What Does ICANNs Price Cap Review Mean For Business Owners?

Your web address and domain are some of the most important parts of your marketing mix and business. Once established they should be renewed annually or more to prevent competitors from cashing in on your brand.

Most companies will buy up a variety of URL’s, such as .ie domains. as well as .com and .co.uk, to ensure that all bases are covered.

However, this may change if a premium is to be charged – an issue that the industry is currently reviewing. This comes in light of the news that The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is reviewing the option to remove price caps on certain domain extensions.

Who are ICANN and what do they do?

Founded in 1988, ICANN are the organisation that oversees the running of domain names as well ensuring the Internet network’s security and stability. However, a large portion of its work is around the regulation of the domain name system.

At the end of April, the company announced plans to remove caps on certain domains, including those ending with .org, .biz and .info.

This means that rather than prices going up at a steady rate annually, there is no limit to how much a renewal may cost in the future.

Considering a number of charities and non-profit organisations use .org and .info when they buy a domain, this has the potential to affect those who can least afford it. It is believed that about 10 million customers belong to a non-profit group.

What does this mean for my business?

The proposal is currently under review awaiting public consultation. If it goes ahead, renewal prices for some domain names may increase beyond inflation rates.

However, it is understood that .ie domains are not affected by the proposal, adding another benefit to owning a domain name in Ireland.

The consultation was open to the public to submit views by 13 May. Currently the organisation is reviewing comments with a view to announcing a summary of the analysis, due imminently.

In accordance with the regulations however, existing domain registrations must be given at least six months’ notice if any price increase is to happen.

The importance of auto-renew

Many website owners are unaware that domain names can be reserved for years in advance. Despite the initial cost, this might be a smart long-term strategy for preserving a brand name.

The first step is to check a domain name for availability. Once you’ve decided to buy a domain the next step is to decide how long to own the licence. This is usually from one to ten years’. There are cost savings for longer periods, but these come with the risk that you may not be in operation so far ahead in the future.

However, the only certain way to secure your business name as a domain and ensure that it doesn’t go to a rival, is to own it yourself. Sign up for renewal notices as well, so that you can renew this without the risk of losing them.

If you own a business and don’t have an ie domain name or web hosting, then visit LetsHost.ie for a selection of affordable solutions.

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