Review Of Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry – It Is A Game Changing Solution
Uniregistry Review by Sean Sullivan – Owner of DNSR
Review of Domain Registrar Uniregistry
I had hoped to find some GTLD inspiration in order to find a reason to give Frank Schilling’s just launched Uniregistry a try. According to Frank, it’s a game changing solution for a registrar. Some have said that is a bold statement and one that they can’t necessarily at this point agree with. Frank has commented on some blogs and said that some new features will be rolling out soon, but in many ways I can already agree with him, this is a game changing solution at launch.
Why so? Well to be blunt, there’s no bullshit to deal with. Everything is incredibly straight forward and unless you are a first time domain owner, you’re going to know instantly where to go and what to click or drag in order to accomplish any administrative task. If the goal was to create a dead simple solution that cuts through the fluff and does so with a minimalist design, mission accomplished.
Regardless of what Uniregistry rolls out with regard to new features, I think it’s game changing because it seems to be built entirely around the core needs of the majority of the people it should appeal to. They’re not trying to upsell you on anything. My biggest complaint with GoDaddy is how tedious the check out process is. With Uniregistry, there’s no pushy upwell opportunity that I could see. If there was, well I missed it and that’s the exact opposite of the experience you get at most registrars. Even if that changes in the future and there is a focus on upselling, I have confidence that Frank and his team will find a way for the pro users to not have to deal with that or it won’t be intrusive like with GoDaddy.
I’m not trying to beat up on GoDaddy, but another complaint of mine for them is their privacy service. First of all, they charge for it, however most registrars do. What’s really horrible about their privacy service in my opinion is the following.
Say you purchase a domain in the aftermarket that is already with GoDaddy. Say it has privacy in place. That owner has to disable it. It’s not transferable. So even if the former owner used say two months worth of privacy, the balance doesn’t get transferred. So you, the new owner of the domain, if you want privacy now you have to pay full price for it.
Even worse, if you want to register the domain 5 or 10 years out and you want privacy in place, guess what, you’re paying for 5 or 10 years worth of privacy service up front. So even though they’re providing the privacy on a time schedule and by rights should only require you pay for it as you use it, no such luck with GoDaddy. You have to pay it all up front.
With Uniregistry, Frank is holding true to his word about this being a professional solution. First of all, Privacy with Uniregistry is Free. Awesome, but anyone can give things away, is there anything else compelling? What’s really nice is that turning it on and off is incredibly simple. To disable and or modify Privacy with GoDaddy you’ve got to go through this ridiculous process and login to your separate DomainsByProxy account and then disable it that way. Again more added steps for no apparent reason with GoDaddy.
Another thing I noticed today that was an awesome surprise, when you register with (to my knowledge) everyone else there will always be some self serving name servers attached to the domain by default, which you then have to go in and change manually. That sucks. It’s just another way for the registrar to make money and isn’t in the best interest of the consumer / domain owner.
Why is that a big deal? Because today, had I purchased these 13 domains elsewhere instead of Uniregistry I would have had to spend the time going in and disabling the default so that GoDaddy, Enom or whomever else, that their parking page and or self promotional advertising wasn’t being splashed around on the domain until I get around to changing it.
With Uniregistry, that doesn’t happen. This was surprising, as Frank has a leading, if not the leading CPC parking platform. If anyone has the ability to slap some default feed and or landing page to generate additional revenue, Frank does.
So why is it such a big deal that domains registered with Uniregistry don’t have some default and instead just don’t resolve? Newsflash, standard domain parking is a great way to hurt your domain name with search engines. If you plan on developing a domain within a short period of time, especially one that you just registered that doesn’t get traffic, it makes no sense at all to park it. Getting lumped in with GoDaddy and or any registrars advertising name servers isn’t going to help at all either.
Don’t believe me? Matt Cutts himself has said that parked domains can take longer to get off of the ground (out of the sandbox) than brand new hand registrations. Ask any SEO pro, they’ll tell you that parking a domain right before development is a bad idea. So if SEO is a concern for you, Uniregistry not defaulting to some parked page will be a big selling point.
