What do you look for in a Registrar?


Upon reading this post on GoDaddy, the question becomes: What do you look for in a registrar, and who do you use?

I've tried many registrars, and I really don't have one that I prefer.

Moniker is too expensive.
GoDaddy is a pita to use.
etc etc

I want a registrar that has the following:

1. Easy to use interface.
2. Cheap domains
3. No hassle when I want to change hosting, or need to edit my information.
4. A cool way to look up new domain names.

You'd think that'd be easy to find. But I have yet to find one registrar that has all of that.

What registrars do you recommend?


Moniker too expensive?

Moniker is too expensive? Their posted rates certainly are, but is anyone paying that? Call them and cut a deal, they're likely as inexpensive as the next place. I don't get cutthroat pricing, but I certainly get competitive rates.

More importantly they seem to know the SEO market and provide good service. Their control panel works well too. Don't know about your #4 point though.

I'm looking for inexpensive registrations, and decent service. The inexpensive for the 99 times out of 100 I have no problems, and the service for the 1 time in 100 when there's a problem and I need some assistance. And those are the two same reasons I'm using moniker.

you get what you pay for

frankly I dont want to spend LESS than $20 a year on a domain I care about. If a company charges less, how the hell are they going to be able to give me decent service AND break even?

PairNIC has been good to me

frankly I dont want to

frankly I dont want to spend LESS than $20 a year on a domain I care about.

Well, hopefully you're talking about a site, and not simply domain registration. If you're paying $20/year for common TLD's then you're being ripped off.

I've not used Moniker, GoDaddy is fine for registration, but other registrars worth using include:


Different companies offer different USPs, so I tend to use a spread of registrars.

More detailed info on the above here:


Whatever they offer today, will be different when you go to need it. Th eprice today (when they are "the fastest growing...blah blah" will change once they are no longer growing fast enough to keep the stock price up. Etc etc etc.

Try GoDaddy with IE, and when you get to the checkout chage you mind. Shop a bit more. Then go to purchase, and experience GoDaddy Cookie Hell as it bounces back and forth unable to figure out how/why you put private registration in twice for the same domain (you didn't; it did). Clear cookies and continue, and end up with domains where the private didn't go through. It is worse in FF, and parts of their forms don't even work in Flock.

Now go to Moniker and try to transfer 2 domains from GoDaddy. You have to email a rep and work with them. You can do one, if you like, but you won't know what it will cost you: one one page it says $14.99 but on another it says a different price. Also, if you want to add private from the start with that transfer, you'd better call.

Moniker is so highly recommended by the old-school SEO crowd... and has a webmasterradio.fm ad on the front page... I kind of wonder what the SEO ties are behind the scenes.

Oh and if you want to save money staying at GoDaddy, go to any registrar and initiate a transfer *away* from GoDaddy. Don't complete it, but wait for the coupons to arrive in your mailbox. $10 off a $50 purchase, $1.99 domains if you buy anything else, etc.

I agree with grnidone who started this thread - this industry is a mess and we could use some discussion about how it should be done right.

For those not to paranoid I

For those not to paranoid I have had good luck with Yahoo registration service. I use it for my blog and a few other sites.

Memory refreshed - Enom

After having a rare "senior moment", I have verified with our domain specialist to assure I share correct info here...

We're a reseller for enom and have enjoyed great prices and service from them for a few years now. We have 1000s of domains registered through them.

Enom has a domain checking tool which will look for your selected domain with all tlds, and will also provide a display of similar domains that are available.

One interesting tool at Verio will allow you to put in up to three words, for which the tool then scrambles these words to provide all possible variations you could make from them, with shortcuts also provided to check if they are available.

I put ...

I'd had the same question re registrars. While I don't do email spam, I'm not comfortable with the idea of a registrar that might take such draconian measures on the word of a third party.

I'm also a little uncomfortable with the idea of a registrar that won't charge its posted rates if you call them and chat them up. Chatty I may be, but that seems an odd way of doing business that might benefit one customer over another. Just my opinion.

I put the same question to a server email list I belong to; these folks register and maintain *lots* of domain names for their clients and have been doing so for years. The general consensus:

-- enom.com (though it was noted that Domain Registry of America -- the folks who mail out "renewal" notices that are really agreements to transfer -- is an enom reseller); , enom has DNS services. Couldn't figure out what their prices "really" were, either.

-- bulkregister.com

-- OpenSRS - resellers.tucows.com

I just got off the phone

I just got off the phone with yahoo and they don't do transfers apparently unless you host with them

This is good ...

This is good data. I hope everyone continues with this thread.

heard a nightmare about

heard a nightmare about dealing with the OpenSRS system on the Dreamhost blog


doesn't look any different than moniker you have to prepay to get the decent rates.

My Take On It...

