar amount than a domain going up even 100%. I think everyone forgets how much domains used to cost years ago.

  • BullS October 28, 2019, 9:52 pm

    Well then, there will be lots of crappy domains dropping and good bargains too.

  • Snoopy October 28, 2019, 11:42 pm

    The contract should have gone out to tender. The government needs to harden up on Verisign, it is a monopoly and the price rise isn’t justified. Special place in hell for those guys.

    • kip October 29, 2019, 9:52 am

      well said Snoopy!

  • Big Boy October 29, 2019, 5:57 am

    If you only think of yourself, it is only a dollar or two.

    If you think of yourself as connected to other domain registrants, all the entrepreneurs and moms and pops around the world, then it is actually a $100 million price increase per year. You are not Verisign, you are part of the impacted group. So you will be chipping in some of that cost increase to Verisign.

    It is time for domain registrants to see themselves as a united group with a common set of interests. All dot com registrants will lose in this price hike, from mom and pops to big portfolio holders. The aggregate financial impact of this price increase to registrants, to average consumers, is substantial. See the big picture.

  • JZ October 29, 2019, 7:25 am

    For someone owning tens of thousands of domains, its going to hurt but end users will have to pay more to balance it I guess. Personally I think the price should only be going down. With advances in technology its cheaper than ever to manage a registry. Also with more domains registered than ever, it only makes sense that the more registered = lower cost.

  • Paul Kapschock October 29, 2019, 7:44 am

    I hope you give your employees a minimum 7% pay increase for the next 4 consecutive years.

  • mike October 29, 2019, 8:01 am

    It should cost about $3 to register a .com domain, it is all electronic costs, it should get cheaper over time, not more expensive. This is more to do about swampy politics, and lining pockets, than due process. ICANN needs oversight to the highest degree, run like a 3rd world communist party.

    • Snoopy October 29, 2019, 3:55 pm

      It is basically the US government running the show, Icann is no longer the regulator because they simply rubber stamp while leaving the US gov to make the actual decision. Probably for the best.

      This all comes back to the Sitefinder lawsuit, Icann lost its backbone and it has never been regained, now essentially “captured” by Version.

  • kip October 29, 2019, 9:53 am

    well said mike!


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