For years now I have a website dedicated to a certain breed of electrical guitars, dubbed the "off-set waist" or short "offset" guitars. In my case, this covers the Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster models, but the term includes other brands as well and over the years several other models share the "offset" body form. I started this website way back in 2001-ish, when I finally got myself an old Jaguar guitar and was intrigued that there was not really much info regarding all the different switches and the bridge/tremolo design. People knew about Strats, Telecasters and Les Pauls, but those Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Mustang guitars? They gained a bit popularity in the 1990ies with the alternative/indie crowd, mostly due to the fact that by the arival of post-punk those guitars were cheap and available in pawn shops. If you are interested in the history and quirks, I invite you to visit my site at

This .guitars domain I'm quite proud of. The site "lived" for the first ten years or so under my domain ( - but nine years ago I got hold of this "". The domain registration and renewal price has been around $30 a year - a price I was willing to pay even though this site is purely hobby, non-commercial.

Now imagine my surprise when earlier this year the domain was renewed for around $315 for two years, aka $158 a year.

OUCH. I'm not sure why, but after a superficial search on the web I found that .guitars domains now cost around $100 a year, and that even this price can go up upon renewal when the domain is considered a "premium" domain. A "premium" domain is one with a very short name ( for example) or a generic name, and I fear this is where my "" comes into play.

So, after a short shock phase I decided to ask my registrar why the price suddenly went up from $60 to $315 for a two year renewal. Instead of an answer, after like 30 minutes in one of those support chat simulations (still not sure if I "spoke" to a bot or a person), I needed to leave the "chat" and decided to come back to this issue the day after.

Imagine my other surprise when later this evening I received an email from the registrar stating a refund - so this time the renewal also is $60 for the next two years.


But, I still have no info if the earlier high price was due to an error, or if now someone somewhere decided to grant me a discount (if so: thank you so much, registrar support) -- the whole situation around these .guitars domains seems to be a little shifty.

I found an article from around 2017(!) where someone researched how many active sites are there with this top level domain, and there were like a few thousands hundred only. So already in 2017 there was talk that these domains will go up in price.

So here I am now, a little bit unsure about what to do.

On the one hand, I really like this domain. But on the other hand monthly domain costs of $10++ for a hobby-thing wihtout any income are not really an option.
And I don't plan to commercialise this site, I'm quite fond of the tracker-free, non-profit place.

I think the best route would be to move the site to a more traditional domain and have the .guitars domain redirect to that one. The next two years should be enough time to announce this redirect to the search engines and sites that link to my content. Then, if in two years it turns out that .guitars is (too) expensive (for me), I can let go of this vanity domain. Which would be a pity. I'd rather prefer to keep it. :-)

Does someone else have experience with suddenly massive increase in domain costs?