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.Shop enters dangerous territory with SSL freebie


Free SSL is likely to make registrar partners uneasy.

Last week GMO Registry, the company behind the .shop top level domain name, announced that it was providing a free SSL certificate to registrants of .shop domain names.

While this might seem like a great perk for registrants, the move risks irking the registrar partners that GMO relies on to sell .shop top level domain names. A free SSL certificate is one less product for registrars to sell their customers.

GMO Registry CEO Hiro Tsukahara told Domain Name Wire, “.shop SSL will be sold only through registrars who opt-in so I don’t believe there will be any conflict. We’re working very closely with our partners to make sure they’re happy in working with us.”

Still, I can’t imagine registrars will be excited about this move.

One of the reasons .tel had trouble gaining traction was because the domain was designed to host contact data in the DNS rather than a website. Registrars were unable to sell high-margin hosting as an add-on to .tel domains and had to create a new integration with .tel. (This will be changing for .tel.)

SSL is quickly becoming a profitable add-on for domain name registrars. Some registrars now offer Domain Validated certificates for free, but hope to upsell customers on more expensive organization validated and extended validation certificates.

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