It’s no secret. Most companies are being forced to look at every aspect of their business and identify ways to save money – both now and longer term. For domains, this might seem easy. Go to the lowest cost registrar, transfer all of your domains, and call it a day. While on the surface this seems like a natural solution, as with most things in life, it isn’t that simple. There are a number of critical questions to ask.
Do You Need All of the Domains in Your Portfolio?
Many companies have hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of domain names that have been registered over the years that no longer have any relevance to their brands and pose no threat if set to lapse. Brandsight’s Elisa Cooper recently touched on this in her blog post, ‘Practical Pointers for Paring Portfolios’. Elisa’s post provides a step-by-step guide on how to evaluate domains for their relevancy and safely making the decision to let them go. Taking a critical look at your domain name assets can be an instant cost savings. The Brandsight Platform was designed to help our clients make these decisions.
Are You Comparing Apples to Apples?
Not all registrars are created equal. While at the core, the function of renewing domain names is constant, the value of a provider is in their security, service and technology. Each of these three points have their own cost implications.
Security: Does your registrar offer security features such as Registry Lock, Single Sign On and Two Factor Authentication? How is access to the account controlled? Does each person in the organization have their own login and password? The answers to these questions directly influence the safety of your online presence. The cost for not having these features is insurmountable given the possibility of a highly-trafficked website going down due to unauthorized access to your account.
Service: How much is your registrar willing to support you on a day-to-day basis? Will they handle your transfers? Will they update zone records on your behalf? Do they provide the type of strategy to help launch brands? When you do the math, the cost of one hour of your time is expensive. A good registrar will take away much of the burden that comes with running a domain name program, freeing up that time to focus on other projects. It is a simple time ROI and when compared with the service level that Brandsight offers, you’ll come out on top more often than not.
Technology: What type of data is your registrar giving you? Are they able to provide the current DNS record? How about all of your SSL information? Can they regularly update you on whether your domain is resolving and to where? I’m not talking about a spreadsheet. Are you able to access a platform that provides updated data on a regular basis? When we’re talking about making domain decisions such as lapsing domains or divesting them, it is crucial to have all the facts to avoid letting a high-profile domain go.
Have You Analyzed Total Domain Spend?
The domain name annual fee is just the start to understanding what your program is going to cost on an annual basis. There are plenty of ancillary fees that go into the total price. Things like DNS, local presence, registry lock, DNS modifications, Whois modifications and more vary wildly from registrar to registrar. When I look at a domain portfolio, I can usually identify several areas where fees outside of the domain cost are inflating the cost of doing business over twelve months by 50%. You have to look at everything to understand what the true costs really are.
So, when you’re looking at cutting costs around your domains, look a little deeper than what you think is necessary. Take into consideration whether domain names can be pared, the level of service you need and require, and what the true cost of managing the portfolio is beyond just domain renewal fees. When you look a little deeper, you might just be surprised.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only.
Jesse Marsh is a Senior Sales Executive at Brandsight where he manages a North American territory. Jesse has worked in domain name management and brand protection since 2011. Prior to his existing role, Jesse worked in business development roles with Gandi and CSC.
Recent posts from Jesse Marsh