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In Depth
Choosing a Domain Registrar
By Ahmed Saad, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
In 1998 Network Solutions lost its government sanctioned monopoly as the sole registrar of domain names.  While it continues to manage the root registry there are a multitude of registrars out there.   Each registrar has its own interface (which may make your job as administrator harder or easier), prices (which vary greatly), terms and conditions (which must be read carefully), and support.  In choosing the right one you should consider the following criteria:

Icann accredited or a reseller - a must!

Control: Administrative, billing, and technical must have YOUR contact information.

Price: Fees for registering or transferring a domain.  It ranges from $35/year to $0.   The root (central) registry CHARGES all Icann accredited registrars $6 per domain per year.  Anybody offering you the service for less than what it cost them MUST be making it up in some other fees or restrictions.

Other Fees: Each registrar has its own set of rules and fees schedule.  You may have to pay a fee for transferring, updating your record, hosting your site elsewhere, "parking" your domain (i.e. you are not ready to setup your site right away), etc..  You must ask if there is ANY kind of fees other than the yearly registeration, or ANY kind of restrictions to your full discretionary use of your domain.

Interface: Is it easy to manage? Is it easy to manage more than one domain, and update more than one domain at one time?

Customer Support:

If the interface is easy to use and the registrar's servers are robust you may never need support.  When you do need it you must be able to get it and get it fast.  Most registrars only have e-mail support since the margin on domain name registration has shrunk dramatically.  This should not worry you since the better ones respond within minutes (a couple of hours at the most) to all questions... often the length of time you will spend on hold with those offering phone support. 

We have used godaddy for the longest time.  We were very satisfied and eventually paid a license fee to their subsidiary and became their resellers.  We offer thier services for a cheaper price at Omega ID.   You can register there at $8.75 or less with free domain forwarding, no hidden fees, and friendly interface.  The name is registered in your name.  You own it and you control it.  Choose the automatic renewal feature and you won't have to ever worry about the domain expiring on you.

We will soon publish a few articles on how to choose the best domain nme for your site at Omega ID.

 

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