Why are some domain extensions more expensive than others?

There are three factors that determine our domain name pricing, apart from the fixed costs of running the business.

Registry price – this is the price a domain registrar (like us) is charged by the registries. It's actually the registries that ultimately hold domain extensions and the names associated with them, e.g. VeriSign (.COM/.NET), PIR (.ORG), Nominet (.UK) or Denic (.DE).

These registries charge a fee per domain to registrars, and that fee can vary considerably from one top-level domain extension to another. Ultimately, it is up to the registries how much they charge. This varies according to many factors, including their operational costs, whether they are community-driven organizations, or regulated by the government, for example.

Restrictions and exclusivity – Some organizations or registries that apply for domain extensions and that are successful in getting them delegated and launched intend for the domain extension (TLD) to be exclusive. They don't want just anyone to be able to use it. The TLD could be intended for a specific group, like a company, e.g. .BMW. Or a profession, like .ACCOUNTANT or .LAWYER. Or the TLD could be used to describe a specific product or service, like .APP.

To register domains with these TLDs, to promote exclusivity, often you have to meet certain criteria and be willing to pay a higher price.

Currency – we usually buy domains in the local currency of a country. Most European country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are in Euros, while others are not part of the Eurozone, e.g. Denmark uses Danish Krone, the Czech Registry uses Czech Koruna, so they can all be subject to currency fluctuations.

Support cost – some top-level domains have special registration procedures, for others you need to fulfill certain requirements for nameserver changes or WHOIS contact updates.

Some registries are quite small and not very automated, so managing their domains requires more work (and is why working with those domains can take more time). The world of country code domains is full of exceptional cases for which additional support costs must be factored into the yearly registration fee as well.

As you can see, there are a number of variables that influence the price for domains, and for some domains, several of these factors may be relevant. We believe transparency is important, so we hope this article has given you some insight into domain name pricing.

In some cases you may have registered a domain while it was on sale. However, domain renewals are always billed at regular price. This is why renewal can be more expensive than the registration price was.

If you have any additional questions, just let us know.

These articles may also be of interest with further details:

Why domain prices can vary among registrars

If you've been wondering about increasing domain prices