NZ Domain Registration - Best Deals

Hi All,

I have been with WebDrive for many years, and never had a reason to look elsewhere.

However, they appear to have been bought out by OpenHost, who were pretty much useless last time I had to deal with them, and I find now that we cannot change NameServers for a domain using their web interface (nor can I do it via the old WebDrive interface now that I have been migrated), rather we have to email them to get this done.

I also note that domain renewal is priced at $39.95 pa - a substantial increase over the WebDrive costs, especially considering I manage between forty and fifty domains, and I don't charge clients separately for this service (its just part of a larger package).

I can, of course, increase my fees too, and I might do that, but if I can, then I can regardless of my input costs, so the increase is ultimately all to my account (economically at least).

So, who is the best option for domain registration currently?

Given it is all online, I am not fixed on it having to be NZ based, but all other things being equal (especially cost!) then that would be good.

Breadth of options is important (ability to change NameServers for example!), but having a choice of TTLs would be great, and explicit history for a DNS zone would be good (I could do that with WebDrive quite easily).

Thanks,

Alan.

Comments

  •  

    Domains4Less have some good domain name registration pricing. I only use it for a domain name and email, so I don't know how good or otherwise their web hosting actually is. You could always get the web hosting separately somewhere else, but it probably works out slightly more expensive than hosting with the domain name company.

    •  

      Yes - I am not concerned about the web hosting at all, just domain registration and DNS.

      I generally prefer not to have domain registration, web hosting, and (if applicable) email hosting at the same place. Mostly I use Google and MS365 for email hosting if not on prem.

      Alan.

      •  

        Highly recommend taking it it one step further and split out DNS to someone like Cloudflare.

        Main reason is that when you transfer out a domain name, it's very common for a Loosing Service Providers billing system to automatically drop the DNS zone (if the DNS zone was with same company as domain reg), meaning you're in a shitty situation for up to 24 hours until the new NS can propagate.

        •  

          Hi Chewster,

          If we are transferring a domain out, we tell the client to make sure that they have all that covered off, but if they (or their new consultants) don't handle that (or just ignore us - unfortunately common) then it isn't something we really have to deal with as they are no longer with us.

          It's a much bigger issue if we are receiving a domain in, but obviously not applicable to what you are saying.

          I'm not clear under what scenario it would benefit us, or our clients, to have DNS and domain registration split?

          Thanks,

          Alan.

          •  

            @Alan6984: The scenario is simply transferring a domain from one provider to another. The risk loosing website/email for up to 24 hrs (which I've seen happen).

            All too common that billing systems tie the DNS zone as an "addon service" to the actual domain registration, so sometimes if a "transfer out" is detected on the LSP a billing system can disable/delete the associated DNS zone.

            Whereas if you have domain and DNS separately, this risk does not exist as there is no risk of sudden DNS drop due to billing/provisioning system weirdness, because the two are managed by different companies in different systems. You just keep the NS settings the same (pointed at the 3rd party DNS provider) on domain transfer and you're gold.

            It's not always the case, as in not all providers will immediately drop a zone on transfer out, but some do (and asking a LSP about this almost always results in them getting confused or just givnig you wrong info). The question is if you're willing to take this risk.

            Also, another one I've noticed from experience is that having DNS+domains together, if a domain goes pending release/expired, then some domain+DNS providers will DROP the associated DNS zone, which seems to clear cached DNS caches records faster "out there in the DNS network" which means that after domain renewal it can take longer to re-propagate, even if you managed to renew the domain within an hour.

            Overall, it's about separating points of failure, so that one doesn't negatively affect another because of some weird dependencies.

            •  

              @chewster: Hi Chewster,

              It still sounds like it would only impact on a client that was moving away from us, in which case, it would be up to whoever is taking over to worry about that stuff.

              I can't see how it would negatively impact on us, even if it ocurred?

              What am I missing?

              Thanks,

              Alan.

