Domain name renewals are a regular cost consideration for businesses and organizations in South Africa using local .co.za, .org.za and other domain extensions. While standard pricing from most registrars runs R50-R100 per year, there are ways to find savings on domain renewals.
For many established sites, the domain name carries significant brand equity and online presence that makes it worthwhile to renew long-term. However, companies still aim to minimize this recurring cost where possible.
Domain renewal costs are affected by factors like the registrar used, renewal period, adding privacy protection, and any other value-added services. Being aware of these variables enables webmasters to make informed decisions to reduce renewal expenses.
This article explores tips on finding domain renewal savings in the South African market. We look at current standard pricing, how to get better deals, available promotions, and consideration of alternate cheaper domain extensions.
Table of Contents
Here are the key takeaways on saving on domain renewals in South Africa:
- Standard .co.za renewal pricing starts around R100 per year from most registrars. Renews at R70 here are Truehost.
- Opting for longer renewal terms like 2-5 years provides volume discounts.
- Compare registrar pricing and watch for promotional deals to save 10-25%.
- Non-core extensions like .org.za and .web.za are cheaper for renewals.
- Major savings possible with alternate extensions like .xyz but may impact brand.
- Eliminating unnecessary bundled add-ons helps reduce renewal costs.
- Periodic Black Friday and holiday sales offer large discounts on renewals.
- Consolidating domains and their renewals maximizes negotiation leverage with registrars.
- Balancing cheaper alternate extensions with existing .co.za via email forwarding is a cost-effective strategy.
Standard Renewal Pricing in South Africa
Standard domain renewal pricing in South Africa depends primarily on the registrar, domain extension, and renewal term chosen. Here is an overview of typical renewal costs:
The .co.za domain extension has standard pricing around:
- 1 year – R50 to R80
- 2 years – R90 to R140
- 5 years – R200 to R350
At the base rate, a .co.za domain renewal would cost approximately R100 per year. Most registrars have similar pricing.
Here is a sample of domain prices and renewals on Truehost.
Other popular extensions
Other commonly used extensions like .org.za, .net.za, .web.za have slightly lower pricing:
- .org.za – Around R60-R80 per year
- .net.za – Around R70-R90 per year
- .web.za – Around R60-R80 per year
So on average, expect to pay R10-R20 less than .co.za on these extensions.
Newer domain extensions like .capetown and .durban are priced competitively:
- .capetown – R110 per year
- .durban – R110 per year
These geographic and city-based domains are alternatives for location-specific sites.
Some legacy extensions like .tm.za (.trademark) also have lower pricing of about R50 per year.
In general, extensions other than .co.za will be cheaper for renewals.
Renewal period discounts
Longer renewal terms often come with discounts at most registrars. Typically:
- 2 years = 2 x annual cost
- 5 years = 4 x annual cost
So this would effectively make a 5-year renewal about 20% cheaper per year than going annual.
Overall, while some savings are possible, expect .co.za renewals to start around R100 per year as a baseline cost.
Factors Affecting Domain Renewal Pricing
Domain name renewal costs in South Africa will depend on several factors:
The registrar used has the most impact on renewal pricing. Most charge similar base rates, but special offers and bundled services can affect costs. Comparing renewal rates between different registrars can reveal savings opportunities.
The specific domain extension makes a difference. As seen earlier, .co.za is the most expensive while extensions like .org.za, .web.za, .durban are cheaper.
Opting for longer 2-5 year renewals typically provides volume discounts over annual renewals. This achieves cost savings of 10-20% over time.
Value-added services like private registration, email forwarding, DNS management etc. bundled with renewals can increase costs. Assess if these add-ons are required and useful.
Special promotions that registrars run periodically can lower renewal costs when taken advantage of. But renewal defaults to regular pricing after the promo.
International registrars that accept payment in USD or EUR will effectively cost more based on exchange rates when paying from South Africa.
Opting out of automatic renewals can sometimes reveal better pricing when negotiating renewals manually. But the domain risks expiring if not renewed manually.
Greater competition in the .ZA registrar industry could exert downward pressure on pricing over time. But currently pricing is quite similar across most established players.
