Almost all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are unregulated, and their prices have been rising at an alarming rate. In 2020,
.org was almost sold to the private equity firm Ethos Capital after ICANN eliminated price caps on domains. Ultimately, ICANN blocked the sale after a significant amount of public opposition.
The fate of
.com wasn’t as fortunate. Verisign struck a deal with ICANN to raise the wholesale price of
.com domain names by 7% every year for four years, with a two-year break, indefinitely. The agreement happened after Verisign agreed to pay ICANN $20 million. Verisign is expected to increase its revenue by $800 million over ten years, growing its annual revenue from $1.1 billion to almost $2 billion by 2029.
The new price increase for
.com domain names begin on August 31, 2021, at 9:00 PM Pacific (September 1, 2021, at 4:00 UTC). Popular registrars, like Gandi, are being forced to notify customers of the price increase, which is becoming a regular occurrence for many popular gTLDs.
The best way to lock in domain name prices is to register domains for several years in advance. Most registrars allow registrants to register a domain for up to ten years, which locks in the price for that time period. Additionally, another way to save money is to register a domain with Cloudflare Registrar. Cloudflare allows customers to register at wholesale costs (no markup), but the list of supported gTLDs is limited.