Choosing a Domain Registrar Actually Makes a Difference

Choosing a Domain Registrar Actually Makes a Difference

When you run a website, regardless if it’s for pleasure and enjoyment or as a business, you rely on other people to help make it work.  When they fail you, it’s not just a bummer, it’s costing you money.  When the electric, cable or your home Internet goes out, a cell phone call gets dropped or your GPS can’t give you directions, it wastes time and money.  In all the time I’ve been hosting websites, never before has choosing a domain registrar made such a difference to me.

For the best of my memories I started hosting my own website back around 2000, and the Internet did not make it entirely simply, but by 2001, with the dot com bubble growing, websites became easier to use and the mystery of how to build and host a website become much easier for a younger me to figure out.  There are essentially three parts to having your own website on the Internet;

  • A domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Website content

The first two can and are often done by one company, although many people use separate companies for each.  Without making this article overly complicated and because there are more than enough ehow.com articles on how to register a domain name, where to get hosting and how to build a site, I’m going to focus on the actual choosing of these companies you wish to partner with, specifically a domain registrar.

A domain registrar serves one function, they are meant to help you acquire the lease for the domain name you want, such as Randomn3ss.com for example.  Within their ability to renew this domain for you, you should be quickly and easily able to edit the DNS servers (to point the domain to your web host of choice), renew the domain name and transfer the domain to someone else or another web host.  Those are essentially their core functions.  For over a decade now I’ve been doing this, and most of the time it’s been with GoDaddy.

At first it was because they were cheap, and it was the early 2000’s and buying and selling domains was popular and one could actually make good money at it, so I used them for this.  Everything was straight forward.  Sometime around 5 years ago GoDaddy’s business model started to transition and they began putting more money into advertising, including fun commercials online, sponsoring Indy cars and basically saying to the world hey world, we are the best! What changed, for the worse, was customer service, website usability and the core functions of what their website should do for a user.  In the technical world, this is called the User Experience, or UX for short, and User Interface Designers, or UI Designers, get paid a lot of money to increase the rate at which we buy products on website.

I stayed with GoDaddy, through all their design changes and constant push to up-sell me services, web hosting and email that I didn’t need.

As the years went on, the up-sells continued, but so did the amount of time and energy they put into getting me to renew my domain names.  I started getting email notices 3 months before they were set to expire.  2 months before they expire a post card would show up in my mail with a coupon code and if it was a month before they’d expire I knew a phone call was coming from a sales associate, offering to help me renew, offer me a discount then try to up-sell me on some more services.  At the time GoDaddy domain renewals ran about $7.49, I remember asking the sales associate at what point they made profit.  After postal mail charges and paying his / her salary, how was there any meat on the bone?  They were dumbfounded with the question.

By 2011, even with a nifty iPhone app, my allegiance to GoDaddy was wearing thin.  Just doing something as simple as changing the DNS servers on a domain name, or even renewing it became a huge headache.  In March a story broke about president Bob Parsons elephant hunting expedition in Africa, complete with video.  I’m not anti-gun, anti-hunting and I’m not vegan, although I do support everything anyone I care about chooses to do, from religion to their stand on gun control, but this video is vile.  This now left a bad taste in my mouth, as I don’t want to line the pockets of that man anymore so he can do such cruel and unnecessary things with my money.

November was about the last straw for me, Godaddy publicly came out supporting SOPA. In a nutshell, SOPA is bad, really bad.  So bad that people like Ben Huh sent out tweets saying they’d transfer 1,000 of their domain names if GoDaddy didn’t change their stance, Kevin Rose was equally outspoken on the subject. No one wanted SOPA to pass as law, it did nothing good for the Internet.  The day after this virtually every domain registrar on the web was offering discounts to those who wanted off of GoDaddy, these were put together in one of the most popular Reddit posts ever, complete with transfer instructions for virtually every company.

How bad was this impact on GoDaddy?  Within two days at least 37,000 domain names were transferred away from the company, or roughly one quarter of a million dollars.  I did my homework this time, I looked at more than price, I looked at support time, customer reviews, how active the social media aspects of each business were, I wanted to know that my new registrar was going to be with me for another decade of my business.  I ended up choosing Name.com when it was all said and done.  Not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but for me, the best.

