So you want to buy a cheap domain name? Be careful!
When it comes to choosing a company to register your domain name with, focusing on the price alone may not be the smartest thing to do. Because a cheap domain name could turn out to be an expensive deal. But what exactly should you consider?
How much does a domain name cost?
When you look at the price of a domain name, you have to distinguish between two separate costs: the purchase price for a domain that is taken and the actual registration fee for the domain name.
1. Purchase price: when the domain name you had in mind for your company is already taken, you can try to purchase it from its current owner. He is free to decide on the price, and if you agree, the matter is settled. This price can rise from hundreds of euros to tens of thousands of euros, depending on how much you are willing to pay. This is a one-time fee – a deal between you and the current owner.
TIP: You can also read our article “Help! My domain name is taken. Now what?”
2. Registration fee: when you want to register a domain name that nobody else has claimed yet, you obviously only have to pay the price charged for the registration of the new domain name. This fee is usually between 30 and 100 euros and depends on the domain extension. You pay this annual fee to a registrar, a company that registers and manages domain names, such as Combell.
In this article, we will only focus on the fee charged for the registration of a domain name.
Cheap domain names: baits with hidden costs
If you take a look around on the web, you will notice that the annual registration fee for a domain name can vary slightly depending on the company offering the registration service (the registrar). So why are there such differences?
Well, some registrars will deliberately cut prices to lure you, and then charge you extra for all kinds of additional hidden costs. Others will simply charge you the wholesale price for the registration, and then make money in other ways, such as by selling your personal data.
While others again will charge you a slightly higher price, because they also want to offer you some other services that are intrinsically linked to the domain name. And, to make things even more appealing, they also offer some free extra services, like Combell does!
What should you consider when dealing with a domain name provider?
If, when searching for a domain name, you come across a provider that offers very cheap domain names, you will need to check the registrar's terms and conditions of sale very carefully. You should pay particular attention to these points:
- Do you have to pay extra for the annual automatic renewal of your registration (auto-renew)?
- Do you have to pay extra for transferring your domain name to another domain owner or to another registrar (transfer out)?
- The price indicated is often a special offer that is only valid for the first year. Does the website also mention how much the registration will cost in the following years?
- The WHOIS and RDAP databases help you identify the owner of a domain name. But with some domain extensions, you can choose not to disclose that information. Any person who wants to contact you then has to fill in a form that will be e-mailed to you via your registrar. This allows you to avoid spammers and scammers. Does your registrar offer this privacy protection at no extra cost?
Be careful: do not accept a registrar's offer to register his details in the database instead of yours. Because he would then become the rightful owner of your domain!
- Can you manage the DNS settings of your domain name yourself? You must be able to link your domain name to your website or mail server. Can you do this via a user-friendly control panel, or do you have to call upon the registrar (who may charge you extra for this service)?
- Is the registrar committed to keeping your personal information confidential? Although this would clearly be a violation of the GDPR, some registrars are not afraid to sell your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.
- Is there an easy to reach helpdesk that can help you at no extra cost in case of problems? Or do you have to pay a subscription for support services? It is preferable that the helpdesk is located in the same time zone as you. This way, you will not have to call at night, and your questions will be answered in your native language.
Choosing a good registrar for your domain name is one of the most important decisions you have to make as part of your online presence. Make the right choice right away: go for a reliable partner like Combell.
Free domain names
Some Top-Level Domains (TLDs) also allow you to register a domain name completely free of charge, like .tk (the ccTLD for the Tokelau archipelago). However, we do not recommend you to use such a free domain name, as it does not look professional at all. Would you, as a customer of a company with a .tk domain name, trust that company, knowing that it does not even have a few euros left over for a real domain name?
Register your domain name with a reliable registrar
Remember that your domain name is your most important asset on the Internet. Its registration will only cost you a few tens of euros a year. And yes, we know all too well that every cent counts, especially for start-ups. But the registration fee for your domain name is nothing compared to all the other expenses for the creation of your website, web hosting, etc. Surely you are not going to compromise the success of your online business for the sake of saving a few euros on your domain name?
The annual registration fee for your domain name is a trifle compared to what the development of your site or app will cost you. So make sure you choose the domain name provider that gives you the best value for money.
You should therefore opt for a reliable registrar to entrust your domain name to. You might pay a little more, but you will receive a lot more in return. And you will be in good hands.
Combell offers you:
- Transparency. The first year, we give you a discount on your domain name as a welcome gift. The price you will be paying in the following years is clearly stated.
- No extra costs for the automatic renewal or transfer of your domain name. We will transfer your domain name for free.
- E-mail your contacts using your domain name. Combell offers you the following options free of charge:
- Keep using your old e-mail address, but have all e-mails sent to your new domain name forwarded to your current mailbox;
- Take advantage of the extra gift that Combell offers you: a free mailbox (IMAP/POP3) with a capacity of no less than 1 GB;
- Check your e-mail from anywhere using our highly secure webmail;
- Create as many e-mail addresses as you like with your domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com);
- Use Group Forwarding to have your e-mails sent to one web address automatically forwarded to several e-mail addresses. This way, you can reach all members of a certain team with just one e-mail;
- Use the Catch-all mailbox if you do not want to miss any of your e-mails: all messages sent to addresses ending with your domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org) will end up in one central mailbox.
- Manage the DNS settings yourself. As a Combell customer, you will have access to a convenient control panel, which will allow you to manage all possible settings yourself. Link your domain name to your mailbox using the MX records, your website via the A and CNAME records, etc. These changes will be applied in real time. You will have the following free options:
- URL forwarding: link your domain name to your Facebook page, your Instagram account or any other URL. Whoever enters your domain name will be automatically redirected to this site.
- Cloaking: your domain name is displayed in the address bar – e.g. yoursite.be instead of http://yoursite.wordpress.com
- Subdomains: create as many subdomains as you want in order to keep the different sections of your website separate from each other. You can even have each subdomain redirect users to a different page – for example media.yourdomain.be to your Instagram account, sales.yourdomain.be to your web store, etc.
- Extra service: Flexmail marketing tool: via a Flexmail demo account, you can send free e-mail campaigns
- Extra service: Advertising budget of €75 in Google AdWords. Order your ads from Google, and pay using your AdWords Voucher.
- Free 24/7 support. Our support page will help you find answers to all frequently asked questions. And if you are still experiencing difficulties, our Combell specialists will be happy to assist you.
- And, last but not least: we offer a money-back guarantee, which means that if you are not satisfied, you can request a refund within 90 days of purchase.
Surely you are not going to compromise the success of your online business for the sake of saving a few euros on your domain name?
Check out the wide range of available domain name extensions and get started today!