Best And Worst Domain Registrars – My Review 2013

Please note that I do have to disclose that I do have advertisements which I earn money from for name.com on my blog which is one of the registrars that I am reviewing. However I display their ads because it is a company I like and respect and I do my best to try not to be biased and I give my reasoning for my choices below. Links in the following text are not affiliate links and will not earn me money.

The Best – Name.com

I have been with Name.com for almost 10 years now and they have always been my favorite and I don’t think they have ever let me down. Everything is easy with name.com and their prices are almost always reasonable. They may not always be the cheapest but in the long run I definitely feel like they have saved me money. When I say that everything is easy I mean that they have actually put some thought into their user interface and it’s remained almost the same for the time I have been an account holder there. My initial reason for joining name.com was to simply register my first domain without using my web host and at the time I looked at all the available registrars and found name.com to be the most reasonable.

At the time of writing this review their price to register a .com domain is $10.99 and the renewal cost for a .com domain is also $10.99. A quick Google search will also reveal some potential coupon codes I could use to save some money if needed. Some might say “Well, it’s only $11 per year?”, which is true, it’s really not that much money, but when you get to 10 domains that amount quickly jumps to over $100 per year and I myself am currently sitting on 74 domains in my name.com account alone which can cost a lot to renew which is why it is important for me to find the best registrar.

I would also like to add that doing routine things such as dns changes, nameserver updates and registrar transfers is extremely simple with name.com and I don’t feel forced in any way to use them, I feel that if they did do something I would be free to leave without any problems.

I also love their slogan which I find to be true “Most importantly, we’ve been giving a $#*! since 2003!”.

The Worst – GoDaddy.com

I recently had a bit of an argument with GoDaddy where I was unable to transfer my domain to name.com. I have never really liked GoDaddy but I have learned to deal with them since many domain sellers like to use GoDaddy when selling and transferring domains. The reason for not being able to transfer my domain was because the previous owner of that domain used a service called DomainsByProxy with added protection which basically prevented me from transferring my domain. I even contacted GoDaddy support about the issue since I had never came across this issue before and it took several emails before they sent me in the right direction, however it required me to send a photocopy of my ID and other personal information in order to get the “protection” removed. Here is a nice guide on how to transfer a domain protected by Domains By Proxy in case someone else has the same problem. This final blow caused me to transfer all my domains which I had with GoDaddy over to name.com which I had told them I would if I kept receiving poor support.

Some may say that this Domains By Proxy is necessary to protect domain owners, however I feel that it’s a step in the wrong direction as well as a way for GoDaddy to further exploit their customers for more money. A domain owner should not need to pay to be protected, instead the domain registrar should straighten up and work on fixing their own security holes. I suggest that if Godaddy want’s to provide added security they should provide phone verification as google does or email verification on login as name.com provides.

That is the latest reason which I dislike GoDaddy however there are many other things. To begin with their interface is terrible, huge dropdown menus make things hard to find and their domain manager is not part of the main website but a separate application which is also hard to navigate and difficult to get out from when done. Changing nameservers or updating contact information is also complicated due to weird popups and extra verification notices which seem extremely redundant. It is also hard to find where things are, it’s like someone said “well, this could go here i guess” and just threw things together.

Next up, their prices, whenever I get a notice to renew my domain I get shocked at the price and feel a bit cheated. Sure it’s nice to save $1 and register a GoDaddy domain for $9.99 but my latest renewal cost was $14.99 for the domain which I instead decided to transfer to name.com and renew there for only $8.25. If I had my domains with GoDaddy I would be paying about $300 more per year when renewing them. Also if I see a renewal notice and think to myself “Ah, I’ll let that domain expire” as I have done many times I will sometimes find out later that the automatic renewal was checked and suddenly I was charged with a $14.99 fee for a domain which I did not want, this has happened more than once. So make sure to login and check to see if auto renewal is on before you try to let that domain expire. Or simply transfer it and you won’t have to deal with the countless of GoDaddy spam emails telling you to renew or their sales team which will occasionally call you to make sure you are receiving the spam and if you need any help adding your credit card info to your account.

The reason which I originally decided to join GoDaddy was because I purchased a domain from someone and it was easy to push the domain from one GoDaddy account to another. I have been with GoDaddy for about 6 years.

That’s enough about GoDaddy for now, please feel free to share your own experiences.

Other Registrars

NameCheap

NameCheap is a nice registrar with good prices. I have had an account with them for about 5 years, mainly for domain transfers for purchased domains. I have found nothing wrong with them but I do prefer the name.com interface over their interface which I also find slightly hard to navigate although it’s not too bad.

Enom

I mainly joined Enom as a reseller about 5 years ago. I have hosted many clients domains with this registrar and found them easy to use and it’s fairly quick to get to the nameserver editor for example. I would say the name.com interface is easier to use but Enom is probably just as easy if you get use to them. I do feel that the prices can be a little higher at times and it may be harder to find discounts.

Your Web Host/Designer/Developer

Letting your web host own the domain for you is sometimes nice, especially if they give you discounts when combining this with your hosting costs. However always be careful when letting a web host, designer or developer own your domains. It is always good to ask if you have direct access to the domain so that you are free to transfer them without talking to the web host or designer, in case there is a dispute. However if you feel that you can trust the person or company then go for it!

