Company will charge registrants exactly what it has to pay the registrar and ICANN.
Cloudflare announced today that it is expanding its domain name registrar offering in a bid that could shake up the domain name registration business.
The key feature: wholesale pricing with no markup.
Yes, that means you pay the same amount that registrars currently pay Verisign for a .com domain. It’s $7.85 plus the 18 cents paid to ICANN, or $8.03.
Cloudflare launched a highly-secure registrar in 2016 but it was designed only to serve companies that needed multiple layers of authentication before changes were made to domains. The new move will help the registrar go mainstream.
Each at-cost domain will come with Whois privacy, too.
The company says there’s no reason to markup the price of a domain name because there’s very little overhead involved with registering a domain name. That ignores support, of course, which could be more of an expense than Cloudflare anticipates.
Given that it will lose a little bit of money with this new service, it clearly has other goals in mind. Beyond the obvious benefit of getting more customers who can use other products, there could be a data play here, too.
Speaking of data, Cloudflare’s pricing structure will give the industry a good set of data: how much the wholesale price is for each top level domain name. While this is public information for some domains, it’s not public for ccTLDs and new top level domains.
Cloudflare is supporting 224 top level domains at launch. It is opening up the service with an invite program to existing customers.