Picking your Domain Registrar
When your looking for domain registrars whats your main concern? For most people it comes down to money. i would say that most people don’t have “experiences” with domain registrars, they register there name adjust their A-record or dns settings and that’s their experience with their domain registrar until it comes to renewal. If you have been through the process of registering hundreds of domain names with different domain registrars then you begin to see what makes a good registrar, despite what you may think it certainly isnt Go-daddy. But for most casual users it comes down to one thing price. For the benefit of those who don’t want to read what makes a good domain registrar or my personal experience i will compare what i consider to be the top domain registrars first then explain why. One thing i would say is Never search through a Registrar for a domain name you want unless your going to buy it then and there. Use whois read why you should never search for a domain name you want, it could cost you severely. My own experiences and a lot of research.
Top Domain Registrars 2012 (For None Fools)
NameSilo.com (.com registration $8.99)
NameSilo just specialize in domain names, they don’t try and up sell you extras such as hosting when renewing. NameSilo are super cheap, and have an excellent easy to navigate control panel, there are our domain registrar and the ones we recommend. Absolutely no hidden costs, Free WHOIS privacy, API Access, Dns management or anything else, this is refreshing i hate domain registrars that show you one price then add for extras like privacy or ICann fees. Renewals are also the same price as registrations, they don’t use “get you in the door” tactics. There are also No fees to transfer away! NameSilo are an excellent choice. Visit NameSilo
NameCheap (.com registration $10.69)
Go to any webmaster or domain name forum and ask people who they use. Namecheap will come up time and time again. It’s possible that NameCheap is the most popular domain registrar for people who are “in the know”. Namecheap have really fierce pricing and run coupons frequently, theirprices without coupons are excellent to begin with. Namecheap arean Enom reseller some people are put off by this but i still use them for .info domains. Whois Privacy is not included in the price but it only costs $1 some places you pay more for the privacy than you do for the domain. They also do have an ICANN fee of a few cents for .com and .net. One point that may be negative they don’t have a phone number but you can get them through their instant support chat instantly or leave a ticket. Visit NameCheap
Internetbs.com (.com registration $8.49)
Another domain registrar that is well known in webmaster circles. They are known as one of the cheapest domain registrars and are very popular with domainers who research before they buy. There is no whois privacy charge and they incur the Icann fee. Like Namesilo they only offer domain registrar services, not a jack of all trades. There interface may look a little basic and put some people off if you can look past that they are an excellent choice. Visit Internetbs
A Quick note.
I would seriously consider registering your domain names from one of the three registrars above. Any are an excellent choice. Since i said “top 5″ i will show 2 more registrars in-case there is some reason you don’t want to go with any of the 3 above.
Dynadot(.com registration $9.99)
Dynadot cater for quite a few services as well as domain registration hosting and domain auctions. Really good interface, probably one of the best. You can quickly and intuitively change DNS settings or alter an A record. Very fast domain registrations and domain transfers. The support is decent you may be put on hold for a few minutes but they can help you resolve issues quickly. If you read many domain registrar reviews you will hear constant good things about dynadot. Great pricing and stability. Visit Dynadot On a side note don’t get hosting from your domain name provider read our hosting guide.
Name.com (.com registration $10.99)
ICANN acredited. Whois Privacy is an additional $3.99. One of the more expensive domain registrars mentioned but they are very professional and popular with many domainers. I personally don’t use them and would use namecheap, namesilo or internet.bs but i do speak to a lot of people who recommend Name.com. Really good personal customer service. Visit Name.com
Where is Godaddy and 1&1 on this list?
GoDaddy and 1&1 are probably the two most well known domain registrars and if you ask the average new to the world of web development who they recommend chances are they will say GoDaddy.
I really don’t recommend GoDaddy i have used them myself in the past and truly hate their over-bloated control panel, its also a lot slower than it needs to be. When it comes to renewals its more than slightly annoying that it is such an invasion process with attempts to up-sell other products such as hosting (never get Godaddy Hosting read our post on how to find a wehost). Their whois privacy is one of the most expensive I’ve seen and i know you can find great vouchers for godaddy but I’m past the point where i will spend my time to hunt them down. A lot of people recommend them but i put that down to them not knowing any better. They register their domain name with them don’t have a problem so they are happy. They have the most aggressive marketing campaigns for any domain name registrars. They support SOPA (think they retracted their support). There CEO shoots Elephants (Google it if you don’t know). Anyway Sopa and Hunting aside i have another concern with some major domain registrars. I have experiences of using their services to search for a domain only to come back the next day and find its been registered! This is probably not coincidence as its happened a few times to me when i was new to registering domains. Read this article on why you shouldn’t search for domain names with registrars. Many people state it has happened to them and the domain is available as a premium domain but they have to pay thousands of dollars instead of $10. Just search for GoDaddy horror stories before you tell people they are the best. My advice pick Namesilo or NameCheap.
Transfer your domains
If your not currently using one of the recommended hosts you can transfer your domains across usually there will be a charge but that usually renews your domain for another year. I transferred all my domains away from GoDaddy some while ago and continue to do so if i buy any domains from their auction house or for clients that use GoDaddy.
For Superhigh value domains MarkMonitor for is the best place to go they run Brand protection for half the fortune 100 companies use MarkMonitor. If your into Blackhat or something dodgy go with PRQ.se they host pirate bay. If you want to become a domain reseller i recommend http://www.resell.biz/.
If you want to look more into domain names you could start by checking out www.namepros.com or www.webmasterworld.com both are good resources.