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The High Price of Cheap

You might be here because you're looking for a domain. Since we don't advertise, we have to assume you're here because you're shopping around. We hope it's because someone you trust recommended us, but in any case you're also here because you aren't sure. We get it. Especially if this is your first domain name, comparing registrars is daunting and confusing. It's a tangled web, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The Facts vs. Bullshit

If you've heard about Gandi, you've maybe heard "No Bullshit," our beloved trademarked baseline (more on this here).

Domain name registration, like any other market, is a competitive market. And, like in any other market, companies have to make a profit in order to survive in the long term. You want long term if you are going to trust someone with your brand, name, company sales or anything else you want to use your domains for.

In our case, the services we offer along with domain name registration are what we think people want and need and we keep the price of domains with these services as close to at-cost as possible while respecting strong ethics. The modest profit we do make on top of it gets reinvested, either back into our own operations to improve ourselves or into the community.

To be clear, every registrar must pay the same price to both the Registry (the extension owner) and ICANN, the ultimate authority technically in charge of the Domain Names System (DNS). A .com domain, for example, costs a registrar about eight dollars (USD). And this cost doesn't include their employees, nor the electricity, or anything else yet. As a customer, if you are paying close to this or below this price, your provider will have to earn its money somewhere else. There's no magic here. You are giving your money to either a short-sighted, tricky or lying company, and you are trusting them with your domains and personal information.

Here are some examples of these tricks or lies and how to avoid them.

Selling your data

One important thing to consider, in this data-centric world, is to make sure your provider is not selling your data, contact details, habits... to another company. ICANN permits registrars to sign bulk WHOIS data access agreements, allowing them to sell your data to external companies. This has to be mentioned in the Terms of Service, though.

The only way to make sure your data is safe is to read the Terms and Services. If you do, you may smell something fishy. Try searching for the term "bulk WHOIS data", for example, in the Terms of Services before you sign them.

Parked Domain Monetization

Another practice that crops up is monetization of your parking page. When you register a domain name you don't necessarily have a web host up and ready and so by default your domain points to a parking page, which basically tells any visitor that the domain has been registered but just doesn't have a site yet. Some registrars take advantage of this by putting up ads on the parking page.

This is internet pollution. We've all experienced it: you type a request in your browser, click on a link which you thought was the legit website you were looking for, and end up on a directory "site" which is nothing else than aggregated links vaguely related to your search. And that's in the best-case scenario. Here is a nice podcast from our friends at OpenDNS with some other examples.

Domain warehousing

Gandi doesn't hold expired domains for ransom either or auction them off to the highest bidder.


Just like we don't put ads on parking pages and we don't put ads up by front-running domains, we don't send you mailings with ads for stuff you don't want either.

What you do get

When you register your domain, you need a bit more than to just reserve the domain. You should get more for your money than just that. To get an accurate idea of the value of your purchase, it's important to consider:

  • Consistency of prices
  • "Batteries included"
  • Average length of time domain is owned
  • Company values, long term vision and so health
  • Quality of the product, service, and customer care

Along with all the freebies you get with a Gandi domain, you also get:

  • World class Technical support, by real humans, who work in real Gandi offices in Paris, San Francisco, Luxembourg and Taipei
  • Talented and dedicated developers who work hard to make sure we remain an industry standard (they will hate us for saying so because we don't like bragging, but it's true)
  • 50% off of a Gandi Simple Hosting instance for a year (with up to one-hundred vhosts this covers you for a lot of domains)
  • Free whois privacy (for the TLD registries that allow it)
  • Free access to our API & the Gandi CLI
  • None of the shady practices we described above. We simply make a small profit for every domain we sell, and reinvest it, as we have for fifteen years.

In Conclusion

Whether you choose Gandi or anyone else, we encourage you to read the fine print on the contracts and really think about what makes sense for you as a customer. In the end, you're right to be skeptical – and by all means, please look around and compare others' experiences. We should also mention that sometimes registrars have special promotions for certain extensions so prices can definitely vary.

We hope you'll choose us like hundreds of thousands have for fifteen years, but if not, we'd love your feedback on how to improve ourselves.


The Gandi Team

Newsletter September 2015: new node.js functionality, .sex at Gandi, and lots of promos..

It's getting to be the end of the summer season, but just as Dylan Thomas said, we are not going gently into this good night (of fall). Here at Gandi, we are determined to get the most out of the last vestiges of summer. That's why we are launching a huge, huge, HUGE number of promos this month. It's incredible, dear customers, just how many deals we have running. We almost don't know where to begin!

