How Much Does a Domain Name Really Cost?

At Porkbun, we’ve always strived to provide industry-low pricing consistently and transparently. But domain industry pricing as a whole can be confusing. In this post, I’ll explain not only how the domain industry pricing model works, but how we provide exceptional value you can trust at Porkbun. 

We haven’t seen a post like this elsewhere from our friends in the domain industry, so we hope it’s informative. Contact us on social for any additional questions!

SPOILER

Renewal pricing. The most important consideration is to check renewal pricing when you’re buying a domain.

Porkbun has the lowest renewal prices on more of its supported TLDs than any other registrar.

Of course with every domain we provide first-class support as well as tons of free services, (Whois Privacy, SSL certificates) affordable hosting, and website tools. 

How Domain Industry Pricing Works

The domain industry is regulated: the registry is the wholesaler and the registrar is the retailer. 

For example, the registry for .com is a company you’ve perhaps never heard of, Verisign, which has the exclusive contract to manage all .com names. Your favorite registrar, Porkbun.com, sells .com domains to consumers, paying Verisign the price that it has set for each name and setting our own retail price. The difference between the registry’s wholesale price and the registrar’s retail price is the retail markup aka registrar profit (for .com, ours is often $0). 

First Year Discounts and Renewals

Since registries don’t have customers themselves (remember, they’re only allowed to do wholesale), they don’t have many ways to get consumer attention. They need to work with registrars, including the most exceptional registrar in any known dimension, Porkbun.com. 

Registries have one effective tool: first-year pricing. This is one of the few ways they can make their product shine and sparkle on registrar sites. Most registries offer first-year discounts, and the registrar passes on those discounts. That’s why you’ll see lots and lots of first-year sales when shopping for domains. 

Renewal discounts are generally not as common (due to industry regulation). So, if you’re buying a domain that you plan to use, build, or invest in, pay attention to the renewal price! That is the actual cost of the domain you’ll be paying every year. At Porkbun, we pass on first year discounts to our customers, and we also transparently show you the renewal price. We think this is the best way to save you money and allow you to make the right decision. Some domains are certainly worth the higher renewal pricing, just be aware of your options and consider your plans when making your decision!

Price Increases 

Most price increases are likely due to registry decisions and not registrar decisions. Different registries have different contracts but all pretty much have the ability to raise prices over time. Generally speaking, registrars also have the ability to raise prices but in our experience most price changes are a result of registry updates.

There are hundreds of domain options, and so while registry price increases remain relatively rare, they do happen. Verisign, the .com registry, recently raised prices and has won approval to do so over the next three years. It’s reasonable to believe that other registries that have similarly priced domains could adjust their prices upward as .com increases in value.

Our Approach at Porkbun

We currently, and historically, have sold .com, .net, .org domains at cost. That means at the cost we pay the registry + fees we need to cover, such as regulatory taxes and card processing fees, without any profit for ourselves.

We do this to stand out in a competitive market.

When we mark up other, standard domains, typically the most we do so is $1 + those fees. We often do less than $1.

Once again, we do this to stand out in a competitive market. We are successful and growing thanks to our growing base of customers, not  the markup we charge them, so tell your friends about us! 

We try to have the lowest registration price whenever we can. This often involves registry deals, some of which are not always offered to us. Since renewal pricing is more regulated with fewer secret deals, we almost always have the lowest renewal pricing. 

Add-ons

Another quick thing to consider is if you will be paying for WHOIS Privacy or SSL certificates for your domains. We offer those for free. We’re glad that free WHOIS Privacy is now more commonplace, but we were one of the first registrars to offer it. Why? Because it was always the right thing to do, even before privacy laws forced even the big registrars to get more creative in how they charge consumers for it.

More than Pricing

At Porkbun, we want to be affordable, but not cheap. 

We want to have incredible customer support, and we do every day of the year via phone, chat, and email. 

We want to offer cutting-edge products, and we have some of the most innovative offerings around, such as our free, easy wordpress. 

We want to have fun at work and with our customers, and, well, you saw the pig butt, right?  

It gets more confusing?!

I hope that clears up some of the mystery in our industry. I know many companies in the industry have made it intentionally hard to understand pricing practices, so we’re glad to try to level with you. But, nothing is simple in the domains industry. Here’s a few other oddball factors which can influence domain pricing. Tweet or message us if we can add more to this article!

