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Ask YC: Where do you buy domain names?
28 points by wooby on Nov 26, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments
Godaddy used to be the best but is now a mess of hot garbage. What's the cheapest, simplest registrar?

I use http://namecheap.com. I have for many years. They had issues with a ddos attack a number of months back and handled it gracefully; ie. the owner was continually posting updates on the forums and helping users individually.

I second this. I love namecheap, not quite the cheapest registrar anymore, but I have found them much more helpful than GoDaddy or any other registrar I've used.

I just finished moving all my domains to them last week with their newest promotion, like $6 transfers or something.

Ditto. I just finished moving everything off of godaddy recently. Another thing I like about namecheap is that they provide you with nameservers, which was a big plus for me since I didn't want to host my own on the same box I put everything else on. Pretty sure godaddy didn't, but I could be wrong.

Godaddy does provide its own nameservers - been using it for years.

Thirded. They're also one of the few registrars to tell you explicitly that "you own the domain in your name." Their free private registration offer is a nice touch, and their control panel is pretty solid and thorough.

Their support staff are reasonably knowledgeable & responsive (response time is hours, not days), which is more than I could say for other registrars I've used.

I registered a domain with namecheap based on recommendations from n.yc and had a very positive experience. Free whois guard is also a big plus.

I use namecheap as well and have one complaint. They don't allow you to specify the order of your nameservers! Regardless of the order you input your name servers the primary, secondary, tertiary nameservers will be assigned randomly with no way to specify the order. I sent a support request to namecheap and got the following response. Grrrr


It does not matter which order they are listed, because when the nameservers are queried, they are queried simultaneously, and the first one to answer is assigned by the Registry to that particular query as "primary" at that point in time.

What this means is that regardless of how they are listed, the order of the listing does not determine which nameserver is queried first.

The order that the nameserves appear in the Registry is not up to the Registrar, and cannot be changed by the Registrar.

This is how DNS works. It has nothing to do with NameCheap.

This is not what the folks at Engine Yard told me. Between namecheap and Engine Yard I have more faith in Engine Yard's expertise though based on the moding of my comment and dcurtis's comment it looks like namecheap was the correct one here.

Snippet from a support email from Engine Yard regarding my questions of how important the order was since namecheap wouldn't let me specify an order per Engine Yard's instructions:

In the words of one of our engineers, it's importantish ;-)

Essentially d.ns.engineyard.com is the local primary, b.ns.engineyard.com is an offsite backup and e.ns.engineyard is a local backup. If you can't put them in that order don't worry to much about it, but if you can make d first that is preferable.


I am a big fan of these guys. Their technical knowledge is top notch and their pricing plans are perfect for small websites. Heck, I even remember them emailing me letting me know that ICANN fees were going to go up, and I should thinking about renewing my domain name before the price went up. Talk about customer service.

I've not used nearlyfreespeech.net and they may well be as good as you say but the example you give does not demonstrate this. I have domains with namecheap and godaddy and remember being contacted by at least one of them the last time ICANN put up their fees.


They're really, really good at what they do. They recently migrated their email-forwarding system, and it was one of the smoothest migrations I've ever seen...

I use Dreamhost. That's where my hosting is and registration is $9.95/year with free privacy. I've never really had any problems with them. They can handle the Digg effect and their customer service is decent.

I second. Have all my domains with them and am very happy. The one minor complaint I have is that they do not let you manage your DNS records very easily. I usually switch my name servers over to Slicehost and manage from there.

How is the uptime of the websites? I've always wanted to try dreamhost considering they have amazing packages, but there are a lot of scary stories out there

I use gandi.net for my .com, .org and .net domains. Their interface is great, but I can't comment on their support because I've never had a problem =P

For .ca domains, I use easydns.com .

Domains are pretty cheap anyway, doesn't matter which one you use.

The cost of the it is probably a few orders of magnitude less than the time you need to spend to come up with a good domain name. Thus, it's really not worth it to consider domain price as a decision factor.

Now, as far as functionality goes, namecheap.com is pretty good.

I would just be sure that you actually own the domain, not the service. Early in my life was a web developer, I made this mistake, and it took a bit of effort to wrest ownership of the name back.

I use Dotster, and have found their service and interface perfectly acceptable. They, too, sent me an email saying I should I should renew my domain name before the rates went up.

Been using http://domainsite.com for about 5 years now. Low prices, not nearly as much BS as GoDaddy. Sorely lacking in the user interface department (again, not as bad as GoDaddy), but aside from that I've never had problems with them.

I've been using domainsite.com for about the same amount of time, and have nothing to complain about. They are simply an inexpensive, straightforward place to register domains. Their user interface seems fine to me too.

> again, not as bad as GoDaddy

I don't think anything is as bad as the GoDaddy UI.

I use Prosite.de for 3 domains, they host the DNS for me only. If you are german you could too.

https://www.prosite.de/member.php?refid=5000140259&s=ma (Affiliate link)

http://www.prosite.de/ (Non affiliate link)

Once a long time ago I saw that DJB recommended www.joker.com and I've been using them for the past 5 years. They're not the cheapest (it's been $12 a year since I started using them), but I've never had any problems. The web UI is fairly simple to use, and they don't spam your email inbox.

name.com - their new .com names are only 5.99 (with coupon)

if you're still not totally opposed to using godaddy, someone just sent me this great deal... $1.19 per domain: http://searchalldeals.com/deals/view/169384/0/1-Year+Domain+...


Moniker, Namecheap

i use 1and1.com ... no idea if it's good or not

any comment?

these guys are on the same level as godaddy.

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