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.



  1. Terry Peebles says

    I use GoDaddy for domains, have done religiously for a long time – and, to this day, never had a problem with them. Without wanting to come over as all spammy an’ stuff, I can leave these with you for future savings:

    emma1 = 10% off any order
    emma2 = 20% off any order >30USD
    emma3 = any new .com domain for 7.49USD
    emma4 = .co.uk domain for 2.70GBP for the first year
    emma25 = 25% off any order >100USD
    emma30 = 30% off .com domains
    emma35 = .com domain for 3.50GBP
    emma50 = 50% off .co.uk domains

    The upselling can be a bit off-putting, but the value and interface outweighs the crud, imho.

    Hosting, I use Joyent (http://joyent.com). Rock. Solid.

  2. says

    I still use GoDaddy for everything as well. Never had a problem with existing domains and with 10+ domains with them already, it’s just not worth it to move them or spread out registrations across different sites.

    Only problem I ever had was when they let me register tay.org (omg, three letter domain name!!) and then the next day called/emailed to tell me there was a mistake and the domain was already taken.

    I use ajaxwhois.com to research domain name availability before I buy them.

    Hope you are doing well Richard!

  3. Richard Kershaw says

    @Taylor – Agree it’s a pain having registrations across multiple hosts. But the GoDaddy user experience drives me nuts! AjaxWHOIS looks pretty good. Bet Florida is a little less overcast than Berlin. Leaving this week, back in London for a few days, then to NYC.

  4. says

    I’ve used Namesco for years and found them very easy to work with.

    I too have had trouble transferring old domains from the likes of godaddy and network solutions, which have certainly tainted my opinion of them

  5. Danijela says

    I use domains-world.com last year and I was very satisfied.Cheap prices and privacy included.

  6. Bob says

    I’ve used 4dreg.com for 10 years and never had an issue. Not the cheapest but guaranteed piece of mind


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