Domain Names – How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

November 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Very often those new to the online world and beginners looking to make their first website often drastically over estimate the cost involved to get started. The first part of this online adventure is often the domain name. Today anyone can purchase a domain name for $10 a year or less for most of the most common extensions and, if buying in bulk, that cost can go down even further. Keep in mind that the domain purchase is really more of a rent than a true purchase. That $10 is really a recurring fee for the right to use a particular domain name for one year. There are a few points of interest when it comes to the cost of domain names…

What, exactly, is a Domain Name?

Quick crash course for you here. Every website on the internet has a unique address that, in the computer world, is called an IP Address and looks something like this: 123.456.78. Now, numbers are great for organization but most folks would rather deal with words and phrases rather a series of numbers and dots. A domain is nothing more than a word or phrase that associates with a string of numbers that is a unique address on the Internet. Domains are part of Domain Name System (DNS) and simply “point” at a website IP Address. Think of the DNS as a phone book for the internet that translates people friendly names into computer friendly IP Addresses.

Competition in the Domain Registrar business

When the internet started to really get rolling back in the late ’80s domain names were more expensive than they are today at roughly $50 per year for When the internet exploded in the 1990’s the number of companies in the registration space increased (from originally just one company!), which increased the competition which continues to drive that price point down. There was also, in 1998, the creation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) which is a non profit tasked with creating policy for domain names. They introduced all sorts of new top-level domain names, which increased the potential supply of domains that can be sold, and further drove the price down.

What are you getting for your dollar?

You will still find a variety of different prices on domain registration. Some of this variation comes from additional services that “come with” a domain you purchase such as some privacy protection, stand alone email service, website builders and so on. A domain can currently be registered for as little as one year at a time and for as much as ten years at a time. Be sure to understand what you are paying for when you purchase your domain and for how long you are registering.

Take Away

Long story short domains are very affordable and very easy to purchase. Get out there, grab a domain and get going!

Bill Kelly’s focus is on videos and articles aimed at helping beginner and novice webmasters learn how to make a website. With a focus on taking the mystery out of WordPress, SEO and Social Media Bill helps those with personal blogs and small business websites get the most from their online efforts. For free How-To videos and information visit to get started!

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