One of the first steps for domain investors when they choose to join this crazy and exciting market is to determine which host provider they should use to register their domain name/s. When I first started, I had no clue how to register a domain name and like most people I went to Google to figure out how.
When I began my search the first registrar that popped up was Godaddy. I had heard about Godaddy before so I felt comfortable going to the site and checking out the services that were offered there as well as their prices. I began using Godaddy as my primary registrar because it was easy and it felt familiar.
After a few months of trading I began to become more familiar with other registrars. The nature of the domain investment business demands that you move domain names from one registrar to another or move domain assets between accounts in the same registrar. Thanks to the nature of the business I started to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each host provider. This became very important, in fact essential for me to deal with all of the transactions that I was working with, at the same time figuring out how I could become the most efficient trader that I could be.
I would like to share my personal opinion and experience with you about a few host providers. I have no affiliation with any of them nor do I intend to promote one or the other based on anything beyond personal experience. My intention is to help domain investors make good decisions about which provider/s they work with.
We will begin with Godaddy.com as the majority of domain investors use this service and it is fairly simple to transfer domain within the Godaddy system, providing only the email associated to the account and the account ID.
- Perform bulk operations with ease such as changing the domain server or contact details.
- Transfer domains from one account to another within Godaddy quickly.
- Cheap renewals if performed with a discount card. You can renew a .com for less then $9 annually.
- Very convenient to transfer with a one click accept or refuse. Domains are typically transferred within 15 minutes to the other account.
- Being able to participate in Godaddy’s aftermarket auction platform through your account.
- There is no ability to contact customer service via email. This can be inconvenient if someone has to report a small issue or if you are in transit.
- They don’t have a default billing address setting so when you receive a name you have to update each contact address manually which is time consuming.
- It is not easy to visualize your entire list of domain names as the script is large. Only a few of your names are visible at a time in the platform.
- In order to renew names for a decent price, you need to purchase the discount card which may not be worth buying if you do not have a large domain portfolio.
Another host provider that is quite prolific is eNomCentral.com. This platform is commonly used when you participate in auctions on Namejet.com. It is very easy to transfer names, update contacts, update DNS within the eNom platform. That being said, there are some unattractive components as well. The renewal rates for .com names are incredibly high and there is no communication when a name is transferred into your personal account. It is worth holding names in eNom but I prefer to transfer my assets out when I have to proceed with renewals.
Another common registrar is Network Solutions. They tend to cater to many U.S. clients because of all platforms they have the highest level of security. However, I have found it to be very difficult and inconvenient to transfer domains out of Network Solutions to other registrars.
The process goes something like this; first, they ask you why you are transferring you name away (information that they are not entitiled to), then they proceed to make your verify your choice to transfer the name out again. After a double verification you have to wait 3 days before getting an authorization code to transfer a domain asset. With the fast pace of domain investing, you can lose a sale while you are waiting on this process. I would recommend using this platform to protect 7-figure “blue chip” domain assets but for the common domain name I suggest using a different platform.
I found Name.com to be quite simple and efficient. The account management tools are very easy to use. Renewal prices are fair and the platform back end is easy to manage as it is very intuitive. I personally like this platform and would highly recommend it, especially to the beginner domain investor.
Beware of Moniker.com. Many domain names have been stolen that were hosted on this platform leading me to believe that their security isn’t very strong. Also, their back end service is not very intuitive and is limited in the amount of tools that they provide. Finally, the customer service is very poor in responding to your requests.
My favorite platform however is Uniregistry.com. It is perfect for domain investors, very intuitive, great prices, transactions in and out are performed at the speed of business and with little to no hassle. It is the perfect platform to hold many less expensive names that are liquid. You can easily perform bulk transfers with confirming by clicking a link which is a bonus for these types of names.
The last review goes to Eurodns.com. If you are wanting to trade in European TLD’s this is your registrar. Great pricing, professional looking they recently renewed their back end. If you approached them directly they can easily drop their registrar fees and apply account discounts. While they could add some tools this company is very professional and helpful.
Choosing the right domain host is extremely important for a domain investor. Make your choice wisely based on your need for speed, ease or security. If your portfolio is robust, your list of registrars will probably match that. Just remember you don’t want to spend too much time on the back end of your host provider when you need to be in the market flipping names. If you are dealing with names on the cheaper end of the spectrum it is key to save as much as possible on renewals. Choose your domain partner wisely and always provide feedback on how they can improve their platform, they will often listen and support you and your business.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article, keep having fun in this exciting, ever-changing industry.