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.
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice. Kerravala provides research and advice to the following constituents: End user IT and network managers, vendors of IT hardware, software and services and the financial community looking to invest in the companies that he covers.
Kerravala does research through a mix of end user and channel interviews, surveys of IT buyers, investor interviews as well as briefings from the IT vendor community. This gives Kerravala a 360 degree view of the technologies he covers from buyers of technology, investors, resellers and manufacturers.
Kerravala uses the traditional on line and email distribution channel for the research but heavily augments opinion and insight through social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. Kerravala is also heavily quoted in business press and the technology press and is a regular speaker at events such as Interop and Enterprise Connect.
Prior to ZK Research, Zeus Kerravala spent 10 years as an analyst at Yankee Group. He joined Yankee Group in March of 2001 as a Director and left Yankee Group as a Senior Vice President and Distinguished Research Fellow, the firms most senior research analyst. Before Yankee Group, Kerravala had a number of technical roles including a senior technical position at Greenwich Technology Partners (GTP) where he worked with Johna Til Johnson, the founder of Nemertes Research. Prior to GTP, Kerravala had numerous internal IT positions including VP of IT and Deputy CIO of Ferris, Baker Watts and Senior Project Manager at Alex. Brown and Sons, Incorporated.
Kerravala holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.