Can You Buy a Domain Name Forever (+What Are Your Options)?
You might want to buy a domain name for your new website but you don’t see an option to buy it permanently. The first question that comes to your mind is why you don’t see that option available.
So, can you buy a domain name forever? Typically you can’t buy a domain name forever and you need to keep renewing it. The maximum years of a domain name registration at once are 10 years. However, there are some registrars (domain retailers) that offer lifetime registration by handling the renewals for you.
Keep reading since in the next paragraphs I will explain why you can’t buy a domain name forever typically. I will also present the registrars that offer “lifetime” registrations and what are the benefits or disadvantages of this type of service.
Why You Can’t Buy a Domain Name Forever
When you purchase a domain from sites such as Godaddy, Namecheap (we call them registrars) you actually buy the right to use it and not the domain itself. It is some sort of license that you need to renew from time to time.
**Registrars are just the companies you interact with and the other 2 big players in the industry are the Registries (keep all the records) and the nonprofits or the government-related entities that oversee both registrars and registries. This format is used for most popular domain name extensions (like .com) but there are some exceptions too.
The policy of renting instead of buying a domain is in place for those reasons:
1.) Avoiding Abandoned Domains
When you navigate on the web you notice a lot of sites that don’t work or many domains with banners for sale. Their owners don’t do anything with those domains or their companies have bankrupted.
If domain registration for a lifetime was an option then many good keywords domains (even more than now) wouldn’t be in use. This is a problem since for good domains many people are willing to build a website or use them for professional emails.
Nowadays if someone can’t keep paying for a domain yearly cost eventually it will expire and potential buyers can register it. That way there will be a productive usage of this domain rather than remaining undeveloped forever.
Aside from that, we would have much more domain name registered meaning a potential increase in costs just to maintain so many unused domain names.
2.) Uncertainty For Future Costs
Registries and their overseeing organizations set up some fixed costs for each domain registrations. Registrars add their profit and they compete on a free market. The whole system might be different in decades from now and the costs can increase (probably they will).
It is difficult for a company to sell this kind of registration service for a lifetime since they can’t predict future prices.
Some Companies Offer Lifetime Domain Registration
We will discuss 2 registrars which offer this kind of service. The first one is Epik.com and they offer a service with the name “Forever Registration”. You can use that link if you are interested to use their service (** I take a commission if you make a purchase).
The process works like that: Epik renews the domain name for the maximum period (10 years for most domains) and then at the end of the year they renew for an additional 1 year.
That way the domain name is always registered for the maximum years allowed. You pay the initial fee and then you don’t need to bother for any future renewal. The advantage of this method is that you pay once and you don’t need to worry if your card or PayPal has enough money at any future day for your renewal.
You can check a screenshot of the proof here:
There is also another service available on Epik where you pay $888 dollars and they call it resilient. This service helps you to build a more secure site by avoiding the usual methods that hackers use and of course, you get the domain forever registration too.
Here is what they offer exactly with resilient:
Content Delivery Network
Unlimited VPNs for users
These prices look expensive to the average user but it seems there is interest for them. I believe enterprise clients have funds to invest in these services so they don’t bother with renewal and website security issues.
Let’s also check the terms and conditions for these services. If you decide to transfer the domain to another registrar, you don’t get a refund of the initial fee. Since most registrars don’t offer a similar product your domain will be valid for 9-10 years. After that period you need to renew it with your new registrar.
If you cancel your forever registration you don’t get a refund either. If you transfer the domain within Epik to another user then you pass him the forever registration product too.
Another registrar that offers a domain name forever is Network Solutions. *Disclaimer – there are many bad reviews for this company online
They offer 20 years and 100 years of domain registration! The terms and conditions are similar to Epik. If you transfer or cancel you don’t get a refund but you have the domain registered for the maximum years allowed.
Does it worth it to purchase a domain name “forever”? Well, it really depends on the individual and his needs. It is true that a lot of domains expire just because their owners are careless or they don’t have enough money on their card for the renewal.
Actually there is a whole industry and a lot of companies or individuals that they try to register these domains when they become available on the public.
How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Domain Name?
We will discuss and share tables here with the cost of the popular domain name extension in each of the big domain registrars. You can see here what is the yearly cost for each of the registrar.
These are the renewal prices since many companies offer cheaper prices for 1st year. We will mention those in the second table.
Here are the prices for 1st year only:
*Godaddy has some coupons (search on google) or even without coupons in some cases you can buy a .com with $0.99 or $2.99
Please consider that if you are European you will pay in more registrars and additional tax from your country which is called VAT. Typically is an addition of 15%-25% from the prices you currently see on the tables.
If you want to buy a free domain and quality hosting for your website check what I use in that post.