Well I have to admit in the past I've had varying degrees of a domain buying addiction. Originally I bought my obligatory overpriced domains from networksolutions. They were 'ok' at best, but I must say their customer support has come a long way.

The first 'low cost' registrar I tried and used heavily for years was joker.com. I think I had about 300-400 domains in there at one time. Overall, once you got used to their interface it was very easy to use. However, the downside with them, is primarily lack of customer support in regards to a phone number, primary english speakers and the ability to solve complex problems (ie; no longer being able to access an email to manage a domain) I wouldn't even want to go there with them.

Now in the last year or two I've branched out and bought a few at namecheap, some at directnic, some at godaddy, etc. Overall I have to say namecheap is very easy to use.

To answer the question simply after having rambled for a while now, the top things I look for in a registrar are:

1) service service service, did I mention service?

2) price and

3) easy of use/interface

And who I'd recommend if I had to pick only one? namecheap - or any other enom reseller that you know personally. Whatever it takes to get a good price and most importantly, professional, fast and effective service.


Their posted prices are no different than hotel rate cards. Ever pay rack rate for a hotel room? Strike up any kind of relationship with them and they will be competitive with the godaddy's etc of this world.

Security I believe is terrific, so is their service. Their control panel allows you to load up to 5k domains at a time, they also allow bulk checks of up to 500 domains at a time.

Service, ring them up, they are there and will help any way they can. They frequent seo conferences, their CEO can be found posting on webmaster and domain forums. They are very in tune with most professional needs.

Moniker 2

Moniker is too expensive.

My price per domain registration is the same at both Moniker and Godaddy.

I have never had a problem transfering a name to Moniker - transfering *away* takes a little more effort, but that's what I want... security. Also, transfers are the same price as Godaddy unless it's an internal transfer - then it's free.


My price per domain registration is the same at both Moniker and Godaddy.

Hmmm.. my price with Moniker is $1 lower than GoDaddy, and private is almost 50% less per year. If their transfers were cheaper, I'd move most of my domains over. Poor moniker... everybody will be asking for a lower price now :-(


I've been with IYD (It's Your Domain) since the late 90s. I've had "zero" bad experiences and have a management interface that works perfectly. I can even change ownership (Registrant) in less than a few minutes. Price wasn't a primary concern from my standpoint. Service and longevity were. I got lucky when I chose IYD. They don't pull any of the crap that some of the others seem to be doing. ;)

Started using the hosting

Started using the hosting company Spry 2005 to purchase domains. So far nothing but praise for them, quick, efficient, easy to transfer...

I wish I'd have used their hosting services now, does anyone here?


Forgot toinclude their search is via whois source

Keep your hosting and domain

Keep your hosting and domain registration separate. I nearly lost my business domain when first registered, because it was registered through the original hosting company, not directly through the registrar.

I use 123-reg.co.uk for my

I use 123-reg.co.uk for my domains, and host my sites on my own dedicated servers. The 123-reg control panel is fairly easy to use, and gives you complete control over your DNS zone file, or allows you to deligate DNS to your own name servers if you wish.

The only downside to 123-reg is their mailservers are (or used to be) a bit up/down sometimes so you may want to point your MX records to another company to handle mail for your domain otherwise you may find many emails just never arrive.

In the past i've had bad experiences with register.com and hostway, I still have several domains stuck with register.com I can't get access to :-/

I *strongly* agree with Brian Turner on the "keep domains and hosting seperate" thing.


I've had no problems with 123reg either - seems to be good rates and their CP isn't too bad.


I've used Namecheap.com in the past to register domains and for a beginner like myself, I think it's pretty good.

Yahoo Domains - My experience

I recently decided to take adventage of Yahoo's 2.99 offer, and attempted to transfer a domain over to Yahoo Domains. Notes as to transfers were very vague and I completed what I thought was a great deal (15.99 for 5 years). I'd add that while going through Soon after processing the order, I realized that transfer is not going to happen, and searched for the contact number again, except now it was impossible to find, so I ended up having to register a phony username and initiate a new transfer to find the number again.
Customer service is not US based, means communication was a problem, also I requested that they explain that how could they charge me for an already registered domain which they cannot transfer, unfortunately they couldn't...

From my experience, the best service I've received have been from a "One man and a dog" firm (as graywolf would call it), company called DomainNameSystems.com. Their site is not the most impressive, but their service was uncomparable.
I am, however, going to call Moniker to check their "Special Deal" and negotiation capabilities...

Little Known Registrar SRSplus

Not to be confused with OpenSRS (or Tucows) the SRSplus program is a Network Solutions program. They offer flat rate pricing that is very competitive, the tool is designed for resellers and as far as I seen and heard they stick to their listing prices.

Getting a service representative on the phone is quick and easy, the problem is that they do not have a 1-800 it is a local number, but I guess there is always a price to pay for low registration costs.

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