I use NameSilo as my domain registrar, and recommend it without reservation. I believe it provides by far the best value among registrars. Not that there is anything horribly wrong with GoDaddy or NameCheap – I’ve used both in the past – or any of the other major registrars. It’s just that with NameSilo I get: Lower cost; free-forever whois privacy; free domain protection; no hidden fees; and no BS marketing games. I am not affiliated with NameSilo, by the way, just a customer. I can’t offer you a coupon or other discount, and if I did you shouldn’t trust me.
As I write this post, GoDaddy is running a special on dot com names for $2.99 each, reduced from their $14.99 regular price. I might be tempted to register with GoDaddy and move later to NameSilo. I select a name and go to checkout. GoDaddy automatically adds Whois Privacy at $7.99/year. Already the drastically discounted GoDaddy price is higher than the NameSilo regular price of $8.99. It gets much worse. To get the $2.99 first year price I have to pre-pay for a second year at the regular price of $14.99. And, just to twist the knife, GoDaddy adds on an ICANN fee, which is already included in the regular NameSilo price. Total for two years:
|GoDaddy special sale||NameSilo regular price|
|Domain Registration:||$2.99 + $14.99 = $17.98||$8.99 + $8.99 = $17.98|
|Whois Privacy:||$7.99 + $ 7.99 = $15.98||Included|
|ICANN Fee:||$0.18 + $ 0.18 = $ 0.36||Included|
It still gets worse. When I decide to transfer to NameSilo, I have to deal with the lengthy and burdensome domain transfer process. If I do not get the transfer completed in time, or if I forget to do it, I am stuck paying the much higher GoDaddy prices for another year, while also enduring GoDaddy’s notoriously aggressive up-selling BS.
Under no circumstance would I register a domain name through my hosting provider. Many hosting providers offer a free domain name registration as an incentive to sign up for hosting. In this case free is just not worth it. My domain name is my brand. It is much too important to put at unnecessary risk. If I have issues with my hosting provider – or if they have issues with me – I need to be able to move on to a new provider, without the risk of my domain name being held hostage.
Update 2018-10-27: Interesting. Cloudflare is getting in to the registrar business, promising no-markup pricing with free whois privacy and 2FA. They are rolling out the new service in waves, I am due in mid-November. Switching registrars is a time-consuming pain in the unmentionables, and NameSilo has been awfully good to me, so it would take quite a bit to get me to switch. I may just move a domain there to try it out though.
Update 2019-03-19: It turns out Cloudflare as a registrar rocks! NameSilo still rocks too. Great to have two superb choices.
WPPOV supports freedom from Net Neutrality and the GDPR. The Internet of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.