How much does a domain name cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a domain name cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a domain name cost?

$5 – $20 average domain name registration cost for first year
$10 – $50 average annual renewal cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Get free estimates
Are you a service provider? Get new customers

$5 – $20 average domain name registration cost for first year

$10 – $50 average annual renewal cost


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a service provider? Get new customers
Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Tara Farmer
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Domain name cost

A low-cost domain name can be less than $5 per year, but most domain names cost $5 to $20 for the first year's registration. Domain name prices depend on the domain type or suffix. Domain renewal costs $10 to $50 per year for most major registrars.

Domain name price by company
Registrar Registration cost*
(.com domain)
Number of domains under management Details
GoDaddy $10 – $15 per year 84 million+ Known for affordable pricing and an easy-to-use interface
Namecheap $6 – $15 per year 17 million+ Known for low costs, free WhoisGuard privacy protection, and good customer support
Network Solutions $12 – $20 per year 6.7 million+ One of the oldest domain registrars with user-friendly domain management tools and services
HostGator $13 – $15 per year 2.5 million Web hosting company that also provides domain registration services, offering a variety of hosting plans and domain extensions
Bluehost $10 – $15 per year 2 million+ A web hosting provider that includes unlimited domain registration as part of its hosting packages
DreamHost $10 – $15 per year 1 million+ A domain registrar and web hosting company that stands out for its comprehensive hosting solutions, customer support, and transparency in pricing
Squarespace $20 – $70 per year 250,000+ A website builder and domain registrar that acquired Google Domains in 2023. They provide an all-in-one platform for creating and hosting professional-looking websites.

*Introductory (first year) rates. May require a multi-year commitment with higher renewal rates.

Get free estimates from web developers near you.

Domain name prices by type

Domain name prices are based on your preferred top-level domain name (TLD). The domain suffix, or TLD, indicates the type or category of a website, such as commercial (.com), non-profit (.org), generic (.net), or country-specific (.us) for U.S.-based businesses.

The most expensive domains are the popular dotcoms (.com), while .net and .org domains are less desirable and cheaper. Hundreds of new domain extensions are now available, allowing you to tailor your domain name to your specific industry. The table below shows the most commonly used suffixes.

Domain name cost by suffix and registrar
Domain type GoDaddy* Namecheap* HostGator*
.com From $0.01 to $9.99 From $5.98 From $12.99
.net From $14.99 From $10.48 From $18.99
.org From $9.99 From $7.48 From $9.99
.us From $4.99 From $4.98 From $18.99
.me From $11.99 From $4.98 From $17.99
.info From $3.99 From $3.48 From $21.99
.co From $11.99 From $3.98 From $27.99

*Introductory (first year) rates. May require a multi-year commitment with higher renewal rates.

A web browser address bar where users input the domain name
A web browser address bar where users input the domain name

Domain name cost factors

Several factors impact the cost of the domain name, including the registrar you purchase from, the name you choose, the term length, and any add-ons or bundles you select.

Domain registrar

Domain registrars are the companies that manage the registration and sale of domain names. They act as the intermediaries between domain name owners and the organizations that control the top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .org, and .net. Each registrar has their own pricing structure and promotional offers, which can significantly impact the domain price.

While price is important, you should also consider the registrar's customer service reputation. A reliable and responsive registrar is valuable when you need help managing your domain or if there are any issues.

Domain name structure

A domain name has two main parts: a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain (SLD), and both can impact the domain name price.

The top-level domain (TLD) is the part at the end of a website's address, like .com, .org, or .net. The most popular extension is .com and is therefore the most expensive. There are many other choices, depending on which is most suitable for the website.

  • Generic TLDs include common extensions like .com, .org, and .net that anyone can use.

  • Country-specific TLDs are for particular countries or regions, like .us for the United States.

  • Sponsored TLDs have requirements for who can use them, like the .edu extension for educational institutions.

The second-level domain (SLD) is the part of the domain name before the TLD, which represents the website’s identity. The SLD is the core of your domain name and the primary driver of your online brand recognition and identity. Generally, more memorable, brandable, or keyword rich SLDs are more valuable and thus more expensive.

Premium domain names

Premium domain names are the most expensive. These highly desirable, short, and memorable domain names often contain common words or phrases. Their value stems from strong branding potential and marketing appeal. Registries charge more for premium domains due to their high demand.

Prices range from hundreds to millions of dollars for the most valuable one or two-word .com premium domains like insure.com ($16 million) or hotels.com ($11 million). Premium domains command premium pricing for their marketing and branding value.

Renewal and contract length

Some registrars are known for their competitive pricing, offering .com domains for as little as $0.01 for the first year. However, renewal fees that apply after the initial promotional period can increase substantially, potentially doubling, tripling, or exceeding the original fee multiple times over.

Some registrars offer the option to lock in a domain for multiple years up front, typically at a discounted rate. This can balance out the long-term cost of maintaining your domain and ensure you don't face unexpected price hikes down the line. Many registrars offer registration periods of 2, 5, or 10 years.

Web hosting bundles & add-ons

Some registrars might bundle domain registration with other services like web hosting, email hosting, or security features. While convenient, these bundles increase the overall cost compared to just buying the domain itself.

  • Web hosting costs $3 to $300+ per month. Many registrars will include a free domain when customers purchase web hosting or other services from them.

  • Email hosting costs $0 to $15 per month, depending on your needs and the provider you choose. Prices may increase if you have a higher number of users or need more storage space.

