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Domain Price - How Much Does a Domain Really Cost?

What domains cost in 2022

The matter of how much a domain costs, like so many other tech-related questions, has an unsatisfying answer: It depends. Ahead, find research into 10 of the biggest domain registrars, 10 of the biggest hosting companies, and 10 of the most popular site builders. This insight will offer some more answers—including where to find domain names for free.

Note: If you’ve never registered a domain, check out this guide on how to register a domain name, for more information.

What factors affect domain name prices?

The pricing of any domain name depends on three major factors:

  • The keywords you choose. A domain with high-demand keywords like “CutePuppies.com” will come with a higher price point. “CutePuppiesInBrantfordOntario.com,” on the other hand, is more specific to a location and uses some non-standard keywords, so it’ll be cheaper.
  • The top-level domain (TLD) you choose. The TLD is the very last bit of any domain: .com usually has a pretty standard price, as do .net and .org, while .store and .shop can fetch higher prices.
  • The site where you buy your domain. Every domain registrar has some differences in how they price domain names. Some give you a great domain price for the first year, then charge a lot for renewal. Others have more standardized pricing schemes.

So … how much does a domain name cost?

To find that out, we ran some tests. We went to the website of every single company in the list below and searched for “domainpricearticle” as our domain name. (As a keyword combination, that one is not going to trigger any super high prices.)

Domain registrars

Web hosting

Site builders

  • Domain.com
  • Dynadot
  • Enom/Hover
  • GoDaddy
  • Google Domains
  • Name.com
  • Namecheap
  • NameSilo
  • Porkbun
  • Register.com
  • A2 Hosting
  • Bluehost
  • FastComet
  • Hostinger
  • InMotion Hosting
  • InterServer
  • Network Solutions
  • Nexcess
  • OVH
  • SiteGround
  • Jimdo
  • Shopify
  • Site123
  • Squarespace
  • Square Online 
  • Strikingly
  • Webnode
  • Wix
  • WordPress
  • Zyro

We checked the prices of 10 common and not-so-common top-level domains, including: .com, .net, .org, .info, .ico, .xyz, .site, .store, .tech, and .work.

We’ve compiled all of this pricing information into tables for your convenience and detailed our observations of the good and bad pricing trends out there.

Note: This is not a review of each service, just a comparison of their domain prices (at the time of this writing) and pricing trends.

Domain pricing on domain registrars

Domain registrars are companies that seem to mostly sell domains, even if they do offer other services on the side. As with all businesses, they have their pros and cons.

Pros:

  • These are often where you’ll find the best domain-specific deals.
  • Many of these companies also have simple hosting systems and website builders you can use as well. They can be decent options for setting up a very small first website.

Cons:

  • If you want to host your site with a dedicated hosting company, your own servers, or a site builder, you’ll need to know how to direct your domain to your website.
    • This is actually pretty simple once you get that hang of it, but it’s a factor to consider.

We’ve tested a bunch of different domain registrars for this article, but you can simplify your decision making with this list of the best domain registrars.

General Warning: On some services, you’ll see super low prices for some domains for the first year, with pricing significantly rising upward of $50 per year afterward. Be sure to check renewal prices. If you see a domain under $5, it’s likely on a heavy discount or first-year deal, and may increase over time. 

domain pricing on different registrars

Observations

  • If it’s name recognition that you want, GoDaddy is the biggest and most popular domain registrar by far. Its pre-renewal prices are also pretty decent for anyone who’s starting their first website.
  • Porkbun is a solid choice with plenty of good deals and a simple domain management UI.
  • Namecheap still mostly lives up to its name and has good deals for the first year.
  • Name.com has a solid balance of affordable initial prices and reasonable renewal prices.
  • Google Domains’ prices don’t start cheap, but renewal prices are mostly the same as when you start. 

The prices

 

