Major price increases on selected domains?

We’ve been contacted by a number of customers confused about rumored price increases on Uniregistry Corporation-owned domain extensions. This article seeks to clear up misconceptions and give our customers the information they need to make informed decisions about impending price increases.

Q: Are prices dramatically increasing? Should I be worried?

A: Yes, but only for 12 TLDs and not until September 8, 2017. You should be concerned if you own domains with any of the following Uniregistry Corporation-owned extensions:

.audio
.blackfriday
.christmas
.diet
.flowers
.guitars
.hiphop
.hosting
.juegos
.property
.sexy
.tattoo

Our wholesale cost is slated to increase at least $10 on each of these extensions and in some cases our cost at the registry will increase over $100. Most notably .hosting and .juegos will see a wholesale price increase that will result in those domains being sold for over $300/year. We’ve yet to determine our final retail prices.

In addition, we expect a few dollars per year increase on:
.click
.link
.pics
.help

 

Q: Ack! I own domains in those TLDs! How do I avoid paying the increased price?

A: Since our costs are going up, there’s not a lot we can do after September 8th. However, there is something you can do now: add multiple years of registration to your domain before the price goes up. To do so, click the little circle arrow icon next to your domain in Domain Management:

…and click “Renew Now” to add a maximum of ten years of registration at today’s pre-hike rates.

 

Q: How do other registrars feel about this?

A: We’re already seeing the impact of this price increase ripple across the industry. Last week, GoDaddy took the extraordinary step of boycotting Uniregistry domains, prohibiting transfers in and new registrations of Uniregistry domains in an apparent protest against the price increases. We have no plans to drop support for these domain extensions and will mark up Uniregistry domains as little as possible so as to reduce the impact to our customers.

 

Q: Do I need to worry about other TLDs following suit?

A: We don’t think so. We haven’t heard of any other registries planning dramatic price increases. If anything, the prevailing trend has been a general decrease in prices across the industry and frequent discounts over a wide swath of TLDs.

We will continue to keep our customers apprised of any updates to this story as it unfolds.

What are premium domains?

If you’ve been searching Porkbun for a new domain name, you may have noticed that certain domains are listed for a higher amount than the rate shown on our pricing page. These higher-priced domains are known as premium (or “registry premium”) domains.

What makes a domain premium?

The vast majority of domains are considered non-premium, so in general, the price listed on our pricing page is what you can expect to pay at checkout. However, most registries (the companies that own the domain extension) maintain a list of high-value keywords they’ve classified as premium terms. This means that when a registrar such as Porkbun registers a premium domain on behalf of a customer, the registry for that domain charges a higher-than-usual cost that the registrar must pass on to the consumer.

What terms are considered premium?

Premium terms vary from registry to registry. Common first and last names, short words, and short numbers are more likely to be flagged as premium by a registry. Combinations of first and last names, less-common words, word combinations, and larger numbers are more frequently non-premium. For instance: smith.example and jessica.example might both be considered premium, whereas jessicasmith.example would probably be non-premium. 30.example might be flagged as premium, whereas 30001.example likely would not.

Words closely associated with a particular domain extension might also be considered premium. For example, pen.ink is probably a premium name, whereas pen.dog probably isn’t.

How can I identify premium domains?

When searching Porkbun or one of our affiliated sites for a premium domain, it is displayed in the search results with the phrase “premium registration” shown underneath the price.

How much more do I have to pay?

Depending on perceived value of a given term, a registry may charge more or less. Depending on the term and the registry, you may end up paying anywhere from a few extra bucks per year to thousands of dollars for certain extremely desirable domain names.

How long will it take?

When it comes to domains, everything takes time. Whether you’re waiting five minutes for a DNS record to propagate or 65 days for an expired domain to become available, there’s a lot of numbers to keep track of, and a lot of misinformation on the web about how long everything takes. To set the record straight, we had our tech team compile and verify the following list.

 

Changes to domain records

While everyone wishes changes to their DNS configuration appeared worldwide instantly, the sad truth is that DNS can be slow to update. How long will it take for your changes to apply?

