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Revealed: Hidden costs you may get from super cheap domains

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If this is your first time, your first task is to choose and register your domain name with one of the many available domain registrars on the internet. Research the service provider and the offered deal in detail then click purchase – that’s how simple it should be.

But not always.

Not when you get unlucky and purchased from a “cheap” domain registrar.

May registrars offer domains for as low as 99 cents that come with nasty hidden costs later on. The most common victims are – you got it, first-timers. To help you make an informed decision and avoid expensive headache in the future, we will provide you with 5 of the most common “tactics” used by cheap registrars.

Hidden Fees

The most common complaint of users when they register is the billing and renewal costs used by domain registrars.

Both the “auto-renew” and “transfer out” feature are nasty culprits. You may discover that your registrar charges extra for not selecting their auto-renew option. You must have the capability to control whether you want this feature and your registrar must be transparent about auto-renewal options as well as other fees.

If you choose to transfer your domain name to another registrar, your current registrar may sometimes charge a fee of which can be two or three times what the original domain cost. Many registrars know that most users do not read the long, dense fine print in their Terms of Service wherein these unscrupulous conditions are hidden.

Initial Discounts

After the first-year discount for a domain name purchase, registrars may assault you with a much higher domain name renewal. The fine print of some registrar’s contracts can lock you in for two or more years, with the second-plus year prices increasing harshly. Multi-year contracts can be advantageous if that is the direction you want, but ensure that you know what you’re getting into before committing.

Registrars employ this tactic to recoup the costs of the discounted first-year. In some cases, there typically is a no-refund policy attached to the contract. This makes reading the fine print a must.


Domain registrars often reel people with a simple offer: purchase a cheap domain just three simple steps, then try to upsell a plethora of different services and features. In reality, you don’t need to purchase hosting and a domain from the same provider. It’s your call so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just do your homework to ensure that the services are priced fairly before handing over those credit card digits.

WHOIS Privacy

WHOIS is an online public database used to look up contact information regarding an individual, business or organization with a domain. All new domain must be registered with WHOIS, which is necessary for you to provide before your domain is officially registered. 

You will probably want to keep this information private since having an open registration system where anyone can see your home address is a major privacy hit

In any case, most domain registrars do offer privacy protection, but many of them charge as much as $10 to $20 per year for this basic feature. ICANN also mandates a 60-day lock anytime you update your domain records. This is designed to cut down on domain theft and fraud.

But what if you have multiple websites or you want to transfer ownership of your domain even though you have updated it recently? Many domain registrars cannot help you.

At providers like Crazy Domains, you can easily register domain name without the arbitrary restrictions. You have the option to opt out of this lock so you can always manage your domain.

Of course, not all domain registrars are out to cheat you. You don’t need to fear being cheated or pull out from your dream website. The goal is to educate you on the red flags to be vigilant as you research on domain registrars. With this in mind, we hope you find the best one for your new domain.


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