How to Find a Reliable Domain Name Registrar

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Domain nameA good registrar will have the following characteristics:

  • An established reputation
  • No hidden fees (such as a fee for transferring a domain out to another registrar)
  • Comprehensive administration capabilities (for nameserver, mail, who-is, etc. settings)
  • Reasonably priced registration fees
  • Accredited by a governing body (such as ICANN)

Registrars we Recommend

Examples of registrars that meet these criteria, for specified domain extensions:
Primary extensions (.com, .net., .org, .info)

  • Namecheap – excellent registrar, slightly higher priced than Fabulous, offering excellent admin and support as well with no hidden fees. Namecheap offers more extensions than Fabulous.
  • Godaddy – one of the more popular domain name registrars out there. They run a solid domain registration service with a comprehensive user interface, competitive pricing schedules, and a wide array of available domain extensions. Note that we do not recommend them for their hosting services.
  • Dotster – offers one-on-one customer care and doesn’t try to upsell you.
  • Fabulous – An excellent domain registrar that focuses on high volume clients. Fabulous offers comprehensive domain registration, management, and research capabilities and backs it up with superior customer support. Note: Fabulous offers only .com, .net, .org., .info, and at the time they are only accepting applicants via invitation.

European extensions (.co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, etc.)

  • EuroDNS – EuroDNS offers affordable pricing, intuitive admin interface, and backs it up with reliable support. Use the search box below to search for a domain name via our integrated EuroDNS interface right now.
  • INWX.de – one of the absolute best – most functionality, including no-fee transfers, are automated, which is rare for European registrars.  Prices are also by far the best for most extensions.  Only drawback is that the site is German only.
  • United Domains – Prices and administration are not quite as good as EuroDNS, but these folks run a tight ship.  One thing to watch out for is that domains renew automatically and you need to cancel in advance via fax (not unusual for European registrars).

Finding a Reliable Registrar

One way to research whether a registrar you’re considering using is reliable or not is to conduct a “[registrar name] sucks” vs. “[registrar name] rocks” type of search in Google.  Replace “sucks” and “rocks” with various synonyms and antonyms to find users’ reviews of the registrar.  If neither result returns much, or if the number of results for the search “[registrar name]” is minimal, stay away.

Web Hosting Reports
Visit Webhosting.info and generate a webhosting report.  You want to use a registrar who has a large number of domain registrations, and make sure the quantity of those registrations is not decreasing. If the number of registrations is decreasing, this is a sign that the registrar is a very small, and potentially risky registrar. Read on for details on registrars to avoid.

Registrars to Avoid

Avoid registrars that promise rock-bottom prices.  Anything below $5.00/ year is suspect, unless it’s a one-year promotion.  While they may honor the lower price, in all likelihood you will either a) have difficulty administering the domain, b) have difficulty canceling it (you will end up with overdue invoices from the domain’s registry office) or c) not be able to transfer it out without going through hassles and paying fees.

Avoid registrars with crappy looking sites, poor grammar, misspellings, etc.  A reputable registrar will have the capital to invest in quality web design.

 

About The Author:

Alex has been involved on the business side of the internet since the early 2000's. He holds both a Management Science degree from the University of California at San Diego as well as a Computer Science degree from NJIT.

We Rock Your Web had its roots back in 2004 as the tech blog for a web design and development company Alex founded that has grown and evolved into the parent company of We Rock Your Web.

While his foundation is rooted in web development, his expertise today lies in content and digital marketing, SEO, organic and paid search, analytics, and publishing. Alex is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.