Register.com Review and Test Results
|Cheapest Hosting Plan: (renewal)*||$14.95 per month|
|Current Coupon Code (25% discount):||WOW25off|
|24×7 Phone Support:||Yes|
*Price above based on monthly term before application of coupon code/introductory discount. While you may pay less for the first month of hosting, the price displayed on this page is the renewal rate. Star ratings based on a 0.5 minimum to 5 star maximum scale.
Register.com offers three shared web hosting plans — Essential, Professional, and Premium. Monthly billing cycle renewal prices range from $14.95 per month to $36.95 per month.
Offered at an introductory rate of $5.95 per month, Essential Hosting is the cheapest plan. Features include a free domain name, 300GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to host up to 3 websites, 10 e-mail accounts, 20GB of e-mail storage, a single auto-responder, 25 FTP accounts, 25 300MB MySQL databases, AWStats, a proprietary control panel, and a proprietary, 5-step applications installer.
The Essential plan also includes 28 open source applications (WordPress, B2evolution, LifeType, Concrete5, Drupal, Geeklog, Joomla, Mambo, Owl, Typo3, Xoops, Crafty Syntax Live Help (CSLH), Help Center Live, Mantis Bug Tracker, OSTicket, PHProjekt, SugarCRM, XRMS, Magento, phpBB, SMF Forum, Coppermine, Gallery, Advanced Guestbook, BBClone, WebCalendar, PHPWiki, and Tikiwiki).
Offered at the introductory rate of $7.95 per month, the next cheapest plan is Professional Hosting. It includes all of the Essential plan features while substituting 500GB of disk space, the ability to host up to 5 websites, 25 e-mail accounts, 50GB of e-mail storage, 50 FTP accounts, and 50 300MB MySQL databases.
Offered at the introductory rate of $9.95 per month, the most advanced (and expensive) shared plan is Premium Hosting. It includes all of the Professional plan features while substituting unlimited disk space, the ability to host up to 10 websites, unlimited FTP accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, and the ability to host JSP pages.
All Register.com shared plans are backed by 24×7 phone and e-mail support, and include a choice of Unix or Windows® operating systems. Note that the plan features referred to above are for Unix plans. For complete Windows and Unix plan features, click the ‘Pricing and Features’ tab above.
As is our practice, we purchased the lowest-cost shared plan — Essential Hosting — for purposes of testing and review. We began on the Register.com homepage and selected ‘Compare Web Hosting Packages’ from the ‘Hosting & SSL’ dropdown menu. We then clicked the green ‘Add to Cart’ button beneath Essential Hosting.
The first step of the checkout process is to choose a new domain name for your hosting plan, or login to use a domain name from your Register.com account. As we would be using a domain name registered with another domain registrar, neither of those options applied to us. Most web hosting companies provide the option to enter a domain name registered with another company. Register.com does not. Our only choice was to click the blue ‘Choose my domain later’ text.
The second step provides a login form for existing customers. As we were new to Register.com, we clicked the green ‘Continue’ button beneath ‘New Customers.’
The third step of the checkout process requires the entry of account information, as well as the selection of a username, password, and a ‘secret question.’ We completed the form and clicked the green ‘Continue’ button.
The fourth step greeted us with the following message in red text: ‘You must choose a Domain to proceed.’ We clicked, ‘Choose a Domain,’ and entered our domain. The shopping cart then informed us that it was taken.’
At that point, we had no choice but to call support for assistance. Support informed us that we could not check out on our own if we wished to use a domain name registered with another registrar. We were then able to complete the checkout process with the assistance of a Register.com technical support representative.
Note that Register.com accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards only. There is no PayPal payment option.
We found Register.com’s pricing and disclosure policies to be amongst the least consumer friendly in the web hosting industry. To begin with, and unlike the vast majority of shared web hosting services, Register.com does not provide a money-back guarantee. And, while shared hosting promotional prices are marked with an asterisk, the fine print referred to at the bottom of the page reads:
*Customers on a monthly billing cycle are billed every four weeks. The above pricing is promotional pricing which only applies to the first billing cycle. After the promotional period, standard billing rates will apply. See Services Agreement and applicable promotional terms for additional details.”
In other words, if you want to know what the renewal pricing is, you’ll need to hunt through the 27,302-word Services Agreement only to find that the document does not provide renewal pricing. Renewal pricing is available only through the “applicable promotion terms” link within the fine print (text provided below). It informs us that our $5.95 per month Essential Hosting plan renews at $14.95 per month.