Monitoring these key factors provides opportunities to keep renewal costs in check, through choice of registrar, extensions, add-on services and promotions.
Tips for Domain Renewal Savings
Here are some tips that can help achieve savings on domain renewals:
Check and compare renewal rates across different .ZA domain registrars. Look for those offering discounted promotional pricing or registrar switching incentives.
Often small differences of R10-R20 on a yearly renewal can add up over time.
For example, to .co.za domain costs R70 at Truehost.co.za and R197 at Afrihost.
At renewal, you will only pay R70 with us and R97 at Afrihost.
Focus on needs
Evaluate if you really require all the bundled add-ons like private registration, web hosting, email services etc. offered along with renewals. Decline any unnecessary services.
Renew longer term
Go for longer 2-year or 5-year renewal terms to benefit from the volume pricing discounts. This achieves 10-20% savings over annual renewals.
Wait for promotions
Registrars periodically run special domain renewal promotions, especially around key events like Black Friday. Wait for these to renew at reduced pricing.
Some registrars provide coupon codes for discounts on renewals. Search for any available promo coupons before making a renewal payment.
Pay in ZAR
When using an international registrar, opt to pay in South African Rand rather than USD or EUR to avoid foreign currency conversion markups.
Auto-renewal vs manual
In some cases, turning off auto-renewal and instead manually requesting a renewal quote can reveal lower pricing. But risks expiry if not renewed manually.
Try negotiating when the automatic renewal cost seems significantly higher than average pricing. Ask your registrar for a better deal.
If managing multiple domains, consolidate renewals with one trusted registrar to maximize negotiation leverage.
Following these tips can potentially save 10-25% on domain renewals over time. Every bit helps, especially when managing multiple domains.
Domain Renewal Promotions and Deals
In addition to standard pricing, registrars in South Africa periodically offer promotions and deals that enable reduced domain renewal rates.
Here are some common promotions to watch for:
Black Friday deals
The Black Friday shopping frenzy every November sees many registrars offer discounted .co.za and other domain renewal pricing. Savings of 50% or more are common.
Similar to Black Friday, registrars offer holiday season (Nov-Dec) sales for domain renewals, sometimes at over 50% off.
New extension releases
When new domain extensions like .durban and .joburg are introduced, registrars provide promotional introductory pricing for renewals on those extensions.
Some registrars run sitewide sales with discounted pricing on renewals across their range of domain extensions. This provides opportunity to save on multiple domains.
Bundling with hosting
Registrars sometimes offer discounted or even free domain renewals when purchasing web hosting packages from them.
Referring new registrations to a domain provider may make you eligible for discounts or even free renewals of your existing domains.
Registrars reward loyal long-time customers with periodic discounts or other renewal incentives to retain their business.
Registrars try and attract transfers from other providers by offering discounted renewal rates to new customers switching over.
The key is to watch out for these time-bound promotions and renew or transfer multiple domains at once during such offers to maximize savings.
Signing up for registrar newsletters can alert you on the latest deals.
Considering Alternate Cheaper Domain Extensions
For major savings on domain renewals, one option is switching to alternate cheaper extensions like:
A short, generic extension with no restrictions. Renewals start under R25 per year.
Open local South African extension with renewal rates around R60-R80 per year.
Restricted to non-profits, but renewal costs are 25-50% cheaper than .co.za.
Descriptive extension for as little as R20 renewal per year.
Another generic low-cost extension suitable for websites.
.capetown / .durban
City-specific domains with competitive renewal pricing around R50 per year.
The advantage with these options is massive cost savings, often 75-90% cheaper than .co.za renewals.
However, there are some downsides to consider:
- Brand dilution from moving away from established .co.za domain
- Loss of Domain authority and SEO equity built up
- Missing out on .co.za trust and local relevance
- Extra costs to migrate website and update branding
For well-established sites, it is often worth paying the higher .co.za renewal fees to retain brand equity and SEO value. But for newer sites or those with minimal domain authority, alternate extensions provide major cost benefits.
The most budget-friendly route is combining an alternate extension purchase for the main website domain, while retaining the existing .co.za for email forwarding to protect the brand identity.
This balanced approach maximizes savings while also enabling continuity.