Domain registrars revisited : The good, the bad and the ugly

Two years ago I wrote about how domain registrars fall in three categories: the good, the bad and the ugly.

With the expansion of the Internet name space and the proliferation of new gTLDs, the importance of domain registrars as safe-keepers of domain assets has increased multifold.

It’s time to revisit that old post and gauge the current situation.

A big game-changer has been Uniregistry, a domain registrar that delivers a strong back-end management system for small to large domain portfolios, dressed with elegance and style.

As I was involved in the beta testing prior to launch, my continuing feedback to the company’s evolution is based on a mature understanding of user experience, and functionality. As a domain investor, I want things to be efficient; as a designer, I also desire them to look nice.

Uniregistry, thus, leads the pack of the “good” domain registrars. On the same list, I’d put eNom,, and GoDaddy, along with 101Domain and NameBright.

I don’t use Moniker any more, and from what I’ve been told there are some glitches still, that lead to the loss of domains due to renewal emails not making it on time. Regarding Network Solutions, I don’t consider them bad necessarily, as I don’t focus on its history of complaints but rather, on my personal experience. They fall in-between good and bad, depending on how fast they let you transfer domains out.

In-between these categories is also Fabulous, a former favorite; the issue I described recently has not been addressed, and I am not going to sugar-coat it: I don’t see much of a future there, as far as my own domain portfolio goes.

The bad or ugly domain registrars continue to fail in the following important elements:

  • They don’t provide a two factor authentication process or other mechanism to safeguard domains.
  • They fail to address issues of domain hijacking and domain theft.
  • They harbor spammers and malware cybercriminals or don’t do what’s needed to eradicate them.

While there are some stellar domain registrars outside of the US and Canada, the majority of those that fall in the bad or ugly categories are in Russia, China, and India.

The latter two are responsible for an increasing number of domain registrations that last 2-3 days, and host malware, ransomware or launch attacks. For some reason, there is no increased security in how they identify and tackle such important problems, opting to offer domain registrations that are cheap or without any restrictions.

Categorizing domain registrars in “good, bad and ugly” is essentially a rating based on security, domain portfolio management features, and ability to fend off the bad guys. This classification, thus, continues into the new year, 2017 and beyond.

Have a happy new year, and choose your domain registrars wisely.


  1. I had read your post acro on December 6 that you linked to above regarding the issue at where expired and subsequently renewed domains retained the Fab nameservers, but at the time didn’t think to check if any names in my portfolio were affected.

    A check just now revealed four or five were and I’ve reassigned nameservers, as you recommended, to fix the glitch. Thanks to Fab’s brilliant UI it took a few seconds to spot the renewed domains that hadn’t reverted to their old nameservers.

    I’m surprised that Fab hasn’t fixed the problem as their site design and security was always years ahead of any other registrar.

  2. Hi fizz – Indeed, the issue has not been resolved. They manually changed my affected domains when I complained, missing a couple as well.

    Sadly, I’m inclined to believe that’s by design.

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