It's been awhile since I've done a domain registrar review so I thought I'd write-up a Dynadot Review. I've been using Dynadot for a little while and the company is pretty well known in the domain space… honestly I haven't seen many reviews of Dynadot. So this should be helpful for anyone that is thinking of using them as a domain registrar.
When you go to the Dynadot About Us page it reads;
Dynadot is an ICANN accredited domain name registrar and web host located in San Mateo, California. Founded in 2002 by a software engineer, our primary focus is engineering and design excellence.
“Founded in 2002 by a software engineer” tells you everything you need to know about the Dynadot experience. What does that mean? Keep reading this Dynadot Review to find out.
Dynadot has a nice clean user interface without a lot of fluff. I like simple interfaces that are not cluttered. I've noticed a lot of companies these days try to to do clean UIs but tend to make it more complicated than necessary. Unfortunately I feel the Dynadot user interface falls into this issue as it is somewhat confusing. For instance everytime I try to change nameservers on a domain name through the Dynadot backend I am always confused on how to do it. You can't just select a domain name and make a nameserver change. You have to go into a few menus deep to do it. Other DNS changes for domain names are the same way.
Dynadot's solution to this though is having an extensive knowledgebase about how to perform functions in the user interface backend. They also provide community forums if customers have questions they want answered by other customers or Dynadot employees. I guess Dynadot assumes that many of their customer's will Google to figure how to perform DNS changes. My thought is customers shouldn't have to Google to figure out how to do things in your user interface.
Once you figure how to make DNS changes though and how all the menus are situated, you'll be surprised and impressed with the options you have with Dynadot. You can control a lot of DNS aspects easily. Nameserver updates are incredibly quick. Usually I find it doesn't take longer than 10 minutes in most cases and usually it happens much faster than that. Typically I clear my browser cache and noticed that DNS domain changes have already been updated on my end.
Dynadot Customer Support
Dynadot has good customer support if you have questions that can't be answered via the knowledgebase or community forums. Usually you can connect with a Dynadot support agent via the chat window quickly most times of the day. Not that many other domain registrars offer chat support (that I am aware of), except for Internet.BS and NameCheap. No complaints about Dynadot support as it is quick, easy to access (most of the time), and you tend to get your questions answered all the time.
Once you get the hang of using Dyandot, and get past the clunky interface, you begin to see why they have a good reputation in the business among domain professionals.
For individual landing pages for domain extensions they list a ton of useful domain information that other registrars don't. Like what? Dynadot shows the renewal grace period, deletion period, if you can use whois privacy on an extension, whether a domain supports non-roman characters as an IDN (internationalized domain name), registration pricing, renewal pricing, transfer pricing, etc. To get a better idea check the Dynadot landing page for .ME. This is probably one of the best things about Dynadot, they provide useful information like this that other domain registrars seem to make difficult to find.
Another nice feature about the Dynadot landing page is that when you search for a domain on the specific landing page it actually searches for your search query in that extension. Other domain registrars have landing pages for say the .ME extension, but if you do a search on that page it won't actually search for what you typed in the .ME namespace. In addition they show what prices you pay for a Basic, Bulk and a Super Bulk account. (Read the pricing section to better understand.)
Dynadot supports DNSSEC (domain name security extensions) with more domain extensions than I've seen for any consumer domain registrar. According to this ICANN page Dynadot supports DNSSEC in these extensions;
.com .net .org .biz .be .cc .de .eu .in .co.in .net.in .org.in .firm.in .gen.in .ind.in .la .lt .me .pl .com.pl .net.pl .org.pl .info.pl .biz.pl .pw .sx .tv .co.uk .org.uk .me .uk .us
For those that want to deploy DNSSEC you would definitely consider using Dynadot first I would imagine. Of course… who wants to hassle with DNSSEC deployment? 🙂
One great feature for those that live in countries outside the United States is that Dynadot supports a lot of county code top level domain names (ccTLDs). Many domain registrars that might good support and pricing may not support as many ccTLDs as Dynadot or not at all. This sometimes is an issue if you are a company or web developer with a lot of foreign business. The only ccTLD that Dynadot does not support to my understanding is .IO (Indian Ocean) which probably most people don't care about. Of courese .IO is popular among hackers and developers. People who read my website know that .IO sucks and makes people lose money. At least it made me lose a lot of money!
Dynadot also has good support for IDNs (internationalized domain names) which means domains that are in different languages. This could include traditional extensions like .ORG and new IDNs top level domains. That means what is right of the dot is in a different language.
Dyandot is one of the few registrars that allows you to approve outbound domain transfers. This came in handy during the summer when I was selling of a bad one word .NET domain name that I was hoping to build, but never got around to it. The buyer wanted to transfer to GoDaddy and the transfer process was seamless and only took one day. The buyer was happy and I was happy with how fast the transaction completed. I was not happy that I lost money on that crap one word generic .NET domain though. DO NOT buy one word .NETs. I'd rather build sites on .ORGs honestly and I've found a lot other people feel the same way too. Tangent? Yes, but be aware of the terrible .NETs! 😀
Dynadot domain pricing is extremely reasonable for most of the domain extensions they support. They are either one of the least expensive registrars in terms of pricing or close to it.