Domain.com

Dynadot

Enom/hover

GoDaddy

Google Domains

Name.com

Namecheap

NameSilo

Porkbun

Tucows

.blog

$6.99

$6.99

$29.99

$4.99

$30.00

$34.99

$6.98

6.35

$5.64

$169.00

.com

$9.99

$9.99

$13.99

$4.99

$34.99

$8.99

$8.98

9.95

$9.13

$25.00

.info

$3.99

$2.85

$4.99

$1.99

$12.00

$6.99

$3.98

3.79

$2.55

$25.00

.net

$12.99

$10.99

$15.49

$14.99

$12.00

$14.99

$9.98

11.79

$10.56

$25.00

.org

$8.99

$8.99

$13.99

$7.99

$12.00

$8.99

$7.48

10.79

$7.63

$25.00

.site

$4.99

$1.49

$4.99

$0.99

$20.00

$1.99

$1.78

4.99

$2.55

$39.00

.store

$9.99

$2.08

$4.99

$0.99

$50.00

$2.99

$1.88

2.99

$1.94

$78.00

.tech

$4.99

$4.99

$4.99

$9.99

$40.00

$5.99

$8.88

8.29

$2.55

$69.00

.work

$8.99

$1.99

$10.99

$4.99

N/A

$9.99

$3.98

3.59

$3.07

$9.00

.xyz

$2.99

$0.99

$11.99

$1.99

$12.00

$1.99

$1.00

0.99

$0.98

$15.00

Domain pricing on web-hosting companies

There are web-hosting companies that additionally offer domains on the side. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of using these companies. 

Pros:

  • It’s often convenient to have your domain and hosting services in one place.
  • Support staff can usually make any necessary changes to your domain as needed.
  • Some hosting companies will offer a free domain for the first year. (Be sure to double check renewal prices.)

Cons:

  • You may or may not have direct control of your domain and how it works.
  • While some hosting companies have attractive domain pricing, others charge a fair bit extra.

Observations

  • While Network Solutions was the very first domain registrar, the company seems to focus on all its services equally. You may come across some campaigns featuring its website builder, email client, IT services, or SSL certificate offering.
  • Hostinger has some of the lowest starting prices, and some of the lowest hosting prices.

Hostinger domain prices

  • InterServer doesn’t have the lowest starting prices, but renewal prices are usually the same.  

domain renewal prices InterServer

Note: The table below includes the name of the cheapest free plan on every host that offers a free domain.

 

A2 Hosting

Bluehost

FastComet

Hostinger

InMotion Hosting

InterServer

NetworkSolutions

Nexcess

OVH

SiteGround

.blog

$34.95

$22.99

$9.99

N/A

N/A

$27.00

$39.99

N/A

$6.05

$34.99

.com

$16.99

$12.99

$9.95

$9.99

17.99

$12.00

$25.00

$15.00

$10.99

$17.99

.info

$19.99

$19.99

$9.00

$3.99

$17.99

$22.00

$25.00

$20.00

$3.84

$24.99

.net

$17.99

$18.99

$11.95

$12.99

N/A

$17.00

$25.00

$20.00

$16.99

$19.99

.org

$16.99

$9.99

$12.95

$9.99

$17.99

$14.00

$25.00

$16.00

$10.49

$19.99

.site

$29.95

$2.99

$10.58

$0.99

N/A

$24.00

$39.99

$39.00

$1.09

N/A

.store

$59.95

$12.99

$12.80

$0.99

N/A

$47.00

$79.99

N/A

$1.09

N/A

.tech

$44.95

$4.99

$14.55

$0.99

N/A

$40.00

$69.99

$65.00

$2.19

N/A

.work

$9.99

N/A

$9.95

N/A

N/A

$13.00

$9.99

N/A

$8.49

N/A

.xyz

$14.95

$14.99

$11.99

$0.99

N/A

$16.00

$15.99

N/A

$1.09

$12.99

                     

Free domain (1st yr)

None

Basic

None

Premium Shared

Launch

None

Essential

None

Personal Hosting

None

Domain pricing on site builders

Site builders are those services that do it all:

  • They let you build a website yourself (usually with little to no code).
  • They host the website.
  • The vast majority of them will let you buy domain names as well.

Pros:

  • Again, it’s often convenient to have everything in one place, and the site builder usually handles all the technical stuff.
  • Almost all site builders offer free subdomains to start with.

Cons:

  • Domain prices on site builders are often a little higher than on domain registrars but definitely more standardized compared to hosting companies.
  • You may or may not have full control over your domain and how it works.

Observations

  • All Jimdo domains are 20 euros per year, but there are not a lot of TLD choices. Depending on the plan, you can get a free domain for the first year.

Shopify’s domain pricing is very “what you see is what you get,” with no hidden fees. And it’s definitely one of the more affordable places to get a .store or .shop domain.

Shopify offers transparent domain pricing

  • Square Online is only available in a few select countries. The list is expanding, but customers all over the globe should take note.
  • While WordPress has low initial prices, there are super-high renewal prices.
  • Zyro’s first-year prices are also lower, though the renewals are not as expensive as WordPress. 

Note: The table below includes the name of the cheapest free plan on every site builder that offers a free domain for the first year.

