Welcome to the Domain Name Registrar Challenge Midwest Region, fictionally hosted in Kansas City, Missouri. The midwest region is lead by a strong newcomer to the industry, Dynadot. Dynadot will have great competition from some big names in the industry, including name.com, 1010domain.com and namepal, among others.
To see how the seeding was done based on data collected by yours truly, check out the article that introduced 2020 Best Domain Registrar Challenge. You can just cut to the chase and view the bracket in the webpage or download the PDF of the bracket if you wish.
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.
(1) dynadot.com vs (16) puritynames.com
Dynadot is an industry powerhouse, with nearly 2.5 million domain name registrations, a powerful auction, backorder, and marketplace, they come in with confidence needed for a one seed in a crowded field. Their CEO, former techy Todd Han built a very nice interface for users. You can listen to this podcast on Domain Name Wire, where he talks about the challenges of building a domain name registrar.
Purity Domains has less than 500 domain registrations, but is building their brand on being the family friendly domain registrar. Purity offers eight TLDs, since they only want to deal with registries that refuses to profit from pornography, gambling and other immoral activity. While I think this could be a niche that does well enough, the truth is that Purity just can’t match up against all the 5-star recruits that Dynadot has on their roster. This game was a dunkfest that fans enjoyed.
Final Score: Dynadot 116, Purity
(2) name.com vs (15) domainsonly.com
Name.com bolsters over 2 million domain registrations on over 460+ TLDs. Established in 2003, this Colorado, US based business offers expiring domain auction and aftermarket sales. Moreover, they offer whois privacy, but at an additional price. This registrar is moderately popular with domain investors.
Domains Only is a small registrar out of London, UK that offers some free tools with registration, including 2 free email accounts and email forwarding, along with typical dns management tools. However, they also offer bulk registration and bulk transfer. Though they offer a clean website, they do not offer all the TLDs of a powerhouse like Name.com, nor any of the aftermarket or other services. Name.com pulled away early, and fought off a late comback in this interesting matchup.
Final Score: Name.com 99, DomainsOnly.com 88
(3) 101domain.com vs (14) cosmotown.com
101 Domain was established in 1999 and bolsters around 150,000 registered TLDs. They offer some interesting tools, including a bulk search tool and a new Domain Concierge service, which looks to contact sellers for potential buyers. 101 Domains supports plenty of TLDs while offering early release registration on new TLDs.
Cosmotown bills themselves as offering the lowest cost domain names, while also offering free whois privacy “for life”. They offer a nice price comparison chart on their home page. A small registrar with less than 10,000 registered domain names based out of California, this newcomer appears to be an up-and-comer in the industry. They’re not targeting hosting or email as a money maker, but looks like they’re trying to get good at domain names. Refreshing. Cosmotown jumped out at the buzzer and smacked 101 in the mouth, jumping out to a 50-35 halftime lead. 101 was able to cut the lead to under 5 with two minutes remaining, and a foul fest ensued resulting in a technical on Cosmotown coach. With two free throws and the ball, 101 tied the game with a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded. Inspired by the end of the game heroics, 101’s momentum carried into overtime resulting in a 101 win.
Final Score: 101Domain 116, Cosmotown 112
(4) ud.com vs (13) dotster.com
It may surprise you to see United Domains raking in a 4 seed, but with nearly 700K registered domains and more than 500 TLDs, ud.com is here to make a statement. Established in 2000, UD has a very easy to read and understand website. Under the domains drop down, there’s even a
what's included tab, so it’s easy to see what you’re getting with a domain. They include free email forwarding, and DNS management, and while these aren’t amazing free services, at least they’re transparent. I do not see privacy as a paid or free option on their website. Selling domains is UD’s business, and they don’t appear to offer any related services – which indicates to me they’ve a strong desire to get good at one thing.