If you want to save money they offer discounted Bulk pricing if you spend more than $500 a year with them. If you spend more than $5,000 a year you qualify for Super Bulk pricing. How do you keep track of how much you spend? Dynadot actually has a nice feature in the backend that tells you how much you've spent with them over the past year (365 days). This is nice since I often forgot how much money I spend, or waste, on domain names. 🙂 You can also prefund the account to qualify for Bulk or Super Bulk pricing.
One issue I have with Dynadot pricing is that they charge $3 per domain for whois privacy. While this isn't price gouging as many other domain registrars charge $3 per domain for whois privacy, including NameCheap, many competitors do not. This includes new domain registrars like NameSilo, Google Domains, and Uniregistry as well as Internet.BS and DomainMonster which offer free whois privacy for supported domain extensions. If you are Super Bulk customer Dynadot offers privacy for free. I guess this makes sense since there is an administration cost for whois privacy, but the less domains you own the more likely you would want to use whois privacy. The more domains you own the less likely you would need to use whois privacy for the majority of domain names you own.
One of the reasons I signed up for an account with Dynadot is that they offer the lowest priced backordering for domain names in the industry. For .COM, .NET, and .ORG domains they charge $15.99, which can't be beat. When I originally got an account they actually were charging $14.99 per backorder. Can Dynadot compete with larger drop catchers like DropCatch, SnapNames, NameJet, Pheenix, etc though? No, as Dynadot only has about 20 or so drop catching domain registrars accredited with ICANN. This sounds like a lot of domain registrars, but it isn't nearly enough to compete with the dropcatch big players.
I will say that a Dynadot Backorder can catch an ok name once in awhile. Dynadot recently got a good 8-letter .COM domain and a good one word .NET I'd been waiting to drop for awhile. (Generally 1-word .NETs are terrible and I NEVER recommend buying them but this was something I was buying for a client.) I had backordered both of these domains at Pheenix, which I expected to beat the Dynadot backorders. To my surprise Dynadot caught them, it just depends with domain backordering.
Just recently though Dynadot missed a good domain name I was hoping to catch to SnapNames. (SnapNames supports sucks btw, so I don't use them anymore.) I backordered the usual places but was kind of hoping Dynadot would catch it. Who doesn't like saving money on domain backorders and domain names?
I equate a Dynadot Backorder to asking out a 1000 supermodels. I know most people who read this awesome website are pretty good catches… however you might only convince 1 out of 1000 supermodels to go out on a date with you. Even though we know you are a good guy (or gal), Dynadot ain't gonna help you catch many supermodel domain names. Does this make sense? Well… This is the best analogy I could come up with, so yeah whatever.
That's pretty much the game you play with a Dynadot backorder. You are much better off going with one of the other larger drop catching services if you really want/need a supermodel domain name. Just don't entirely discount Dynadot backordering but do not count on it.
This is completely subjective to people who like dogs, like myself, but I like using Dynadot since they have a big picture of a dog on their social media pages. They also frequently post pictures of office dogs on Twitter I've noticed. It seems Dynadot allows dogs in their San Mateo offices, which I think is pretty awesome.
Since people who know me know I am huge dog person with Cody and Sierra the Singing Dogs, I consider this a big plus and a good reason to use Dynadot. Sounds silly and subjective but hey if you are a Dynadot competitor reading this, better post dog pictures to make dog people like me happy. 🙂
Final Thoughts about Dynadot
While Dynadot is a great domain registrar, like the title says I feel it's really for professionals. When I use a web service I often ask, “Would I recommend this to friend or family?” In this context the answer is “No”I wouldn't recommend using Dynadot to most of my friend, family, or anyone that isn't familiar with domains, web hosting, and techy stuff. Generally you would need to know what you are doing with Dyandot as it can be frustrating at times using them as a domain registrar. This isn't necessarily a bad thing I just think Dynadot caters to professionals and that is their main customer base and market.
You get the feeling all the time using Dynadot that is run by an engineer for engineer types. Dynadot developers thought out a lot of features and provided a lot of great information for using Dynadot. However that doesn't mean it is easy or straightforward to use all the time or things are designed well for customers.
My inclination is to use NameSilo for most of domain needs at the current moment. If Dynadot were to streamline the User Interface and offer whois privacy, I'd seriously consider moving my important domain names to them.
I'd probably use Dynadot more if I owned hundreds of domain names or had specialized needs. This pretty much means managing a domain portfolio for a company, DNSSEC, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), or needing to make very specify DNS changes.
If you enjoyed this Dynadot Review I'd recommend you read my other domain registrar reviews as well;
Have any questions about Dynadot? Want to share a good/bad experience using Dynadot as a domain registrar? Let me know with a comment below.
Editor's Note – I only included a few “Refer a Friend” links to Dynadot in this review. It's kind of like an affiliate program but you get Dynadot credit if you use one of the links and so do I. Nobody can buy or pay for my opinions on this website and everything you have read is my own words.