 

Jimdo

Shopify

Site123

Squarespace

Square Online

Strikingly

Webnode

Wix

WordPress

Zyro

.blog

N/A

$28.00

$32.40

$40.00

$29.00

$24.95

$59.90

N/A

$9.90

N/A

.com

20E

$14.00

$16.00

$20.00

$12.00

$24.95

$19.90

$12.95

$18.00

$9.99

.info

20E

$24.00

$16.00

$20.00

$19.00

$24.95

$39.90

$12.95

$20.00

$2.49

.net

20E

$17.00

$16.00

$20.00

$14.00

$24.95

$19.90

$12.95

$18.00

$13.99

.org

20E

$17.00

$16.00

$20.00

$14.00

$24.95

$39.90

$12.95

$18.00

$9.99

.site

N/A

$14.00

$32.40

$20.00

$29.00

$24.95

$34.90

$28.95

$26.00

$0.99

.store

N/A

$13.00

$65.00

$20.00

$49.00

$52.00

$59.90

$34.00

$9.00

$2.99

.tech

N/A

$37.00

$65.00

$20.00

N/A

$45.00

$59.90

N/A

$45.00

$0.99

.work

N/A

$15.00

$16.00

$20.00

N/A

$24.95

N/A

N/A

$15.00

N/A

.xyz

N/A

$17.00

N/A

$20.00

N/A

$24.95

N/A

$13.95

$15.00

$0.99

                     

Free domain (1st yr)

Start

N/A

Premium

Personal

Professional

Limited (yearly)

Mini

Combo

Pro

Website

Domain prices for high-value domains

High-value domains come in two varieties: those that include incredibly common and highly desired keywords and those already owned by domain resellers.

For example, I already mentioned that CutePuppies.com would have a high domain value, as you can see in this screenshot:

high value domain example

But paying nearly $3,000 for a domain is just the tip of the iceberg. The highest domain sale to date was for Cars.com, which was sold for $872 million. Not every domain reseller in the world will get so lucky, but that’s how big this business can get.

Domain resellers work a bit like stock brokers. They try to guess which domains will become super popular in a particular region or industry and buy all the best ones. Then, if everything goes right, they sell those domains for a profit.

This is why a domain with less-common keywords can be more expensive than expected, as a reseller may be anticipating demand. This means prices can range from $50 to thousands. If there’s a specific domain you absolutely want from a reseller, you’ll just have to check.

Free domains: Where to get them?

You can request free domain registration from Freenom. Freenom is a service that lets you register one of several different kinds of domain names, with no financial strings attached. These include .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, and .gq domain names.

Just sign up for the one you want and go.

Are free domains worth it?

The main upside to free domains is that, quite simply, they’re free. But they do come with a couple of important considerations. For example, your ability to use these domains can be revoked at any time by the organizations that control them, based on the content of your website and whether it’s deemed illegal to use.

Each domain type is controlled by a different organization, so they each have different terms of use you’ll need to agree to.

And despite those terms of service, these domains do often get used by spammers and scammers alike. That means that search engines tend to trust them less (which will hurt SEO), and mail services trust them less than that (which means your emails might not go through). As such, building your brand on one of these domains could hurt it in the long run.

Shop around and get a domain for the best price

So where do you buy affordable domains? Porkbun and Namecheap generally have decent deals, Hostinger has low initial prices on lots of domains, and Shopify is a great place to get an ecommerce-related domain.

But ultimately, it’s in your best interest to shop around for the best domain hosting you can find, based on the exact domain you want.

Domain name pricing FAQ

What exactly is a domain name?

Domains allow people to define a text-based address (or URL) and point it at a specific computer or set of computers. This is so people don’t have to type in an IP address like “142.251.34.206” just to find a website. Find an in-depth explanation of domains in this guide

What’s the most popular kind of domain name? 

The most popular type of domain name is .com. Current estimates put the .com domain name at 53.3% of total domain names. 

Where should I buy a domain name?

If you’re prioritizing convenience, buy your domain from your host or site builder. If you’re prioritizing cost, purchase from a domain registrar. 

How do I choose the right domain name for me?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • If it’s a business domain, start with the name of your business. If it’s a personal website, see if your own name is available.
    • If they aren’t, try combining your name or business name with other keywords, such as your location or words related to your business and industry.
  • Try to keep your domain name relatively short. Shorter domains are easier to remember.
  • If common keywords aren’t available, try choosing aspirational words that fit your personality or the culture of your business. 

To learn more, check out this guide to choosing domain names.  

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