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The Big Transfer — Moving Away From gandi.net

5 minute read

gandi.net was my domain registrar for many years (20+). They were wonderful. No nonsense domain management with full control over even the weirdest settings. Extremely reliable. Fast and friendly support with deep technical knowledge. I really loved them and promoted the hell out of them, whenever someone asked where to put his/her/their domains. But it is time to move on.

The Gandi Web Interface, my old friend The gandi web interface, ah, my old friend

Last year, in February, what was announced as a merger between gandi.net and Total Webhosting Solutions from the Netherlands, resulting in Your.Online (a web page that hasn’t seen much updates since the announcement) turned out to be exactly what many predicted.

Prices for domain registrations and renewels shot up. BIG time.

Renewals for .com and .org domains went from 13€ back in 2015 to 19,99€ (+53,8%) now. For .net the jump was even bigger: from 14€ back in 2016 to 24,99€ now! That’s 78,5% more! I admit, I didn’t really care about the price changes for many years, but now I do.

I decided to wait a bit. Maybe they would come back to reasonable prices. But now that some of my domains have been renewed, I experienced the massive price hike again. The (automatic) renewal of a CNO (.com, .net, .org) combo, 3 domains, resulted in an invoice of 77,00 € including VAT. Now that is a LOT of money for the simple act of renewing 3 domains that I “own” since 10+ years.

Time to pack up stuff and go

So I went looking and compared prices, based on my domain portfolio, limited to EU-based registrars (with some exceptions), because I definitely won’t take my domains to a US based company. The fediverse was really helpful in sharing candidates after I asked, thank you to all who helped!

I took my domain list and counted how many I have in which TLD. Created a table and some formulas to see how much I could save. Without further ado, here’s the table.

Prices are renewal prices, without VAT, I have added links to the pricelists, so you can check for yourself1, which you should as these prices change often and in weird ways.

TLD   .com .de .eu .net .org .se Total/Year
# of domains   4 1 0 8 6 1 20
gandi.net FR 19,99 € 11,47 € 19,99 € 24,99 € 19,99 € 24,99 € 436,26 €
netcup.de DE 14,76 € 5,04 € 9,48 € 25,32 € 18,00 € 41,04 € 415,68 €
joker.com DE 18,86 € 5,00 € 8,33 € 22,15 € 18,74 € 26,74 € 396,82 €
vimexx.nl NL 16,49 € 13,99 € 7,99 € 19,99 € 19,99 € 35,79 € 395,60 €
tecspace.de DE 17,95 € 5,00 € 15,00 € 17,95 € 21,95 € 30,00 € 382,10 €
hetzner.de DE 15,47 € 11,90 € 12,50 € 16,66 € 17,85 € 55,93 € 370,09 €
mythic-beasts.com UK 16,97 € 11,70 € 12,29 € 20,48 € 14,04 € 36,86 € 364,52 €
netim.com FR 14,00 € 12,00 € 6,00 € 18,00 € 18,00 € 24,00 € 344,00 €
ovhcloud.com FR 15,98 € 11,98 € 10,19 € 18,09 € 16,99 € 17,24 € 339,80 €
inwx.de DE 15,95 € 4,65 € 10,12 € 17,26 € 14,17 € 25,00 € 316,55 €
cloudns.net BG 12,45 € 7,99 € 7,43 € 15,15 € 14,22 € 18,50 € 282,81 €
mijn.host NL 12,99 € 5,99 € 5,99 € 15,99 € 12,99 € 17,99 € 281,80 €
domainname.shop NO 13,99 € 6,49 € 5,99 € 13,99 € 13,99 € 13,99 € 272,30 €
unnamed   11,60 € 4,70 € 6,25 € 13,60 € 10,60 € 12,80 € 236,30 €

Now that is a list full of weird differences. Look at the fluctuations of the prices for .se or .de domains! And after all the checking and comparing I knew — I could save a lot of money.

Here as a nice graph, just to show you expensive gandi has become. It makes me sad.

Graph of total prices, ranging from 436,28 € down to 236,30 €, with an average around 345 €

So let’s move to unnamed

And sure, you will wonder: Who is “unnamed”? Well, it is a small but friendly hosting company, who decided to make me a special personal offer with very attractive prices. But the deal is that I cannot disclose the name of said company. And I respect that. So trust me when I say that this company is EU-based and super nice :)

With that special offer I can go from an average of 22€/year per domain at gandi to now just 12€/year. Win!

AND NO, JAN, THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN BUY MORE DOMAINS!1!! ;)

I just transferred the first domain to test everything and it took merely a few minutes and all seems to work. Yes, even dns :)

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish, gandi.net!

Gandi was a real good registrar for many, many years. But all good things come to an end. Now to clean up all dns entries and other stuff before I can initiate the Big Transfer in the next few days :)

Update 2024-05-04 All is good

I have moved the big majority of my domains away from gandi to my new provider. As I could preload my dns config, the domain transfers went mostly unnoticed to the outside world. At some point the nameservers changed. That’s all. I am cleaning up a bit too, documenting my setup and I have already added 2 new domains to my portfolio. Damn ;)

  1. Prices as of 2024-04-30, they can get updated fast, so take this as a snapshot only. Transfer of a domain typically causes additional costs, which I have left out of this table. 

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