Their website is clean, easy to use and actually makes sense.  Support is top notch and get this, I actually enjoy following them on Twitter.  In the one case I had specific questions and needed to reach out and submit a trouble ticket, it was answered within a few hours and was not auto-generated.  Someone actually wrote it.  I also didn’t have to shift through 500 words of sales copy to find what they were actually trying to tell me.

Now, I didn’t move all of my domains at once, in fact, as of this writing I have 2 left with GoDaddy and have been moving them as they expire.  My options on why they need to be moved today is all that much more apparent.  Yesterday GoDaddy was the victim of an Internet attack, not only did their site go down, and unknown number, presumed to be in the millions of websites, also went down.  Full disclaimer, every web hosting company on earth offers 99.9% up time, what that really means is that 0.1% will equal out to about 2 hours of down time per year.  No lawyer alive will make a 100% up-time guarantee, it’s not possible.  But, because of GoDaddy’s wishy washy stance on SOPA and other matters, it’s opened them up to become targets for hackers.

Today I’m making the move, and they are offering the first 500 transfers from GoDaddy to them for free, limited to 1 per person.  The older I get (now in my early 30’s) the more things like customer service and usability carry weight.  I have roughly a dozen domain names registered a year, spending an extra 50 cents to $1 per domain to host with a company I believe in, who believes in me by providing a service I want to use, that’s easy to use, is worth it.  That company is Name.com.

In closing, I recently watched this wonderful video with Seth Godin titled This is Broken, and I think a lot of what he talks about in here, GoDaddy needs to listen to, specifically the first few minutes.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/4246943[/vimeo]

The State of Wikipedia

Randomn3ss reader Jen passed along this great infographic on Wikipedia, and how it has effected Encyclopedia Britannica and other aspects of our lives.  In it you’ll notice that it states library usage is declining, however I’m convinced more of us are reading, and reading more than ever before.  click photo for larger version.

The State of wikipedia

Infographic courtesy of Open Site.

Get Cash To Buy The iPad 3 By Selling Your Old Tech Gear

In case you were living under a rock today, Apple announced the third generation iPad today, featuring HD video playback, better this and all of that.  So, for you early adopters who are dying to upgrade from what you’re currently using, eBay is offering really amazing prices via their Instant Sale option where they will buy your product outright from you.  eBay buys a plethora of products but have setup this nice landing page showing prices for the most common tablets and similar tech products like phones and e-readers. Continue reading »

Make Money with Twitter

Going back to the early 90’s when I first started to heavily use the Internet I wanted to make money doing it.  Back then I used it to get mailing addresses for a small business I had going in High School and wanted to mail out a sales flyer to generate sales via phone, it worked.  In the late 90’s I remember All Advantage, a pay to surf the web tiered affiliate program.  Shortly thereafter I started to build websites and the rest has kind of been a blur.  It seems everything on the web can be monetized, Twitter is just another means to make some money for those who use it.

Back in the summer of 2007 I joined Twitter and while four and a half years isn’t very long, it’s forever ago in technology times.  The micro blogging service was quirky and no one really had any full understanding as what they were supposed to do with it.  It wasn’t long before I asked WTF was I thinking using Twitter? and vowed never to update it again.  Well, I have, and a lot.  By 2008 I was finding useful reasons to use it and for all intensive purposes, it’s a staple in my tech life and virtually everyone I know.  Twitter is so large now that I see TV commercials who no longer advertise their website or even Facebook page anymore, they are simply promoting the use of a #hashtag, this goes for major networks too.

