How to pick a domain name registrar

Factors to consider

First of all, the choice depends on 3 things, or 4 but to me, the fourth is not very important

  • PRICE for a given TLD (TLD = .com, .net, etc…) and it’s persistence
    This is probably the most important factor, there is no such thing as “Performance” as your registrar does not run the TLD’s registry, something to take into account is also the renewal price next year.
  • whether or not you plan to use their “Usually free” nameservers (Most people will use their web host’s nameservers and not the registrar’s)
  • The business stability of the registrar, when a registrar goes down, you might find your domains with a registrar who picked up all the domains the sunken registrar had, and if you were using the old registrar’s add on services, you will end up needing to redo them, and probably find a different registrar that you like to move those domains to.
  • And last but not least, the interface and speed of the registrar’s website and tools, I don’t think this is very important as most registrars have a usable interface and you will only need to use it infrequently

Which one do i recommend ?

I personally use more than one registrar, for some TLDs, I use nameCheap, and for the more standard domain TLDs (Like .COM etc…) I used godaddy for a long time, then i switched to a godaddy reseller (PoloDomains), it has the same exact products (and phone support) as godaddy and in my experience this reseller has very persistent prices that are lower than those of godaddy themselves, not to mention that godaddy keeps surprising me with different pricing when the time comes to renew. Again, godaddy is a good registrar that checks all the boxes, but the reseller is more or less just cheaper. other good well known registrars include, google domains (Not recommended as google is selling it to another company),, and many others that you can research online…

Get it for free when it makes sense

Some web hosts offer free domain names for as long as you are paying for your hosting, this is not exactly a catch, but it might be, so what I do is decide on a web host through reviews and what have you, and if that web host offers free or cheap domains with their web hosting, then that is where I will get my domain, But mind you, when i make the choice, i subtract 1/12 of the normal domain price (that you would get if you used a separate registrar) from the monthly hosting fee, and then compare the web-hosts with the new discounted price tag, the last thing i want is to get stuck with a bad web host because they offer a free domain, that would be a very bad decision.

When is the registrar relevant to performance ?

The main function of a registrar is to sell you domains and register them with a registry, after registering them, the registrar also informs the registry of what nameservers to use with the domain name. after that, the registrar in it’s strict form has no technical function, up until you either want to renew that domain, or change the nameservers attached to that domain, a web request (from a website visitor for example) does not pass through your registrar.

The above remains true, unless you opt to use one of those free DNS services that are provided by many registrars, in this scenario you are using the registrar’s DNS servers instead of your host’s or a third party, which is not a bad idea depending on the quality of your registrar, godaddy (and it’s resellers) provides a free DNS service that uses anycast ! anycast is a cool internet technology where the user will be using the closest DNS server to them without knowing, effectively cutting down the latency of the DNS request.

Godaddy credits expire before being activated

I just got off the phone with Godaddy, as usual, i have my “strange godaddy thing of the day”, i have just learned that i lost my $125 of Google advertising coupons because i did not activate the credit from within my godaddy account within a month of buying the product that got me the credits

What you need to know, don’t save your ad credits for later, even when you don’t activate them, they expire, nothing written on that, they don’t tell you anywhere, but the Google ad credit coupons expire on their own after 1 month of the purchase not of activation.

This time, i login to get a receipt from an old API account i have with godaddy, and godaddy tells me they have Google credits for me, i say yipee, and go to collect them, then i start a new adwords account with my gmail Google account, and then what do you know, Google tells me this credit has expired “This promotional code has expired. Learn more”.

So i go to godaddy’s website and other sources, but it only says that the credit must be used on a new Google account within 15 days of activation. So as you might expect, i call godaddy who will then blame Google (Even though it is a newly activated Google credit)

So, i am listening to the recorded conversation to tell you here what happened,

** for my records and convenience the file from the auto call recorder is godaddy_expired_credits_API_Voice-0003.amr ***

Anyway, here is more or less what happened (i am not strictly transcribing but rather describing and skipping the nonsense), but the audio file is available (I am not sure if it is legal to post it though)

So, here is the lowdown on the phone call, this is what you need to know, i don’t know how godaddy will justify that they still offer you to activate a credit that has expired before being activated, or why they still give you a link to activate it after the 1 month, or why they have the activation feature all together if it starts counting for expiry from the time of purchase not the time of activation of the credit, but check this out.

ON HOLD through 22:36
Godaddy Brit : as far as it expires after a month , that you will not find with us, however you will find on that disclaimer there that Google has the right to revoke it at any time for any reason, any credits that we supply, that may be on Google’s end, that’s not something we have the right to say, because once again that is on Google’s end, Google’s terms, but not our terms.

Waiting for a representative to pick up 6:46

Me: i have an old account, and i logged in to get the invoice from there so i can print it, and i found that i have google credits, so i opened the credits tab where the credits were not used, so i clicked activate, and i just did activate them, and then i went to Google adwords, i created a new account, i entered the promo code, and it tells me that this promotional code has expired, i just activated it but it expired.

Godaddy Brit: Ok let me take a look here, did you ever have any products in this account

Me: Yes, surely, an API reseller account

Godaddy Brit: Okay, but i can’t see anything in here right now.

Me: I can see it, i just click on promo codes, Oh, u mean… You just go to order history, i cancelled that product,

Godaddy Brit: Okay, i am not sure that credit will be useful if there is no actual product in the account

Me: Well Brit, i am not sure about that, because it doesn’t have an expiry on the credit, So if we could go step by step and check out that credit, it shows i still have the credit, and there is a button to activate it, So i clicked the button just right now two minutes ago, and it gave me that it was activated on the fifth, which is today, and gave me the code, Now just by giving me the code this means this is an actual Google code, right ? Google credit code, or is it some random string of numbers

Godaddy Brit: I am not sure how it works in connection with Google, but if you want me to run this by my lead just to make sure, please remain on the line.

On wait 13:15
Godaddy Brit: Apparently those credits, although you were able to activate it, they expire on Google’s end about a month after you purchase the product, so if you bought a domain name,and you got the credits, A month after you could still activate it on our end, but Google will reject it about a month after the purchase

Me: Ok, Brit, is that written anywhere ? because i have seen your adwords account needs to be less than two weeks old, but i leave my credits unactivated because it doesn’t say anywhere that you lose your rights to the credits here or there or this way or that way,

Godaddy Brit: Ok, this is probably not as illustrated the best that it could be but let me see here, (A wait) and are you activating this code in a new adwords account or….

Me: Yes sir, it is a new account

Godaddy Brit: So right now i am scanning through our almost unless looking legal terms of service for you to find you where this statement is on.

Me: No problem, take your time, sorry for the inconvenience

Godaddy Brit: Let me run this by one of my leads

Me: take your time

ON HOLD through 22:36
Godaddy Brit : as far as it expires after a month , that you will not find with us, however you will find on that disclaimer there that Google has the right to revoke it at any time for any reason, any credits that we supply, that may be on Google’s end, that’s not something we have the right to say, because once again that is on Google’s end, Google’s terms, but not our terms.