One year ago, by mid-December, I registered my dot-name address. I wanted to be the first to put hands on my name. By that time, I was clever enough not to give answer to those numerous spams of registrars wanting you to register your dot-name with them. I went directly to the ICANN to see which registrars are allowed to do that. Having heard of pseudo-registrars just wanting your money for pre-registering, I thought that would be a wise step. I still think it was. The ICANN directed me to dot-name nic which has a list of accredited registrars.
Sorry for the fellow US readers, I'm living in Europe, in Switzerland to be accurate, and I looked at the registrars for Europe. By that time, I found I.D.R Internet Domains Registry LTD to be the most interesting offer. But I was wrong. Their service is of a really really poor quality. Harvesting through my e-mails, I found this:
Due to technical difficulties we had delayed the lunch of the web page service.
I hope the "lunch" was delicious. Haven't tried eating web page services yet though...
Currently due to a technical problem you can not renew your domain names, you will be able to renew starting Friday.
That was several weeks after getting an e-mail that I could renew my domain name for the next year, by clicking on a given link. Of course, after clicking, I got an error message.
I don't want to extend on that, but you just see their style and of course you can understand why I'm not happy. And if I'm not happy, I'm starting over at dot-name nic in order to find a better registrar.
I've had a look at 16 registrar websites and... oh boy. That was a hard task. Where are the prices? what's the difference between this or that package? Some websites are a real mess. Not to mention that all failed to validate and only two had provided a doctype. For html 4.0x. But their page didn't validate nevertheless. 5 sites even failed to broadcast a character encoding. Sad but true: companies in the core of the web don't follow the specs.
Ok, so let's look at the prices. Most of the registrars have different prices for 1, 2 and 10 years, usually with a nice discount if you take 10 years. For me however, even if I don't have the discount, I prefer to take only a one year commitment with these companies. Until I find one that really satisfies me. Some registrars also have a 5-year discount, I disregarded this one since it's rather an exception. The prices are given in Euro, without VAT if applicable.
Also, most of the registrars have 3 different options: domain registration and web forwarding, domain registration and e-mail forwarding, both. I've only looked at domain registration and web forwarding, maybe if I find some time I will compare the other offers later on.
The used exchange rates are as follows:
1 CHF = 0.677 EUR
1 USD = 0.978 EUR
1 GBP = 1.554 EUR
- speednames: 45 / 75 / 275
- corenic: list of other registrars, of which I've looked at a Swiss one, webland (at the bottom of this list)
- tmagnic: absolutely no information at all about prices. Or do you see anyting?
- domaininfo: 67.48 / 101.22 / 370.65
- gandi: 12 / 24 / 120
- internetters: minimum 2 years / 62.16 / 195.86
- domaindiscount24: 32 / 64 / 320
- melbourneit: 34.22 / 68.44 / 342.21
- gtld: minimum 2 years / 95.81 / 479.12
- nominatia: 16.76 / 29.26 / 117.04
- onlinenic: 9.77 / 16.99 / 78.15
- register: absolutely no information at all about prices. Or do you see anything?
- totalregistrations: 9.50 / 16.50 / 67.50
- tucows: 9.78 / 19.56 / 97.78
- idregister: 19.51 / 34.17 / 97.54
- webland: 33.17 / 66.34 / 331.71
Well, tucows and onlinenic seem to be really very low. But it turns
out their target customer is not me, but rather wholesellers who get
those low prices if they find a lot of customers for them. Gandi looks
really nice. I've just read some of their pages and they are really good
IMHO: they are using only OpenSource or custom software. They provide
redirection and DNS hosting for no additional cost. I think I don't
have to look any further