Namesco is raising domain prices, so it's time to move to Cloudflare and save!

Here's how to save a few pounds per year by transferring your domains from Namesco to Cloudflare, even with their exorbitant transfer fee.

Prices of everything are still rising, and people and businesses are looking everywhere they can to save. Domain names used for emails and websites are not the type of service where you can save, however, any price rise is not pleasant to see.

For years, I have been tightening up some of my domains by registering them with Namesco (names.co.uk).

Namesco is one of those companies that imposes an additional fee on every domain if you decide to transfer it away. They justify this by citing administrative costs, but I’ve observed this practice with them for years and no other provider does the same.

Over the years, the cost of transferring domains to different registrars has become almost the same as the annual renewal fee. Therefore, there has been no real incentive to pay Namesco an additional fee to transfer a domain.

Today (20th November), I received an email from Namesco informing me of their intention to implement another price increase, effective on 20th December 2023, with a minimum notice period of 30 days.

They proclaim their commitment to price transparency, so they provide a link to view the updated pricing for affected domains.

I recall paying £13.99 for the registration and renewal of .co.uk and .uk domains not long ago (2014-2015).

To transfer the domain away, I would have to pay them a £10.00 administration fee plus VAT. For a price difference of £3.99, I couldn’t find anyone at that time who could offer me a one-year domain registration for that price.

The price has been increased to £15.99, resulting in a price difference of £5.99. At this point, the cost of transferring the domain to another registrar was either comparable or even slightly lower. Considering the minimal difference, I decided to remain with Namesco for the time being.

Last year, the renewal prices were £16.99 plus VAT per domain. This year, my renewal fees will increase to £19.99 plus VAT per domain, and I have four domains registered with them.

This time, the transfer fee is only half the renewal price, making it worthwhile to compare prices and find a cheaper option.

Over this year, I have transferred some of my domains from other registrars to Cloudflare, primarily due to the discontinuation of Google Domains, another Google service.

As competition in the market diminished, Cloudflare emerged as a prominent provider.

Cloudflare as a registrar claim themselves as Domain registrar with no-markup pricing, and that you pay what we pay — you won’t find better value.

I swiftly determined that transferring my domains to Cloudflare would result in cost savings, even considering Namesco’s high transfer fees. Anticipating further price increases from the national registrar (Nominet), these savings are likely to grow in subsequent years.

Registering a .co.uk or .uk domain with Cloudflare costs $4.71 per year, which is approximately equivalent to £3.76 based on current exchange rates with Wise.

By paying a £40 transfer (administration) fee before tax for each of my four domains and adding £15.04 (4 x £3.76) to renew them for another year, I will achieve a total savings of £24.92.

In the subsequent year, assuming nothing changes, I will realize a total savings of £64.92!

And these are just the domain prices alone.

I don’t utilize any of the services offered by Namesco. Cloudflare has been managing my domains’ DNS records for quite some time, and other services, such as websites and emails, are independent of Namesco. Consequently, there is no compelling reason for me to remain with their service.

Since I have already added my domains to Cloudflare and configured their DNS records, I have one less step to complete.

I accessed my Namesco Control Panel and for each domain, I utilized the Domain Transfer option. Within this section, I initiated an order to Change Nominet Tag and added it to my cart.

I navigated to the Domain Registration section within the Cloudflare control panel, where I selected the Transfer Domains option. Subsequently, I confirmed the domains I intended to transfer and initiated the transfer process. Finally, I was instructed to contact my current registrar and request a change of the domain tag to CLOUDFLARE. This action is essential for proceeding with the transfer request at the Nominet website.

I provided them with the domain tag and briefly explained my reason for transferring the domains away, which was due to a recent announcement of a price increase. After paying the transfer fee, I waited for them to proceed with the tag change, which is typically completed within one to two business days.

The process of changing the domain tag and registering the domains with Cloudflare was completed much faster than the anticipated one to two business days timeframe. Approximately an hour and thirty minutes later, Cloudflare notified me via email that the domains were successfully registered with their service.

This indicates that the domain tag has been successfully changed, and the domains have been transferred to Cloudflare’s registry.

Upon accessing the Namesco Control Panel, I observed that the domains were no longer listed. Conversely, within the Cloudflare dashboard, all domains were displayed as successfully registered.

I’m pretty sure if this process didn’t cost me an extra £40 plus VAT, it would’ve taken way longer. Still, though, I think the cost is excessive but won’t dwell on it and will instead focus on the savings.

Before deciding to transfer your domains, carefully consider where you have registered your services and where the DNS records for each domain are currently managed.

I strongly recommend initiating the migration process by transitioning the DNS records of your domains to Cloudflare. To achieve this, you’ll need to replace the current nameservers of your domains with the ones provided by Cloudflare during the domain addition process.

Once everything is functioning properly, you can promptly proceed with the domain transfer process as outlined above.

By investing a fraction of your potential renewal fee, you can achieve significant savings, just like I did.

Regards.

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