What Does a Domain Name Cost? Who Own’s a Domain? Can I Get a Free Domain?

If you’ve ever stayed up late nights wondering these questions about domain names (okay that’s probably just us) then today we’ve got some answers for you.

What Does a Domain Name Cost?

The standard cost of a domain name, usually determined by a domain name registrar like GoDaddy or NameCheap, is usually $15/yr, minus some discounts such as first/second year half off. For example at GoDaddy you can regularly get domains for ~ $8.50/yr if you commit to two years up front.

Yes, you can get a free domain name today!

If it’s a free domain you’re after, at HostGator (our blog’s host) and Bluehost (recommended by WordPress) you can get a free domain name in the first year with purchase of hosting space, which you need to install WordPress.org. Some say that nothing good in life is truly free, however companies like HostGator deliver so much value you may even feel like you owe them for the success they can bring to your and your blog.

Please note: Links above are affiliate links and we will earn a commission if you click thru and buy, at no cost to you. These links ensure we can provide you with the increased discounts mentioned. 

You’ll have to pay for your domain name is the second year if you go with these deals, but for that first year you can show off to all your friends who had to pay for theirs.

Domain name registrars, like HostGator, Bluehost, and GoDaddy, are accredited by a firm called ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This means I can handles the details of connecting a domain’s letters, numbers and IP address to various locations so when you visit example DOT com, you go to the proper webpage. ICANN does not sell domains, nor does it handle disputes of ownership, but their high level role allows them to step in at times if a registrar is acting out of line.

Of course, searching around you may see some domains going for astronomical costs. Such “Premium Domains” are either pre bought by a third party company (such as AfterNic, whom we bought DearBlogger.com from) and are resold for a higher price thru GoDaddy, for example, who takes a fee. It’s quite frustrating to find your perfect domain name going for $1000+, but these companies will negotiate.

Who Own’s a Domain?

The question of who owns a domain name is simply at first but like many areas of the Internet gets more complicated as you go deeper. If you buy a domain name you are the owner – you can build on it and sell it. However the “ownership” of your domain is a rental ownership. If you fail to pay the annual costs, your domain will return automatically to the registrar.

It may help if you buy your domains for 3 or more years so you don’t have to think about such an event happening. For example, our domain name honestcollege.com lapsed it’s payment at one point (it was supposed to be on autopay but was not) and I ended up having to outbid robots at GoDaddy for it, eventually paying some $138 for a GoDaddy admin to recover it. Decent sized headache.

Overall, the process of buying a domain often goes very smoothy though! You can still find amazing domains for the deals mentioned above, and even buy up domains if you plan to sell them at a profit to later domain hunters.

What is the Best Domain?

To pick the best domain you could employ the two-word strategy (YouTube, Facebook, HomeDepot, TripAdvisor) but many of these are taken. You can add a .org or .net, or perhaps a .co (short for cool, of course) extension to your domain to make it available. The .com is the most recognizable, meaning people will assume you are SomeCompany.com if you simply tell them your business is called SomeCompany. The .com is also the most profitable, perhaps obviously, for resell. The early bird is rewarded with domain names. Buy now, build soon, don’t put it off.

If you simply try and try and can’t find the best domain name and just want to start a blog or website and move on, I’d fully recommend buying your FirstnameLastname.com. You want to own such a .com – if someone else owns it this may confuse potential employers, customers, or investors while harming your reputation.

Or, try your FirstnameLastnameKeyword.com – like gregnarayantutorials.com – and this will almost always be available.

Last Words

I hope this short post has helped you determine what does a domain name cost, who owns it, and what’s the best domain. If you have any further questions or thoughts, just drop them in the comments below!

Image Credit: Pixabay


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