Editorial : Stop bitching about .com raising prices when you praise its role

It’s November, and time for another DomainGang editorial.

Domain investors – individuals with more than 1 domain under their belt – are up in arms, following the news that Verisign will have free rein to increase prices.

During its upcoming six year contract renewal, a 7% increase per annum will be allowed, for four of these years.

That means, a few bucks more per domain, and we’re about to enter two digit territory – again.

Many newbies in domain investing don’t recall the .com prices of 20+ years ago. Most of us had to pay $100 dollars up front, for two years of .com registrations. An outrageous tax of $15 bucks was removed, bringing prices down to $70 for two year periods.

Eventually, the registrar monopoly of Network Solutions broke and by 1999 prices were dropping fast. Register.com and GoDaddy revolutionized the market, and domain prices became affordable for the masses.

We are now at an era where hundreds of new gTLDs are available to register, some at prices competitive to the almighty .com.

Verisign’s price increases are taking advantage of the TLD’s inherent recognition and popularity, and this is creating uneasiness among those with large domain portfolios.

For a few dozen domains, the price increase hardly breaks the bank, but for thousands of domain names the price increase creates additional operational costs.

The truth is that new gTLDs can, and have been used as .com substitutes, very successfully. Think about it: ccTLD use in Europe often beats that of .com, as far as public awareness is concerned.

In the US, the .com has become almost like a national ccTLD, despite the existence of .US for that purpose. This isn’t to say that .com isn’t the best choice overall, but complaining about a price increase when dumping down the available alternate options, is counter-productive.

Passive holding of domain portfolios is the issue here; when one develops dozens or hundreds of domain names into money-making businesses, the Verisign price increase of .com domains will hardly be noticed.

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