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I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question for stackoverflow but most other places, I'd end up with trolls as answerers.

So, on a technical level, does it matter if I go for a cheap domain registration rather than a premium one? My concerns are related to performance (nameservers affect performance?)

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 13 '09 at 17:43

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4 Answers

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The real thing you need to worry about is not who you purchase your domain from but who you do your domain lookups from. There are many companies that if you do a domain lookup on their site and don't immediately purchase it from them, they will then buy the domain and put a parked page on it knowing that if you want the domain now that you will cough up many significant times more to buy it from them privately as opposed for just the registration fee.

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It doesn't matter who you purchase your domain from, from a nameserver point of view. Once you register the domain, you should be using your own name servers and not the registrars. The speed comes in from your name server selection.

The one thing I would consider is how long the registrar has been around and how reliable their business model is. There have been stories in the past (RegisterFly) where the registrar disappears and folks started having problems registering, transfering and updating their domain names.

Fortunately the ICANN has a pretty good handle when it comes to Registrars. Should your registrar go out of business or have issues such as RegisterFly, they will take over the domain registrations and in this particular case, transferred all registrations to GoDaddy.

If you stick to an ICANN accredited registrar you are fairly protected from any type of issues like this. For this reason, I would stick with a registrar that is directly accredited by ICANN and not a "reseller". Some of the "top tier" registrars are GoDaddy, eNom, Tucows, Network Solutions, etc.

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Definitely agree that from a performance standpoint, DNS servers are all that matter. Though most people who just have a handful of domains don't have their own NSs. I'd recommend GoDaddy both as a registrar and their NSs, I've used them for years and never had a complaint (thought I just moved DNS in-house due to technical limitations). –  Jason Antman Oct 13 '09 at 21:44
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DNS depends on caching a lot. If you expect this domain to be popular then it won't really matter, because it will be cached on the ISP's (from where your users will be coming) servers. If registrar's nameservers is your concern, then there should be a way to lease them from somewhere else and add them to your domain (or replace existing ones), this of course depends on your registrar and what control you have over your domain.

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Cheap domains services don't actually let you own the domain. They own it and are in effect leasing it to you. This means if you want to change ISP's you can't since you are in lockdown. You can avoid this by purchasing your domain from a domain registrar and use an isp that is different from where you bought the domain.

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Could you provide an example of a provider that does this? –  mimetnet Oct 13 '09 at 17:41
    
I don't think this is too prevalent anymore. Since you can buy domains for as cheap as $5 if a company like name cheap has a sale. –  Chris Marisic Oct 13 '09 at 18:25
    
"Cheap domains services don't actually let you own the domain. They own it and are in effect leasing it to you." is incorrect. You never "own" the name, with ANY provider. –  SirStan Oct 13 '09 at 19:27
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