Saving money is a necessity for most of us, especially if there are plans to operate a website. We would try to ensure that the bulk of whatever funds we have are invested in those aspects that can actively turn us a profit. The website domain is not one of those areas, so we may want to secure the cheapest domain available.
There is nothing wrong with this approach and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you shop around. In fact, you should shop around to ensure you are getting the cheapest domain possible. BUT be careful how you do this. Cheap isn’t always the best quality and can come with hidden traps that may eventually cost you more.
So today, we help you balance finding the cheapest domain names with finding quality, reliable service. To do that, we need to know what ‘cheap’ is.
What exactly is the ‘cheapest domain’?
Something is not considered cheap the closer it is to zero. Cheap is a relative term, so something is considered cheap the closer it is to zero when compared to other prices of similar value. Also, there are certain aspects about becoming a domain name registrar that are expensive, so any company that consistently offers prices below market value for domain name registration is cutting corners.
Let’s use an example: there are five domain name registrars in the world and four are offering .com extensions for between $12.00 and $16.00 annually, but one is offering the same extension for $3.00 annually. Be wary; it is a red flag. Why are all the others using similar prices? Is this lower one a promotion with an expiry date? Will you have to sign up for a lengthy contract period with no opt-out clause?
Website hosts who are above board operate as such. At HostName, for example, you can see our prices for registering, transferring and renewing domains prominently displayed on our website.
Now that you are familiar with how to approach the concept of cheap, let’s look at how you can benefit from some of the cheapest domain deals, including free ones.
Finding the cheapest domain
Before we begin, this article assumes that you already have a domain name selected, or an idea of how to create your desired domain name. It assumes that you are simply in need of the perfect domain name registrar to secure it. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
1. Explore bundled options
Instead of paying to register your domain name with Company X, but using Company Y for web hosting, use one company that offers both services. Some companies will go even further and offer you free domain name registration, Hostname being one of them.
Included in your perks when you choose any one-year website building plan is free domain name registration. And to ensure you get value for your money, you can choose from several top-level domains (TLDs), including the sought after .com. In this case, the cheapest domain is a free domain.
2. Look out for promotions
Web hosting companies may not be able to offer unnaturally low prices consistently but they occasionally do. Snatch up these promotional offers when they appear. They are usually geared towards new customers, however, and last a year.
These may not always be advertised, so be prepared to go after them. You can search your favorite hosting provider’s website for promotions and deals. But if you do not have a preference, use broader search tools such as search engines to seek out these offers. In this case, the cheapest domain comes with an expiry date.
3. Let someone else do the hard parts for you
In the age of the World Wide Web, there will always be someone doing a review or ‘best of’ compilation, though in this instance it would be ‘the cheapest…’. Use one of these lists to carefully go through the current offers, tactics and promotions across several providers to ensure you are, in fact, getting the cheapest domain.
4. Consider a transfer
Some web hosting providers may offer you cheaper rates to forego renewal with your current company and move over to them. Of course, this option is only relevant if you were perhaps displeased with your current registrar and was in fact considering a switch. But it is not advised that you switch registrars just for the sake of saving a few pennies.
A Word of Caution
Do not be led astray by the low cost of the domain. As we would have mentioned earlier, there are some safety precautions you need to take to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for and to avoid bait and switch traps, or other scams.
1. Check the length of the contract before signing. You could be locking yourself into an extremely lengthy contract that you cannot get out of without paying hefty fees.
2. All domain names usually come with an expiry date, so be sure to review the terms of your free or cheap domain.
3. Continuously switching registrars just to capitalize on cheap domain name registration is unwise. Find a registrar that you are comfortable with, and stick with them. Explore our domain name registration prices and read customer feedback about our service before you look anywhere else.
Choosing the cheapest domain means choosing the registrar offering the lowest price within the market rate that also provides quality service and other value for money. The cheapest domain isn’t always the cheapest. Take some time to shop around. It is better to invest the time to make the right decision now than to have to find the time and money to repair a hasty decision later.