Compare Domain Providers – Picking the Right Registrar

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Long time Internet users can remember a time when domain registration didn’t offer a whole lot of choice – there was only one domain name provider, and it wasn’t very affordable.

Times have changed. There are now a seemingly endless number of domain providers, and with greater choice and drastically lower pricing, the registration of new domain names has seen a continual rise. Verisign reports that in 2007, more than 33 million new domain names were registered, bringing the overall total to an estimated 153 million. That’s a lot of domain names! In 2008, that number is expected to grow, as more and more people start their own online business in order to supplement their income.

In the old days, free website communities like Angelfire were home to most personal and many small business websites. Now, it is almost just as easy (and inexpensive) to have your own domain. Appropriate, professional domain names are especially important for companies wishing to establish branding and credibility on the Web.

If you’re ready to purchase a personal or small business domain name and want to compare domain registrars, you may not know where to start. Fortunately, as the domain registry business has grown, sites have been established that help you compare their quality. Most of these services that offer you the ability to compare domain registrars will offer side by side comparisons of the big names in table format. They can help you determine the cost of the domain, features, promotional offers, and more.

Some registrars will charge an additional fee for private registration, which prevents the public from viewing your domain ownership information in the WHOIS database. Some also charge a small monthly fee for managed DNS.

Many of the domain registrars are actually resellers for the larger registries. That said, you may purchase a domain from John Doe’s Domain Registry, and it may actually be registered through Godaddy, one of the Internet’s largest domain name providers. This explains the varying fluctuation in registration cost, and is why it pays to look for the best deal. Small business domains are frequently purchased from these types of resellers, since they often register for years at a time, and a better rate can make a more pronounced difference..

A popular misconception is that you “own” a domain name when you “buy” it from a registrar or domain broker. The truth is that you only “own” it as long as you continue to pay the required registration fee to your domain name provider.

Because of steep competition among the major providers, domains are typically being sold at fairly similar prices. So rather than look only at pricing, be sure to consider the service and features provided by the registrar. Charging more doesn’t make a provider the best, and charging less doesn’t mean they’re the worst.

If you plan on registering multiple domains, you should definitely take the time to check out some of the registrar review sites. These sites often contain tips and promotional codes that can save you both time and money.

In summary, most domain pricing will be similar, but there are things that will set one registrar apart from the others. Look at the features offered with your registration – things like private registration, managed DNS, easy account access, and more – before you make a decision.

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