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Welcome to Walter Moore Canada's Blog. These comments are strictly opinion. You can disagree!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Domain Registrars

Updated 2009-11-25
I am still with Domainsatcost.ca but Registryfly.com had to stop registering domains. They were doing something that was not allowed but never affected me. Moved the COM sites to Domainsatcost.ca.

Published 2002-11-12
Picking a good Domain Registrar(DR) is more important than you might think. I mean what do they do? They register your domain name right? That used to be the case but things have changed in the past few years.
What you are about to read is my personal experiences with 3 different DR’s. Specifically www.DomainsatCost.cawww.registryfly.com, andwww.networksolutions.com (now owned by Verisign).
After 2 years of using DomainsAtCost.ca(not .com) I would definitely rate this the best DR out there for .CA domains. Their price can’t be beat but there is much more. Their service is excellent. The website is fast and easy to navigate(It could bet even faster and more efficient with a few minor performance tweaks). The site is great for managing multiple domain names at once. They make the process as painless as possible. In addition they provide what I consider an invaluable FREE redirect service that can redirect to a folder in a website (critical for multiple domains and only one website). They also provide the best search engine for common Domain Names I have found. It includes a “similar” name list on each search. Just the search engine is worth checking out their site. I highly recommend them. The only negative comments I can say is that their price on US domain names is a higher than their US competition($14.95) and for some reason more than DomainsAtCost.com (but still a good price) and email response on weekends could be improved(maybe it has, rarely need email). Compared to other Canadian DR’s DomainsAtCost.ca has no competition.
This company just keeps getting better and offering more services. I first used their service 2 years ago. They are great for general use except for .CA domains. Register with them and you may not need any other service providers. They provide many FREE services at a very cheap price but again it is service that is important. Everything works through the website and is fast and fairly easy to navigate. The problem with navigation is they have so many options(not a bad thing). For $8.99us per year you can have your domain registered, have email, and a very simple website. Now that is tough to beat. They have lot’s of other FREE options with registration. They do not offer .CA domain registration unfortunately. I prefer DomainsAtCost.ca but this company is a close second. If I needed more of their free services I think they would be #1… tough call.
You knew there was going to be an exception…
Originally I started with NetworkSolutions(NS) back in 1995 when I registered my first domain. They were the only DR available. It was simple to register because my web service provider did it for me. The cost… $70 per year, services, absolutely none. You would think paying such a premium would get you top service… HA!!! Here is my 7 year nightmare… There was no problem until I changed email addresses several years after registering. That is when I actually had to get involved… Since I no longer had my old email ID(dropped acount 6+ months before) it was virtually impossible to communicate with NS to renew my domain. At that time they did not accept anything unless it was from email. Go to their website and forms were very complex and almost impossible to find the right form. Navigation was one of the worst I have seen. It took 6 months to finally get my email changed with more back-and-forth than I care to remember. After that I moved… another nightmare trying to get my information changed… another 4 months… Their price has always been among the highest (until recently they were $30 per year…now $15.00/year-if you register for 2 years). A year ago I finally got fed up and went to change DR’s before I had to renew. After 2 months of messing around the domain was expiring and I had to renew with NS. This year I decided to get a jump on transferring. I started on September 27th(renewal is April 2003) … Good thing… I am still screwing around with the new “Verisign” to get this accomplished. I have requested it be transferred 3 times now and it still hasn’t happened. Each time the whole process works except the confirmation email from NS(now Verisign)… I even get email stating the request was rejected because I did not confirm the request. Each time the response I got when I contacted Verisign was “try again”… On the 3rd attempt I wasn’t going to wait around for it to be rejected… Requested transfer yesterday everything proceeding like other times… no response from NS by 9am today… I called them and someone(David) actually looked into it… “for some reason” they can’t see where they are sending the confirmation message. They should be able to… they just can’t… appears to be sending it to a blank email address?? Good someone actually looked at this AFTER my 3rd attempt. When I called Verisign I did note that it was quick to reach someone and David was very polite and responded to my issues as best he could. I was informed the account would be moved within 2 days. If this doesn’t get done you know I am not going to be very happy and this article will be updated for your reference. Just a thought for you…. 100 domains here= $7,000/year… 100 domains registerfly.com = $899/year
Hopefully Verisign can salvage the client base from NS. It will be a difficult challenge given the abuse NS’s customers have had to endure. Verisign will have to adjust very quickly and add a lot of options and I’m not sure they are prepared for the scope. Verisign is a big company and this integrates well with their other services to provide complete end-to-end solutions. Please note that Verisign has inherited a mess, they did not create it!
There are many good DR’s for US domains now, not so many for .CA domains. You no longer have to accept poor service and high costs. Shop around, the difference can be extreme. I have seen registration charges as high as $100 recently.
So like I said… 
Picking a good Domain Registrar is more important than you might think

At time of publishing the only relationship I have with any of these companies is as a customer. The comments here are my personal experiences with 3 companies, you may have a totally different relationship with any or all of them. Due to experiences with NetworkSolutions I spent countless hours reviewing many DR’s before deciding. I think my choices have worked out well. There are DR’s that are a few dollars cheaper but guaranteed good service is worth more than $2 per year.
Like always, these are my opinions…. I could be wrong.

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