Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Long Term View

Over the past week I spent some time evaluating my domain portfolio, and deciding which names I wanted to invest in for a longer time horizon. My main reason for doing that is I expected a significant and irreversible price increase in a few of the extensions in my portfolio based on this information from Kevin Murphy. I had alerted others through NamePros to the anticipated price increase in case they wanted to register new names or extend registrations.  My main registrar (Namecheap) had for some time offered great 5 year renewal rates on a number of extensions, although as of Aug 20, 2018 they are gone due to changes in the management of the former Famous Four registries.

Why Register for Multiple Years

I think it is accurate to say that many domain investors generally only register domains one year at a time.  Naturally, being optimistic, most hope to sell their names quickly, and registering a domain name for multiple years could be seen as either negative thinking (It won't sell in year one) or wasteful (I sold it so those extra years were of no value for me).  I don't agree.  Let us consider some of the reasons you should consider multiple-year renewals on domain names in your portfolio.
  1. You lock in future costs at known rates.  
  2. You take advantage of promotions and savings. 
  3. With the luxury of future years registrations prepaid, you will be more confident in asking good prices.
  4. The additional years will make your domain names more valuable to potential end users, and give them more confidence about long term costs.
  5. Deciding which names warrant renewal for multiple years will force you to critically evaluate your portfolio and emphasize quality over quantity. 
  6. The long term approach saves you time that can be put into other domain portfolio priorities.
While reasons (1) and (2) were the dominant ones for my recent renewals (and a couple of new multi-year registrations), really all of these factors played a role. My pricing is always value oriented,  but I now feel more confident asking reasonable prices for quality domains (3). I think uncertainty in future renewal prices has made some end users leery of new domain extensions, and purchasing a domain name with multiple future years of registration prepaid does add value for the new owner (4). It is a good feeling that I have a longer term window to set up attractive sales pages for the domains, and to facilitate getting offers.

It was also a good exercise for me over the past week to literally look at almost every domain name I hold and rank them in categories of definitely hold for multiple years, possibly hold for an extended period, or definitely keep only a single year if no interest. For a few domain names I am currently undecided, and that prioritizes where future research is needed. As I limit my entire domain liability, I had specified a total amount I had available to spend, and the exercise of forced me to prioritize which domain names to focus on.

Concluding Remarks

I offer the following points in conclusion.
  • Following authoritative news from the domain field will be financially beneficial at times.  Had I not read Kevin's posts, I would not have known about the impending price increases, as my registrar did not inform me. This is one reason to be on social media and  to read NamePros regularly.
  • Your domain portfolio business plan should have at least a several year time horizon both for both costs and projected revenue. Renewal costs are a major part of the overall plan.
  • It is better to focus on fewer names of higher quality, and over extended periods, rather than a lot of domains you only plan to hold one year. 
  • Note I am not saying you should always register for multiple years. It is often a good move to test drive a domain name for a year, see if you get any inquiries, and then review whether you want to keep it. 
  • I wish that registrars and registries more frequently offered multi-year discounts. I think the stability would be good both for the industry and for domain name investors.  I was encouraged to see this week that Namecheap now has a 3 years of the .online extension promotion (see  if it is still on should it be of interest to you). 
  • Always shop around for the best renewal prices using a tool like TLD-list.  Remember that it may not show all multiple year discounts though, so also do your research and  be alert to time limited promotions.  If your main registrars have blogs read them, and use social media and online domain communities to stay up to date.
  • Your business plan and personal branding statement should make it clear which domain names are congruent with your operation and you should make  sure that  your long term acquisitions in particular are a good fit.
Many of the points mentioned here are congruent with the overall advice to domain investors I offered in an earlier post.  One good place to learn about promotions is NamePros - if not already a member, you should be!

By having some of your domains registered for five years in the future, it will help you keep going during down times, knowing that you are in this for the long run.  I guess that is me!


In case you are wondering what I decided to renew for 5 additional years, most were science extension single words and acronyms that I think will be more important in a few years compared to now.  I also have  registered for 5 to 10 years a few that I have development plans, including my main domain website I forget who told  me this, but it is good advice to focus on those domain names that you would develop if you had  time.  This tells  you two things: it is a topic with current interest (so development is worthwhile) and that you have expertise in that niche (we sell best what we know best).


Original post Aug 21, 2018.

Disclosure: I have no association with any of the companies or individuals mentioned in this post, except that I have a number (somewhat over 50% currently) of my portfolio of domain names registered at Namecheap, and I am a member of their affiliate program.  I also have domain names registered at Alpnames, NameSilo, CanReg, GoDaddy and Web Hosting Canada.

Fine Print

This post is offered for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered domain name investment advice. While an attempt has been made to be accurate, there is no implied or explicit warranty, and you are responsible for verifying any information of importance to you. You also accept full responsibility for any domain investing decisions you may make that use data from this post.

I try to be fair, balanced and objective in my analysis.  If you feel this post does not meet that standard, please express your concerns to me.  

In a very few cases there may be affiliate links on this blog. This means I receive a small amount if users visit or make purchases via the link. You do not pay any additional charge due to using an affiliate link, and in some cases your cost will be below the normal price. I receive no identifying information about who clicks, or does not click, any link. I never accept compensation to provide favourable review of any particular service or product.

The text of this posting is ©R Hawkes, all rights reserved. However, you may, without permission, use reasonable length portions of the post as long as a link to this post is also provided. If you wish to use the complete contents of a post, please request permission. I am normally open to reprinting, but will consider each request individually. 

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