If you’ve been thinking about starting your own website, tomorrow would be a good time. Now that you’ve spent most of your money on Black Friday sales, you’re probably not planning on doing much shopping for Cyber Monday. Whether you are planning to shop or not, I’ve got a deal that any tech enthusiast can’t resist: get a functioning website for under $3.

How the Annual Namecheap “Ritual” Works

With two years of experience, I can tell you how the sale works. Namecheap will begin offering hourly deals on domains, email hosting, web hosting, and SSL certificates. Starting at 12AM EST, you’ll be see the deals live at this link. There are a few things you need to know, and I’ll highlight those in this post.

.COM Sales Are Rare, and Require Fast Action

Traditionally, Namecheap will do the .COM/.NET/.ORG sale for 4-5 hourly sales, meaning you have 4-5 chances throughout the day to snag a $0.98 domain. Be aware that these sales require fast action, because .COM domains are in high demand. You’ll need to grab it in the first two minutes or so, or you’ll be out of luck. In addition, when I grabbed a .COM domain on Black Friday, their website crashed during the sale. It was a slow, unpleasant experience. With that said, it’s totally worth it if it means you can save ~$10 on the first year of the registration.

You Also Need Web Hosting

If you’re thinking all you need to get online is the $0.98 domain, you’d be incorrect. You also need web hosting, which is the server where your website files will be stored. Luckily, Namecheap will also be offering $0.98 hosting that is good for one year. Similar to the .COM sale, this is one of their more popular deals, so you’ll need to jump on it right away to get it in time. If you require more power, Namecheap will also have sales on their higher end hosting plans. Also, if you want reliable, spam-free email hosting, you can grab that for an additional $0.88.

Promotions Apply to the First Year Only

Make sure you don’t go too crazy, as these deals apply to the first year only. It may be tempting to buy multiple domains and the higher end hosting plan, but I would urge you to think things out first. For example, if you buy 3 domains, email hosting for your 3 domains, and the Value hosting plan, that will only cost you $6.56. That sounds amazing.. Until you realize what it will cost next year. You’ll get slammed with a $101.13 bill – quite the hefty fee! Make sure you realize what you’re getting in to, and think about long term costs so you can find a solution that works for you in the future years.

Be Prepared, Be Fast, and Have Fun!

The most important thing to get the good deals are to be prepared. Make sure you’re aware of when your desired sale is happening so you don’t miss it, and already know the domain name you want, as taking time to search and come up with a name during the sale could cost you. Literally. Be as fast as possible to ensure you’ll secure the deal. And in the end, make sure you’re having fun! This is one of my favorite events of the holiday season, because it’s a cheap and fun way to get some great deals on domains!

Kevin Nether