As often as I talk about online businesses and making them work for you, a big foundational part of it is buying domain names and I just don’t talk about it enough, until today. I want to help anyone who is buying websites know what the best places are. Because you may be overspending $1,000’s without even knowing it…
Your domain name is both a small and big part of your business or just a personal blog. Small because its cheap to buy and is a quick process (Generally a domain name can be purchased right away but to set it up may take a few days) but big because in time it can become a big name by which customers and readers recognize you by.
When it comes to buying domain names, 2 big places stick out:
Namecheap and Godaddy.
For many years, I have purchased all of my domains from Godaddy and while the prices there were a little bit more expensive than for Namecheap, the customer service support Godaddy provided me made it more valuable for me. However, in the past week I changed my mind and found something even better:
The company I work with called Wealthy Affiliate has also entered the domain registrar world and what they are doing right now may save people A LOT of money and really help them out. They call it Site Domains.
Basically with it, there are no up-sells, you buy a domain for one low price, it doesn’t rise when you renew it, and you get added bonuses which normally cost extra on other registrars.
But before I fully explain what they’ve done (see below if you’re in a hurry), I want to “warn” anyone who is buying domains of what to expect because the prices and tricks registrars use are often not known about and people who do know about them can’t do much to fix it since the only way to purchase domain names was through big places like the ones I mentioned and there’s a lot of information on the internet that is in my opinion extremely one sided. There’s at least 4 sources I read from, even very popular blogs, which recommended buying domain names and added up-sells for $1,000’s.
I can see their point but maybe what they recommend only applies to people who want to start something big very fast. Either way, even for those types of people, start ups, people looking to make the “next big thing”, I wouldn’t even start there.
Just buy a regular domain name for a small price, start your business or blog, see where it goes and then decide if adding more things is necessary (more space, other themes, extra features, ect…) I know from experience that you don’t need all that stuff to have a fully functional, high paying website. And if it fails, well at least you didn’t throw in so much money up front!
So what’s the cheapest place to buy domain names?
If it’s JUST a domain name, Namecheap without a doubt offers the best prices. However, do note the word JUST I used because if you’ve never purchased a domain name before, you’re going to be very confused and surprised that when you buy any domain name, that is not the only option or purchase you’ll be offered…
It’s NEVER just a “domain name” you’re buying. You will be hit with up-sells!
Privacy, website protection, website “tools”, “upgrades”, special templates available for your website, credits for advertising (well those are usually included with purchase), ect… and other miscellaneous up-sells are going to come your way and if you’re not careful, a website you were looking for buy for say $10 a year is going to rise and add some extra digits to that original $10.
This is because while you’re going through the check out in many registrars, some of them will automatically try to get you to sign up your domain for several years and in some cases throw in extra up-sells to give you an impression that it’s needed.
In my experience, you don’t need most of the up-sells despite the clever names they put on them. When people see protection or SEO tools, they think they’ll need it, but I don’t believe it and I’ve survived without it.
What you do need in every case and at the very least are:
A domain name and HOSTING for that domain name.
That will get your website started. While prices for domain names start around $10 and rise a little bit every year (unless you pre-buy for several years in advance), you’re going to see a steady climb and for hosting?
Same thing. They start around $5-$10 a month and many places also offer bulk plans where you can put multiple domain names on one hosting. Definitely saves a lot of money but when looking for cheap places, understand that you’ll at least need to buy the 2 things (domain and hosting).
I personally go further and include “privacy” on my website which basically protects my information from people looking it up. Yes it is true that if you don’t add privacy to your website, your information can be found online through your websites and this can lead to marketing companies using that information to possibly solicit you for many different things, most notably business packages to “help” that website gain traffic and money but in most cases (well just about every) they are all scams. Privacy for me costs about $9 every year.
I don’t host all of domains on one area (I will in the future), but for 1 domain, 1 hosting account for that domain and privacy, I will spend about $10 for the domain (with a rise coming every year after that), $5/month for hosting and $9 a year for the privacy so in total, the first year I will spend about $69-$100.
That’s actually VERY, very cheap considering I dodge most of the up-sell thrown at me, otherwise, it would be $100’s. So just know that the front end price you see on domain registrars is far from the end price you WILL have to pay when you see what the total is, but you DO have a choice in what the final price is.
What purposes do you need your domain for? Your answer will affect the pricing.
If you’re just a blogger who wants to share whatever content you want on the internet, with friends, on social networks and have no interest in monetizing the site, buy only the essentials: Domain, hosting and privacy (optional). You really don’t need anything else. In fact, you can also go to several free blog websites and start one there for literally nothing. The only problem is that whatever name you create will be a properly of the free blog website so if you want to own your own blog, do the first thing and buy a domain with the other parts included.
Want to start a business? I don’t care how small or big it is and I may get a lot of backlash from “pros” for saying this, but I also endorse only buying the essential things I wrote. I don’t ever endorse people pay tons of money to have “professionals” help them get their websites going because I am very experienced with this world and I can tell you, most people don’t know what they’re doing or recommending, but they are still over charging.
One thing you need to know is that it’s better for YOU to learn how to make your business successful than pay others to do it, because trust me, you will end up overpaying. It’s far better to learn it on your own and save yourself a lot of money and be fully dependent on yourself. I’ve seen people lose it all by depending on “experts”.
So what about that revolutionary thing Wealthy Affiliate did for domains?
If you’re on my side when it comes to saving money on domains and you’re someone who is interested in starting a business whether you’re a blogger or actual business owner (or even someone who isn’t either), but just wants to make money, Wealthy Affiliate has done something really amazing.
Originally this program was and still is an online business education program where regular people go to learn how to make their websites succeed. But now in addition to doing that, they are also becoming a place where you can buy domains. As I said before, it’s called Site Domains and you can think of it as another major domain registrar.
Now the difference between buying domains at Wealthy Affiliate vs the other places is that it’s going to MUCH cheaper. ALL those up-sells I said you should be careful with when buying domains are INCLUDED when you buy a .com.
Privacy, hosting, security and added perks are all included when you buy domains there. And remember how each year prices for domain renewals rise with other registrars?
Well they don’t do that here with Wealthy Affiliate, it stays the same from the first year you buy it until whatever year you decide to renew it. 1, 5, 10, 50 years, it doesn’t matter.
Here is a quick pricing comparison vs Godaddy and Namecheap:
The only thing you get charged for $1 more is for the actual domain. But you should already know you can’t have a functioning website on just a domain, you need more and that’s where other places get you to spend more. In WA you pay once and that’s it. The rest is included.
How to get the most from Site Domains:
First I recommend you read the full article on Site Domains benefits. Then if you want, you will be able to join Wealthy Affiliate from that page there and begin to register your first domain name.
As an added benefit which can really make the BIGGEST difference to your site if you want to turn it into a business, you can also use the training at Wealthy Affiliate to do that. They will give you a lot of lessons on this.
If you have any questions on Site Domains by Wealthy Affiliate, let me know!