Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who's the best domain registrar?

It's almost to the point where it's literally, a dime a dozen. Domain registrars are the companies that hold a database of domain names and the detailed information about the domains. For example:

"domainname.com" would have the following attributes in the database:

-website IP address (can be the registrar or a third party hosting company)
-A records (friendly name, i.e. www.domainname.com)
-MX records (email server address)
-CNAME records (other friendly name, i.e. office.domainname.com)
-SOA (start of authority)
-domain owner (you)
-domain administrator (could be different than owner)

When you purchase a domain name, the registrar will have you supply this information so that the new domain can be found on the Internet. Typically, it takes 24 hours or less for the domain name to be "live" once this information is provided.

All in all, it's a fairly simple process to register a domain since most registrars make the process very easy to understand. Every registrar will provide a search feature that let's you find a domain name and insure that it's unique. If the name is already taken, they will likely suggest a list of similar names that are available.

So, who are the best registrars? Well, there are thousands of them and they all provide the same service, but there are a few that stand out.


Yahoo.com
  • $5/yr. for each domain name (one of the cheapest)
  • very simple registration process
  • easy navigation
  • good options for hosting the website
  • a few limitations for mail routing
Register.com
  • $29/yr. for each domain name
  • simple registration/easy navigation
  • lots of extra services that can be bundled (search ads, website templates, etc..)
WSMdomains.com (part of hosting.com)
  • $15/yr. for each domain name
  • simple registration/easy navigation
  • very cool spf feature for reducing spam
So who's the best? Well, they are all so very much the same that you really can't go wrong with any of them. However, wsmdomains.com has every feature you will need and the spam reduction configuration is worth the extra $10/yr. over Yahoo.
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