About Markus Tenghamn

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Markus Tenghamn is a programmer and entrepreneur currently studying computer science at M√§lardalens University (MDH), Sweden, in addition to being a big part of several new and innovative startups. Markus has pursued web development for over 10 years and started his first ecommerce website at the age of 17. At the moment Markus is responsible for developing MDH Schedule iPhone app (unofficial) and sync server which let's students see their course schedules right on their phone. In addition to other projects, he is a volunteer for SFSFUM (Meeting for student unions in Sweden) where he developed an app for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 which gives participants maps with direction and event information. He has also been a finalist for the Rising Star scholarship awarded by √Ėstsvenska Handelskammaren for course projects at MDH. Markus's latest startup is called Anveto AB (Anveto.com), an innovative analytics and marketing platform which will bring truly unique and new ideas to companies looking to increase revenue. In his spare time Markus prefers to write about web development, app development and startups on his blog at MarkusTenghamn.com. When he is not doing that he loves to read about AI, chaos theory, space and quantum mechanics.

12 comments

  1. avatar

    In this case Im with Godaddy as they takecare of their customers.

  2. avatar

    Just went with Name.com. I’m glad I did. Really nice interface. Transferring my domain was so simple. Thanks for the review.

  3. avatar

    Hi Markus,
    Thanks for sharing, I m investigating this point in particular, maybe that can be a next blog object:
    Friendliest interface for domina name management, I’m using domainrightnow, now, and Imust say I’m getting a bit borred with overcomplicated interface. I merely use 3 params usually: all in all. I register a name, and point it to the server it will e hosted too changing the DNS Ips. or, park it for a while.
    I only have a few domains name (I m not a large list manager) eventhough, why doo we have to deal with 1/2 million parameters that we merly will modify, tons of things that most of us – I believe – would not dare modify unless you need to or know what you are doing.
    Too bad is that most Registrar name will not display screens of their Panel, just like Hosting who want to advertise for their Cpanel or equivalent. It would be great to have a review about those Panels in itself and just for the mere change we do need to do ..and for the very few times we have to deal with a change….once every 6 months or so ? nop ? What do you think. I’ll prob. get a try at name.com now that you mention about it. Too bad you have to buy and get to know the product only after that !
    Cheers, Eric – Bolivia

  4. avatar

    I think both name.com and godaddy.com are good sites. If I had to chose I would go with Go Daddy just based on personal preferences. Nice write up!

  5. avatar

    http://NicerDomains.com is where I register my domains, its just $11 and it includes free whois privacy, free email account, and some extras, just moved all my domains over there :)

  6. avatar

    Melbourne IT are arguably the worst on the planet. Try getting them to transfer out a domain! After going through the motions to release a domain, you email the confirmation.. then nothing, no response. You follow up, no response. You raise a new call to query the transfer in process and alas they have no record of ANY transfer out requests on the domain. You try again, it happens again. You ask to remove domain privacy to complain to ICANN, no response. Shocking customer service. AVOID. Domain is still with them, and now the records are all pointing to holding page rather than the site and exchange server. What can I do? Cry online.

  7. avatar

    I would say NameCheap.com for the free features :)

    Free WhoisGuard
    Free custom NameServer ns1.dotbay.co (IP of your any website server)

    Price are good

    $1 Transfert deals are just crazy!

    Interface is simple but Name.com is more convinient with less features.

    Name.com Prices are actually good. Not For .TV! :)

    Godaddy.com Coupons are keeping them into to the run but… Regular Prices are getting up to often! I think they try to make you think that theyre coupon are LOCO.. But they only drop the price to almost competition fees…

    Best thing is to become a Domain Reseller and take advantage of all the good prices :)
    I mean only if your owning more than 200 Domains! ;)

  8. avatar

    Thanx markus I moved all domain names to SolidBriks.com they are best registrar in my local but i noticed that they are offering free domain add-ons worth $100 whcih is paid in GoDaddy and some other popular domain Registrar… Do you think these add-ons really worth for $100?

  9. avatar

    My experience with 1and1 1&1
    3 days before the domain expired, I turned on auto-renew for a domain, and updated the payment information. Next thing I know, the domain has expired. I call support (they pick up promptly, and I don’t have to go through a menu to reach a live person). In order to authenticate, they ask for MY PASSWORD. How very unprofessional. Who is running this place? They say they will resolve the issue and contact me within 24 hours. 32 hours later, I call them back. It is still with their “transfers team”. I ask them how long it will take for them to resolve this and contact me, and he says another 24 hours. He asks me what domain this is for, and I tell him I want to hear from them what domain this is for, since they are supposed to be handling this case. He tells me the wrong domain, one that is still active. What an idiot. They obviously don’t know what they are doing. Their control panel is overly complicated, slow as molasses, and geared towards your using them as a hosting provider as well. They may not be as bad as godaddy, but you can do better.

  10. avatar

    I had a good experience with godaddy about a decade ago…left ‘em…
    …suckered by REGISTER.COM who gave me a domain for .50 the first year,
    and PARKING only for for $FOUR/MO – deliberately failing to disclose that the
    2nd year of registration (not hosting) was $THIRTY-EIGHT for the 2nd year….
    …am switching abruptly back to GODADDY…. and….filing a complaint with ICANN
    re REGISTER.COM’s deceptive and unfair practices…

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