As great as these promos are, of course they are pretty easy for us to do, as an administrative task. Our tech team is not to be outdone, however, and you will see we are launching a lot of new gTLDs this month as well, including .sex, brought to you by the same registry as .xxx, .porn, and .adult. It's in Sunrise this month, and won't be generally  available until November 4, so don't get too excited just yet. Still,  for those of you with brands to protect, now would be a good time to  contact our Corporate Services team to get your trademarks registered  in these potentially controversial, sensitive, and if not damaging then  at least potentially confusing TLDs.

Just in time for those end-of-summer sales on sporting goods, we are seeing .SKI going live, and on the West Coast .TECH is having a party! We are hosting, and you, friends, are invited. If you aren't able to come, well, watch for a .TECH promo for programmers week coming up. Did we mention there are a huge amount of promos this month? We did...

We are also upgrading all the things... This month we are settling in to  a new version of Gandi Site, and offering a month of the new version  for just $1 - a great way to try it out!

If you are the kind of person who likes to meet your business partners face-to-face, we are going to be at Strange Loop in St. Louis, and of course we will be getting to more meetings in the fall conference season.

We also have a special place in our hearts this month for the Open Source Initiative (OSI), who just migrated to Gandi for hosting their  open source advocacy sites. Go OSI!

Newsletter June 2015: It's turning out to be an eventful year in domains


  1. Looking East to Gandi Asia
  2. What we know about surveillance, and what you can do
  3. What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday
  4. New gTLDs release calendar for June
  5. Special events and promos this month
  6. Promo roundup

Welcome to June, the month whose days grow long towards midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere of our small, blue planet. Here in this newsletter we reflect on the glories of the first half on an eventful year, this 2015, and look forward to the second half, which has a distinctly Eastern feel.

In politics, we have seen progress, in the rolling back of some of the most egregious surveillance laws in the USA, and setbacks like the French government proposing a knee-jerk law enabling domestic surveillance on an unprecedented (legally anyway) level.

We have also seen cause for celebration, as in the 15th birthday of our shared dream of a company here at Gandi.

It's a big month for new gTLDs, and we will give you a little summary of what to expect, the good and the bad. There are also some updates for ccTLDs you need to know about. Plus, we're launching a new meetup series for DNS nerds here in SF!

1) Looking East to Gandi Asia

Gandi Asia is open for business! While we've been offering support services in the Asian time zone for some time, we are now expanding to offer Asian customers a way more convenient way to buy domains and hosting from Gandi. For one thing, the Gandi website is now available in Chinese and simplified Chinese, and you can also pay in several Asian currencies. We have also beefed up our DNS services in Asia, and even trained a team to offer Corporate services to Asian companies. We feel so cosmopolitan! \o/ ---

2) What we know about surveillance, and what you can do

This past week has been dramatic in the US Congress, with the passing of the USA FREEDOM Act (which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring. They just had to go with the acronym ...), and the effective disabling of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by the NSA. Now they can only spy on all of us illegally, which makes us feel ever so much safer.

Still, its thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens like you that exerted public pressure on lawmakers not to extend the Patriot Act. While we joined forces with the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, the EFF, Demand Progress, and many others to lobby for this, you deserve most of the credit for standing up and making your voices heard. Great work everyone! And please remember: this fight is not over. There's still plenty to be done in the name of online freedom.

The French government is currently taking steps in the opposite direction, though thankfully the process is moving slowly, and there is still hope for a constitutional challenge to the law that has been proposed. You can take action to protect your content now (if you host it in France): just move it to Gandi's Luxembourg servers.


Your domains, we believe, will be unaffected in themselves. Privacy laws and treaties will remain in effect that keep takedown procedures in the realm of due process, but of course the traffic to your French web sites may well be snooped once (if) the law takes effect. We at Gandi are still working with advocacy groups in France to oppose and challenge this bad, bad, law. Stay tuned!

3) What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday

As you might expect, we did not have any sexist ads on TV, nor scantily-clad humans of either gender jumping out of cakes or other pastries. No, we threw parties for ourselves and our customers in Paris and San Francisco, gave away a ton of domains, hosting, and t-shirts of various kinds, and generally spread love and joy wherever we went. In the case of the San Francisco crowd, you actually gave us money in exchange for tickets to the party we threw, which we humbly gave to a charity providing aid to towns and villages in the Himalayas.

