Gandi was one of the first ICANN approved companies to market website domains for clients. In 1999, three of the top Internet experts in France founded Gandi, and in 2005, one of the top European management teams were brought in to create a unique business plan that is centered on domain registration services. Gandi offers what they call a "no bullshit" corporate policy that is centered on providing clients with products and services that are useful to them. Gandi also does not advertise, depending upon its reputation with current customers to spread the word about Gandi’s products and services. Many individuals, institutions, and companies use Gandi’s service, including the European Union. Gandi manages over 1,500,000 domains for clients from countries throughout the world.
Number of TLDs Available
Customers seeking a large number of domains will find satisfaction with Gandi, who offers over 700 domains. This puts Gandi at the top with possibly the most TLDs offered in the industry. Some companies only offer around 100 different TLDs and some offer over 500, but Gandi offers some of the highest TLD numbers available.
Gandi.net offers customers a bargain when it comes to domain names. With the purchase of each domain name, privacy features are automatically included for no additional cost. These features are:
- WHOIS Privacy feature that protects your personal information from being displayed on the public WHOIS database. They guarantee that they will not sell your information either directly or indirectly.
- 1-year free SSL certificate where you get the first year free with the purchase of your domain name. After the first year, the annual price is $16.00/year. This price is inexpensive compared to many domain companies who can charge hundreds of dollars for SSL protection. And they don’t offer the first year free, either.
To purchase a .com domain, Gandi charges customers $15.50/year. Customers may not be pleased to discover a tax added onto the price at checkout, making the price $18.00. The nature of this tax is undisclosed. Many domain sellers do not charge a tax at checkout, so this makes buying a domain with Gandi less favorable. As far as pricing, $18.00 is higher than what the average domain seller charges customers, which is typically between $13.99 and $15.99/year.
Other TLD Prices
Alternate Top Level Domains (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc) cost higher than a .com domain. For example, a .net extension costs $18.00/year. If you purchase a .org, it costs $16.67/year. There are domain sellers that offer the same price for other TLDs as they do for .com domains, which puts Gandi at a disadvantage. Compared to domain companies selling alternate TLDs, Gandi’s additional extensions are similarly priced; however, these prices are before the tax Gandi charges at checkout, so the .net extension is actually $21.60/year—making Gandi’s prices more expensive.
As a domain registrar, Gandi.net has to pay an 18 cent annual ICANN fee. They do not reveal whether this fee is included into the total price or is the untitled tax that Gandi adds to the price at checkout. Overall, transparency with ICANN fees seems to be an issue. This may put off some consumers.
As a provider of such a large number of domain names, Gandi surprisingly does not advertise anything concerning bulk pricing discounts. Typically, when a company offers bulk discount pricing, they use some kind of pricing structure, such as 100 domains at a 10% discount or buying 200 domains for 20% discount, and so on. Although Gandi offers bulk domain transfers, they do not specify whether they offer discounts for these bulk transfers.
When purchasing a domain, Gandi takes customers through 7 checkout pages to get to the final checkout. This is more pages than some of their domain name competitors, who have on average 3 pages. The upsells appear after signing up for a Gandi account, which is required during checkout. When trying to get to the check out page, customers typically encounter an average of 2 to 5 upsells with other domain companies—some of these upsells can be aggressive. Gandi’s upsells are not “in your face” but rather add-on options.
For customers wanting mobile capability for their domains, Gandi.net does not deliver. They offer no apps for either Android or iOS. This hinders mobile users who want-or need-to manage their domains from their smart device. The short list of domain companies who have created an app have outperformed Gandi in this area.
Simple Domain-Transfer Policies
Customers wanting to transfer a domain name away from Gandi.net may feel a bit overwhelmed when reading through their wikipage on the subject. Out of all the domain registrars that have been reviewed, Gandi’s instructions seem to be the most complex thus far. Many domain registrars make the process a 3 step process and some a 7 step process, but Gandi’s is close to 20 steps. What is similar to other registrars is the length of time for the transfer, which is 5 days.
Customers would do best to contact Gandi’s customer support for help walking through the process. There are also additional concerns not mentioned with other domain registrars. For example, the Gandi mail service associated to your domain name will stop working and all the emails will be deleted after the domain’s transfer away from Gandi.
Customers wanting personal 24/7 support will be disappointed with Gandi.net. They do not offer a phone number (which most domain companies do). Instead, Gandi pushes online communication and “encourages” customers to submit questions via their website support tickets or use their information or forum pages to find the answers to their questions. These information pages include a Wiki page with common customer questions and answers to those questions. Gandi also offers an online community forum to learn what solutions have been found for unresolved questions and troubleshooting issues. Once these avenues have failed, customers are encouraged to then email them using their customer support email address. Clearly, Gandi falls short in the area of customer support.
Gandi offers great prices for over 347 domain names, including the following standard ones:
- $15.50/year for a .com domain
- $16.05/year for a .org domain
- $16.58/year for a .net domain
- $15.74/year for a .info domain
Bulk pricing is also available at prices similar to individual domain pricing.
Additional Services Prices
Additional services are available through Gandi, allowing users to consolidate their product needs with one company. Here are some of the other features that are available through Gandi:
- Simple hosting starts at $4.99/month (plus a value added tax), with up to 100 domains and unlimited databases.
- VPS services starting at $9.70/month, starting with 3 GB of storage.
- Private domain registration for FREE!
Gandi offers several other service packages, including hosting and VPS hosting. These services, respectively, are $4.99/month and $9.70 a month. For storage, the hosting package has anywhere from 10GB to 1TB of storage, depending upon the service level purchased.
Gandi provides the standard .com, .org, .info, and .net domains, included with the 347 total domain names that they offer.
Accepted Payment Types
Gandi offers an impressive array of payment methods for being in a European country. Gandi accepts, from American customers:
- Visa, American Express, and MasterCard.
- By bank transfer
Gandi’s customer care paradigm is set up online. They encourage customers to use their wiki. If an answer is not clear in the wiki, there is a form online where customers can submit a ticket. Generally, inquiries are answered within 24-hours. If an answer is not forthcoming, Gandi also has a Twitter handle, @Gandibar, for customers to ping.
Gandi offers several other features and services, in addition to domain registration:
- Hosting and VPS services, listed in the pricing section of this review above.
- One of the best free SSL certificate packages available that is secured up to $250,000 for online e-commerce (this is important, since European companies are not subject to PCI compliance required in the United States).
- More advanced SSL certificates at different prices, depending upon the size and need of a business (most businesses are fine with the standard, free SSL certificate).
- Web building tools and blog options for those who wish to use Gandi’s hosting services, allowing for an easy-to-make website.
Company Contact Information
Masséna Paris (75013)
Phone: +33.(0) 1 126.96.36.199
Email: [email protected]