Where to buy your domains

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Where you buy your domain will have a small, but noticeable impact on the long term scalability of your web app.

As a rule of thumb, I look for three things:

  1. How locked in I am? - Can I move my domain if I find a better product? Unsurprisingly a few big name registrars are no fun to move away from.
  2. Do they support Root Domain CNAMEs? - This lets me host my website on a host like Heroku without having to use a www. prefix.
  3. How secure is their system? - Does it have 2FA and can I provide someone a limited login, if I need them to do work!
  4. Can I actually use their UI? - Seriously! Can I actually manage my domain.

So who should you use?

Here are my current favourites:

  1. AWS Route 53 - You can register domains with Amazon! It’s a nice no nonsense UI, though does cost $0.50 a month per a domain for DNS.
  2. Gandi - They support a large amount of TLDs and aren’t to pricey.
  3. Namecheap - I used this group for a while, their support was pretty decent and they have some reasonably priced addons.
  4. Hover - They offer some of the more unusual TLDs.

What if you are stuck with a rubbish registrar!

Luckily you can host your DNS somewhere else and avoid a lot of the registrar faff.

In this case, I normally use AWS Route 53 and Cloudflare, both offer a pretty clean UI and can also offer a free SSL certificate.