Why you should choose only reputable domain registrars?
The biggest nightmare I ever have as a web developer is not that my web host suspended my account without a reason or that my website was down for 3 consecutive days! It is that my domain registrar went out of business and I were not able to renew my domain names that were expiring!
That happened a few years back and the name of the registrar is RegisterFly. I own over 30 domain names at that time. Shouldn't I know that flies just love shits?... Many customers lost their domain names because they simply cannot renew them or transfer it away.
Ever since that day I will only register my domain name at the most reputable domain registrars. At least if they really screw up, they will affect too many customers and become "too big to fail" forcing ICANN (the domain regulator) to step in and take control.
Where should you register your domain names?
You can reach GoDaddy at www.godaddy.com
GoDaddy has been the largest domain registrar for several years. They are currently the #88 most visited website in the world according to Alexa. Just recently, they are being sold to three private equity firms for $2.25 billion!
GoDaddy domain names are cheap but you have to very very careful with them for "stealing" more money from you.
1. There are lots of upselling when you try to register a domain name and I really means A LOT! You don't need any of them except maybe private registration which I will explain later.
2. Domain name can be register for 1 year up to 10 years. Make sure you are paying for 1 year because GoDaddy may have quietly choosing longer terms for you!
3. ALWAYS check and confirm the final price before you make any payment to avoid any nasty surprises!!!
You can reach NameCheap at www.namecheap.com
NameCheap is gaining market share very fast in the last few years. They have now become the #699 most visited website according to Alexa. Due to the nasty GoDaddy upselling and complicated check out, NameCheap will offer you a better experience. Domain name pricing is also as cheap as GoDaddy, if not cheaper. It has been my primary choice now.
How much do GoDaddy and NameCheap cost?
They change their pricing by the cents all the time so I am not going to prepare a chart here. You can easily check at their website. Different domain extensions have different pricing. But they have the most competitive pricing in town and they will always beat the domain pricing of a web host.
However, here is a special discount link where you get a .com from GoDaddy for only $7.99 (+$0.18 ICANN fee) for the first year.
You can also try the coupon code "CJCSAVE10" for 10% off all orders and "WEB40" for $10 off if you order amount is over $40. I don't think coupons are stackable and I also don't promise they will work all the time.
What is domain name privacy protection? Do you need it?
GoDaddy is calling it Private Protection while Namecheap is calling it WhoisGuard Protection (the logo looks like a bug to me but it is actually a mask and a shield!). They refer to the same thing. This may be the only add-on that you can consider and please stay far far away with other add-ons.
When you register a new domain name, ICANN requires you to make your personal information public so anyone who do a "whois search" on your domain will know a lot of information about you which includes, your name, your address, you telephone number and your email.
If it is registered under your business entity, then there is nothing to worry about when those information is being made public. However, you may not be very happy if your home address and home phone number are being published.
And the other problem is your email address. Spammers will harvest the email addresses from the "whois search" and start spamming your email account!
Although against the ICANN requirement, I used to put fake information on my domain whois to avoid the problems. Yes, I will put fake name, fake address, fake telephone number and even fake email... Well I didn't get into any trouble at all.
Now domain registrar found a solution for us (actually a new way to make more money from us). Instead of entering fake information our self, they will enter it for us. It's not fake. It is just their own office address and telephone number. And to rent you their address, they will charge you a fee for it! Ahem...
So now instead of your personal information, GoDaddy will show this instead if you are paying for their private registration:-
Private, Registration firstname.lastname@example.org
Domains By Proxy, LLC
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598
The only difference now with me entering fake information is that now it complies with ICANN requirements because now the information is "real", just not yours.
And not all domain extension support domain privacy. For example, you cannot use it on the .us domain extension.
The biggest concern on Private Domain Registration is the Price!
Here is the pricing for private whois and I have included some web hosts for comparison as well.
|NameCheap||FREE for the first year and $2.88/year there after. You get more discount if you are protecting more domain names. For example, 5 private registration will cost only $7.88 ($1.58 each).|
You see, it is not something cheap. It can cost more than your domain name! And now you know why I prefer NameCheap after you look at the price.
Should you use their web hosting services?
No. I have never seen a domain registrar that can provide good web hosting service. It is just not their core business and they are only doing it to complement their domain business. I would stay far far away from them. Please use one of the best web hosts I am recommending instead.