Top Choice Domain Registry – Hover

I have been looking for years for a good domain registrar, and believe I have found one that I like enough to refer people to.  They are a subsidiary of Tucows, a company with a number of excellent subsidiaries.  Why?  Well, first let me explain a little about domain names for those new to them.

  • What is a domain registrar?
  • What makes a domain registrar a good one?
  • What do you do with a domain registrar?
  • Why

What is a domain registrar?

A domain name is a website name, like “”, or “”.  The combination of “designsbytierney” and the “.com” part define the domain name.  {In a full website address, the “http://” or the “http://www.” part are not part of the domain name, but are common ingredients to make a browser know that what follows is a domain name.}

A domain name is considered property, and is treated as such.  People buy them, sell them, and trade them.  Some people buy ones they think have value and hold onto them hoping that someone will want them enough in the future that the domain name will bring them a good profit.

Ownership of a domain name is kept as public record and the rights of that ownership are maintained by a “Domain Registrar”.

What makes a domain registrar a good one?

There are many companies our there that offer the service of managing your domain name, and there are many factors that differentiate them.

Pricing.  Pricing can vary greatly.  For a .com domain name you can pay around $14.99 one place and $39.99 in another place – for the one year in both cases.  Most domain registrars charge around the same prices for the most common domain name extensions, (.com, .net, .org, etc.), varying only a few dollars per year, and there can be more varying pricing for other less common domain extensions.  Sometimes you will see lower prices for a first year, or if you purchase years or domain names in bulk, but usually we are not talking about big dollar figures, (usually meaning some places do change a lot in comparison to most). And then there are uncommon domain extensions and I am not aware of the market variances in price for them. In the end, this is one factor to consider, but not the only given the large playing field of options with comparably similar pricing.

Customer Service.  This comes in the form of:

  • how easy it is to get sufficient customer support, (sufficient enough to answer your questions or help you);
  • how friendly and helpful that customer service is;
  • how easy it is to navigate their website to manage your domain name needs;
  • how many sales pitches you have to deal with anytime you want to do anything on their website for your domain name(s) – or anytime you communicate with a customer service rep;
  • how misleading and confusing their related services are.

Customer service for me with such a service is key.  I have only found one company that only handles domain registry, my recommendation, and does not try to sell you  hosting and many other services and features that you don’t need in such a way as to make them seem more valuable and necessary than they are.  I am happy to pay an extra dollar or two a year to have an easier, quicker and friendlier experience when dealing with a domain name.

Resellers.  Another factor worth noting is that there are many resellers out there.  Some companies like Godaddy and Tucows have lots of resellers who then sell under their license.  I am not aware of any specific ill side effects of having your domain name with a reseller – I would consider them as with any business – examining their customer service, reviews online, customer feedback, etc.

What do you do with a domain registrar?

  • Buy and renew your domain name.
  • Manage your domain record – how your website and email addresses are handled.

Why Hover?

  • Just Domains.  All they do is domain registry and email services.  They don’t try to sell you lots of other services, (which is a huge relief), and are straight up about what they do sell.
  • Domain privacy is included in the price.  Many domain registrars will charge extra, a lot extra, to make your ownership information private.
  • Customer Service is great.  Call them up and they answer the phone.  Friendly.  Helpful.  Easy.  Their website is also a breath of fresh air.  Again, comparatively easy.
  • Pricing is fair.  Their pricing is on par with most other domain registrars.  Some charge way more, like Network Solutions who will only offer you a fair price when you go through steps to transfer your domain names away from them. And some will charge less, (a few dollars and usually just when you first buy), but if you choose a company with cheaper options you pay for it in the time you spend on their website, with their customer support, pulling your hair out, and I find many clients buying services they don’t really need or use which costs them way more in the end.  So I find them less expensive when considering my time and sanity as a valuable resource.

So what are you waiting for, head on over and check them out!


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