4) June new gTLD release calendar

This is a provisional calendar. Things change all the time, but this is how we think it will go:

Wed June 3rd:

  • .casino (GoLive)
  • .school (GoLive)
  • .football (GoLive)

Thurs June 4th:

  • .porn (GoLive)
  • .adult (GoLive)
  • .accountant (Sunrise)
  • .download (Sunrise)
  • .loan (Sunrise)
  • .racing (Sunrise)
  • .win (Sunrise)

Tues June 9th:

  • .dog (Sunrise)
  • .theater (Sunrise)
  • .taxi (Sunrise)
  • .hockey (Sunrise)
  • .run (Sunrise)

Wed June 17th:

  • .markets (GoLive)

Sun June 21st:

  • .sucks (GoLive)

Mon June 22nd:

  • .taipei (GoLive)

Tues June 23rd:

  • .bank (GoLive)

Thurs June 25th:

  • .irish (GoLive)

5) Special events, changes, and promos this month

Beware the changes to existing domains! We know it's a ways off, but you might want to renew any .BIZ domains before November 1: the price will rise by at least $1 on that date. In the much more proximate future, if you have a .SO, and you want to keep it, you should renew it now before the price goes way up on June 9. Seriously, the price will go up from $19 to $102.60, and all new registrations will be suspended until the new registry says otherwise. If ever there was a time...

But it's not all bad news. There is a great promo on .PARTY, .SCIENCE, and .WEBCAM this month - only $1.50 (at A rates, excluding tax). Cheaper yet at B rates and above. If that doesn't cheer you up, .EU.COM is half off new 1-year registrations for the whole month of June, and .ACTOR, .DANCE, .BAND and .ROCKS are just $5 each for a new registration of 1 year as well.

Are you .EU? If you meet the residency requirements, you can get a .EU for just $2 in June. We know some of you are more connected to the Old World, and so we thought you might also like to know that .WALES and .CYMRU (That's Welsh for "Wales" NB the country not the animal) are coming available. Can you spell diaspora?

If you are a little farther West, the .UK is having a birthday! You can pick up a .UK for half-off in celebration from June 10th until July 31st. Not only that, but there will be a prize drawing each week of this promotion with values up to £1000. Tally ho!

For those of you way out West, we are launching the DNS Nerds meetup in San Francisco (yes, in the Gandi office!) this month on the 18th. Come share your horror stories, tales of triumph, and cool solutions to pesky problems of this core service (you wouldn't get this newsletter if it weren't for the MX records for your email address). See you there!

6) Promo roundup

While gloom (approximately) rhymes with June, so does Boom! Ain't nothin' gloomy about the promos we have this month:

.ORG is going international with three new IDNs in Cyrilic, Hindi and Chinese: .орг (xnc1avg), ".संगठन"(xni1b6b1a6a2e) and .机构 (xn--nqv7f) at $16.02/yr each.

.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively):

.SCIENCE, .PARTY, and .WEBCAM have incredible deals this month at $1.50 each. Normally they are $38.29!! Talk about a freakin' deal! These three new gTLDs are available for this price until Monday July 27:

.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63 (no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until June 30th:

.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year:

The RightSide registry is offering a discount of 25% off the price of a one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS, .SOCIAL until the end of June:

UniRegistry is offering 50% off on .gift, .hiphop, .hosting, .link, .pics and .property through the end of June:


This month, and as always, grab that laptop off the side table by your lawn chair, put down the long island iced tea, and send us your thoughts, missives, encouragement, criticism, props, rants, and just general verbiage to We want to hear from you!

You can also reach us here:




and on the #gandi channel on freenode. \o/

Happy trails,

- The Gandi Team

Newsletter May 2015: Surveillance, promos and a new DNS meetup

It's been a busy month. We wrapped up our celebration of everything Gandi with a celebration at our office in San Francisco; the French legislature rushed through a new law on surveillance that has us pretty riled up and we've been zipping around to conferences like PyCon and the International Trademark Association Meeting; at the very end of the month we announced the availability of the Debian 8 image on our public IaaS platform; and we just saw a video of a bear walking on its hind legs (it's weird. Look it up).

What's in store for May? Well, some great promotions on some TLDs for one; we'll be at another conference, World Hosting Days; and videos of who knows what terrifying beast walking preposterously like a human (here's hoping it's not a moose).

