Oh, youth. One mere year ago (well, on February 25, 2012), I registered my very first domain.
It was a huge moment for me, and is the turning point in this online world I share with you.
I had a tutoring business, an online tutoring business in fact, because I was sick of watching an employer take a huge chunk out of every hour I taught.
Turns out that I didn’t love tutoring, especially blogging about tutoring, and that effort faded into oblivion.
But, then I decided to transform all of my recipes and household living tips into a unified blog and I called it The Aliso Kitchen. It’s my baby, and I love it almost as much as I love my other baby (my cat). Yes, I’m one of those people.
For the online tutoring company, I registered my domain through HostGator. I paid about $20, which I thought was a little high at the time. I liked their hosting packages though, so I went with it.
Then I did research and found countless sites that let you register domains for $1 or close to that. As a cheapskate, you know I had to go for at least one of those fancy deals!
After a year, I’m starting to get domain renewal notices from all of these various companies. The worst part: they’re all different prices.
For HostGator, I have a looming charge of $15. That’s not bad at all, and I figured the other companies would charge about the same.
For The Aliso Kitchen and this site, I have bills for $35. That’s not a ton of money, but then I started doing the math.
Domain Registration Math:
1 year domain registration – $20
Annual domain renewal – $15
For two years, that’s $35
If I were to manage that same site for three years, I’d pay a total of $50.
Year 3 domain renewal – $15
For 3 years, I’d pay $50.
For the bottom barrel domain registration sites, it looks like this:
1 year domain registration – $1
Annual domain renewal – $35
For two years, that’s $36
That’s already more expensive than HostGator, but not by much. If we start adding more years, the numbers change.
Year 3 domain renewal – $35
For 3 years, I’d pay $71. That’s $21 more than HostGator! That’s an entire year’s worth of domain registration to a lame site.
If you bundle more years into HostGator, the numbers drop even further.
This simple math shows me that I’m dumb. I should have stuck with HostGator for all of my sites and paid the temporarily higher fees.
Why didn’t I consider this from the get-go?
Well, I did. But, I was so obsessed with building websites that I was registering new domains all the time. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to maintain these websites after a year, and multiple $1 registrations suited my budget better than all kinds of $20s.
This was very smart for some of the sites. They fell to the wayside, and I only lost a couple of bucks.
Now, I see the sites that made it past the one year mark though, and I’m tallying up the overly high prices in my head for the future.
The moral of the story:
If you want to register a domain that you want to maintain for years, pay more now to pay less in the future.
PS: You totally can switch your domains over through the transfer process, but it takes time and money and puts your beautiful domain at a slight bit of risk. I’m happy to pay $8 to transfer a domain to a better company!
**As an affiliate of HostGator, I may be compensated for any purchases you make through the link above.**
Rachael is a loud and sometimes goofy blogger and cheesemonger who lives in the DC area with her father and orange scaredy cat. She lives for food, but shares her freelance and blogging stories with people right here. Why? Because she loves you.
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The socially-obsessed freelance blogger who loves animals, passports, cheese-flavored products, and her family. @alisokitchen
Washington D.C. Metro Area
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