Help Keep Domain Prices in Check
Businesses want stability. They understand that domain prices increase over time but want predictability.
Imagine if next year you had to pay 10 times as much to renew your domain name as you paid this year. Based on an action proposed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), price caps could be removed on several top level domains, which could significantly increase the price of domains.
Find out what’s happening—and how to take action to stop this change before April 29.
Who Sets Domain Prices?
There are three parties involved when you register a domain name.
One is your domain name registrar, such as Namecheap.
When you register a domain name at Namecheap, we have to reserve the domain name through the domain name registry.
Think of the registrar as a domain name retailer and the registry as the wholesaler.
The wholesale registry charges Namecheap a set fee per domain name per year. Namecheap then adds a little markup to cover things like support, provisioning domain services, transaction fees, etc.
There’s a lot of competition for domain name registrars. This keeps prices that companies like Namecheap charge in check.
Domain registries, on the other hand, have little competition. Only one registry can sell .org domains. The same goes for .info, .com, .net, etc.
A third group has historically kept the prices the registries charge Namecheap and other registrars in check. ICANN includes a provision in its contracts with registries that limits what they can charge.
Now ICANN has proposed removing all price restrictions on .org, .biz and .info domain names!
This could have a major impact on how much you pay to renew your domain names and register new ones.
Sky-high .Org Prices Could Be Coming
ICANN’s current contract with Public Interest Registry (PIR), the group that runs the .org domain name, lets PIR increase the wholesale price of .org domains by 10% a year.
That’s a lot, but at least it’s capped.
Now ICANN is proposing extending the contract to operate .org but letting PIR set whatever prices it wants. Rather than a 10% increase to renew your domain next year, it could suddenly start charging registrars like Namecheap 100 times as much. Registrars would have no choice but to pass these charges on to customers.
This means that the price for the domain name you’ve been using for over a decade could shoot up. The registry has to tell the registrar six months in advance, but then they are free to charge whatever they want. Switching domains is hard, so you will have little option but to pay the higher prices.
ICANN has also proposed lifting price caps on .info and .biz domain names.
ICANN’s Bad Justification
ICANN has an interesting justification for why it wants to remove price controls.
In 2012, ICANN started accepting applications to operate “new“ top level domains. Any company could apply to create alternatives to .com on the right of the dot. That’s where domains like .guru, .money and .xyz came from.
The contracts for these new domains are different than for older domains. ICANN didn’t impose any price restrictions on the new domains. After all, the companies that applied for the domains put their own money at risk.
ICANN believes that the contracts to run older TLDs like .org should be the same as those for running new top level domain names. This ignores the long history of these legacy top level domain names and how the contracts to run the registries were awarded. Whereas new top level domain companies risked their own money to introduce new domains, the registries running .org, .biz, etc. are merely stewards for what should be considered a resource that belongs to the web.
What Can You Do?
ICANN is asking the Internet community for input on its proposal to remove price caps. You can make your voice heard.
If you want to make sure ICANN doesn’t let legacy top level domain operators increase prices to infinity, now is the time to act. There are open comment periods for ICANN’s proposed new contracts, but you need to take action by April 29, 2019.
You can leave your comment on each proposal here:
Because the layout of those pages is a bit confusing, this is where you would leave a comment:
Also, the Internet Commerce Association, a group that advocates on behalf of domain name owners, has created a simple form you can use to submit comments on the .org proposal. The form lets you select the concerns you have about the new .org proposal and easily submit them to ICANN.
Make your voice heard: tell ICANN to not remove its price limitations.
Please do not remove it
This price hike doesn’t really make any sense to me. The prices should be more affordable to users or people will lose interest in using different domains. I stand against this price hike and the step should never be established for the sake of the online users
I thought, the current .org domain name is very high. If selected, I will spend a little more to register and renew .com. I hope that .org will not raise prices in the future
One thing to note is that the same thing could easily happen to .com domains in the future. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons to speak up against this change now, because if it goes through, it sets a very dangerous precedent in the future.
Does the new contract remove the 10% price increase cap for renewals of existing .org registrations? If so, can you provide a link to language that states that?
Yes, it removes the cap on renewals in addition to new .org registrations. The only restriction is that the .org registry must give registrars advanced notice of price increases.
The language is in section 2.10(b) of this document: https://www.icann.org/sites/default/files/tlds/org/org-proposed-renewal-18mar19-en.pdf
This is awful!!! This is a gateway to entrepreneurship. No need to increase prices! Only if you want to inhibit opportunity and make the rich richer…
You’ve singled out PIR (who are a nonprofit) but they didn’t seem to ask for this change, and it’s not obvious that there’s reason to think they’ll start ripping off .org domain owners. They don’t mention it on their website at all. Have they indicated to you as their client that they’re considering an increase?
