In fact, if you don’t research your domain registrar, you could find yourself wasting time and energy navigating a clunky interface, buying features you don’t need. You could also find yourself stuck with low quality, or non-existent, customer service.
To help get you started with your domain shopping, I’ve reviewed three top domain registration services.
When you’ve done your keyword research and you’re ready to purchase your domain, check out the companies below.
While the name may sound less than impressive, Namecheap is one of the most highly recommended domain registration services on the web. They have competitive pricing, a very user-friendly interface, and allow you to transfer your current domains to them for free. They also lack (and this is a good thing to lack!) the aggressive upselling of their competitors.
The only downside to Namecheap is their lack of phone support. However, their chat and email ticket support is superb.
In addition, Namecheap has not offered web hosting, email or other services until recently, so it’s hard for me to report on their track record with these services.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a domain name registrar with integrated hosting and registration, you’ll want to check out another service (see our recommendation on web hosting). But if you’re just looking for domain registration, Namecheap is the way to go.
Go Daddy is the most popular domain registration service on the web. While their strong advertising and marketing brings in many customers, it also sends many customers away.
Go Daddy has excellent prices and the ability to select services such as private domain registration. In addition, buyers can select a variety of online services such as hosting, shopping carts, blogs, email, and a long list of other products related to website building.
However, a major drawback of Go Daddy is its excessive and intense upselling, which can force newcomers into buying products they don’t want or need. In addition, many affiliates report serious problems using Go Daddy’s web hosting, particularly with WordPress. And as a consultant who has helped clients develop WordPress websites hosted by Go Daddy, I can personally confirm that the level of WordPress knowledge within Go Daddy’s customer support team is seriously lacking.
Recommendation: Go Daddy is a great registrar if you know how to navigate their menus and can avoid buying upsells. However, if you want to buy your domain and hosting from the same company, I advise you to look elsewhere.
Dotster is an established presence in domain name registrations. In business more than 10 years, they also provide web hosting, email and other premium services.
Their interface is well designed and uncluttered. As I went through the shopping cart, there were few upsells to distract me from the process. However, the site returned an “Internal Server Error” page just as I was about to enter my credit card information. While I have not heard reports that these issues are widespread, but even as I tried to reenter my order, I could not get the shopping cart to work, no matter how many times I tried.
Dotster provides phone and ticket-based customer support. While some customers have complained about long wait times for phone support, to complain about being on hold for 10-15 minutes seems less than reasonable.
Recommendation: Aside from the issues I faced with the shopping cart, Dotster is a solid company with a good track record. However, their prices are higher than their competition and if you’re buying multiple domains each year, that difference can add up. If you’re buying one or two domains, you’ll enjoy their easy to use site. But if you’re buying multiple domains every year, you’ll want to take advantage of Namecheap’s lower prices.
Which domain registration company do you use? Leave your feedback in the comments!