Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where do you register your domains?

My posts are usually rants and complaints. If there's nothing wrong, there's no reason for change, so why bother to write. Not so this one, it's full of praise and worship.

Nah, just kidding. It starts with rant.

There are the classical types for dishonorable businesses. Telco is the worst that comes to mind. Contract lock in, intransparent calling and roaming costs, etc.

Another bad one is domain name registration... or at least used to be. It started for me in the good old days when internic (now Network Solutions) was the only registrar for com/net/org. Their address was at internic.net, and a cunning company from Australia registered internic.com, tricking the visitors into believing it's the real thing. The gangster Peter Zmijewski was later charged with fraud, and apparently some 13k victims got money back. Not me.

Today, there are a ton of official registrars who offer perfectly legal domain registration. The price is usually slightly above what they need to pay to the registry - for .com that is still Network Solutions at $6 per year. Just like Telco it's a tough business with small margins. Some charge a lot and can do it thanks to their market position. For example Network Solutions they ask for $34.99. Crazy. GoDaddy is very popular which allows them to charge $13.17, which means $7 to keep. Others offer low prices in the 1 digit range... and to maximize profit, they try to trick the customer in several ways. Not so namesilo.

Today I've registered the 2nd domain name with namesilo. Reading their website is a pleasure:
  • Cheap: $8.99 per year (that means $3 to keep for themselves)
  • Renewals cost the same. (That's where other registrars try to cheat. First year cheap, then whoops. Hard to switch.)
  • Extra features are included for free. (Whois privacy, preventing unauthorized record changes. That's where others try to sneak in costly services, possibly free the first year, and then charged automatically.)
  • No hidden cost. (I'm repeating myself here, but I just have to say it.)
That's the kind of business model I like. Just domains, no hosting and up-selling and crap. Fair, transparent, clear.

So if you see an offering like GoDaddy is currently advertising on Google Adwords "$2.95 COMs at Go Daddy" then you know something is wrong. Either you'll pay in the long run, or you have to buy their hosting, or so.

For the trendy .co domains I use namecheap. Don't like them, they're exactly the kind I described above. But namesilo doesn't do .co.



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