Domain Name Prices: Why Do Some Domains Cost More?

Posted on:2022-03-31 18:06:31 Views: 379

During your domain name research or purchasing journey, you may have noticed domain name prices can vary heavily between top-level domains (TLDs) and even other domain registration websites. Why do some domains cost more than others? It’s a common question, and there are numerous factors that determine the price of a domain name. In this article, we’ll cover these various components in more detail so you have an understanding of how and why domain prices are set the way they are. 



To start, the wholesale cost of domain names are determined by domain registries, which means that they set the base amount registrars must pay when a domain is registered. There are situations where the wholesale price is negotiated between the registry and ICANN, who are regulators in the domain name space. A majority of registries do not need to go through this regulation/negotiation process but some do (such as .com).


Every TLD is unique - each with its own audience, category/niche it may fit into, and appeal. Every domain extension also has a market that aligns with it, which could be very broad (such as .com representing a more ‘catch-all’ TLD option) or narrow (such as .auto for businesses in the automotive industry). How does this impact the price of a domain? Well, since TLD uses widely vary, it is up to the registry to decide the wholesale price for registrars to work with.

Some registries want to make a specific TLD a luxury to own (such as .rich), and increasing the cost can help with that. This increase also means there is a higher likelihood that users will be able to register their desired name under that TLD (with higher prices, there are typically less registrations - which means more name availability), which can be attractive to potential buyers. On the other hand, some TLDs have an extremely low cost entrypoint which means getting a specific name may be challenging but they become more accessible to a wider audience. The registry ultimately decides what's best for their domain extensions and how they want to position them from a price perspective.


From a buyers perspective, these domain extensions often become tied to a brand’s online presence, which is why some are willing to spend more if it fits how they want to represent themselves. For these reasons, the TLDs themselves often contribute to why some domains can be more expensive.


The domain registrar plays an important role in determining why some domains cost more than others. As mentioned, the registry is responsible for providing the wholesale price to the registrar, and the registrar is then left to decide on the actual registration price for customers to pay. Just like other retailers in the world, there is markup added to that wholesale price so that a profit can be made. With that said, this markup is also used to cover business expenses. Each registrar has to pay fees whenever they register domains for a customer, which also contributes to the final price.



One important factor that comes into play when pricing domain names is the user objective - specifically, first time registration. Some registrars try to entice users to register domains through deep sales and, in the domain industry, that could include taking a loss of money on the initial sale. This is often seen with $0.99 .com domain registration sales (when they currently have a wholesale value of $8.39 for a one year registration). However, in these scenarios, the domain renewal prices are commonly increased and that renewal becomes mandatory, helping the registrar recoup lost profit for the initial sale.

As you can tell, there are many factors that come into play when it comes to the price of a specific domain extension. At, we try to keep our prices as low as possible with no add-ons and no increased renewal fees to get you to register with us. Check out our list of TLD prices for more information.