[sf-lug] Domain Registrations

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Aug 11 01:46:25 PDT 2011

Quoting Grant Bowman (grantbow at ubuntu.com):

> One of the many topics discussed tonight at the Ubuntu Hour [1] and
> Noisebridge Linux Discussion [2] was a domain that was registered but
> expired. the ICANN reports a 30 day "Redemption Grace Period" where
> you must renew with your current registrar. Late fees are allowed.

Hi, Grant!  I can answer that.

As I say in the footnote to
http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/preventing-expiration.html (which you might
want to also read):

  In the first 40 days, the domain can still be renewed by just paying the
  normal renewal.  Some registrars will accept renewal money from anyone;
  others won't.  Next 30 days ('redemption period'), additional fees are
  required. Last 5 days ('locked'), domain is in deletion phase.  75 days
  out, it lapses back to unregistered and can be grabbed.  For more, see
  Mike Davidson's explanation

> GoDaddy.com chages $80 though seems willing to negotiate this
> extortion fee down a bit when queried on the phone.

They have the latitude to insist on pretty extortionate fees during the
'redemption period'.

GoDaddy built its business through bottom-dollar basic rates.  That has
to be made up somehow.  I gather that the domain owner who spoke up at
Noisebridge found that out.

In fairness, GoDaddy is one of a number of registrars whose business is
founded on doing everything in extremely massive volumes of business
with a high degree of automation, thus keeping administrative costs very
low and making money even though the profit margin on most domains is
razor-thin.  However, I suspect that domains are also, in effect, a foot
in the door to sell more profitable services to customers.

Now, you're going to want to have a discussion about choice of
registrar.  I've been in many of those, over the years.  Many 
people hold the view that the only applicable criterion is price.
They need look no further than GoDaddy.  For everyone else:
(Wayback link because it looks like that site is offline.)


> I try to use nearlyfreespeech.net for some of my registrations...

They look OK -- and they, too, learned the hard way about GoDaddy.  ;->
That is, their initial domain operation, a decade ago, was as a GoDaddy
(subsidiary Wild West Domains) reseller.   A few years later, they
decided against that, and set themselves up as an accredited registrar

> ...and I have heard some in the SF-LUG use joker.com.

Both joker.com and gandi.net are in general excellent.  One advantage
shared by both is that they're largely outside the reach of grasping
USA-based intelligence agencies and corporations:  joker.com is in
Germany and gandi.net is in France.

My best advice is:  Start with deciding what's important to you.  If 
price is everything and you don't mind an impersonal firm that's not set
up to do customer handholding and has a record of throwing customers
under the bus upon receiving even totally absurd demand letters
than use GoDaddy.

If you want stable, sane, competent firms somewhat shielded from spook
and corporate interests, and are willing to pay a bit over bottom
dollar, consider joker.com and gandi.net (along with, no doubt, many

If you understand how to administer a domain, consequently don't need
your hand held, and want a basically competent setup at reasonable but
not rock-bottom prices, sometimes you can find a Tucows OpenSRS reseller 
open to taking your business.  (One of my domains, linuxmafia.com, is at
one such reseller, a friend of a friend in Texas, but he's not accepting
new customers.  He likes me because I keep my domains registered many
years away from registration, hence never hit him with
help-I'm-about-to-expire customer panic drama, and am always nice and
low-maintenance for him.)

Many people do _not_ want a la carte domain registration, but rather
actually want the value-added upsells and bundled services you get with
some registrars, e.g., having them do you authoritative DNS nameservice 
for your domains, offering you virtual Web hosting, SMTP/IMAP/webmail
e-mail services, and all that stuff.  

Anyway, start by knowing what you're looking to buy.

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