The lowest-cost option for .gg domains is passing along a registry price increase.
Some domain investors have been ramping up investments in .gg domain names in recent years. .Gg rose in popularity thanks to its use by esports (and now regular sports) groups because it is short for “good game.”
The domain is the country code for the British Crown Dependency Guernsey. Combined with Jersey, they form the Channel Islands in the English Channel off the coast of France.
Many domain investors use Channel Island Hosting to register .gg domains because of its low prices. It charges £29.95 per year for .gg, about $41 at today’s exchange rates. Compare this to what other registrars charge:
Dynadot $59.99 (first year is cheaper)
Ionos $80 (first year is cheaper)
Part of the reason Channel Island Hosting offers a lower price is that it pays the registry a lower price because it’s a local registrar. In response to questions from Domain Name Wire, a spokesperson wrote:
As a Channel Islands-based registrar, we received slightly lower cost pricing to promote the growth and usage of these particular TLDs, and as our business model works on much lower standard pricing margins than many of our competitors, we were able to make extremely positive inroads towards achieving that particular aim.
That’s changing, though, apparently because other registrars pressured the registry. The registry will start charging Channel Island Hosting a higher fee for .gg (and .je) domains for international registrants. [Update: it turns out this isn’t entirely correct, see statement from registry below.]
Starting November 15, Channel Island Hosting will charge £39.95 per year for .gg and .je domains. That’s about $55 at today’s exchange rate. The company says its new .gg price is effectively “at cost” after its credit card fees.
It’s a hefty jump for those maintaining large .gg portfolios, although it was already an expensive domain to carry.
Channel Island Hosting is offering a renewal discount until November 15. Customers can renew their domains for up to 9 years at £24.95. And from November 15-December 5, it is offering new .gg registrations for £22.50 for up to 2 years.
Update October 30, 2021: after publishing this story, the .gg registry contacted me to clarify its pricing explain why Channel Island Hosting is changing prices. It said there has not been a registry price increase:
Registrars whose principal activity is the registration of names for local businesses/registrants are eligible for a year-round discount, in order to promote the domain in the local community.
Non-local registrants are not eligible to receive the benefit of the local discount, nor has that ever been the case. We recently reminded all registrars of this, resulting in one registrar revising their retail price.
In short, GG domains remain available, as ever, from all major international registrars and there is no price increase.
In addition, we regularly run promotions that are available to all registrars and we recommend that international registrants who have larger portfolios take advantage of these promotions for new
registrations and renewals.