Difference between Domain Name Registration Sites?

Is there a difference between the variety of companies that offer domain name registration? I’m looking for the cheapest place to register my website, but I’m worried there’s a catch if I choose someone other than Network Solutions. I already have a hosting company, so I don’t need any additional services.

Network Solutions has traditionally been one of the worst places to register your domain. They charge more, and their customer service (should you run into problems) is supposed to be worse than many other companies. I, and everyone I know, have been happily using godaddy.com for a number of years now.

There is no catch if you choose someone other than Network Solutions.

There are two types of places who will register your domain name. One is a Registrar, who is accredited by ICANN to register domain names. Network Solutions and Godaddy are Registrars, and there are a bunch more. I used to work for one.

Any other company that offers to register a domain name for you is just a pass-through to a Registrar. Lots of hosting companies have deals with the Registrars to do this and get a reduced price. Anybody could set up shop to sell you a domain name and then just do the registration process on your behalf without having a formal relationship with a Registrar (that’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fact). I would suggest you see if your hosting company will do the registration for you.

I would tend to agree in broad generalization that NS has high pricing and tries to posture itself as a premium, high-service provider. They have generally tried to go after the deep pockets–big businesses–with extra services, though most of their customers are actually small businesses. They have a historical advantage in being the first Registrar for .com, .net, and .org and having had a government-sanctioned monopoly for a while. I had a domain and email addresses registered with them at one time and was not impressed with the customer service I received on the rare occasion when I actually needed it.

I now have two Godaddy names, email, and web hosting and have had no problems at all. And it’s cheap. And when I purchased my hosting account, I got a phone call from a live person the next day just checking to see if everything was OK.

I have over 80 domain names for small and large businesses with GoDaddy. I have had an account with them for over 2 years. Nothing bad to say about them. They are cheap, reliable, and have extra services (that I can’t speak for).

I have nothing nice to say about Network Solutions. Horrible customer service, outrageous prices, and all around d*ckheads.

thank you to everyone in this thread…I just started a business and have been looking into webhosting and domain registration on and off for weeks. I had never heard of this place before this thread.

placed my order a few minutes ago

Can you buy a domain name even if you don’t intend to create a website to go with it?

Yeah… once you buy it, it is yours for the time period you’ve paid for it, with the option of extending that. (There’s the possibility of a court order taking it away if the name forms a trademark and the trademark holder wants to use that domain name or something.)

Most registrars will automatically put up a simple ‘park page’ at your name, including some advertising for them, until you tell them to direct the address somewhere else. This actually backfired for godaddy a few years ago IIRC – someone had registered a really tacky name that I can’t remember, maybe something to do with 9/11, and people were really offended that when you punched in that name, it looked like go daddy had deliberately put advertising there. Most of the people who found out about it didn’t really understand how a domain name registrar works, so didn’t realize that no-one at the company had probably even noticed the site name until people had been forwarding nasty emails about it for a while.
Are you actually considering doing this, and if so, mind if I ask what you intend to do with the name if not create a website for it?? A lot of people grab cool domain names just to build email addresses out of them… I have one of those, actually. Also used to have one that I could customize to directly lead to my home computers, (since I’m on cable, they have static IP addressess,) but I gave that up, partly because it doesn’t make as much sense with my new wireless modem. Or I suppose you could try grabbing a name just to keep somebody else from getting it, or in the hopes that they’ll buy it from you.

Just curious. I have no interest in making a website until I have something to say (not that that’s stopped anybody :D).

Another satisfied GoDaddy.com customer here. I switched from Network Solutions this spring and the difference in customer service and pricing is remarkable.

I’ve been contemplating making myself a website, and i notice that most providers also offer domain name registration. Is there any reason not to get your domain name through the same company that provides you with your webspace?

Yes and no.

I gotta say “yes” because I own a web hosting business, and we do offer to register our clients domain names if they ask us. We pay $9.20/yr at GoDaddy and charge our clients $10/yr. We put all our domain names on “auto renew” and it’s up to the client to tell us to cancel before the next renewal, else they get charged.

If someone leaves us, I refuse to have their domain name under our account anymore. So they have to create their own registrar account somewhere and pay for a transfer, which I gladly accept.

HOWEVER…and I have posted about this before…I am a very small company. When you want your domain name transfer accepted, you call me, I get it done. No red tape. But I have worked with MANY big web hosting companies on behalf of my clients and it is a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS to get those domain names transferred over to our account, or to simply change the existing record’s nameserver info.

Some clients have taken WEEKS to get that stuff changed. First the client doesn’t know who their registrar is. So I look it up. Then I query the registrar who says they don’t “own” the domain, it’s through a reseller. Then I call reseller, who is a parent company and they don’t know who I should contact to get the login info or to have the transfer accepted.

Or, clients don’t have their own control of their domain, they have it registered with their old email address, tho. But the only way to access it is via their email address. But they don’t have access to said address. So you somehow have to prove who they are and fax a driver’s license to a guy who doesn’t speak English and have him write an affidavit and you pay $35 to get the password sent to a new address and your domain name unlocked so they can change the nameserver info but you can’t transfer away for X days and when you do it’s another $35 (yes network solutions I mean YOU!)

I have so many horror stories it’s not even funny. Getting control of my clients’ domain names has got to be the hardest part of my job.

So please…unless you have a good relationship with the web hosting company and are sure they will take care of you…just get your own GoDaddy account, buy your own domain name, and when you get hosting just find the right nameserver info from the host’s web site, or ask them, and you will be so much better off.

Otherwise, it’ll end up costing you money, time, or even the loss of your domain.

Another satisfied godaddy customer here. Their privacy service is good, too. I only get crap mail for the one domain I keep forgetting to hide…

If it’s a shady company and you decide to stop using their services, you will have to ask them for access to your own domain – not very fun. If you have your login to your domain settings from the get-go, it’s easy to just point your domain to another webhost in the event that you decide to leave your old webhost.

I “lost” a domain this way. It was just a personal domain, so I got over it.

Thanks for the info, folks. I think i’ll get my domain names through godaddy.

For years I used Register.com but I just moved my last domain over to my godaddy account.

At work I maintain two other godaddy accounts which have about 70 domains in all.

I’ve not had a problem with their service. Their price is good. Their DNS admin is a tad funky but works fine.

Godaddy is where it’s at.