By Pete Griffin
With so many hosts for small-business owners to choose from, how are newbies to know which is best for them? Register.com offers a straightforward set of tools and services that might be just what you’re looking for.
Although it’s a subsidiary of Web.com and affiliate of Network Solutions, Register.com Inc. actually offers a better user experience than those hosts. That’s not to say the platform is perfect, though. Like other divisions of this conglomerate company, pricing practices are unpredictable, and billing nightmares can become a reality if you don’t pay attention to the details in the fine print.
Most Register.com reviews rank the host as less than average, which I generally agree with. The company has some great tools and services for customers, but the pricing practices are a bit unorthodox, often making alternatives look like better choices.
As one of the best-known companies in the industry, this host has tools and services to meet the needs of most users. If you want to build your own website, there are tools to do that. Or if you’re interested in using a content management system with Register.com, WordPress installations are just a few clicks away. And it’s easy to get your inbox in order thanks to Register.com, as Outlook settings can be tailored to your liking. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with this hosting company. In fact, if you read some reviews of Register.com, complaints from customers nearly exceed the number of positive reviews.
When you sign up for an account with Register.com, website hosting and maintenance are easy to manage thanks to the company’s user-friendly interface. But it’s not until you dig a little deeper that you can see everything that this platform truly has to offer. There are hosting options aplenty available in the account dashboard, giving you the ability to completely customize your domain and the website linked to it. But what if you already have a domain with a company other than Register.com? Transfer domains painlessly by following the simple process that this host has in place. After that’s done, creating subdomains is a snap when you adjust Register.com’s CNAME settings.
One thing that’s great about this company is that it offers enough features to appease first-time users and inveterate experts alike. Though most aspects of the platform are ready for use right out of the box, Register.com’s DNS settings, where you can manage the more technical aspects of your domain, can be tweaked to accommodate your specific needs. And if you want to fine-tune your email options to keep your inbox from getting inundated, Register.com’s SMTP settings give you full control of how emails are sent and received. Even better, if you want to use a desktop-based email client, rather than the webmail interface, just enter Register.com’s IMAP settings in your program of choice and you’ll be well on your way to having a well-organized inbox.
One area where many customers of this company find reason to complain is with Register.com domain renewal. Whereas most hosts charge between $8 and $15 per year to keep expiring domains active, the Register.com renewal rate is currently $38. Though that cost is considerably higher than what you might pay elsewhere, discounts and coupon codes are often available to reduce your bottom line. Plus, all hosting plans include the domain name free for the first year, which can make the high cost seem a bit more reasonable.
Here’s a closer look at Register.com’s hosting plans, and what you get for your money. Keep in mind that all plans include unlimited data transfer, a free domain, and access to analytics.
|Disk Space||300 GB||500 GB||Unlimited|
|Storage per Inbox||20 GB||50 GB||50 GB|
|Rate for First Month||$5.95||$7.95||$9.95|
|Standard Monthly Rate||$14.95||$18.95||$36.95|
When it comes to usability, this platform is easier to work with than many of its competitors, but it also lags far behind some of the more hospitable hosting companies on the market. Figuring out how to register nameservers took a little more effort in comparison to alternative options, but it wasn’t too onerous of a task. On the other hand, Register.com’s FTP interface was relatively straightforward and not at all troublesome to navigate. At times when I did require some handholding, though, the support section of the site was definitely useful, though an actual Register.com Wiki would likely have been a bit more enlightening.
After you’ve locked down an awesome domain name for your exciting new venture, it’s time to start creating a winning website for your visitors to enjoy. Though there are many tools you can use to create a website on your own, when you purchase a hosting plan from this company, you also get access to some site-building software that easy enough for beginners to use. And the software actually isn’t half-bad. In fact, some of Register.com’s templates can even rival the designs from more modern platforms out there.
Each hosting company comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a glimpse of some of the most-commonly mentioned benefits and drawbacks of using Register.com’s software.
Although this host’s software is relatively intuitive and easy to use, even the most experienced webmasters can find themselves scratching their heads from time to time. It’s in situations like this that Register.com’s customer service really shines. If, at any point, you find yourself struggling to understand any aspect of this platform’s interface or offerings, a quick call to Register.com support should set you straight in no time. The Register.com phone number for support is 1-877- 454-5213.
While the introductory month of service from this company tends to be relatively inexpensive, it’s easy to save money on longer-term commitments when you use a Register.com promo code. Register.com coupons can save you a lot of money in the end, but only if you know where to look. A quick search for “Register.com promo code 2015“ in Google, Bing, or another of your favorite search engines, should present with at least a few money-saving options.
Although Register.com doesn’t offer any free trials of its products or services, the company does bundle a lot of its tools together. So when you purchase one item from the company, you end up getting access to many more tools that you may find useful. For example, when you buy a hosting package from Register.com, you automatically get free domain ownership for a year, as well as the ability to use the company’s intuitive website builder. This type of “free with purchase” practice is common throughout the industry, giving you access to the whole kit and caboodle for one flat fee.
When it’s time to manage how your site and domain work, you can adjust all of those settings in the Register.com cPanel. This online dashboard is a secure area on the back-end of your website that you can use to create and edit email accounts, upload and download files, and install third-party add-ons that can extend the functionality of your website. For all your administrative needs, head over to the Register.com cPanel and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
Unlike many of the other top hosting company who offer Virtual Private Servers (VPS), that’s one area where this platform lags behind. VPS plans simply are not offered on Register.com. So if you’re looking to manage your site via a VPS, Register.com probably isn’t the solution you seek.
An abundance of choices are at your fingertips when you choose Register.com to serve as your website’s host. This platform offers three separate tiers of shared hosting packages, one of which will surely meet your needs. The first month of service with any of these plans is offered at a very low rate, but that amount jumps up after the first 30 days. For the majority of webmasters, one of these plans will likely be ideal for you. If, however, your site receives a lot of traffic, you may opt to switch to a platform that offers dedicated and virtual servers, which this company does not do.
Register.com exclusively offers shared hosting plans, so if find yourself in need of a dedicated server that exists solely to keep your website online, your best bet would be to look elsewhere. Dedicated servers are great for big companies with websites that garner a steady stream of traffic around the clock, but they also come with a much higher price tag than shared plans. So if you’re just starting out with website hosting, dedicated servers probably aren’t something you need to concern yourself with.
Once again, since shared hosting is the primary service offered on Register, cloud hosting simply isn’t an option. This isn’t really a deal-breaker, as most companies don’t have a need to store their sites in the cloud. Register.com, on the other hand, has a full suite of shared hosting options that can serve as the perfect resource for most small and medium-sized businesses.
As the primary method of communication on the Internet, email continues to be one of the most-highly sought-after aspects from website hosts. With Register.com, email inboxes are included in groups of either 10 or 25, depending upon your plan, and are accompanied by up to 50GB of storage per inbox. And when you sign up for one of these hosting accounts, you will receive a Register.com email login that lets you either access your inbox through a desktop- or mobile-based email client. The Web-based client is a very popular option, mostly because all you need is a Web browser and a Register.com login.
Although there are better hosting options available for small-business owners, Register.com has some relatively decent offerings to choose from. This is especially true when it comes to Register.com’s WordPress hosting plans, which make it easy to install the content management system with just one click. The plans on this platform might not be perfect for everyone, though, so if you’re considering using Register.com for hosting, review at least a few of your other options prior to making a final decision.
About Pete GriffinPete is a digital strategist with 15 years of experience in media production
and web project management, in PR and broadcast media environments.
He’s the owner of "We Are Digital Vision," a Cardiff based digital communications
consultancy the offer consultancy, content and design services