One of the most critical elements to running a Domaining business is your registrar. Okay, this may be downplaying the importance of a registrar, it probably is the most important element of your business. The registrar you pick impacts your business in many ways, including but not limited to:
- The price you pay to register new domains
- The price you pay to renew domains
- Ease of transfer when you buy or sell a domain
- The security of your domains
Looking at the above list it’s pretty easy to see why a registrar is so important. Unfortunately, many new Domainers pick the wrong registrar when they start which can lead to huge headaches later on. I know this from personal experience since I choose a terrible registrar when I started 1&1. Soon I realized that to change simple contact information on a few hundred domains had to be done manually taking an entire day to update something like a phone number. I also found the transfer process incredibly slow, which, coupled with terrible support, lost me a few of my first sales. So I learned my lesson and picked a better registrar and if you’re just getting started you need to make sure you are going with a registar you can trust.
Over the years I’ve used over 20 different registrars and through this experience I’ve narrowed it down to one which has been the best for me, and a few which you should avoid. Of course this list has changed over time as well since registrars change their interface, management team, support team, website, etc. Also I know that Domainers are very passionate about certain registrars so I’m sorry if I throw your favorite registrar under the bus, I am not being paid to write this post, this is based on my own experiences so I’m not here to make sponsors happy, I’m here to tell you what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t.
My top pick for registrars is Go Daddy, and here’s why.
- Security – this is #1 in my book since my domains are the main asset that my business has. Once you are a VIP with Go Daddy (more than a few hundred names) you can use their DTVS service. This is a bulletproof system that makes it impossible for anyone to ever steal a domain name from you, period. In order to transfer a domain from your account your account manager calls you on your personal phone and asks you to verify a secret key. Since my account manager also knows my voice this means that even if someone managed to steal my phone which is already highly unlikely, they still wouldn’t pass the voice test, and they wouldn’t know my secret key. There is no other registrar out there that I’ve seen offer this level of security.
- Support – I want to be able to call my registrar and get someone on the phone within a minute or two. Like most of you I am incredibly busy and waiting 10+ minutes on the phone won’t cut it. I have always been able to talk to a real person, here in the US, within 1 minute of calling Go Daddy every single time since I’ve used them. I used to be a fan of Name.com but after several times waiting on hold for over ten minutes to talk to someone I had to move my names from them over to Go Daddy. This is not a slam on Name.com, they are cool people and sound like a great company to work for and all awesome people to grab a beer with. The same goes for Moniker which I’ve unfortunately seen take a dive with quality of support as well.
- Ease of Transfer – if you want to sell domains to end users, use Go Daddy. About 99% of the end users I sell to have honestly not heard of any registrar except for Go Daddy and they most likely already have an account with them. The account push process is simple and quick. When you’re with another registrar you usually have to go through the entire auth code process which is very intimidating and confusing for end users. An account push is always the easiest but getting an end user to create a new account anywhere except for Go Daddy can be difficult.
- Pricing – Go Daddy has just about the lowest pricing on domain registrations and renewals so you can keep your costs as low as possible.
These are the top three reason that I use Go Daddy. As you can see from the banner ads on my blog Go Daddy is not a sponsor and I didn’t use an affiliate link above so I don’t make a dime if you decide to go with Go Daddy.
Now for the registrars that you should avoid like the plague:
- 1&1 – this is the worst registrar I have ever used, period. Their support is terrible, domain admin system incredibly limited, and they have one of the longest most confusing transfer processes on the planet. Avoid this registrar and if you already have some names with them, move them out!
- Network Solutions – these guys have made a fortune by over-charging for registrations and renewals while providing very little benefit in return.
- Melbourne IT – Melbourne IT is famous for having some of the slowest domain transfers on the planet. If there’s one way to scare the heck out of an end user it’s accepting their payment and then taking weeks until you transfer the domain.
As always I would love to hear from you. Share your favorite or least favorite registrar and help other Domainers find a registrar they can trust.