Register.com is a subsidiary of Web.com and offers domain registration, web hosting, and email services for clients. Their revenue was $100.9 million in 2004, and today, over 400 employees are with the company. To date, Register has been in business for over 15 years, offering 50 products and 2 million domain names under management serving hundreds of thousands of customers, resellers and countless businesses, including many of our nation’s Fortune 500 companies. Register.com is a major provider of online small business tools. Thousands of rely on Register.com as their preferred registrar for domain names.
- Number of TLDs available
- Security features
- Customer support
- ICANN accreditation
Number of TLDs Available
Register offers over 140 Domain Extensions to customers. Some companies only offer around 100 different TLDs. Others offer way less, around 10-20. There are only a few companies that offer more than Register at 500 TLDs or more.
Register excels at offering users security features that go above the competition. These security features include:
- WHOIS Privacy Feature: Register offers a WHOIS privacy feature replacing your name, address, phone number and email address listed in the WHOIS database with a private, generic contact listing. This protects you from spam, fraud and telemarketers, etc. Register charges $11.00/year for this service, which is competitive with other domain companies.
- SSL certificate: Some companies only offer one SSL certificate feature. Register offers several SSL features: Essential SSL for $24.00/year, Premium SSL for 68.00/year, Wildcard SSL with unlimited subdomains for $245.00/year and Extended Validation SSL for $390.00/year. The higher priced tiers are for businesses and corporate entities (who can afford the price). The essential and premium SSL features, although lower in price, cost higher than many domain companies. Some domain registry services include an SSL certificate for free, if not provide it when a client purchases web hosting.
Register's customer support is superior to many competitors because they offer phone support 24/7 to all customers at all membership levels. When you call, a representative answers the phone quickly and is not outsourced to non-English speaking countries-even on weekends and off-peak hours. While many companies only offer one phone number, Register.com displays several numbers: one for sales, one for technical support, one for billing support and one for web hosting support. This saves time from calling and having to be transferred to the right department. Many companies have phone support only for higher tier members or the business hours are limited between Monday and Friday or to certain hours of the day (i.e. 9am to 5pm). They also have an email address where you can contact them with inquiries. You can also contact them via postal mail, since they openly list their physical address. Even further, Register offers an extensive Q&A page and an online forum where you can read other customer's questions that you may also have.
- Other TLD prices
- ICANN fees
- Bulk price
- Cross selling
- Mobile app
- Simple domain transfer policies
If you want to purchase a .com domain, Register charges a $5.00 annual fee. This is an extremely competitive price in the domain name industry. Typically, .com domains can run anywhere from around $5.00 to as high as $10.00 monthly (a few as much as $30.00 or more).
There is a caveat, however, that may dissuade customers from making a purchase or at least irritate them: the $5.00 annual fee is only introductory; the actual price goes up after the introductory period is over. This may leave customers feeling deceived.
After the first year of domain name registration, then-current renewal rates kick in. For example, the current renewal price for a one year .com domain name registration is $38, (subject to change at the sole discretion of Register.com). There are many other fine print caveats not favorable to customers. Once you select a domain name for $5 a month, the price is only valid for .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us, or .info extensions. It doesn't apply to premium names, either. Purchasing does not actually assure domain name availability.
The actual price-currently $38 a month which is subject to change-is much more expensive than major domain competitors out there, which average a domain price at $5-13 a month. Another disadvantage is that these companies do upsells but their price at checkout is approximately the same price as advertised.
Other TLD Prices
For alternate domain names outside of the most popular Top-Level Domain (TLD) (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc), Register.com charges the same amount as a .com domain, which is $5.00 a month. The fine print that applies to the .com domain also applies with other domain extensions.
Some domain registrar companies visibly add on ICANN fees at the checkout. Other companies didn't mention whether or not they had those fees included with the price. Register.com also seems to have similar transparency issues upon checkout. It appears they include the ICANN cost in their annual fee without notifying the customer during checkout. This avoids customer irritation by not altering the advertised price.
Register offers customers the ability to search for and purchase up to 50 bulk domain names at once. They do not indicate if they offer any discounts for bulk domain purchases. The ability to purchase a large amount of domains in one purchase is a competitive feature, as many companies do not offer this. However, Register fails at full disclosure in this area.
When trying to get to the check out page on Register.com, customers are faced with 2 primary upsells of purchasing additional domain names and a professional email address. This is minimal compared to other domain companies but there is a catch: the company's fine print (which is not on the page, but a link in small print to click on to open to another page) states that all prices are only temporary and will increase by what is a lot of money once the introductory period is up. This means Register does not do much upselling up front, but they hit customers with an automatic price increase which appears to be their way of a forced upsell on the back end.
Register.com has not yet created a mobile app that allows you to manage your domains from your smart device. Compared to the domain companies who have implemented this upgraded convenience, Register is at a disadvantage with customers who are mobile and need access outside of a desktop.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
Transferring a domain name can be difficult with registrar companies in case you are not satisfied. Some companies hold names hostage or charge exorbitant fees or create delays to avoid losing business. Register.com also holds the domain name hostage in case you are dissatisfied and want a transfer. When you purchase the domain name, it is transferred into your Register.com account and you cannot transfer the Premium Domain Name to another registrar for the first 60 days after the transfer, during which time the Domain Name may be placed on transfer lock.
This information is in fine print, which is not easily visible when purchasing the site-a potential dissatisfaction for customers. Initializing the transfer process is not difficult or complicated. They only require that you call them to do a domain transfer, since domain transfers involve very sensitive customer information and ownership rights. Register outlines the domain transfer process on their website in a brief, easy to understand manner. For instance, they tell you that the process requires you to request the domain be unlocked and to obtain the authorization code. If the domain has the 'Perfect Privacy' service, you will also need to have that removed so the WHOIS reflects all your contact information.
The Bottom Line
Since its inception, Register.com has focused on the needs of small business owners, making it easy to launch and build a website. Domains are often included in its web hosting services, making it easy for a client to build a website under a particular domain.
However, due to the expensive, hidden/ poorly disclosed prices of purchasing an individual domain name and the expensive SSL options, Register.com is not recommended for individuals who wish to purchase a web domain name. Small or medium sized businesses with steady revenue may benefit from Registrar's pricing and web hosting options that provide one domain name for a relatively cheaper price. The overall customer experience with Register.com, across the spectrum, is robustly positive when it comes to using Register.com for its web hosting services. This, however, does not outweigh the pricing burden for individuals.