CEO, VPN.com: The $1M Domain Name – We help brands, Entrepreneurs, politicians and athletes acquire premium domain names for their vision.

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A domain name is a direct reflection of your business or brand. The right domain can drive people to your website and help you rank higher in search engines. 

But how much does one cost? 

If you’ve ever registered a domain name, you know that they can vary in price. There are a host of factors that determine the cost, including SEO viability, current market trends and the web extension (.com, .net, .org, .co). 

Let’s take a closer look at the cost of domain names and what drives their value.

Unused Domain Names Are Very Affordable

To put a website online, you need to have both a domain name and website hosting. You can usually purchase an unused domain and hosting for less than $15. Some companies even bundle a free domain name with the purchase of web hosting.

However, with 2 billion websites in existence, it can be difficult to find or create a relevant, high-quality domain that isn’t already in use or doesn’t infringe on another website’s URL.

Domain cost will also vary depending on the domain extension, your domain registrar, your domain renewal length and local fees incurred.

Additional Domain Costs

• Renewal pricing: Many web hosting and domain name providers offer a special rate for the first year as an incentive to sign up with them. But domain names have to be renewed, and these prices usually increase after the first year. The average renewal price for a .com domain is between $8.27 and $29.99 per year. If you want to lock in a price on your domain name, you can pay for multiple years upfront. With most domain registrars, you can prepay for a domain for up to 10 years.

• Privacy: The WHOIS database is a registry that shares public information about who is responsible for a domain name or IP address. This information is required by the not-for-profit business ICANN.

Having your domain listed publicly could lead to future opportunities and partnerships, but when your contact information is readily accessible, you might also receive unwanted spam and emails. Domain privacy is often available as an add-on feature that hides your private information. Some registrars offer this service for free, but pricing will vary depending on your provider.

• Email: A business email that has the same extension as your website is a must if you want to maintain a professional image. Many website hosting companies will include a business email with your purchase, but if you have multiple employees, you may need to purchase an email package, such as G Suite.

Premium Domain Names Are High Cost, High Value

Premium domains are short, easily recognizable and often directly associated with a specific product or industry. The cost of a premium domain name can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions. Why? Because they not only increase the value of a brand, but also improve consumer trust. 

When a domain name can help identify a website as an authority in a particular area, it reduces marketing spend while also improving search engine rankings.

There is no way to know the “true price” for a premium domain name, but there are resources to help estimate the market value of a particular domain. Domain marketplaces and year-to-date domain sales charts are a great place to start your research. They provide plenty of information on current market trends and rates.

Purchasing a premium domain can be a complex process, and having spent millions on premium domains, I advise you to use a domain name broker to assist with the process. Brokers are best equipped to determine the market value of a premium domain and know how to negotiate with sellers to help you anonymously get the best price possible, without the hassle. 

Expired Domains

Browsing expired domains can be a good way to find a brandable name without having to incur the cost of a premium domain name. Expired domain registrars and platforms highlight domains that are either recently expired or will soon expire. Many domain registrars charge the same rate as a newly available domain for these, but there is a backorder service fee. 

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, the price of a domain is driven by the market and trends unfolding in e-commerce. With Covid-19, ultra-premium domain names that are short and brandable will come at a higher cost and may require the help of a domain broker expert. Decide what the best fit is for your website, not just this year, but for the rest of your company’s life, when purchasing your domain.

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