  • Domain privacy protection adds $5 to $15 per year to the costs of owning a domain name. This protection replaces your real contact details in the publicly accessible WHOIS directory with the registrar’s proxy information for privacy.

Domain transfers

A domain transfer is the process of switching your domain name from one registrar to another. Some registrars offer free transfers to attract new customers, while others might charge a $5 to $15 transfer fee. The transfer fee covers the cost of processing the transfer and extending the domain registration.

People transfer domains for a few reasons. They might find a better deal on fees, discover that a new registrar offers features they need, or be unhappy with the current registrar's customer service and want to switch to a more supportive company.

A website developer planning the layout and features for a client's new site
A website developer planning the layout and features for a client's new site

How to save money on a domain name

A domain name is just one of the many costs to build a website. Since many new businesses need to reduce costs wherever possible, these tips can help you save on the cost of a domain name:

Get free estimates from web developers near you.
  • Bundle your services: Many web hosting providers offer a free domain name for the first year when you sign up for a hosting plan. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you're just starting out with a website.

  • Avoid premium domains: Choosing premium domains with sought-after keywords can come with a higher price tag. Instead, explore your creativity to find a unique and cost-effective domain name.

  • Choose a less popular domain extension: The most popular domain .com extension is also often the most expensive. You can save money by choosing a less popular extension, such as .net or .org.

  • Use online comparison tools: Take advantage of domain registrar comparison tools to explore registration and renewal pricing across multiple providers.

  • Buy for longer periods: Domain registrars often offer discounts for registering your domain for multiple years at a time.

  • Look for discounts: Many domain registrars offer coupons and promo codes that can help you save money on your domain name registration. You can find these codes by searching online or signing up for the registrar's email list.

  • Consider domain auctions: Domain auctions, where domains are resold, provide an opportunity to find affordable premium domain names that would be too expensive through regular retail channels. The final price depends on the level of competition during the auction.

  • Use a domain broker: For highly valued premium domains, using a domain broker service can sometimes yield better prices than public listings.

  • Wait for renewal periods: Domain owners sometimes let go of good domains at the time of expiration, so look for these opportunities.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address you type into a web browser to visit a website, such as “example.com." Domain names are easy-to-remember titles that serve as human-friendly labels for the numerical IP address used by computers to locate and communicate with each other on the internet.

How do I buy a domain name?

To purchase a domain name, first choose a domain registrar from companies like GoDaddy, Namecheap, or HostGator. Then, choose a domain name extension, such as .com, .net, or .org, which fits your brand and budget. Use their search tool to see if your preferred name is available, trying different variations if your first choice is unavailable.

Who owns the domain name?

The person or company who registers and pays for the domain name through an accredited domain registrar owns it. Specifically, the contact listed in the public WHOIS database holds the current ownership of the domain name.

Can I get a domain name for free?

You can get a free domain name through web hosting packages, domain registrar promotions, or country-code top-level domains. However, these free options often come with limitations and downsides. Free domains may be subdomains with limited branding, have short-term validity, display advertising, or have a restricted choice of available names.

Free domains can work for personal projects or testing purposes, but businesses and permanent websites should register and pay for a proper top-level domain name to maintain full control and branding and avoid any risks associated with free domains.

Tips for choosing a domain name

When selecting a domain name, consider the following tips to ensure your domain name effectively represents your website and resonates with your target audience:

  • Relevance: Choose a domain name that reflects your website's purpose or content and gives visitors a clear idea of what to expect when they visit your site.

  • Memorability: Opt for a domain name that is easy to remember. Short, catchy, and unique names are more likely to stick in people's minds.

  • Simplicity: Keep the domain name simple and easy to spell. Avoid using hyphens, numbers, or uncommon spellings that could confuse potential visitors.

  • Brandable: Aim for a domain name that is brandable and distinctive to help establish your brand identity and differentiate you from competitors.

  • Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords into your domain name, if possible, to improve your website's visibility in search engine results for those keywords.

  • Avoid trademark issues: Ensure that the domain name you choose doesn't infringe on any existing trademarks. Conduct thorough research to avoid legal issues down the line.

  • Future growth: Choose a domain name that allows for future growth and expansion. Avoid limiting your website's potential by selecting a name that is too narrow or specific to your current offerings.

  • Social media compatibility: Ensure that the domain name you choose is available as a username on popular social media platforms. This allows for consistency across your website and social media to reinforce your brand identity.

  • Availability: Use domain name search tools to check the availability of your desired domain name. If your first choice isn't available, be prepared with alternatives or variations.

Questions to ask the domain registration company

When evaluating domain registrar companies, ask the following questions:

  • What are the initial registration fees, renewal fees, and any additional costs associated with the domain?

  • What customer support options are available, and how can I reach your support team if I encounter any issues with my domain?

  • What security measures do you have in place to protect my domain from unauthorized access or cyber threats?

  • What is your domain transfer policy, and are there any fees or restrictions involved in transferring my domain to another registrar?

  • How does the domain renewal process work, and do you offer auto-renewal options to ensure my domain doesn't expire accidentally?

  • Do you offer any additional services or products that could benefit my website, such as website hosting, email hosting, or SSL certificates?

  • Can I opt for domain privacy protection to keep my personal information hidden from public WHOIS databases?

  • Are there any restrictions or requirements for registering certain types of domains, such as country-code TLDs or premium domains?

  • What are the terms and conditions of your domain registration agreement, and are there any specific clauses I should be aware of?