6 reasons why we register domains with Hover instead of GoDaddy
A personal domain is the first thing you need for your website. It is literally your address online and is an important part of your branding. While many services (including Squarespace) will throw in a free domain with their hosting service, more often than not it's better to register your domain with a dedicated service. Over the years of managing clients' and friends' websites, I've dealt with all of the big domain registration and hosting services - and even a few obscure ones. GoDaddy has become the "default" domain registration service, but we stay away from them and use a wonderful service called Hover. Here are the 6 biggest reasons why:
1) No upselling
Hover has one fee: $15 for a domain per year. For that price you get everything you'll need and nothing you don't. The only "add-on" is email, with a few different worthwhile options including Google Apps.
GoDaddy and other "budget" domain registrars' business model is to hook you with a sale price on a domain for $9.99, then charge you extra for everything else. Want WHOIS Privacy? GoDaddy and others charge an additional $8 or more per year. Want advanced DNS management? That's another $3 PER MONTH! Register.com charges you $50 to use normal Domain Forwarding (without their ads). The list of add-ons goes on and on. It takes just one add-on service to make the other guys NOT such a great deal any more.
Plus, GoDaddy makes services up to try and get more money out of you, like their "Certified Domain" add-on. For $5 per year you get to put a "GoDaddy Certified" badge on your website. Useless. An SSL certificate is the only thing you may need to pay extra for to ensure people's information on your website is safe, which is really only needed if you collect personal information.
2) Better user interface and website
Hover.com has less clutter on their website, and since they don't have anything to upsell, there are no ads and no popups. Their admin panel is also straightforward and easy to navigate. Mainly because they only do domains and email. The bottom line is that Hover makes it easier to manage your domains. Period.
3) Quality customer service
Hover's email support is good. Like most other services they respond within 24 hours. But their phone support is superb. They are available between 8am and 8pm ET as opposed to 24/7, BUT they have a "no transfer" and "no hold policy". That means the person you immediately get on the phone will be able to solve your problem quickly. And they won't try to upsell you on the services you need help with!
4) No spam
GoDaddy and others will send you email after email after email to promote their "sales" and inform you about how you need to add this service or that one to your domain (like "certifying" your domain). Unsolicited emails trying to sell you something you don't want are spam. Hover sends you a reminder when your domain is about to expire. That's it. No unwanted emails.
5) Less is more
Many people have said that GoDaddy is the Walmart of website services - a one-stop shop for "all" your website needs. And just like Walmart, I have trouble finding what I need and getting a clear idea on price. The Walmart analogy works on every point listed above too.
Is Walmart's auto repair service the best place to take your car to get it fixed? I know my mechanic Mike does a much better job for me. And I trust him. He's been fixing cars for as long as I've been alive, just like Tucows (which owns Hover) has been doing internet services since 1993. That's longer than GoDaddy.
Specialized service is always better. You get that with Hover.
6) Transfers are easy
Most of the popular domain registration services make it practically impossible to transfer a domain away from them. Hover makes it simple. They even offer a "Domain Valet Service" for free where their support people will take care of everything for you, which is great for when you have lots of custom DNS settings for Exchange servers and the like. And at no extra cost.
If that's not enough, they let you keep the remaining time you had registered with the other guys and then add a year onto that. So you don't lose anything by transferring mid-registration. AND they give you $5 off!
On top of that, they make it simple if you decide to transfer away from them to a different service, unlike the other guys who make you jump through a bunch of hoops to get the authorization code you need.
So if you are looking for a top-notch domain registration service to register your website's domain, don't hesitate. Do it today with Hover.com. And please use our link so we get credit. Full disclosure: I'd still recommend them even if they didn't have an affiliate program.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post on how to pick the best domain name for you...
What experiences do you have with registering domains? What company did you use? Is there anything we didn't cover? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter! And if you know someone who can also benefit from this information, please pass it along using the "share" links below.