Welcome to the Domain Name Registrar Challenge Championship Edition, where we crown a champion and the best domain registrar of 2020 for domain investors. This challenge started with 64 registrars, much like the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, dubbed March Madness. Like that tournament, we’re down to the final 4 registrars. In today’s championship edition, I break down the last three “games”, including the championship game.
Before we move on, if you want to see how each registrar got to the final four, check out the links below which break down each matchup. Moreover, if you’re interested on how each registrar was seeded and what inspired me to write about this challenge, check out the article where I introduced the 2020 Best Domain Registrar Challenge. Finally, if you’ve enjoyed these series of articles, be sure to check out the podcast, Domain Investing with Jason of Florida, where I break down each matchup in slightly more detail (and talk about other stuff). If you have any feedback or questions, please reach out and contact me!
Sweet Sixteen: breakdown
Elite Eight: breakdown
Bracket: final bracket
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these registrars. All of these notes are my opinions. My opinions were based upon observations of services as provided on the registrar website.
final four Matchup
(1) godaddy.com vs (6) uniregistry.com
Godaddy offers a plethora of services for domain investors, and many domain investors love the service. They offer a premium marketplace that integrates with Afternic, as well as expired and close out auctions. GoDaddy offers domain parking starting at $3.99 per month. Like Uniregistry, they have their own brokering service, however it differs a bit since the brokers work for the buyer. Their fees for brokering are pretty outlandish, where they charge $69.99 fee per domain PLUS a 20% commission!
Uniregistry was founded to serve domain investors, so they come into this matchup with a full-head-of-steam. Uniregistry offers a powerful aftermarket, a brokerage to go along with their tiered-pricing structure for domain names, based upon your membership level ranging from $12 – $19 monthly. More, they offer domain parking.
This matchup features two powerhouses that are now under the same umbrella, thanks to GoDaddy’s recent purchase of Uniregistry. However, in a head-to-head matchup, the nod goes to Godaddy, thanks to their aftermarket integration with Afternic and their auction platforms. More than that, I like GoDaddy’s fee-model is better than Uniregistry’s membership model. The membership model, in my opinion, really slants the game in favor of domain investors with hundreds and thousands of domain names.
Final Score: GoDaddy 89, Uniregistry 82
(1) dynadot.com vs (3) epik.com
Dynadot offers a powerful marketplace and auction aftermarket to go along with the best dot com registration prices of any of the final four competitors (and most of the rest of the field). Perks include free privacy, a solid money-back-guarantee for domains you register, and an easy-to-use interface that flows well.
Epik is quickly becoming a favorite registrar for domain investors. Morgan Linton wrote about why he recently moved his portfolio to Epik, siting their “legendary” customer service, while complimenting their Escrow Service. Epik’s list of services provided to domain investors are impressive, they offer a robust marketplace with easy-to-use sorting for every possible combination of domain names. Quite frankly, I’m blown away by the combination of services and focus on the domain investor. Epik is a truly impressive platform.
This matchup looks one-sided, at first glance, it appears as if Epik will run away. In life, there are intangibles, and in business there is a reward for powerful focus on doing a few things really well. Not spreading your business (and yourself) too thin, for exmaple. Dynadot does the job of a domain registrar extremely well. Their no-frills marketplace is extremely easy to use, and their use is not membership or fee-based. Dynadot simply let’s you use it for (gasp!) paying for things (domains), not “services” that are part of the job of offering products. Dynadot’s pricing model might be the best in the industry. So with that, they advance to the championship game in a double-over-time thriller that looked the part of two blue-bloods trading punches.
Final Score: Dynadot 112, Epik 111 2OT
(1) godaddy.com vs (1) dynadot.com
If you’ve been following along in the 64-registrar field, you’ve no doubt read about all the services, marketplaces and pricing of each of these competitors. This game, to be completely honest, is GoDaddy’s game to lose. And, like real-life, they’re going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. GoDaddy is going to lose this matchup, not based on their features, marketplaces, integrations, or even their pricing. Instead, they’re losing because they have perhaps the worst user-experience of any of the domain registrars in this or any field.
Dynadot is not just winning because Godaddy finds a way to lose, they’re winning because they bring a use of ease to the domain registrar space that is second-to-none. Their model doesn’t apply excessive fees, membership plans, or some obtuse tiered-pricing structure. Their pricing is the best in the industry right now for domain registrations. When you buy a domain from their marketplace, you aren’t slapped with fees that other registrars (like GoDaddy) apply. But more, Dynadot has designed and implemented a website and mobile app that is so easy to use that you can focus on only buying domains. I’m not sure if Dynadot has the feature-set to establish a dynasty, but they certainly can enjoy winning this challenge in 2020.
Final Score: Dynadot 71, GoDaddy 67
Final Words on The Domain Registrar Challenge
Congratulations to Dynadot for winning the 2020 Domain Registrar Challenge! Going up against the best 64 domain registrars in the world on a data-driven approach is no easy feat. For the writer, putting together this challenge has been difficult and time-consuming. The research, the podcasts, the articles took me hours-upon-hours. I’m not paid nor do I have an affiliation with any registrar that I wrote about. This was extremely personally fulfilling and enlightening. Thank you to each of the registrars that put their business (and theirselves) out to be scrutinized. Running any business is for the faint of heart, haters are going to hate. I hope that you, dear reader, enjoyed this data-based (opinion-excluded) breakdown of the world’s top 64 domain registrars. I’d love to hear your feedback and field your questions. More, buy and sell domain names, and have fun doing it!