Time it takes for a brand new DNS record to resolve worldwide:

0-5 seconds.

When you add a new DNS record via Porkbun’s Domain Management console, it almost always resolves everywhere moments after you click “add.”

Time it takes for a change to a Porkbun-hosted DNS record to update worldwide:
five minutes.

Unlike new records, modifications to an existing record take some time before they’re live everywhere. In order to save bandwidth, DNS servers will continue to serve out a “cached” or saved version of your old configuration until the “TTL” of those records runs out.

TTL is short for “Time To Live” or the maximum number of seconds a DNS server should ever cache your records. We say should because some DNS servers ignore the TTL and cache for longer. Porkbun DNS allows a minimum TTL of 300 seconds, or five minutes. According to our tests, records set with a TTL of 300 propagate to about 50% of the Internet after one minute and 95% of the Internet after five minutes. To check the propagation of a DNS record change, you can use a DNS propagation checker such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/

Max. time for a brand new domain to become accessible worldwide:
48 hours.

New registrations can take a while to propagate out through DNS, although usually most name servers will see the new domain within a few hours. Porkbun informs the appropriate registry of your new domain immediately, but it can take some time before the registry makes that information public. This may be why your recently-purchased domain might not receive web requests or emails for some hours after registration.

Max. time for a change to your Authoritative Nameserver to apply worldwide:
48 hours.

Similarly, if you change your Authoritative Nameservers in Porkbun’s Domain Management console, this change can take 48 hours to fully propagate across the Internet. Porkbun immediately submits any Authoritative Nameserver changes you make to the appropriate registry, but after that it’s pretty much out of our hands. To check the Authoritative Nameserver propagation, you can use a DNS propagation checker such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/ and select “NS” as the record type.

Max. time for a domain to transfer from one registrar to another:
five days.

ICANN policy allows for transfers that take less than five days, but it’s entirely up to the old (aka “losing”) registrar as to how long to delay the transfer. Some registrars always wait the full five days in an attempt to cut down on domain hijack attempts, for instance when the domain owner’s email account is breached.

The five day maximum is set by ICANN’s rules:

“Failure by the Registrar of Record to respond within five (5) calendar days to a notification from the Registry regarding a transfer request will result in a default “approval” of the transfer.”

source: https://archive.icann.org/en/transfers/policy-12jul04.htm

When you purchase a transfer, Porkbun sends a confirmation email to the domain’s administrative contact. The five day countdown begins when the transfer is confirmed by clicking the link provided in that email, not at the moment of purchase.

 

Domain expirations

Another area where there are a lot of hard-to-remember dates is the timeline of what happens after a domain expires. If you allow a domain to pass its expiration date without renewing it, your domain faces deletion. It’s easy enough to lose track of an upcoming domain renewal, which is why we recommend Porkbun users turn on auto-renew and attach a credit card to their account. But in case you didn’t and your domain expires, there’s still some leeway built into the system.

Length of Porkbun’s “Auto-Renew Grace Period”:
30 days.

This begins the moment your domain expires. There’s two subsequent grace periods that can occur after a domain expires. This is the one you want to be in. During this first grace period, you can renew a domain without incurring an extra redemption fee on top of your renewal cost.

ICANN grants registrars the leeway to set the Auto-Renew Grace Period at anywhere between 0-45 days, so be warned that other registrars might immediately skip this period and charge you a redemption fee the minute after your domain expires.

From ICANN’s rules:

Once your domain has expired, it will be in Auto-Renew Grace Period (for 0-45 days), followed by a 30-day Redemption Grace Period. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, you will not be able to renew your domain name. Your domain name will be released for registration by third parties. Source: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/expired-2013-05-03-en

How long Porkbun-registered domains will continue to resolve DNS requests after a domain has expired:
10 days.

We understand that lapses in registration happen, so our servers will continue to respond to DNS requests for the first 10 days of the Auto-Renew Grace Period to prevent service interruptions if there’s a few days’ lag before you renew your domain.

Length of the “Redemption Grace Period” for all registrars, including Porkbun:
30 days.

