No, You Can’t Buy a Domain Name Permanently

David Utke •  Updated: January 11, 2024 •  Domain Names

There is no way to buy a domain name permanently. You can only register a domain name for a period of time and then renew your domain name once that registration period is coming to an end. This is a cost that everyone who has a website incurs and there is no way to buy your domain name outright.

With a domain name registrar like Namecheap you can pay to register your domain name for up to 10 years in advanced. While it’s not exactly the same as buying a domain name permanently, it’s as close as you’re going to get.

So in short, you can’t “buy” a domain name, you can only register a domain name which is equivalent to leasing the domain name in yearly increments. You can however choose to renew your domain name before it expires, thus effectively maintaining ownership for as long as you like.

ICANN certified registrars and resellers

ICANN is the governing body that manages the DNS system and domain names. Registrars (like Namecheap and GoDaddy) are certified by ICANN and the registries to sell domain name registrations to the public.

They have agreements with ICANN and the registries, which they must follow in order to maintain their “ICANN certified” status. Resellers (like a web host typically) by contrast, are affiliated with registrars and sell their services, like domain names, web hosting, or email hosting.

Resellers are bound by agreements with the registrars they work with and aren’t accredited by ICANN. You can register domain names under generic Top-Level Domain Names (gTLDs) through more than two thousand approved registrars or their resellers.

Get your domain at an ICANN certified registrar

This is why I always recommend using a domain name registrar for your domain names as you typically get a better price for registration cost and renewal rates than you do at a reseller like a web host or a website builder.

Because a reseller is simply affiliated with a ICANN certified registrar, they have to tack on a fee in order to make offering domain names profitable. This is why the renewal cost for a domain name at Bluehost costs $21.99 while the same domain name at Namecheap costs $15.88.

If you’re ready to register a domain name, I have a quick dedicated guide (and video) on how to do exactly that: How to register a domain name. In it I cover how to get a domain name at a registrar like Namecheap as well as current offers for a free domain name for the first year.

Crypto domains – web3 domains can be owned

Last, I just want to mention that domain names outside of the current DNS system can be owned forever because they are tied to a specific blockchain. Domain extensions like .nft or or .crypto are tied typically to the Ethereum block chain and once purchased, it’s yours forever unless you sell it.

The difficulty with these domain names however is that because they are not part of the traditional DNS system, setting up a website is a bit more technical. But it is still possible using IPFS. You’re just not going to have the ease of use creating a website like you do with WordPress and other website builders.

If you do want to get a forever domain name, then I suggest checking out Unstoppable Domains, they are the platform I personally use for my blockchain based domain names.

Unstoppable Domains

Buy and own blockchain based domain names that you can own forever as they never expire. No renewal rates, one time fee.

unstoppable domains logo

Buy a domain name permanently – Conclusion

If you’re looking to buy a domain name permanently then your only option is to get a blockchain based domain name as these domain names never expire and you own them outright.

All other types of domain names that are part of the DNS system (.com, .co, .net) can not be bought and owned. You can only register them which is a form of leasing the domain name. However, with a domain name registrar like Namecheap you can register your domain name for up to 10 years in advanced.

Then upon renewal, register your domain name for another 10 years if you like. Thus effectively maintaining ownership over a domain name for as long as you like.


Low prices on domain names, low renewal rates, free WHOIS protection and good support.

I use Namecheap for all my domains and use them in my tutorial videos.

David Utke

David Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!

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