  • Premium Names
    • Registries can designate names as premium names. Those names can have high registration and renewal pricing, or sometimes just a high registration price. They can be really high, enough to make you want to tap your screen and ask aloud, “really?” But sometimes, those short or highly desirable domain names make perfect sense for your business or project. Registrars tend to mark these up as a percentage rather than a dollar amount. That’s how we do it too, and it’s still a reliably low markup.  
  • Marketplace
    • A registrant, the person that already registered a domain, can sell the domain to another person. In this case, they set the price and make it available via a number of platforms made for this purpose, including the Porkbun Marketplace
  • “Free .com domain”, bundles, and more. 
    • We’re pretty sure a free lunch exists (interested in a timeshare?) We know that a free .com does not. In most cases, you’re getting a “free .com domain” because you bought an annual hosting package or some other hosting product that was expensive enough that the company selling it just rolled the .com domain into the price of purchase. As always, pay attention to the renewal costs — sometimes those free domains renew with a non-hidden additional charge! 
  • Country Codes
    • Think we explained this incredibly confusing, weird world of domains pretty darn well? Thanks! But BOOM, just like that, country-code top level domains — those ones that end in two letters like .us, .io, and .co— throw a wrench in it, because THEY HAVE NO RULES! Since they are national assets, they are not regulated like other domain companies. Any country can just make up pricing rules, and trust us, they do. 

Get a Free .design Domain Name for Your Website!

It’s the season of giving, and Porkbun is offering designers, artists, and creatives the rare chance to score a .design domain name for free!

With this special offer, you get the .design domain name of your choice free for one year, plus tons of other exciting goodies like a free Weebly Site Builder trial, email hosting and free email forwarding, free WHOIS privacy, free SSL security, and free hosting options. Now that’s a big holiday bonus!

If you’re a designer, you understand the importance of smart presentation. This special, limited-time offer is the perfect opportunity for you to spruce up your digital portfolio or refresh your online branding. A .design domain allows you to create a more succinct, powerful, and memorable URL and email address. It’s a great way to assert yourself and improve your contact with customers, whether you’re a freelancer, web developer, or a creative studio — or maybe you just have extremely good taste in domains! 

Even if you’re not a designer, the fact you’re reading this now means you probably have designer friends in your life — the freelancers, the one’s with the endless side hustles, relentlessly asking for your input: “Pantone 2034C or 4059C?” “Does this filter look retro-enough?” “Should I keep the generic arrow curser or make it a slice of pizza?!” Share this offer with them to support your favorite independent web designer, UX and UI designer, architect, interior designer, or illustrator!

Joining industry leaders is your first step to becoming one yourself: the adoption of .design by globally recognized companies means that your domain will be in good company. Check out the amazing sites at spotify.design, adobe.design, npr.design, airbnb.design, cloudflare.design, amazon.design, dropbox.design… We could go on! 

But while the big brands may be impressive, it’s the sites from independent freelance designers that we find especially inspiring. For example, Steph Salileng is an illustrator and UX/UI designer with a sharp, minimalist site at stephdoes.design.

Her outstanding portfolio is made even better by the detailed explanations that accompany each project. Steph walks you through her process start-to-finish, sharing key insights that take you into the mind of a designer. Plus, with a domain this memorable, none of her contacts will forget that Steph does, indeed, do design! Now that’s our kind of branding.

Remember, this offer won’t last long, (but your domain will!) so seize the day and seize the deal! Register your free .design domain name today!

7,000+ .link Dictionary Words Now Available for $3.83!?


UNR, the registry operator of the .link & .click domain endings, is dedicated to helping businesses and investors alike secure the best domains for their brands. That’s why we’ve teamed up with them to generate a list of over 8,000 dictionary-word domains that recently became available for standard registration fees (7,000+ .link and 1,000+ .click)! And for a limited time, you can register yours for just $3.83!

Many of these domains were previously registered but not renewed, meaning they’re highly sought-after assets you can now claim as your own. The release includes valuable keywords, as well as many first and last names.

No matter how you use your domain — for a new site, landing page, redirect, or email address — .link and .click help you build connection and community, while driving your desired call to action.

Right now, Chainlink is the 4th largest cryptocurrency in the world. The company raised $32 million in its ICO and now provides smart contracts on blockchains — all while using a .link domain!


Click the link below to download the full list of 30,000+ UNR domains that just dropped, including 8,000+ .link and .click domains for just $3.83.

