When new top-level domain extensions (TLDs) were introduced in 2014, it was decided by ICANN (the not-for-profit organization that oversees the domain name system), that the operators of these new domain extensions (the registries) would be allowed to set different prices for different domains in the same extension.
That’s different from how things worked before the advent of all these new TLDs when all domains were the same price as each other within each extension. For example, apple.com or chicago.com has always been the exact same price to register and renew as a less desirable domain like hjhsdi678hg.com was.
As a result of the ICANN decision to allow variable pricing, the registries that operate the various new domain extensions like .club, .blog, .xyz, etc. were free to determine both which domains should have different prices, and also what those prices should be.
We refer to these as “tiered price” domains at Hover, and we just launched support for registering and renewing these differently priced domains. Adding tiered price domains to Hover adds millions and millions more available, high quality domains to our search results.
There are both "premium" tiered price domains available for registration at a higher price than usual, as well as domains that are less expensive than usual.
For example, the registry for .shop has decided that a cycling.shop is inherently more valuable than something like bobscycling.shop. Currently, cycling.shop costs $6,199.99 to register at Hover while a regular .shop domain is about $40.
On the other side of the equation is the .xyz registry which has priced all 1.111 billion .xyz domains that are 6-8 numeric digits (like 19891213.xyz) at a far lower price than the rest of the domains in .xyz in an effort to try to sell more of these otherwise fairly uninteresting domains for purposes like representing things like dates or even serial numbers.
New vs. Renew Prices
An additional and very important difference in tiered price domains is that in many cases, not only is the domain registration priced higher by the registry, but the renewal might also be priced higher. Depending on the registry and how they’ve decided to price their domains, you may pay $1,500 for the registration of a specific valuable domain, and it could also cost $1,500 to renew it each year.
This is a fairly significant change from how things worked since the start of commercial domain registrations.
How Tiered Price Domains Show Up at Hover
At Hover, we paid special attention to how we show these domains and designed things to be as clear as possible about the renewal price for these special tiered price domains. We believe that you should know what you will pay both for the new registration and also for renewals in order to make an informed decision prior to any purchase.
You’ll see we flag these domains with a blue star and call them out as being tiered price domains. In addition to the star and tiered price designation, we also show you the renewal price in our domain search results and in the shopping cart when you checkout.
You can see an example of how these domains show up in search results here: https://www.hover.com/domains/results?q=famous
Whether you have a tiered price domain or now, you’ll see some new information on the domain detail page in the Control Panel that tells you what the registration type for your domains is (either regular or tiered price) and also the renewal cost. We added the renewal price for all domains to our renewal reminder emails last year.
All of this means that there shouldn’t be any surprises about the cost of the domain or the renewal of that domain either before, during or after you decide whether to purchase one of these domains.
Are These Domains a Good Buy?
At this point you might be asking yourself whether you should you buy one of these domains. As with everything you buy, it’s up to you to determine if you think the domain is worth the price being charged. In other words, is it a good value for the money.
It’s possible that one of these higher priced domains is the perfect domain for your idea or business. With that in mind, it might be worth the price you’ll pay.
Or maybe something that is standard priced in a different extension would serve you just as well, and at a far lower cost both at the time of purchase and also down the road when it comes time to renew.
Either way, remember that the price for the domain is set by the registry. Of course, as we do with all domains, Hover adds it’s own markup to arrive at a final price. That markup is where we make our money in order to run our business and provide you with services like a control panel to manage your domain, DNS, customer support and WHOIS privacy.
It’s About Choice
Whether you see the value in a specific domain name or not, we’re all about choice at Hover and we are focussed on helping you find the perfect domain for your idea, business, project or passion.
With the addition of tiered price domains, Hover now offers millions and millions more short, memorable and other high quality domains across many different TLDs and at many different price points. If you include .xyz’s lower-priced domains, it’s actually well over a billion more domains.
Try a domain search using some common words, names, cities, etc. and you’ll likely see some of these tiered price domains in your search results along with prices for new registrations and renewals.