Choosing a domain name registrar is an important decision every domain owner needs to make. I’ve been asked many times about domain registrars, and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my thoughts on what goes into choosing a registrar. I presume most domain investors weigh things differently than small business owners and non-commercial registrants.
Obviously, some of the things I consider are more important for my business and may not be as important to others. Some people may prefer to pay more and receive more services and support, and others would rather have less support but better pricing.
You are invited to share other considerations that I may have overlooked:
Security – Domain registrars offer different levels of security and protection for domain registrants. Many registrars offer 2 factor authentication, but international customers may not be able to use this added level of security. Some registrars offer mandatory security questions at login, and some registrars offer additional account and domain name locking to prevent transfers and changes without authentication. Enhanced security is critical for anyone who owns a domain name.
Customer Support Availability – When there’s an issue that impacts a domain name or account, it’s nice to know a company has a dedicated support staff at hours that work for you, and possibly an account representative. In addition, some registrars offer telephone support and others offer email or online support. It’s good to investigate the availability because telephone support may sound good, but some companies have even speedier email or online ticket support than telephone support.
Pricing – Generally speaking, domain registrars will offer discounted pricing for domain names and domain name services when an account spends a certain amount of money or has many domain names. Customers may have to request discounted pricing, which will vary depending on the account and the services utilized.
Privacy – Some registrars offer free privacy registrations and others offer discounts. For some companies, privacy is tantamount, and free or reduced price privacy is an important factor, especially when there are a significant number of domain names in the account.
Back End Control Panel – Just about every domain registrar has a different back-end control panel / user interface. Some seem to be more geared toward the general public, and others seem to be more geared towards technically-inclined users.
Language Support – With domain registrars catering to a worldwide audience, it’s good to know that some registrars have support staff and assistance in various languages. If you speak and understand a language other than English, you may want to be sure that your registrar can help when it’s needed without needing an independent translator.
Payment Options – Depending on your location or payment preferences, it might be beneficial if a registrar takes your currency or payment options. Some registrars offer direct payments in Bitcoin, Euros, or other currencies, and that could be important to customers.