We’ve also handpicked some of our favorite $3.83 domains below. Peruse away — and if you feel so inspired, register your favorite(s)!

addiction.link
adored.link
advocacy.link
applicant.link
attachments.link
beginner.link
beneficiary.link
bewitched.link
bikers.link
blackboard.link
blouse.link
burrito.link
brownie.link
cereal.link
certification.link
capricorn.link
championship.link
charmed.link
christianity.link
classics.link
clinicians.link
compensation.link
conversation.link
desired.link
dictionaries.link
dulce.link
dumpling.link
drinking.link
earned.link
earthquakes.link
ecstasy.link
envy.link
essays.link
euros.link
extras.link
feast.link
footwear.link
gazette.link
genres.link
goddess.link
groovy.link
groom.link
guestbook.link
gurus.link
haunting.link
hebrew.link
honour.link
interventions.link
inventive.link
journals.link
julie.link
kareem.link
knitting.link
kissing.link
lasagna.link
lectures.link
magician.link
magnets.link
maiden.link
maternity.link
memorabilia.link
millennial.link
mimosa.link
museums.link
pharmacies.link
pills.link
sanctuary.link
scotch.link
stamina.link
vinyl.link
waterfall.link
yogurt.link
aftercare.click
airliner.click
aloha.click
artistic.click
blessed.click
bookstore.click
calories.click
claims.click
classify.click
collectible.click
cyclist.click
dolls.click
drew.click
handicap.click
impossible.click
logos.click
lunch.click
mustang.click
oregon.click
oxford.click
pastry.click
postcards.click
ruler.click
samurai.click
smoothie.click
sporty.click
sunflower.click
survivor.click

Why .cloud?

Digital Trends, Uses, and Strategies for Forward-Thinking Success

Welcome to the Digital World

As life and commerce embrace digital platforms faster than ever, it’s crucial to stay up to speed with modern online tools designed for innovation. No longer a luxury, cloud computing has become an imperative for long-term business success. None of this is news; we’ve all been living in the land of social distancing, ecommerce, TikTok obsessions, and infinite Zoom calls for months now. Big brands, budding startups, and enterprising individuals alike are making increasingly digital advances to stay in business, in touch, and well connected. 

As we’re forced to rethink the status quo of business and engagement, companies worldwide have flaunted their creativity with new means of connection. Couches and home offices have replaced company conference rooms. Students shift out of classrooms and onto screens. Financial institutions now rely on mobile and online banking solutions. Window shopping has taken on a new virtual connotation. Even concert stadiums have migrated to livestreamed living rooms.

Regardless of the industry, brands are rebuilding their businesses under one universal technology: cloud computing.

The Domain Name for Forward-Thinkers

That evolving term cloud has become a mainstay buzzword among shrewd brands and their users. Some of us are experts in cloud-based software, some of us understand the concept only in terms of our depleting phone storage, but the savviest of us instantly recognize the word cloud as a slick domain name for forward-thinking brands. 

Simply put, .cloud is the smart domain for modern business. No matter what lies ahead, the importance of distinguishing yourself online remains essential. While we’re all familiar with the instant recognizability of the “dot com” crowd, .cloud offers a reliable, creative alternative that differentiates your brand in ever-crowded marketplaces and helps you make your mark in the digital economy.

Distinguish Your Brand 

From small businesses and rising startups to well-founded enterprises, pioneering companies establish themselves with a modern domain name. A .cloud domain helps your brand:

  1. Embrace the future.

    Cloud is the foundation of modern technology and is at the forefront of future technologies. Make a powerful statement by putting the keyword cloud into your domain name.

  2. Highlight your innovation.

    Have you reinvented a product or modernized a service? Are you digitally transforming your industry? Highlight your brand with a .cloud domain.

  3. Clearly define what you do.

    For Cloud, SaaS and technology businesses, startups, developers and creative professionals, a .cloud domain clearly shows what service you provide.

  4. Build a connected business.

    There’s no better way to show that you are connected and future-oriented. Expand your reach with a .cloud domain.

Secure Your Premiums

This past May, .cloud released more than 100,000 premium domain names — succinct and catchy, highly sought-after names, essential for promising startups and digital launches. 

Take the words of Mou Mukherjee, .cloud’s Head of Registry Services,

“Our premium domain release includes many short and memorable domains such as atom.cloud, pix.cloud, vid.cloud, simply.cloud and financial.cloud. These prized domains could serve as an enterprise’s key brand asset.” 