Newsletter April 2015: Our 15th anniversary, and many new promos in April

Summary: At a glance

  1. Happy Birthday Gandi!
  2. Gandi at PyCon
  3. April new gTLD release calendar
  4. Promo roundup

It was an exciting month for us here at Gandi. It's not often you celebrate 15 years, so we made the best we could out of it. It was like our bar mitzvah, our quinceañera (except we didn't ever convince Stephan to wear the dress, the best we got was the skateboard picture) and our Sweet 16 all rolled into one. That is to say, not only did we enjoy distributing party favors to all our favorite parties, but it feels like we've come of age now. We're teenaged (Yikes). Don't expect door slamming, loud music and "You don't own me, Mom!" petulance, though. If the last couple of years have been any indication, we've been having quite the growth spurt. We just hope the next few years are as great as the last fifteen, and that we continue to grow and mature into a nice, young company. The kind you take home to your parents on a first date.

Seriously, though, thank you, all of you. We couldn't have gotten here without you.

1. Happy Birthday Gandi!

We were quite happy that so many of you were able to snatch up the truckloads of promo codes we threw out like candy from a piñata this past month. We hope that for you it was all Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls and Smarties and not so many Bit O' Honeys (we're not promoting any brand names here, just saying, those are the good ones when it comes to piñata candy).

Here's a summary of all the goodies we gave away:

  • 530 t-shirts
  • 66,653 domain names
  • 16,861 months of Simple Hosting (or, if you prefer, 1405 years)


  • 1.5 billion hosting credits

And that's not counting the price reductions.

So thank you all for your beautiful expressions of love and kindness and your fanatical devotion to winning prizes, really, we're already starting to plan for the 20 year anniversary five years from now.

A quick reminder, though, for those of you who have won, your coupons are valid only until April 30th, that they can only be used for domain creations (and not renewals or transfers) and that if you have no idea of how to use them, share the wealth with your family, friends, pets, colleagues, dentists, baseball coaches and bank tellers!

2. Gandi at PyCon

PyCon 2015, the largest annual convention for Python developers, is currently underway in the lovely city of Montréal and of course, we are there with you. So far we have been having a marvelous time. Such nice people, such tasty poutine ...

We'll keep you posted on how it goes and of course, if you're there this week, come find us!

3. April new gTLD release calendar

Here's our calendar of expected domain releases this month. As usual, things can change, but right now this is how it looks from here:

Monday, April 13:

.tirol (Landrush)

Wednesday, April 15:

.fashion (GoLive)
.garden (GoLive)

Monday, April 20:

.college (Landrush)

Tuesday, April 21:

.poker (GoLive)
.gold (Sunrise)
.golf (Sunrise)
.mobie (Sunrise)
.plus (Sunrise)
.tours (Sunrise)

Tuesday, April 28 :

.amsterdam (Sunrise)
.cafe (Sunrise)
.express (Sunrise)

Wednesday, April 29 :

.fit (GoLive)

4. Promo roundup

April showers got you down? Try out one of the following promotions available this month:

.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63 (no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until June 30th:

.WEBSITE is on sale for all one-year domain creations for $4.13 rather than the usual $30.31 but only until April 15th:

The sale on .SCIENCE has been extended! It will now go until May 24th, so you have a bit more time to empirically weigh the best way to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a one-year domain creation at A rates for just $3.60:

.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively):

.ME one-year creations are 40% off ($14.40 instead of $24) until the end of March:

.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year:

The registry RightSide is offering a reduction of 25% off the price of a one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS, .SOCIAL until the end of June:

.CO.COM is 60% off through June 30! A mere $16.14, instead of the usual $40.34 (excluding taxes).

Six extensions on one promo: .GIFT, .HIPHOP, .HOSTING, .LINK, .PICS, .PROPERTY all at reduced prices until the end of June:

.CAT is available for $6, through the end of April:

And one promotion that snuck up on us in the dead of the night is the one currently underway for .NINJA, which you can get for $2.00 instead of the usual $19.61:

That's it for this month. Send your postcards, care packages and perfumed love letters to us at

Love, The Gandi Team

September 2014 Newsletter: The Internet Slowdown, New US services, .MX is having a big promo, and Wordpress 4 is available...

Today, Gandi wants you to know about the Internet Slowdown, which is a part of the Battle for the Net. This action today is to call attention to the fact that the FCC is considering rules that will make it easier for big cable services like Verizon and Comcast to charge content providers for "fast lanes." It's a fast lane for those who pay up, and everyone else goes slow.

We will also be at #hack4good this weekend in San Francisco, making a difference for climate change.

The month of September is a busy one for new Top-Level domains in Europe, with the GoLive of .LONDON, .PARIS, .BZH, .BRUSSELS, .VLAADEREN, .COLOGNE, .KOELN and more. The US will have its share of fun, with some Western-style domains like .VEGAS, .RODEO, .HORSE, and .FISHING all going live, and of course that's not all...

