Which is the Best Domain Registrar?

Ever register a domain with your web host?

I used to, too. Many of my friends still do. It’s usually simple and cheap enough.

But it’s also unwise. I realised *why* when a friend lost control (albeit briefly) of their domain, after falling out with their host.

They’d sent an opt-in newsletter. A handful of spam complaints later, and they pulled the plug. I eventually learned the hard way myself, but more on that later.

At PubCon 2006, everyone was talking about Moniker. I couldn’t work out why. With hindsight, owner Monte Cahn is a popular and well-respected guy in the industry.

I decided to give Moniker a shot. In the couple of years since, I’ve learned why people recommend them:

1. I have my own account rep. Moniker asked for my feedback on something. I got a response from the company’s founder. Pretty damn impressive.

2. Their interface is fantastic for managing domains (even if it’s ugly as sin). For example, you can update nameservers or registration information in bulk.

3. Moniker have a domainers’ price plan, charging around $7 for a .COM.

4. Moniker have never lost control of a domain. I thought this was BS sales patter, until I lost a domain last year when a major UK registrar swiped a domain from me (why? the old owner “asked for it back”).

5. Moniker run their own domain escrow service (though I usually use escrow.com) and run many of the biggest domain auctions.

Don’t get me wrong: Moniker aren’t perfect. Last year, Nominet (the UK domain registry) was offline for a weekend, and Moniker couldn’t explain why my registrations were failing. But compared to the competition, I think they rule the school.

Go Daddy’s interface and relentless upsells drive me nuts (let me know if you *ever* work out how to transfer a domain out). The front running scandal put me off using Network Solutions.

All things considered, I’ve been very happy with Moniker and now have most of my domains with them.

Which is your favourite domain registrar and why?

PS. Don’t forget to check out Domain Lookup, my Firefox extension for finding domain names.

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