              • +1 vote

                @Alan6984: You wouldn't want the persons website/email to stop working immediately after they transferred away, due to propagation delays. otherwise they could have hours without any services. I had this problem when moving away from one domain provider, who immediately cut off all services. Even though I had updated the nameservers immediately after I have moved the domain to the new provider, the domain service experienced downtime, so you don't want that to occur for anyone.

                •  

                  @nzmax: Okay - so if we are moving a client to us, we make sure we get all the DNS settings prior to doing anything, and have them all setup ready to go, we then ask for the nameservers to be updated, and finally transfer the domain registration, so that when we transfer the domain to our account, the DNS is all there in advance.

                  Not much more we can do in that respect.

                  When a client moves to another firm, we can only advise the client to do the same thing, but if they (or their new advisers) ignore that advice, they are free to do that.

                  My suggestion would be not to wait until the last minute before updating the nameservers - there is nothing stopping you doing that in advance, its just a decision about what to do and when.

                  Alan.

                  • +1 vote

                    @Alan6984: It depends if you have access to change the namservers prior to moving it. For example , if someone was moving their hosting and domain from you to another provider, they may just ask for your UDAI, and then move the domain, and then change the namservers after that when they then have full access to make the change. SO it would still need to work for a short period after that. Otherwise they would need to ask you to make that change to the nameservers a few days prior to transferring the domain, unless you provide a way for them to update the namservers via a domain control panel. I know one domain registrar got got a lot of flack for deleting the records as soon that the domain was transferred, as I had this problem once when moving a domain, and they changed their policy on this so they didn't delete it immediately.

                    •  

                      @nzmax: I've never yet had anyone refuse to change nameservers for me prior to pulling the domain over, and I would never refuse to do that in reverse either.

                      Just seems like a non-issue to me.

                      Even OpenHost, whilst they have said I cannot make nameserver changes via the CP, will do it if I email them.

                      Alan.

    • +1 vote

      I understand that domains 4 less are also owned by the same group that owns both webdrive and openhost, and list of other hosting brands including freeparking.

      •  

        Wouldn't surprise me. It the same in every "big business" (supermarkets, petrol stations, electronics stores, etc.) - it looks like there's many choices, but in reality there's very little because they all the various brand names are simply owned by a few parent companies.

      •  

        This is a good point - I'd prefer to look at alternatives that are truly unrelated to WebDrive / OpenHost, so I guess Domains4Less are out on those grounds.

        Alan.

  •  

    Namecheap?

  •  

    Domains4Less, Webdrive & Openhost have been owned by the same outfit for a number of years, by the sounds all that's changing is their billing systems.

    That's pretty concerning that an NS change can't be done via any control panel,

    Have they confirmed this is the case to you?
    Have they indicated prices are increasing or is that an assumption?

    Pretty common to keep legacy prices in place to avoid pissing off 90% of your customers, I'd be surprised if they didn't consider this.

    Interestingly a new entrant to NZ domain registrations https://www.domainsdirect.nz/ has domains for $16.50+gst p/y which is who I use. The guy who started that (Daniel Williams) originally started WebDrive back in the days when it was good, and sold out of Webdrive/Digiweb/Umbrellar about 4 years ago I think.

    • +1 vote

      Yes - the help desk explicitly confirmed by email that I cannot update the NameServers myself through the ControlPanel - they said to email the new NameServers to them, and they would update, which they have.

      The pricing is what I see in our new OpenHost portal. If I clicked to 'renew' a domain today, $39.95 is what it is saying I would pay.

      I agree about legacy pricing, but it does not seem to have been considered. Either way, they have triggered this customer to go to market!

      I'll definitely look at DomainsDirect.

      Thanks!

      Alan.

    •  

      Think they have been around for a few years. I have a domain with them and it was the cheapest on the market that I could find, and I think it uses crazy domains admin backend by the looks of it.

  •  

    I personally use Iwantmyname - nothing special but the pricing is fair and service doesn't include any "extras".

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