Domain name registration used to be free.

Way back when people didn’t realize how huge the internet would be, registering a domain name was free until 1995. When a fee was introduced, it was high! Prices were typically $100 for two years of registration.

Early Days of the Internet

In the early days of the internet, particularly before 1995, the concept of domain name registration and the commercialization of the internet were still evolving. During this time, individuals and 
organizations could register domain names without any associated fees.

Introduction of Domain Name Fees

In 1995, the landscape of domain name registration underwent a significant change. As the internet grew rapidly and its potential became more evident, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed to oversee the registration of domain names. As part of this transition, domain name registration fees were introduced.

High Costs Initially

When the fee structure for domain name registration was first introduced, prices were relatively high compared to today's standards. It was common for registrars to charge around $100 for a two-year registration period. This cost was primarily attributed to the administrative and operational expenses involved in managing the domain name system.

Shift in Registrar Competition and Lower Prices

Over time, as the internet continued to evolve and more registrars entered the market, competition increased. This led to a gradual decline in domain name registration prices. The competition among registrars, coupled with advancements in technology and streamlined processes, ultimately resulted in more affordable domain name registration fees.

Diverse Pricing Models

Today, domain name registration fees can vary significantly depending on factors such as the top-level domain (TLD) chosen, the registrar, the length of registration, and additional services bundled with the domain name. Prices can range from a few dollars per year for certain TLDs to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for premium or specialized domain names.

The history of domain name registration reflects the early stages of the internet's growth and the subsequent need for structured management of domain names. While domain name registration was initially free, the introduction of fees in 1995 marked a significant shift. Over time, competition and advancements in the industry led to a wider range of pricing options, making domain name registration more accessible to individuals and businesses alike.

These fascinating facts provide insights into the evolution of domain name registration and the changing landscape of the internet.

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