If you are an owner of a company that is doing well and plans on expanding your presence on the web, you might be thinking of getting a .inc domain and adding that extra ‘UMPH’ to your website.
But compared to all the different kinds of domain extensions that have currently taken over the web, you will find that .inc domains are the MOST expensive – almost the same as premium domains.
With a price tag of over 2500 USD per year, it will leave you wondering why .inc domains are so expensive, and if this whole hassle of getting one is actually worth it.
And yet, they are often told to be THE option when going for a domain extension – especially for big businesses.
This article will discuss what a .inc domain is, the whole price determination process, and other alternatives, so you can decide for yourself if getting a .inc domain is worth it.
What Is A .Inc Domain?
The .inc in the extension has a very specific meaning – incorporated – which gives the idea that it is a substantial and recognized party within the United States.
This extension gives an idea of authenticity on the internet – especially during this time when so many fake, scam sites and bad actors end up wreaking all kinds of havoc online.
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A .inc domain is something that will give a sense of security and respect to the particular business – in this case, a substantial incorporated company.
Who Decides The Prices For .Inc Domains?
Now you might have wondered, WHO exactly decides the prices for the .inc domains, and how it is controlled or maintained.
The price is first determined by the registries that are in charge of the TLD.
While other domains have a very predictable way of pricing, .inc domains DO NOT. And they are considered to be premium ground from the very beginning, so the starting price or the base price that the registries determine is already pretty high.
It is to THIS price that ALL the registrars (like Namecheap and SAV) put their own prices onto, and create new prices which are even higher. And that is how you end up with a massive price tag for your .inc domain.
The thing is, despite the presence of many registrars who sell the domains the prices will have minor differences – so wherever you turn, the price tag will be HEFTY.
And unlike other domains, the renewal fee for .inc is also 2500 USD!
Here is a screenshot from the Dreamhost registrar;
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So Why Are They So Expensive?
.inc is considered to be a premium domain. They have a higher value and prestige than other domain extensions and people value them more. And they are not a common sight.
Plus, people need proof of incorporation to purchase one which also adds to its value.
IMHO, it’s just a show-off. Even Google or Apple doesn’t use one. Think of it as the Rolex of domains.
Are There Other Alternatives?
Do you HAVE to buy a .inc domain? No, there are other alternatives. You can use a .com which is the most popular extension for businesses. You can also use .co or .io.
But there are a ton of fraudulent sites with these extensions too and it does not have that particular gravitas if you really think about it.
There’s also the .biz that came into being recently, and this extension has a small base of users.
However, the issue lies with the word ‘biz’ which does NOT sound particularly professional and might create some issues with people who are willing to do transactions with you, since the extension does sound like a bad actor online, and can often get selected for spam.
Another alternative would be .llc which is also a recent introduction, and with only 30 USD per year, it is an extremely cheap option compared to the 2500 USD tag of a .inc domain.
But once again, the lack of familiarity with the term can often confuse people, who might take the .llc as part of the actual business name!
However, these ARE alternatives you can most definitely use if you manage to make your way through the small limitations.
Should You Get A .Inc Domain?
As explained earlier, one of the main reasons to get a .inc domain is the authenticity and power it gives to the company name.
It will be the reason for people to trust the brand name, and make proper transactions and investments with the company.
And this goes on a bit further, because some companies use the .inc domain to have two separate sites – one for regular customers (with a .com extension) and the other (.inc) for a particular group of clients such as investors and those doing high-level transactions with the company.
The .inc extensions which are also understandably top-level domains (TLDs), also come with several benefits, particularly ones connected to taxes and advertising costs.
They can come in the form of free credits in marketing, free credits for transaction fees, and other various other benefits from other big companies like Google, etc.
Bottom Line: Are .Inc Domains Worth All The Money?
This is slightly tricky because.inc domains WILL provide you good benefits which you will NOT find with other domain extensions.
And if you are really keen on expanding your company’s online presence and authenticity, going for a .inc domain is the best choice, BUT the price tag will remain a problem if you are not ready to spend a lot of money every year.
And this price tag is not something that goes away after the first year, it WILL REPEAT as long as you have that domain extension!
If you are a small business owner with one site and not much activity, a .inc domain is NOT worth it at all, and will only be a waste of money.
You will be getting far more work done with a regular extension. But if you are a big company incorporated in the US, .inc domain will be the way to go.
Why Are Some Domain Extensions More Expensive?
The registry alone determines the price. They then negotiate with ICANN (the regulator) for wholesale prices and sell them to registrars, who end up adding their own fees onto that, in order to make a profit off of it.