It’s a hypothetical, but it’s based on logical assumptions. According to the article The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains at CircleID (http://www.circleid.com/posts/20190423_spurious_justifications_for_eliminating_caps_on_legacy_domains/), “PIR, like managers of other cash cows, increase revenues not primarily by attracting new customers but by raising prices on their existing customers. If PIR raised renewal fees to $50, it could increase its revenues from $90 million per year to upwards of $500 million per year. This compares to ICANN’s annual operating budget of $140 million. Not all registrants would renew, but unless the rate of those failing to renew… Read more »
I checked with someone else on this topic and they told me: “We do not yet know what PIR’s plans are with regards to price increases. In recent years they have increased prices by 10%, the maximum allowed under their current contract.”
Can we get a form for the other two domain extensions? This seems like the most convenient way for most people to add their voices short of creating a petition.
Each of the extensions has a separate page with a comment opportunity, but it’s easy to miss. There’s a box at the top. I’ve added a screenshot to the post itself so it should be easier to find.
If in the last year we have more demand for .org domain, and the number raises up, Why prices will increase every year? This doesn’t make any sense to me.
Also, it doesn’t look very smart to raise up the prices like crazy for .org domains. Automatically it might pull out people from those renovations every year.
I think the applicable price is good and appropriate
I do not understand why the fees increase
There are non-profit organisations, in human-rights, environmental protection, health research, domestic violence prevention, and most of the global charitable sector, that rely on having a .org or .info name to qualify for philanthropic funding. Their costs are usually factored in, and any massive increase results in less help to the people that actually need it if this profiteering crapitalsm cap removal goes ahead.
How dare these scumbags profiteer of a public domain. Thank you NameCheap for doing the right thing and standing up for the rights of non-profit users. And f*** capitalism.
That would hit me hard as I’m from Australia and with the cost of the domain name plus currency rate that i pay more which would impact on me as a pensioner. If this cost of domain goes up then i have to find elsewhere for cheaper domain name with lower price which mean losing as a customer in namecheap!!
Please don’t push the price up and is ridiculous for those international people that can get hit with currency rate plus the cost of domain name.
When I click to submit a comment, I’m taken to the next page, where I have to click again, but doing so makes my computer try to open up my mail program. I don’t do email that way, as I have only a web-based service for email. So I wasn’t able to comment.
I’ve heard that some people have had issues with the comment process. Thanks for trying. You might give it another try today, perhaps in a different browser, to see if it works out.
IF we extend the registration for our .info and .org domains, right now, for the longest allowable period will that circumvent the price increase for those domains?
Either way, I will send a comment to the links in the article.
Thanks for the heads-up.
If you pre-pay for several years, you can lock in lower prices, but the increases (if any) would impact you when you again had to renew.
Honestly great comment. I will do exactly that and suggest more people to look into this option, they are trying to step on us to lay their hands on what we currently own by discriminating those who are not able to pay those numbers, your comment is a smart solution if valid.
Please do not remove it
This is absolute nonsense! They can’t just increase the price however they want. This is no difference than robbing the owner of the ORG domain if they ever want the domain back by increasing the price by 100 times to forcibly rob the ORG domain off of us!
A monthly 10% increase is already absurd. The stock market, which tracks the broader economy by design, increases at a 10% annual rate. What possibly justification can they have for increasing operating costs by 10% on a monthly basis?! Now they want it uncapped. Unbelievable. In fact, the overall economy increases by roughly 2-3% on a yearly basis (“underperformers” are simply removed and replaced from the stock market), so again, even a 10% yearly increase in costs is questionable. Lobbyist’s salaries are well earned, is all I can say. This strikes me as a devious way to set a precedent… Read more »
Please I want to know why the .com is cheaper than .net and .org, and hope the .com will not rise higher in future as I have already bought .com site here. Thanks
Each top level domain (or domain extension) has a slightly different pricing structure due to how the registries work. For more information, check out our article “Who Controls the Price of .Com Domain Names?“
Please do not remove it
Any updates on this? I appreciate that namecheap sent an email to customers about this issue!
I don’t think there’s anything new to report yet, but if and when I hear something I’ll be sure to post an update.
I think the report is out, what is the decision?
Apologies for the delay in responding. We have an update at https://www.namecheap.com/blog/ensuring-icann-keep-domain-prices-in-check/
Please do not remove it
Please if i add a domain i want to buy in cart and didn’t meet up in time to purchase it, how many days/hours with the domain be in chart.
If the domain is no longer in your cart, you should be able to try purchasing it again (assuming, of course, no one else has registered it in the meantime – unlikely but possible). If you need assistance, feel free to reach out to our Customer Support team.