Domain Name Registration Fees

If you are considering creating a website, you should also consider registering a domain name for your website. The fees associated with registration can be paid up to one, two, three, or five years. There are two ways to pay for a domain name. You can contact a domain registration company and pay the fees independently or you can choose to pay a web hosting company to register the domain name and host your website. Each domain registrar and web hosting company sets its own prices for registering, renewing, and retrieving an expired domain.

Independent Registration vs Web Hosting Payment Fees

If you register the domain name, it is best to choose a company that is an ICANN accredited registrar; there are thousands to choose from, the best of which are listed on our site. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, coordinates the internet’s domain name system and keeps registration companies honest. Once you choose a registration company, contact the company and pay the fee. This fee ranges between $10 and $50 per year and gives you the right to use that name. If you decide to use a web hosting company to register the domain, the service is part of a package deal. Some web hosting companies will register and pay for the domain name, while others will register the domain and have you directly pay the fees to the registrar. Either way, expect to pay an additional $9.95 to $19.95 annum to the web hosting company, in addition to whatever fee the company charges for web hosting. Whether you independently register a domain or use a web hosting service to register a domain, you “own” the domain for as long as you pay the annual fee. Meaning, if you do not continue to pay the yearly fee, the domain expires. Neither registrar companies nor web hosting companies charge a penalty fee for early renewal, so it is best to pay domain renewal fees before or when they are due.

Domain Expiration Fees

Regardless of whether you independently register your domain or use a web hosting service to register, when your domain expires its name servers are removed from the registry's master DNS servers and replaced with "parking" records. Your domain then enters a 30-day renewal grace period, during which you can renew the domain without incurring a renewal penalty fee. Once you pay the regular renewal fee you agreed to when you initially registered your domain, the name is reactivated within 2 days. If you allow the renewal grace period to pass, the domain enters a 30-day redemption grace period. During this period, the domain is renewable for a fee. You must contact your registrar and pay approximately $65. This fee is charged by the registrar to manually recover your domain. This process cannot be expedited and takes 2-3 days before the domain can be used, so there are no expediting fees. Once the redemption grace period has passed, the domain enters a five day “pending delete” level. The domain cannot be registered during this five day period; however, once this period is over, you run the risk of losing your domain name to a “domain taster.” Tasters purchase expired domain names from registrars in order to sell them back to the original owners. Tasters charge exorbitant fees, sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars, to sell your domain back to you.

Selling or Transferring a Domain

If you independently registered your domain name, there are no fees to sell or transfer the name. However, if you utilized the services of a web hosting company, it may have a clause buried in its “Terms of Service” section of the contract you signed. The clause may state terms like “power of attorney” and "transfer out fee," authorizing the company to charge up to 3 times the initial registration fee to transfer the domain to another registrar. If you feel the “transfer out” fee is excessive, contact ICANN to investigate your claim, and contact your credit card company to reverse the charges until ICANN settles the dispute.

If you think you may want to skip registering your domain name to save money on fees, you may want to reconsider. You will not incur additional fees as long as you continue to pay the registration fees on time.


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