Domain Name Registrar Challenge: First Round of the West Region

Welcome to Domain Name Registrar Challenge West Region!  This region is in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Arizona is home to registrars GoDaddy and NameSilo.  However neither of these registrars are in the bracket and can’t claim home-field advantage.  The wild west bracket includes tech giants Google and Amazon, as well as Network Solutions.  However, many domainers do not prefer these tech companies for domain registrars, leaving the door open for lower seeds.

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.

More first round regional break downs: South region, East Region, Midwest Region, View Updated Bracket

Domain Registrar West Bracket

(1) domains.google.com vs (16) domainia.com

Some might say Google doesn’t deserve a number one seed.  With more than four million active registrations and 262 TLDs, google is a powerhouse.  Google offers registrations at a lower cost  than presented by many other registrars.  Moveover,  if you register a domain with google, there’s no need in worrying about them closing their doors.  If you develop any of your domains, google offers a variety of services that can support your venture.

Domainia is tailored to capture advance registrations for new gTLD applications, which may appeal to some domainers.  In fact, Domainia exclusively markets the new gTLDs, and does not offer traditional gTLDs.  In fact, as far as I can tell from their website, they don’t offer country code TLDs (ccTLDs).  However, they do offer a huge selection of well-categorized new gTLDs.  Based out of the birth place of basketball (Kansas, US), it’s not going to help them beat an internet giant.

Because Domainia does not offer ccTLDs or original gTLDs, Google is able to walk away with a victory.  The sheer energy and the youth of Domainia kept them in the game for the first 8 minutes. However, Google was able to build and sustain a large lead.

Final Score: Google 88, Domainia 57

(2) domain.com vs (12) asiaregister.com

Many might be surprised at the two seed given to domain.com.  However, as domain investors we should know – that’s a category killing domain name.  The only question might be, is that too general, in this case? With nearly 1.9 million domain name registrations on 300+ TLDs, domain.com is not a pretender.  Established in 2000 and based out of California, domain.com does offer free email forwarding as part of the domain registration.  They do charge an additional price for privacy.

Asia Register is a tiny registrar at of Hong Kong, with less than 1000 domains registered.  However, they do offer a many TLDs and free email forwarding.  They also offer a multitude of niche services that may attract some.  However, they do charge a bit more for registrations of traditional gTLDs.  Neither registrar offers a marketplace or free privacy protection.

Although history is on the side of domain.com, Asia Register goes into half time with an 8 point lead.  Due to their youth and inexperience, domain.com tires them down and comes back and wins in a less-than-dominant performance.

Final Score: Domain.com 56, Asia Register 51

(3) instra.com vs (14) domainclub.com

Instra is an Australian company founded in 1997.  With nearly 200,000 domains registered and a variety of front-end domain tools, Instra goes into the tourney a strong underdog.  They offer general availability registration, as well as pre-registration, sunrise and landrush phase registrations for new gTLDs.  Instra also offers “hassle free domain name management”.  It states they offer a renewal methodology where you “never lose your domain name again”.  They also offer bulk domain search.  However, there’s no mention of what’s included with the price of a domain name registrations..

Domain Club is a niche competitor that says it’s “home to the free domain name”.  I can’t seem to figure out what they mean by this exactly.  I can assume if you buy hosting or another service they will give you a domain name?  And, I am puzzled that domain.club does not redirect to domainclub.com!  URL forwarding, DNS management, domain theft protection and auto-renewal are offered at no additional cost.  However, those same services are offered free at most other registrars.  And, the cost to register a domain name seem higher than most registrars. With only about 20,000 domains registered at Domain Club, they’re currently only accepting payment via PayPal and ePassporte.

Instra, though not an over-powering blue blood, is able to beat Domain Club handily in their matchup.  From start to finish, this game was over before it started.  One offers “packages” you can select from when searching for a domain.  I think this is great since they seem to be targeting people who want to put websites up.  However, one.com does not seem to cater to the domain investor, and “privacy” is not mentioned.  However, I suspect since they’re based in Europe, then privacy may be included in registration.

Final Score: Instra: 66, Domain Club 47

(4) one.com vs (13) namespro.ca

Founded in 2002 and based out of Denmark, one.com gets bonus points for it’s sleek and simple user interface.  One.com boasts nearly 800K domains are actively registered.  The perks offered with a domain name registration include 100 mail accounts and a website builder.

