As I mentioned, I can’t really recall why and how, but I found myself searching for domain names yesterday. I noticed hasit.in domain name was available for Rs. 400 for a year (<$6) on Crazydomains.in and 10-year cost was approximately Rs. 2200 (~$30). I checked out a few other websites as well just to ensure the domain is indeed available.
There are at least hundreds of websites out there that sell domain names if not thousands. I wasn’t sure which one to choose. So, I went to ICANN website and checked the list of accredited registrars. ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit organization with the motto of “One World. One Internet”.
There were 60+ registrars based out of India, most redirecting to bigrock.in. Other than BigRock, I checked the major ones (based out of other countries as well) to see if they do sell “.in” domain. Most didn’t. e.g. domain.com only sells .com and .net.
In search of an accredited registrar, I found out that INRegistry is responsible for managing .in TLD (top-level domain). On INRegistry, I came across this offer and seemed it was taking Rs. 1750 for 10-years from registrars (as cost of running and maintaining authoritative DNS). This list contained accredited registrars, it helped me prune out the costly ones. On a side note, I found out that I could have gotten free “.in” for a year had I booked before January 31. But, renewal fees can change with time, so buying it for 10-years made more sense. All I was losing was the interest I could have earned on that money by giving it upfront, I don’t mind that.
After going through 10s of websites, I concluded Crazydomains is the one with the least price of Rs 2200. I could have (and maybe should have) bought it from there, but I chose to buy from a small Indian registrar website, not offering any complementary “.online” domain for a year, “free 3 months of website builder” and stuff. As per my spidey sense, all these gimmicks are usually just set up for future charges and issues.
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch
Hence, I chose a smaller minimal website, godil written in JSP that accepts UPI and doesn’t ask for a credit card that they can charge in future as well. It provided me with the domain for Rs. 2000 + 360 (18% GST). And that’s how I registered my domain “hasit. in” for ~$30.
Now, this may bring you some questions in your mind:
Why does each registrar charge different amounts for the same domain name?
Registrars are free to charge as much as they want (depending on how much the client is willing to pay).
Does ICANN or INRegistry charge anything? Or does all money go to the registrar?
As mentioned above, usually registries owning authoritative servers do charge a fixed amount to registrars.
How can some websites provide free domain names to users?
The answer is the same as, “why do companies give promotions, discounts or sign-up credits?”. They eventually recover that minimal amount (4 to 10 dollars) from other services.
Registering a domain is just the start of all future costs to come. The monthly cost of running/hosting servers, getting an SSL certificate, website builder/planner services, email services related to the domain and many more.
Some websites don’t let you update your SSL certificate, and you have no choice but to buy it from them (usually at a much higher cost). Some websites rely on the recurring renewal fees from the next year. So, do keep these things in mind before selecting which registrar/website you’re choosing to register your domain.
What are the ways to register a domain?
Through registrars (please prefer accredited ones)
For most TLDs, registrars provide 30days to the previous owner to revive the expired domain. If it has expired, you may need to bid for it on auctions like ExpiredDomains. If not, you need to wait for it to be deleted and buy it again; the catch being nobody buys it before you! Believe me, some websites just track in-links to the website and buy it so they can sell it at a higher price.
Expiring soon domain
You can renew the domain in 30days advance to avoid hassles.
- Backorder: backorder services keep a watch on the website you have entered and will let you know when it’s available again.
- Agent: Agent would connect with the real owner, and based on the quote you offered, the person may transfer the account to you. These people are brokers and negotiate on your behalf to buy that domain name from the current domain owner. e.g. Domain Agents
Can’t you have your own DNS server?
You certainly can, but it isn’t advisable. Why you might ask? Can you start referring to your home as “Taj Mahal”? Yes. Will people understand what you mean when you say “Taj Mahal” has got a pest issue? Most likely not. But if running your own DNS server just for learning purpose seems interesting to you, Run your own DNS might be a good start.
On the last note, if you still aren’t very sure about what DNS does or how it works, do check out How DNS Works comic, it is by far the best explanation of DNS without any technical jargon.
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