Okay, so I’m going to ignore the GTLD stuff. I have no clue who is the cheapest for new GTLD domains, but I imagine that Frank is probably going to be cheaper on his O&O GTLD’s like .Tattoo and .Sexy. Again I don’t know, don’t really care either because I might end up with maybe 5 new GTLD domains over the next five years and they’ll most likely be premiums. I’m not against the GTLD expansion, except with the exception of .Sucks which I think is just a horrible idea and will only further make the domain industry a target for criticism, but that’s for other posts.
Regarding GTLD’s, I think they can work, with the right operators. I think what Frank is doing with .Tattoo is really smart and the right true value add approach to the new GTLD’s. So instead of trying to figure out some new GTLD domains that I’d want, instead I just got some old school TLD’s that were EMD domains.
Today I hand reg’d 13 domains with Uniregistry and they were all .Net and .Org domains. My total bill from Frank $151.44 which included all fees. It breaks out to $12.88 for .Org and $10.88 for .Net.
Are they available cheaper elsewhere, sure. For me though, getting what I consider great pricing on .Net and .Org domains for a basic registration and not having to spend twenty minutes searching for a (maybe it will work) promo code isn’t worth the maybe $15 I could have saved.
That said, even if I had, when you factor in the free privacy service, I saved really big BY DEFAULT. GoDaddy would have been about $125 with fees, tax and so on. However when you factor in the privacy pricing @ $7.99 per domain, well my final grand total would have been a little more than $225. Maybe I could have found a promo code, or maybe I could bitch to my GoDaddy rep to get a discount, or maybe I could join their special club to get discounts, but maybe I don’t care about the what ifs and maybe I just care more about competitive pricing, not the cheapest pricing.
I value my time and I really appreciate it when someone builds a business and a model that doesn’t require you to have to waste time solely to not feel like you’re getting screwed registering a domain.
Isn’t that one of the biggest complaints within the domain community anyway? The perks that some people get that others find out about and then have sour grapes over. Kudos to Uniregistry for taking the high road and creating a level playing field for all.
Honesty, transparency, ethics, those are all things that mean a lot to me. Call it hokey if you want, but my maternal grandparents were incredibly important to me and influenced my life in many ways. They’ve since passed but two things they instilled in me, is first a love for the Boston Red Sox. The second and something I really try to live by every day, is The Golden Rule. A rule that simply says that you should treat others how you want to be treated.
Frank’s had my respect for his accomplishments within the domain industry for a long time, but I also think that he is someone that truly cares about the people within it. Now he’s got even more of my respect because he has created a service that is leaving money all over the table. Uniregistry seems to have been designed to not make money from so many other revenue streams that every other company does, and often companies do so in an obnoxious way.
Why should you care about Frank leaving money all over the place?
You don’t leave that kind of money on the table unless you have a long term vision and you know that in time, the very best product wins, period.
That ladies and gentlemen is who everyone should try to work with in life, people with long term vision and the courage to ignore the traditional path that so many others have followed.
It’s so early and already I can’t imagine how Uniregistry is not going to win the business of every serious domain investor.
Just as a measure of obligatory disclosure, I was not paid to do this review nor will I receive anything from Uniregistry or Frank for providing my feedback. I don’t accept advertising on DNSR and I don’t filter myself either. This has been completely unsolicited and my reason for doing this review and taking the time to write all of this up, is because I really appreciate it when people carve out a different path and aren’t afraid to go big in an entirely new way.
Oh and just so this isn’t such a uber glowing review, my one complaint, is that the main graphic on the index page of the website could be better. If it were modified people would see more of the Gmail Forwarding, Secure By Default and Social Media integration icons when the page loads without scrolling. Also it wouldn’t cut into the photo of the family walking on the beach.
Congratulatinos to Frank and his team at Uniregistry for a job well done!