Hover, a branded company of Tucows, Inc., offers domain name registration and email hosting for clients. Hover was founded in 2008 after Tucows decided to merge all three off their domain registry services. Hover recently removed their automated phone answering service and all support and sales calls are now transferred to either a sales or support technician. Hover does not offer any web hosting or content management services for clients, referring customers to other providers such as SquareSpace or Media Temple.
- Other TLD prices
- Number of TLDs available
- Security features
- Cross selling
- Simple domain transfer policies
- Customer support
Hover charges $12.99/year for .com domains. This is superior to the average domain seller, whose annual domain fees typically range from $13.99 to $15.99/year. Also commendable is Hover's prices remaining as advertised after the first year. Several companies offer a lower introductory price for the first year and lock customers into a higher price for every year after.
Other TLD Prices
Other Top Level Domains (TLDs) (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc) have a price range of $12.99 to $25.99/year. For alternate TLDs, this is a competitive price, as a good number of domain sellers charge higher pricing. There are a few companies who offer a slightly better deal than Hover due to having a flat price for all popular TLDs. For example, if the .com is $12.99, the .net, .org, .co and .info is also $12.99/year. But overall, Hover's prices are competitive.
Number of TLDs Available
Hover offers hundreds of Top Level Domain extensions. This number exceeds many domain registrars who only offer 50 or 100. Hover is on par with larger domain sellers in this regard, making them a viable option for customers wanting to purchase domains in bulk (i.e. 100 or more).
To protect your domain name, Hover offers WHOIS privacy protection. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an organization that coordinates the world's domain system, requires you to provide up-to-date contact information when you register a domain name. This information goes on the public WHOIS database. Hover's WHOIS privacy feature protects you personal information from being accessed publicly by potential spammers, telemarketers and identity thieves. Hover's WHOIS privacy protection is free with the purchase of each new domain name. This far outperforms domain name companies, many of whom charge a typical fee of $9.99/year.
During the checkout process on Hover.com's website, customers may be pleased to find the absence of additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name. Hover has a total of 1 upsell, which is the option to add additional TLDs available for the domain name you selected. This puts Hover ahead of many domain companies who can annoy users due to trying to sell an average of 2 or more add-on features. Some check boxes to add-ons automatically, which can leave customers paying for more than they want or need if they are not careful.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
External Transfers with Hover can be convoluted or pretty straight forward depending on the situation. If your domain contact details are up-to-date, it's just three clicks - set transfer lock to off, make sure public details are on, and then copy the auth code so you can provide it to the new registrar. They include steps to verify and update the admin email address because out- of -date contact details is a major road block to moving out domain names.
Your new domain registry places a 5 day hold on domain names after a transfer request is received. After your initiate a transfer away from Hover, we automatically send a transfer away request email to your domain's administrative email address contact. The email includes a link that you can use to cancel or confirm the transfer away request. If you confirm it, we will tell the registry to bypass the 5 day hold. If you do nothing, the hold will time out after 5 days and the transfer will proceed.
When compared to other major domain registrars , Hover makes the transfer process simple with a series of basic steps and screenshots to guide you. Some companies may charge a transfer fee as well. Hover does not. Other companies make finding outward transfer information hard to find on their site to perhaps discourage customers from leaving. Hover does not.
Hover offers customers 4 ways to contact them for support: phone, email, Live Chat and a self-help page. Here are the specifics:
Phone: Hover has a main toll-free number on their home page, but they also have a toll free phone number for North America and an International number. Unlike the majority of domain registrars, Hover does not offer 24/7 phone support. Their phone hours are Weekdays: 8am-11pm Eastern time and 8am-8pm Eastern on weekends.
Email: Hover's email is provided for customers who prefer to email them. Some companies offer several email addresses to meet specific concerns, but having one general customer email is on par with the average domain name company.
Live Chat: The good news is that Hover offers a Live Chat feature to communicate with them directly via instant messaging. The bad news is that Hover's Live Chat requires you to give them your email, name and phone number. Customers may simply want to ask a question without putting their identity out there-and on some mailing list to be contacted in the future. Some domain name companies do offer Live Chat anonymously.
Help Page: Hover has a "Knowledge Base" page on their website that has commonly asked questions with detailed answers from Hover.
Hover's 4 customer service options is similar to the industry average among domain registrars, who typically offer 4-5 customer support options.
- ICANN fees
- Bulk price
- Mobile app
Regarding additional checkout fees, all domain name registrars are required to pay an annual ICANN 18 cent fee for each registered domain. With Hover, the ICANN fee is added on at checkout. This means that if you purchase a .com domain name for $12.99, the actual cost you pay is $13.17/year. Although Hover is being transparent with the ICANN fee, customers may not like changes being made to the advertised pricing.
For customers purchasing a large number of domain names in bulk, Hover does not advertise any kind of bulk discount pricing. Some companies selling large numbers of domains offer some kind of discount pyramid, for example, if you buy 100 domains together, you get 10% off. The same goes for 200 domain purchases at 20% off and counting.
Hover does not offer a mobile app that allows customers to manage their domains. When asked, one of Hover's representatives stated that they don't have any plans to build an iPhone app because their website is 100% compatible with the iPhone. Although many domain companies do not offer an app for either iOS or Android, Hover falls short in this area compared to the few companies that do offer app capability.