6.0 Out Of 10
|Support||Help Desk, Chat, Phone, Chat, & Knowledge Base|
|No cost DNS|
|No cost domain privacy|
|Best for||Brand recognition|
|Strengths||Been Around Forever|
What is Register.com?
Newfold Digital, one of the oldest and most established website builders/hosting brands in the world, owns Register.com domain registrar. They were among the first companies to be selected by ICANN for the initial testing phase of the new competitive shared registry system. This makes them one of most well-established domain registrar companies outside of Network Solutions.
Register.com provides a wide range of products from web design to marketing, hosting, and domain management. Their main selling point is that they offer a range of services to help all sizes of businesses, and even small businesses can get their websites online without any technical knowledge.
Register.com is a well-known brand with a lot of brand recognition. I decided to give them a try as a domain registrar. This is my Register.com review, based on my experience as a customer.
Register.com pricing, like Network Solutions, is extremely hidden. It took a while to find this information.
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Search for the Best Domain Registrars
Register.com reviews are plentiful online. They often include user-generated reviews that are based on personal experience and anecdotes. This is fine. I however take a different approach. There is no “best” domain registrar. Based on your goals and experience, as well as your budget, the “best” domain registrar is the one that will best suit your project. One company may not be a good match for you, but that does not make it a bad fit for another.
Register.com is different. Their brand name and corporate history are their only strengths. Although they offer web services and domain registration, their only pro is their corporate history.
They are, in my opinion, a classic example of a company that relies on its name and ignores the fact that other companies have more value.
Even for the “meh” companies I try to find reasons to choose them over others. Register.com is the only reason I would choose them over anyone else, other than their brand recognition and positioning. Register.com is like finding a McDonald’s near an Interstate exit in the middle of Kansas. You might not like everything about McDonalds, but if they are the only option that you can recognize and you’re hungry, then you will most likely choose them.
However, the Internet isn’t a highway exit for Kansas. You have many other options that are only a click away. Register.com’s corporate clout is not sufficient to compensate for the loss of value.
If you are interested in more details, I will cover them in the cons section. You can skip to the end and continue on to the next steps if you are not interested.
Convoluted Domain Buying Experience
Register.com’s actual process for buying domain names is quite painful, especially when compared to the huge leaps in UX made by other companies.
Register.com adds domains to your cart automatically when you search for them. If they are available, it does not show any pricing information. Even if I search only for the root domain of a domain, and don’t specify the TLD (the.com version will still be added to my cart without me knowing the price).
Pricing information is not available for suggested domains. This is one of the biggest weaknesses of the company (more details in a bit).
Next, I tried to access my cart to view pricing information, but I was forced first to create an account. This makes me feel uneasy. Already, I feel a little uneasy about the lack of pricing transparency. It’s not a good idea.
After I finally saw my cart contents, it was clear that my domain would cost $5 with an asterisk. However, private domain registrations will require me to pay $11. Although it appears that there is a discount, you will need to click through to find out more.
However, the information I have received does not give me an idea of how much it would cost to renew my domain every year.
Apart from the price issues, there were also upsells in the checkout process. This brings me to…
A domain registrar may offer complementary products, such as hosting or website builders. I can expect upselling. It isn’t inherently bad or irritating — it’s an option to customers who want complementary products, but also keeps prices down for those who don’t.
When I see a registrar upselling, I pay particular attention to how. Are they subtle and easy to use? Do they impede what I really want to do?
Register.com has two problems with upsells. They appear everywhere, not just when I am looking (e.g. at checkout or in the upgrade section). The upsells at checkout impede my progress. There were at least two upsells that I had to click through before my payment information could be entered.
The second is that their messaging regarding many upsells has been simplified to the point of being misleading.
I find it annoying that they keep upselling me with oversimplified sales pitches.
Register.com’s pricing is opaque, as I have already mentioned. I could not find a complete list of TLD prices and none all the domains I found had prices.
The complications do not end there.
My first domain was purchased with a few TLDs. I got a $5 discount on my first three domains, and $5 for my second.
Register.com may also tag new users with cookies in order to block promotions.
My next.com domain cost $31.25 plus $11 privacy.
This is ridiculously costly for a simple domain. A.com domain will be sold by a large brand such as GoDaddy for $11.99 and renewed at $14.99. However, more recent brands such as Namecheap will go for $2.98 and renew at 12.98.
Transparency (or lack thereof)
Register.com’s weaknesses can be summarized into one major issue: lack of transparency. I could not find a complete list of domain pricing per TLD or a list of TLD options. It was impossible to check out without upsells. However, it is unclear which upsells I actually need because of the oversimplified messaging.
Overall, I was very skeptical about Register.com. Information is what I value. I want to be able to make informed decisions and compare options. It makes me wonder why there isn’t more information.
I was shocked at how awful Register.com was. I assumed that any company with such brand recognition would have some value… but I couldn’t find anything other than their corporate name. You can still get hooked on them .
Remember, this is not an interstate exit to Kansas with just one option. So that’s it…
If you want to still purchase domains from well-respected brands but are looking for deep discounts, visit GoDaddy .
I recommend Namecheap if you are looking for a domain registrar that is both affordable and excellent.
I recommend that you choose a more reliable domain registrar rather than Register.com.