Make Money with SponsoredTweetsJust over three months ago I joined SponsoredTweets, a site that links advertisers and tweeters together.  The company has some very high profile celebrities and some quick searching on Google made everything here seem pretty legit.  You fill out a short profile, including tags of things that both interest you and that you talk about on a regular basis.  Based on the date you joined Twitter, the number of followers you have in relation to the number you follow and a few other specifications, SponsoredTweets suggests a price for you per tweet.  When I initially signed up I had about 920 followers and it’s suggest price per tweet for me was $1.27 based on the tags I chose. When an offer comes in, you can accept or deny it, then use the given guidelines to write a tweet which will both include a link to what the advertiser wants and a disclaimer of your choosing, such as #ad, Ad:, #sponsored and a few others to indicate this is indeed an affiliate link.  When you accept and write your tweet it’s then sent for review by the advertiser, if they approve it SponsoredTweets will automatically tweet for you within a given time frame that the sponsor chooses.  Provided a few people click the links, you’ll get paid.  Continue reading »

The Morning Call Newspaper Charges for Online Content, Will Fail Fast

The Morning CalMy local newspaper, The Morning Call which is owned by the Tribune Company, publishers of The Chicago Times and the LA Times, among other has announced it will be changing it’s online terms to paid content. It’s been nearly two months since the move was announced, but with the end of the free versions of online content readers are starting to become outraged. I’m going to make an attempt to point out why this is not only a bad idea but one that will ultimately bring an end to my local newspaper.

Full disclaimer, I get paid to write articles for other sites, I understand nothing in life can be free and those who create work, tangible or not, should be compensated. Randomn3ss has been a passion of mine for years as a way to explore my own writing and more specifically in this case, there is no option on The Morning Call’s website to leave comments for the article, which I find odd, so I’ll rebut it all here, piece by piece.

The Morning Call’s publisher is quoted as saying,

the decision to begin charging for digital content is based on readers’ strong demand for local news, features and sports on the Internet and mobile devices

Continue reading »

Is eBay Driving Sellers To Use Craigslist?

eBay is, without a doubt, the crowned king of person to person commerce.  There are downsides to eBay though, which most regular users gripe about.  Bloated shipping prices from sellers, which eBay has tried to regulate, fraud, several hour delay until your auction is live on the site, the almost exclusive use of Paypal for payments and of course the biggest complaint, fees.

Continue reading »

UmbrellaToday.com Still Leaves You Wet

In November 2008 I was stoked to find a cool website that would tell me if I needed an umbrella today via text message.  After a week the success rate of messages was 50%.  The week following that I pretty much gave up on relying on the service to send me a text message, or have it be anywhere near the time I specified, the service was broken.

Continue reading »

Randomn3ss Refreshed

Thirty-nine months ago I launched this project known as Randomn3ss.  The sole intention was to use this site as a platform to rant, rave, give reviews, complain and write about anything I wanted.  A staff of sorts quickly started writing with me and now, this is the 899th article published!

During the lifespan and evolution of Randomn3ss many changes have been made and this now is the third re-skinning of the site and I’m very pleased.  After using premium themes to re-launch my own site and more recently a friend / client’s site it seemed to make sense that Randomn3ss would receive one too. Continue reading »

FeedMyTorrents and TVRSS Head for High Ground

It appears that the popular television torrent sources have taken shelter after several Cease and Desist orders.   That and the fact that the plaintiffs in thePirateBay lawsuit continue to seek jail time for the creators.FeedMyTorrents

FeedMyTorrents left the following message at their old IP address which has since been taken down as well.

It’s over. We’ve received several take down requests, and have decided not to test the extents of the law.  We’d like to thank everyone who contributed, and for the fun times we’ve had.

TVRSS has not been live for quite some time, and TVRSSI’m sure I’m not alone in wondering how, and where I will find relevant, high quality sources for my queries.

I just have to figure out how I will break it to my wife…no more Ghost Whisperer. (If I had only thought of this sooner!)

Twitlonger – When You Talk Too Much For Twitter

TwitlongerA few days ago an interesting tweet came up from someone I was following.  It started off normally, and had a link to the rest of it, which isn’t anything out of the ordinary.  The link I assumed would take me to a blog posting where the rest of the author’s message would be displayed, but it wasn’t.  It led me to Twitlonger.com, a new site for when 140 characters just isn’t enough.

Because of the Twitter open API, fun little projects like this one pop up.  Sometimes, 140 characters isn’t enough and you need 200 or 300 to get your message across, but it isn’t important enough to make a blog posting about.

Twitlonger defeats the sole purpose of Twitter by allowing more than 140 characters, which is most of the reason why Twitter has caught on so fast, but I think for certain instances, it works well.