Namespro.ca was a registrar I first heard about from a domain investor.  Based out of Canada, this smaller operation has just over 100K domain registered.  I really like that they’re explicit on the registration page.  They state exactly what you’re getting, which include: 100 mb email mailbox, DNS management, and auto-renewal.  They do charge less than $10 for privacy.  However, this charge is a one-time charge that covers an unlimited number of domains.  Though this challenge won’t fill the stands, it featured multiple lead changes throughout the game.  One.com showed up in their nice threads with the confidence of a four seed.  Namespro showed up in their throw-back unis and a chip on their shoulder.  In an upset, Namespro hits a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win this tight game.

Final Score: Namespro 87, One.com 86

(5) crazydomains.com vs (12) aws.amazon.com

Crazy Domains is an Australian registrar founded in 2000, with nearly 800,000 registered domains on over 400 TLDs.  They might be the biggest little registrar you’ve never heard about.  They do not offer free private whois (currently listed as a $14.99 add on for domain registration).  However, they do have a Domain Club which offers deals and free upgrades.  To become a member, you simply register or transfer domains to Crazy Domains and you’ll instantly be a member. Their highest level, VIP, only needs to have 250 domains registered.  They also offer domain back order.

Amazon is one of the most recognized companies around the globe.  Primarily for either their online marketplace or Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Amazon is a registrar with nearly 700,000 active domain registrations.  I assume most of these are as a result of implementing web apps that use AWS.  It’s not easy to register a domain name with Amazon, here’s a how to in case you’re interested, and you should be slightly tech savvy to do so.

Amazon is one of the world’s most recognized brands. However, offering domain registrations to end users is currently not their strong suit.  In fact, it’s the worse implementation I have seen after breaking down all 64 registrars.  In spite of the hype, Amazon get taken to task by an underated and overwhelming Crazy Domains.

Final Score: Crazy Domains: 101, Amazon 69

(6) uniregistry.com vs (11) fastdomain.com

In February, GoDaddy purchased Uniregistry.  With the sale so recent I thought it was fair to keep them in the mix.  Uniregistry was founded in 2010 by domain investor Frank Schilling and currently holds nearly 1.3 million domain registrations.  Beyond that, they offer several products targeting domain investors including parking (for revenue) and a marketplace.

Fast Domain currently has over 2.6 million registrations, but currently only offers 15 TLDs.  Their primary business appears to be webhosting.  Their user interface is dated and a bit difficult to navigate.  I can’t discern what is (or isn’t included) in a domain name registration.  Uniregistry players walked onto the court feeling like baseball players who crossing the picket lines.  However, they are still able to handily beat Fast Domain.

Final Score: Uniregistry 64, Fast Domain 51

(7) networksolutions.com vs (10)hello.co

Network Solutions was the world’s first domain registrar, founded in 1979.  It actively has nearly 7 million registered domains, offering a plethora of services in support of registration.  Network Solutions’ basketball equivalent might be Georgetown of college basketball.  Georgetown, a big success early, is still considered a blue blood.  However, they’re in a dying conference and not very relevant in the basketball (domainer) world.  However, they are a solid company that’s going to be around.  While not renowned for the customer support, you know what you’ll get with Network Solutions.

the US based registrar Hello was founded in 2012, currently showing just over 5,000 active registrations.  Though their website is nice, I can’t discern if they offer privacy.  They do appear to offer at market pricing on a variety of TLDs.  When you select to add your domain to the cart, you have to remove email (first year free).  There’s still no mention of privacy at checkout.  Hello’s youth shows early and often in the game.  Network Solutions is able to bully their way to a win over this up-and-comer.

Final Score: Network Solutions: 71, Hello 51

(8) webhero.com vs (9) register.com

Webhero has been around since 1994, but bolsters just over 11k domains registered.  While their pricing is middle of the road, they do offer privacy but at a premium charge.  Their website is nice, but they immediately steer their customers to a hosting package.  This is a clear indicator they’re not marketing to domain investors.  They currently don’t have a marketplace, or any pre-ordering or backorder services that some domainers look for.

Also established in 1994, Register bolsters nearly 1.9 million registered domains.  They do claim to offer a domain appraisal, but this is a premium service tied into Afternic.  More, they offer privacy but at a premium annual charge.  Register offers other premium services like pay-per-click advertising powered by web.com.  However, finding features that apply specifically to domainers is difficult.  The 8 vs 9 matchup is usually a good game, and this one is no different.  Register led by 1 point at half-time.  They pulled away at the end after fighting away several comeback attempts by WebHero.

Final Score: Register 71, WebHero 66

That wraps up the Domain Name Registrar Challenge West Region.  Google, Register.com, CrazyDomains, Namspro.ca, Uniregistry, Instra, Network Solutions and domain.com advance to the round of 32.  Be sure to check out the updated bracket here.

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