One of the cloud services leading us into the future is undoubtedly Cloudflare. I host my DNS with them, though I’m still not sure it’s working as it should, since I’m using their free service to help mitigate any DDoS attacks that might happen. Along with this service comes a free SSL, though there is a paid version. Since I’m a customer, albeit a freebie whore of sorts, I’m happy that the recently announced addition of the Cloudflare Domain Registrar service, and I’ll tell you why.
In the beginning, there was Network Solutions, who charged huge amounts of cash to register a .com, .org, or .net. domain. I believe my first domain cost around $35 per year to register, and there were no discounts. When they opened the system, I was ecstatic to learn I could transfer my current domain to, and buy new domains from, a much cheaper registrar, so I did. To this day I won’t go back to Network Solutions.
Presently, I have about 10 domains, down from around 20 or 25 at my most active. Each one has, or had, a purpose, and I just can’t give them up. It’s gotten really expensive. I presently have domains through two registrars. One is Godaddy and the other is an off brand reseller account I use simply because I get a paid for each domain renewal and I eventually garner enough to register/renew a domain essentially free. Like everything else, some things are cheaper with one than the other. It certainly isn’t a great setup, but it works for now.
Cloudflare’s new offerings take me back to a time of “discounted” and “cheap” domains, for the life of the domain. They promise only to charge what it costs them to register a domain, and not a lot of fees. Let’s break it down some.
Currently, for a .com, Godaddy charges $2.99 USD for the first year registration, then $14.99 USD plus an $.18 USD every year after that. Cloudflare says that the current cost of a .com is $7.89 plus an $.18 ICANN fee, for a total of $8.03 USD. That means that Godaddy is charging a little over $7 USD in fees per year, after the first year. Ouch! Honestly, that’s pretty much free money they get to throw at advertising, and it’s getting really pricey for me.
When it’s available.
Current customers, even the free ones, can signup on their website for early access, and only domain transfers will be offered at first. When you signup, you get assigned into a “wave” and will be notified when your wave will come up. They offer an earlier wave for a $1 donation to “Girls Who Code,” and I highly recommend it. I’m currently in wave #3 that is set for late October.
I’m cautiously optimistic, but competition is a good thing. We’ve seen similar attempts to offer “at cost” domain registrars, and they have all seemed to eventually fall into line like the rest. I’ll be transferring my more expensive domains over first, then the “cheaper” ones if all goes well. I’ve been wanting to unify where my domains are registered, and this just might be the answer!
Maybe more later…