Dotster, established in 199, is not a slouch. They’re part of a larger conglomerate that includes BlueHost, HostGator, SiteBuilder and more – but for this exercise, we’re only looking at what dotster.com offers the domain investor. They also offer a plethora of TLDs, but they do offer privacy (which is a premium option). Dotster also offers a full spectrum of services that may or may not interest domain investors, such as site builder, hosting, email and the like. While some may question the four seed of United Domains, they came into this matchup ready to prove themselves, a true underdog mentality. While Dotster has the star power to play with the big boys, United Domains showed up with the sheer focus of team trying to do one thing well.
Final Score: United Domains 68, Dotster 64
(5) easyspace.com vs (12) beget.com
Easy space has over 100K domain registrations and offers support for more than 500 TLDs. Established in 1997 out of the United Kingdom, EasySpace offers privacy, but at an additional fee. They proclaim to be one of the largest hosting companies in the UK, offering a variety of related services like email, office 365, web design, SSL certificates and more.
Beget was established in 2011 and call St. Petersburg, Russia home. With more than 350K domains registered, they’re a player in the market. I do like that they include screen shots of their control panel, and plenty of information about Beget before you buy a domain from them. It does appear as if they offer free privacy with registration (if you select “private person” during checkout). However, Beget only supports registration for ~20 TLDs. This lightly attended matchup is not a challenge of big-boys, but instead of two registrars trying to carve out their niche. EasySpace was able to pull away simply because they were able to rotate so many players in because they support many TLDs. Beget, only supporting ~20, tired out and lost the game.
Final Score: Easy Space 57, Beget 50
(6) directnic.com vs (11) namepal.com
DNC Holdings offers registraton on 325 TLDs and bolsters over half-a-million registered domains. Established in 2001, with headquarters in Louisiana, this domain registrar has been around the block a time or two. Personally, I like their robust domain search and simple interface. I have personal experience that indicates they have a great small support team, and have always helped me find solutions to my issues. They do offer privacy at a small fee of $5 at registraton.
NamePal.com doesn’t have the big number of registrations that other registrars in this bracket have, currently around 12k. However, they do offer a domain auctions, both expired and closeout auctions that domain investors typically participate in. Moreover, they do offer free domain privacy and email with registration. NamePal could be a registrar to keep an eye out for in this bracket. Early on, both teams fought hard, but NamePal was able to build separation thanks to their free offerings and marketplace.
Final Score: NamePal 90, DirectNic 82
(7) joker.com vs (10) sav.com
Established in 1997 in Germany, Joker has over 400k domain registrations and supports more than 300 TLDs. More than a domain registrar, they even have their own expired domain auction (though the sorting/filtering is not very robust). More, Joker offers free privacy with registration, and other perks such as free email addresses.
Sav.com is an emerging registrar, established in 2001 headquartered in Illinois, US. Sav offers backorders and has it’s own auction platform. Like their challenger, they offer free privacy with domain name registrations, and their pricing looks better than most. This matchup does not resemble a 7 vs 10, and had these challengers had faced other opponents, they both could’ve ended up victorious. This was a hard fought game, but in the end sav.com prevailed backed-up by their auction platform with robust search features.
Final Score. Sav 70, Joker 69
(8) wordpress.com vs (9) moniker.com
When most people think of WordPress, they don’t think of domains. However, wordpress does offer domains as a stand-alone product. They will try to upsell you into their hosted wordpress website service. With nearly 1 million domains registered, they’re a player in the game simply in sheer numbers. Though WordPress doesn’t offer the services or is the typical dns provider that many domain investors would expect, they certainly fulfill the mission.
Florida based Moniker boasts nearly 500k domain registrations, supporting a multitude of TLDs. Moniker offers free domain privacy, bulk domain search tools, and even link to Parking Crew to support parking services. Established in 2001, Moniker is a registrar to keep your eye on in this bracket. WordPress does a lot well, and domain names is not their strongest selling point. This rolled right into the game as Moniker was able to handle business from start to finish.
Final Score: Moniker 81, WordPress 67
That wraps up the Domain Name Registrar Challenge Midwest Region. Dynadot, Moniker, EasySpace.com, United Domains, NamePal, 101Domain.com, Sav.com and Name.com advance to the round of 32. Be sure to check out the updated bracket here.