This 30 day window kicks in right after the end of the Auto-Renew Grace Period, so for domains registered at Porkbun, this 30 day window begins the 31st day after your domain has expired and extends to the 60th day.

During the Redemption Grace Period, you can no longer renew your domain for free. Instead, you can “redeem” (get back) your expired domain for an additional fee. Porkbun sets this fee at $120 in addition to the normal renewal price, which you’ll still need to pay. If your domain has been expired for more than 30 but less than 60 days, contact support@porkbun.com to agree to the $120 fee and begin the redemption process.

At the end of Porkbun’s Redemption Grace Period, it will have been 60 days since your Porkbun-registered domain expired. Your domain will enter “Pending Delete” status.

Length of the “Pending Delete” period following the Redemption Grace Period:
five days.

Once your domain is marked Pending Delete, there’s no turning back. All you can do is wait five days at which point your domain is released to the public and anyone can register it.

Changes at Porkbun to Support ICANN’s new transfer policy

Recently, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names & Numbers, aka ICANN, updated their policy previously known as the IRTP and now known simply as the Transfer Policy. Generally, these policy changes affect what happens any time the given name, organization, or email address associated with a Porkbun customer’s domain is updated; WHOIS privacy is turned on or off; or domains are transferred to another registrar.

The new Transfer Policy will go into effect on December 1, 2016. To comply with these changes, Porkbun is updating its Domain Name Registration Agreement and Terms of Service in a way designed to impact our customers as little as possible.

The new language allows Porkbun and its privacy service, Private by Design LLC, to act as your “Designated Agent” when you use the WHOIS Privacy on/off button in the Domain Management console. In case you haven’t used the feature before, if you click the grey glasses icon in your Domain Management console, WHOIS Privacy is activated, which shields your personal information from being published online. The changes to our policies will allow us to continue to offer this free, “one-click” privacy solution.

Additionally, we have included an explicit opt-out of the 60 day transfer lock imposed by ICANN’s policy following changes to the registered name holder’s information. In the case of removing WHOIS Privacy, for example, registrants are often required to discontinue using privacy prior to an inter-registrar transfer. We believe that locking a domain after WHOIS privacy has been removed may prevent registrants from being able to freely move their domains to the registrar of their choice. Opting out of this lock will not keep you from locking your domain after any such change, as you will still be able to lock/unlock your domain from within Porkbun’s Domain Management console.

Finally, any change to the listed registered name holder’s email, business name, or name found in Porkbun’s “Your Account” area will cause additional emails to be sent to confirm the change. Not responding to such messages will delay the requested changes.

Specific changes to language

In order to accommodate these changes to ICANN’s Transfer Policy while minimally affecting your experience using Porkbun.com to manage your domains, we’ve made the following change to our Domain Name Registration Agreement (DNRA):

You agree that Porkbun has the authority to act as your Designated Agent as defined in ICANN’s Transfer Policy. As your Designated Agent, Porkbun will maintain the right to approve requests to modify registrant information and changes in domain ownership, including the use of Porkbun’s WHOIS privacy service provider. You also expressly agree to opt out of the 60 day inter-registrar transfer lock following any Material Change of registrant information or domain ownership, as defined in ICANN’s Transfer Policy.

Private by Design LLC’s Terms of Service has also been updated to reflect the change:

You agree that Porkbun’s Domain Name Privacy Service [Private by Design] has the authority to act as your Designated Agent as defined in ICANN’s Transfer Policy. As your Designated Agent, Domain Privacy Service [Private by Design] will maintain the right to approve requests to modify registrant information and changes in domain ownership, including enabling and disabling WHOIS privacy. You also expressly agree to opt out of the 60 day inter-registrar transfer lock following any Material Change of registrant information or domain ownership, as defined in ICANN’s Transfer Policy.

What is DNS?

Let’s face it: numbers are hard. Would you rather memorize a book’s ISBN number or remember its title? Which do you prefer, storing a friend’s phone number under her name or simply saving the number? What’s easier, using geographical coordinates or zip codes to identify a city or using its name? When given the choice, most people prefer names to their numerical equivalents, which is where the DNS comes in.

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