Domain.com began in 2000. In the last fifteen years, the company worked its way up to one of the world’s top players in domain registration and web hosting. Their mission is “to provide that rarest combination - the highest quality products and reliability AND the most affordable prices in the industry”. Their specialties are: affordable domain names, web hosting, VPS hosting, email, SSL certificates, web design, and online marketing services. They advertise a commitment to making their customers successful on the web.
- Other TLD prices
- Number of TLDs available
- Security features
- Simple domain transfer policies
- Customer support
- ICANN accreditation
Domain.com's prices are as advertised for .com domains at $8.99/year. This price is very competitive compared to other companies selling domains, which is, on average, charges around $11.99 to $15.99/year. Some companies offer an "introductory price" on their home page while the actual price at checkout is higher. Other domain companies offer a low price and customers learn when they search for a name that the price is different than advertised. Domain.com stays true to their word in this regard.
Also of value is the free features included in the purchase of each domain name. Domain.com's prices include free transfer locking, email forwarding and url forwarding.
Their URL Forwarding service is for people who want to redirect their domain to another URL that is too long or too difficult to remember-or to any URL they choose.
Email forwarding lets customers create email addresses for their domains and forward them to up to 250 valid email addresses for their domain. With these free features, Domain.com surely adds value for customers.
Other TLD Prices
For other Top-Level Domains TLDs like .org, .net and .info, Domain.com customer can expect to pay from a range of $0.99 to $14.99/year. This is very inexpensive compared to other domain registrars. The only thing that can be better is offering the same additional domain price as their .com price, which some companies offer.
Number of TLDs Available
Domain.com offers over 319 Top Level Domains for customers to choose from. This put them in the category of domain name companies who offer hundreds of TLDs. Some companies only offer around 100 different TLDs or less while some companies surpass Domain.com with over 500.
Domain.com offers a WHOIS Privacy feature at $8.99/year. This feature hides a customer's domain name identity on the public WHOS database that every domain holder has to list their contact information. Domain privacy replaces personal information with general data, which helps to prevent issues like spamming and identity theft. Compared to registrars that offer this service for an average of $9.99/year, this is a better, more affordable price. However, compared to domain name companies who offer domain privacy for free (included in the domain name price), this is an inferior offer.
They also offer free domain locking with the purchase of each domain. This means no one other than the domain owner can illegitimately transfer their domain. Many companies charge for this service, so Domain.com adds value in this area. Since transfer locking is one of the free features Domain.com includes with the purchase of each domain, it is surprising they would not offer WHOIS privacy free as well. That would really add more value for domain name customers instead of email forwarding, etc.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
If transferring a domain over to Domain.com, they will charge customers a transfer fee of $8.99 for .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .us domains. Most domain registrars do charge a fee to move domains into their registrar, so this is on par with the industry norm. In terms of making it easy to transfer a domain name away from Domain.com to a different registrar, Domain.com takes 5 to 7 days. The external transfer process does not appear to be difficult to complete-no delays to avoid losing business or holding names hostage as some registrars are known for doing.
Domain name customers needing support will find that Domain.com offers several forms of customer support, consisting of phone, live chat, and a Help Center page on their website. Their phone support is available 24/7 which supersedes quite a few companies who offer phone service with limited hours. One thing unfavorable concerning their live email chat was that you have to provide your domain name to get help.
Also, live chat requires customers to put their first and last name and to select a department. This is inferior to many domain companies who have live chat features that function in an instant messenger manner, without having to be a current customer or giving up your identity. They also offer a Help Center page, which includes a Knowledgbase page with common questions and answers and other features like a user guide. They don't offer a general customer support email; instead Domain.com offers Webmail-an email support portal for current customers with a Domain.com account. Webmail requires a login and password, so it is not for new customers with questions.
- ICANN fees
- Bulk price
- Cross selling
- Mobile app
Domain.com is mandated to pay an annual ICANN fee of 18 cents for every domain name registered through them. They don't include these fees on their checkout page, leaving one of two conclusions: either they eat the cost themselves and do not charge customers at all or they silently factor in the fee into their annual domain fee. In other words, Domain.com doesn't mention whether or not they have those fees included with the price. This indicates some transparency issues on Domain.com's part. Most domain name providers include this fee in their advertised cost, while others inform you of the additional ICANN fee not included in the domain price through a small print notice at the bottom of their home pages. Although the fee is only 18 cents, it does change the advertised price and puts off some customers.
Domain.com allows customers to purchase a maximum of 25 Top-Level Domains (TLDs) at once. They do not advertise bulk pricing for purchasing a certain amount of domain names at once. Only a few domain name companies offer bulk discounts or some kind of percentage off of the total TLD price. Some of those have a pyramid pricing structure for domains that give 10% off for buying 100 domains. Domain.com still falls short in this area since they offer hundreds of domains.
The buying process of a domain on Domain.com is comprised of a plethora of upsells. First, there are 3 non-aggressive upsells. These upsells are add-on feature suggestions when adding your available domain name to your checkout cart. The upsells (domain privacy, domain ideas and the latest new domains) are check boxes allowing customers the option to select in addition to their domain name. Step 2 in the buying process has banner ads for one upsell plus 5 more upsells with non-aggressive check boxes to add to your shopping cart. In contrast to the majority of domain name companies in the industry today, Domain.com's 9 total upsells are way more than most companies, which averages out to 2 total upsells. The entire checkout process with Domain.com is 3 sales pages. A few major competitors have aggressive upselling techniques that make customers go through several additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name. Domain.com is one of these companies-minus the aggressive selling techniques.
Domain.com lacks a mobile app that lets customers manage their domains from an iOS and Android smart device. They do partner with Google Apps for Work, an app to manage your professional email account, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more for an additional $5.00/year. Compared to the few companies that offer their own apps (and for free) Domain.com falls short in this area.