You would think something like registering domain names would be one part of our industry that’s relatively controversy free – but not so. In November, Verisign’s contract to operate .com was renewed, but it didn’t go as smoothly as you might expect. As part of the renewal agreement, Verisign requested the right to four price increases – up to 7 percent each - of .com over the six year contract term. These increases would have taken the price from the current $7.85 to $10.29, assuming all four were implemented at 7 percent. The price increases are relatively modest considering Verisign needs to beef up the infrastructure to meet the growing performance and scalability requirements of .com. Additionally there are additional enhancements needed such as DNSSEC and IPv6. All things considered, 7 percent seems like a reasonable increase. However, the US Department of Commerce intervened and froze the price of .com basically because there was a feeling that those price increases were too high.
Recently though, Public Interest Registry (PIR), the official manager of .org, announced a price increase from $7.70 to $8.25 as of July of 2013 and nothing was said about it. This got me thinking about the value of .com. Addressing the .org versus .com issue, .org has historically been associated with organizations and non-profits, so I think there’s less “outrage” if you will for the .org price increase since it seems to have this association to charities and things that are good for society. I’m not buying that. If the government is choosing to freeze .com at $7.85 then I’m not sure why .org isn’t held to the same standard?
Moreover, if you look at the relative cost of .com in comparison to some of the other top level domains, it’s still arguably the best value, especially when you consider that the .com infrastructure is very stable and secure.
More than anything though, I think .com has value in that it legitimizes a company. I’m a small business myself and I could have used any one of those above domain extensions, but I chose zkresearch.com because I felt that gave my business more legitimacy. The majority of companies that choose one of the alternative domain extensions often need to secure a .com as well, so why not just find a .com that works? Also, most of the .com registrars make one stop shopping very easy. There are several vendors you can choose from: GoDaddy, Tucows, 1 & 1 Internet and Directi. However I used PowWeb to register my domain name because they provide a full menu of anything I might need as a small business: Domain registration, hosting services, e-mail, advertising and more making it a great value for my money. Plus it’s a single transaction, not multiple ones.
I’m not sure why there’s so much hoopla around the .com price increase. From where I sit, as both an analyst and a small business owner, it’s great value for the money and really the best choice for any company, small or large.