Building.cloud and simple.cloud are some of those recently coveted premiums. Even more favored are short names with 3-4 characters, including one of our favorites from Porkbun — 420.cloud. There are still plenty more gems to discover! Start exploring .cloud’s premium domains today.

Embrace Your .cloud Future

With a wealth of potential assets at your disposal, a .cloud name could be the start of your journey to digital success. No matter your industry — cloud computing, business and finance, internet of things (IoT), gaming, education, or entertainment — .cloud’s competitive prices and reasonable renewal rates make it easy to snag your preferred name and keep it. 

Grow your brand and highlight your innovation with the domain name designed to embrace the future. Secure your .cloud today.

How Online Teachers Can Be Effective in the Digital Classroom

There is a lot of information about the benefits of working remotely, but what about learning remotely? 

While working from home has become more mainstream, online learning is a new technological frontier for many teachers and institutions. Despite the challenges, remote learning is a rewarding opportunity to create a more accessible and inclusive educational environment — while also teaching students the digital communication skills that will be essential in their future careers. 

Whether you’re a K–12 teacher, a higher-ed professor, or offering professional development and continuing education, it’s never been easier to buy your own domain name and make your website a one-stop resource for all your students. 

How is teaching online different from face-to-face?

Teaching online is a big transition from traditional classroom teaching, and it’s important to find the right ratio of synchronous and asynchronous communication. Synchronous communication (like a chat room or videoconference) is real-time, while asynchronous communication (like email or a message board) doesn’t require an immediate response. Successful online teachers utilize the strengths of both communication styles.  

…put yourself in your students’ shoes and set reasonable expectations.

Asynchronous learning is beneficial for students who want to learn on their own schedule and for adult students who may be juggling work or childcare. Be sure to structure your asynchronous communications in bite-size pieces. (Don’t just record a video of yourself giving a long lecture and expect your students to pay attention to the whole thing!) Build in time for students to take a break from their screens and move around. Home environments may be unpredictable or distracting, so it’s important to put yourself in your students’ shoes and set reasonable expectations. 

There are still times when synchronous communication is absolutely essential. One-on-one videoconferencing is the best way to build personal relationships, share critical feedback, or help a struggling student. Group videoconferencing helps create camaraderie among students and foster a classroom community. Just be sure to keep the synchronous discussion groups to a manageable size — break up larger classes into smaller working groups.

What online educational resources are there?

Educational technology services offer many tools to help you organize your online classes and engage with students. These edtech companies produce software called learning management systems that often include website templates, grade books, assessment tools, discussion forums, chat rooms, and live and recorded video. 

For a deep dive on everything from LMS software to lesson planning to engagement strategies, be sure to read the Chronicle of Higher Education’s guide to online teaching. The Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository is another great resource for ideas and best practices.

…the best way to make [your course materials] accessible to students is to direct them to a website with an easy-to-find domain name.

If you need additional teaching materials accessible online, try OER Commons, a public digital library of open educational resources. For higher education resources, check out the Open Textbook Network

How can teachers buy a domain for remote learning?

Once you’ve selected your learning management system and planned your online course, the best way to make it accessible to students is to direct them to a website with an easy-to-find domain name. 

Make your site a one-stop destination for everything your students need. With schedules, lessons, materials, grades, and contact information on your website, you’ll have a simple, centralized portal to communicate with students, and you won’t have to manage unwieldy email threads. 

If you don’t have access to an institutional .edu domain, create a website with a domain like .study or .courses so that your domain name reflects your content.

From April 1–21, if you register your .courses or .study domain name through Porkbun you’ll get a discounted first-year registration and low renewal rates after that. And every Porkbun registration comes with a bundle of complementary services including:

  • free SSL security;
  • free WHOIS Privacy protection;
  • a 3-month trial of personalized email hosting; and
  • a 3-month trial of Weebly’s website builder.

If you get stuck, Porkbun’s world-class customer service will help you out. 

It doesn’t have to be perfect just try it!

If you’re a classroom teacher just dipping your toes into the world of remote learning, don’t be intimidated. Start small using what you know and try new things as you and your students get more comfortable with the technology. One of the best things about digital learning is that it is flexible, adaptable, and editable. You can always make adjustments as your students give you feedback about what works and what doesn’t. 

The best practices for learning remotely also apply to working remotely in the business world. The technology and communication skills that today’s students acquire through online learning will set them up to be successful in their future careers — whether they work from home or not!