Is Yahoo a good domain registrar for the price?
January 26, 2005 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Yahoo is now offering domain name registration for $4.98 per year. I have my domains registered with GoDaddy but a couple are due for renewal soon. Is Yahoo's deal too good to be true? Have any of you had bad experiences with them? Should I switch?
posted by madman to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
From what I can tell you can't transfer domains to Yahoo. Also Yahoo is a US company thus bound by US laws, so you will be only renting your domain name, not owning it. You get better protection with Joker or Gandi. Though you were using GoDaddy so maybe you don't worry about that.
posted by riffola at 1:18 PM on January 26, 2005

P.S. Are you getting an .IN domain on Feb 16th?
posted by riffola at 1:19 PM on January 26, 2005

Response by poster: Nope, couldn't be bothered really. Plus the ridiculous rules for registering include one about the domain name being a close match to the company name blah blah blah, and I don't see too many people lining up.
posted by madman at 1:35 PM on January 26, 2005

If they lock you into using Yahoo for hosting or DNS, I would say it's not worth it. A family member registered a domain with Yahoo and when I offered to host a website for him we quickly found out it was a massive pain in the butt to point it at anything outside of some freebie yahoo/geocities webspace.
posted by mathowie at 1:45 PM on January 26, 2005

Response by poster: Matt, from what I can tell, they do have ways to change your nameservers. Could you share the experience your family member had?
posted by madman at 1:58 PM on January 26, 2005

I had a huge problem switching from Yahoo to a friend's server. It involved going through Melbourne IT, which really owned the domain I "purchased" through Yahoo. Yahoo said they couldn't help, then directed me to Melbourne, who wanted numbers that Yahoo said I wouldn't need. It involved three or four calls to Yahoo before it was straightened out. This was like two years ago; perhaps Yahoo's easier to deal with now.
posted by goatdog at 2:23 PM on January 26, 2005

Also Yahoo is a US company thus bound by US laws, so you will be only renting your domain name, not owning it.

I hate to derail, but what's that all about? This is the first I've heard of that.
posted by jalexei at 2:37 PM on January 26, 2005

What would you save by switching, like $3? How much of your time is $3 worth? I have a feeling it will take a lot more time than that to pull off the switch.
posted by spilon at 2:47 PM on January 26, 2005

I started a website through SBC/Yahoo (because it was easy) and then switched to a better host. Didn't have any problems changing the nameservers. In fact, I did it myself, and I'm an idiot.

This was earlier this month.

Are Yahoo and SBC/Yahoo different?
posted by mudpuppie at 2:50 PM on January 26, 2005

I had a domain hosted with yahoo some time ago. Although it wasn't too painful to change registrars, it was impossible to get them to stop billing me for it. I think I eventually either disputed the charge or cancelled that credit card; they called me on the phone and were perfectly polite about removing the charge, but it shouldn't have gotten that far.

Things may have changed--this was in 2001 or 2002.
posted by adamrice at 2:56 PM on January 26, 2005

spilon has a very valid point. Unless you have dozens of domains it's not worth the trouble to move from one low priced registrar to another. Even then... eh.

In terms of "renting" versus "buying" and being in the US... if it's a gTLD like .com/.net/.org etc., it doesn't matter where you register it, domain names are not "owned" by the registrant. The registrant is licensed to use the domain name for as long as they continue to pay the annual registration fees and no other party stakes a claim against the name with ICANN.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:00 PM on January 26, 2005

how does that change with a non-US based registrar?
posted by Hackworth at 3:08 PM on January 26, 2005

Hackworth, to my knowledge, it doesn't. riffola seemed to be suggesting that it did matter.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:13 PM on January 26, 2005

From Gandi's policy

The Client owns the Domain Name registered. Gandi simply acts on the Client's
behalf. Client acknowledges that Gandi services consist only of including in
the shared Domain Names database, the Domain Name choosen by the Client, for
the duration of the present contract and without prejudice, notably, that the
Domain Name is available and that the Client respects terms and conditions of
the present contract.

Since Gandi is a French registrar they follow French laws will enables them to sell you a domain for a year rather than renting them out. Similarly German laws cover Joker and Australian laws cover Melbourne IT's policies that allow the same.

There used to a site called that used to list out which registrar was cheaper and which ones had the best policies. Melbourne IT, Gandi and Joker used to be the top 3 in terms of policy. Unlike US registrars they don't believe domains are like telephone numbers.
posted by riffola at 3:44 PM on January 26, 2005

It took a hell of a long time to switch from Dotster to Godaddy, and in the end I'm not sure it was totally worth it. Fortunately I was able to get it done without having to actually call anybody.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:06 PM on January 26, 2005

Good lord. I wish I had read this earlier. I run my own web server and DNS servers, and I changed my registration to Yahoo to take advantage of the $4.98 deal.

Now my former web site simply displays a yahoo "Under Construction" page. Yahoo is way too hands-on for me. I just want them to forward traffic to my DNS server!! AUGH.

So to answer the question, yes, I have had a bad experience with them.
posted by agropyron at 4:09 PM on January 26, 2005

(As a follow up to my "bad experience" answer, it turns out to be fairly easy to change away from the Under Construction page to the behavior I wanted, but there was about 15 minutes of panic.)

(And the Yahoo system probably doesn't offer as much control as most admins want.)
posted by agropyron at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2005 also gets mad love from me. it's a couple dollars more than godaddy and stuff, but the added value is not having to click through BUNCHES OF SHIT in order to reg your name and the super-simple interface.

i love me them crazy germans.
posted by fishfucker at 4:31 PM on January 26, 2005

As others have said, the few bucks you save aren't worth it. They're not making money with that deal, and you get what you pay for.

However, I wouldn't worry about the whole "renting vs. owning use joker/gandi stuff". You can use godaddy and there will be no difference.

I personally would use godadday, and I've used a lot. And yes, to register a domain you have to click through a bunch of crap, but unless you're registering a domain every day, it won't make a difference. The extra few bucks to joker is just that, an extra few bucks.
posted by justgary at 4:59 AM on January 27, 2005

riffola, it doesn't matter what Joker, Gandi or any other registrars policy is. The registry is the only policy that matters and ICANN above that. All .com/.net domains ultimately come from Network Solutions and all .org from PIR. So Joker and Gandi can say one thing, but the domain name can get yanked from the registrant by the registry or ICANN.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:56 AM on January 27, 2005

Response by poster: OK, forget about moving domains.

How about registering new domains? All things being equal, I might as well go with the cheaper guys, eh? (btw, $3 will buy me a good meal here in India)

Any reason I shouldn't register a new domain with Yahoo?
posted by madman at 10:16 AM on January 27, 2005

As has been discussed above, some people have experienced problems. However, MelbourneIT, the registrar behind Yahoo! is a reputable company and I can't imagine that you'll run into anything that can't be fixed with a little effort. You know, if $3 is really that big a deal.

Seriously though, if $3 is that big a deal, do you need more domain names?
posted by FlamingBore at 11:11 AM on January 27, 2005

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