A new promotion on .MX is also available this month - don't miss out on huge savings there.

We have enhanced our US operations to give you better support in western time zones, and to smooth out billing for US and Canadian customers.

This is also the last month you can take advantage of an incredible 50% off on .US!

Simple Hosting gets more useful this month, with an updated version of the WordPress installation tutorial to celebrate the release of WordPress 4.0! As you have come to expect, at the end of this newsletter you will find a roundup of current promotions available on

The Whole World is Watching: From Net Neutrality to Open Internet

If you're reading this, you're by definition an interested party in the impending decision to be made by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Net Neutrality. If you're an American citizen, it's up to you to influence what the FCC eventually does by sending your comments about the new rules it has proposed. We are sending ours in, contributing as founding members of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition's extensive submission, but your voice is also needed to move from weak Net Neutrality protections to the stronger Open Internet rules that the telecom companies can't get struck down in court.

Protest NSA mass surveillance: Add your voice

Since the start of 2012, when the SOPA legislation was defeated by a grassroots opposition movement led by large Internet companies, political power over the information resources that Internet represents has shifted. Ordinary people and the companies they use have become a force for change, or at least to oppose restrictions on individual rights. This week we have a chance to make a real difference again, in the critical area of reforming the law governing mass surveillance.

Online Privacy needs your help

here are disturbing revelations coming from a whistleblower about U.S. Government surveillance programs that track phone calls and our online communications. Even your so-called private messages via Skype or Facebook can be read by spy agencies under a secret program called PRISM, run by the NSA (National Security Agency). They will not stop unless we demand they stop. Can we count on you?

Gandi and the i2Coalition support new patent reform bill

Have you ever heard of a patent troll?
All innovators face the reality that many, many things have been thought of already, and are patented is some markets. We have to work hard to ensure our ideas are not only useful, necessary, and cool, but also completely new and original. That's why it's so frustrating to see our efforts bogged down with frivolous patent lawsuits. The "trolls" are the often-shadowy legal entities who file these suits, sometimes hundreds of claims at a time, many without merit. Why? Because they can. There is little or no legal barrier or downside to their doing so in the USA, and the suits can cost millions to fight, while the trolls dangle settlements of tens of thousands to make them go away.

Gandi Supports CFAA Reform – the right way

Some of you are aware that Gandi supports many non-profit organizations and philanthropic associations with free or discounted hosting and/or domains. Often we choose who to support based on the mission of the organization, and whether that mission aligns with the needs and interests of our community: the community of Internet innovators, of which we are proud to be members. Every so often the interests of our community need more than just support. They need to be defended from attack by narrower interests, and so today Gandi is participating in a campaign with the EFF, CDT and others to help create a meaningful improvement in a dangerously broad law in the USA: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Gandi helps to found the Internet Infrastructure Coalition

A new organization is forming to fight for a free and open internet. Gandi is proud to be a founding member!

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition ( has been created by more than 40 leading companies in the hosting industry. The mission is to help protect the Internet from improperly formulated regulation, like the SOPA/PIPA and CISPA legislation in the US, and to drive the investment, innovation, and openness that allows the Internet to be an engine for continued growth.

Of course, Gandi is a founding member!

Gandi took a position opposing SOPA and PIPA, and more recently CISPA. Our joining together with other organizations that also opposed this flawed legislation gives Gandi more of a voice in shaping policy, and helps us to achieve our goal of keeping the Internet safe for the free flow of information.

Gandi cares about our customers rights, and we want to see all our customers have a safe, rich, and uncensored online experience. These goals are shared by the I2C, who has made part of it's mission the education of law and policy makers about issues of privacy, freedom of information, security, and innovation. We at Gandi look forward to contributing our perspective to this important, powerful industry group.



Many of our American customers have been anxiously waiting for the day when they could see how much they are actually spending at (sure, multiplying by 1.3-something-or-other could get you there, but how annoying is that...) ;)

Well...those days are over! In line with our perpetual drive to provide you with new services, as of this afternoon you can now pay for your operations at Gandi in US Dollars! :)

Not only that, but in recognition of the wonderful support that we have been receiving from our American customers (they make up the second-largest country in terms of sales, and the American media such as,, or like to comment on our integrity, customer-friendliness, and technical know-how...), we are now selling .US domains!

We really can't say it enough, so we'll say it again...thank you, all of you! It really warms our hearts to feel your support from across the Atlantic Ocean!