This promotion provides the Customer with a discounted rate of $5.95 for the first month of the Essential Web Hosting product, $7.95 for the first month of the Professional Web Hosting product, and $9.95 for the first month of the Premium Web Hosting product. After the first month, Customer’s recurring fee billed to Customer’s credit card will automatically change to then-current rate. The current rate is $14.95 per month for Essential Web Hosting, $18.95 per month for Professional Web Hosting, and $36.95 per month for Premium Web Hosting and is subject to change at the sole discretion of Register.com. Customer may cancel prior to the end of the promotional period or at anytime thereafter by contacting Register.com Customer Service at (877) 454-5213. Customers on a monthly billing cycle are billed every 4 weeks. Additionally, the free domain offer is valid for a single one (1) year domain name registration and is only valid for registrations of domain names with the “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.info”, and “.biz” domain name extensions and is not valid for any other extension. Additionally, this offer is also not valid on domain renewals or transfers, and Register.com cannot assure domain name availability. The foregoing promotions are only available for monthly packages and may not be combined with any other promotional offers. Additional terms and conditions apply.”
Additionally, monthly plans are billed every 4 weeks — not monthly. That means if you opt for a “monthly” plan you will be paying 13 times per year — not 12.
Screenshot of Register.com Hosting Control Panel. While it may appear somewhat similar to cPanel, it is not quite as easy to use. Click to enlarge.
Further, Register.com charges $38.00(!) per year for .com domain name renewals. That is more than twice what you would pay at GoDaddy or any number of reputable domain registrars.
NCM Online has and will continue to point out any less-than-transparent business practices employed by the web hosting companies we review — wherever and whenever we encounter them. Further we have and will continue to deduct from the ease-of-use and satisfaction ratings of any host that utilizes such practices. As one of the worst offenders reviewed to date, Register.com’s ratings have been adjusted downward accordingly.
Moments after placing our order, we received the Register.com e-mail informing us that our account was now active. The e-mail did include a link to the Account Dashboard. It did not include a link to the Web Hosting Dashboard or the Hosting Control Panel. It did not include FTP access details, e-mail settings, nameservers, or any login information.
We logged into the Account Dashboard (screenshot above right), but could not locate nameserver information. From there we accessed the Web Hosting Dashboard (screenshot above right), but it did not include nameserver information. We then used the ‘Manage Your Account’ link to access the Hosting Control Panel (screenshot above right), but it did not include nameserver information.
We contacted Support for assistance. They informed us that Register.com does not provide nameserver information for domain names registered with other domain name registrars. We would need to login to our domain registrar and create an A record that pointed to the IP address provided by the Technical Support Representative. We did.
Once the domain name had propagated, we used the Register.com Hosting Control Panel to create an FTP account and then uploaded our 1-page NCM test site (click for sample test site). We then set up Dotcom Monitor page-load speed and uptime testing, and waited for the test results to accumulate.
All web hosting services reviewed by NCM Online are purchased and subjected to our 10-day test for speed and reliability. Register.com testing began on 11/27/14 and concluded on 12/06/14. Our test site was checked for page load speed and uptime every 15 minutes from 13 worldwide locations. In all, testing consisted of nearly 2000 individual server checks. We are pleased to report that Dotcom Monitor testing resulted in a perfect 100% reliability score. See uptime test results chart above right.
Although reliable, our Essential Hosting shared web hosting plan did not rank amongst the fastest services reviewed to date. Register.com scored a mediocre, 10-day average speed of 1.6176 seconds to load our simple, one-page test site from 13 locations worldwide, and 1.1804 seconds from 7 U.S. locations. See screenshot right for test locations and results chart.
- Generous disk space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free domain name (first year only)
- 100% uptime test result
- A+ BBB rating
- Expensive when compared to other shared hosting providers
- Shopping cart does not permit use of a domain registered with another registrar
- No PayPal payment option
- Hosting account e-mail does not include the information required to set up a website quickly
- No nameserver settings for domains registered with another registrar
- Does not provide industry best-practices standards like cPanel or Softaculous
- Limited access to open source applications
- At least somewhat deceptive renewal pricing disclosure policies
- Only average server speeds
- No money-back guarantee
Register.com provided one of our worst hosting experiences to date. Unfortunately, the constraints of our host ranking methodology prevent us from ranking them even lower.
Register.com has earned only 3 stars and is not recommended by NCM Online.
Pricing and Features
Cheap website hosting company price comparisons based on 1-year term list price before coupon/promo codes or limited time/introductory offer discounts. These are the renewal rates for the second year of hosting. To ensure that you receive the most affordable Register.com pricing possible, please see Summary above for coupon code and/or current discounts before making any purchases.
|Disk Space||300 GB||500 GB||Unlimited|
|Spam and Virus Protection|
|POP3 & SMTP|
|Personal Address Book|
|Number of Emailboxes||10||25||25|
|Email Storage||50 GB||125 GB||125 GB|
|Email Alias (per emailbox)||3||3||3|
|Website Management Tools|
|Backup & Restore|
|Website Development Features|
|Server Side Includes (SSI)|
|Ruby on Rails|
|ASP (Windows Only)|
|ASP.NET 2.0 & 4.0 (Windows Only)|
|Application & Database Features|
|Real Audio/Video Stream|
|Windows Media Streaming|
|Automatic Database Backup|
|Cold Fusion 10.0 (Windows Only)||X||X|
|MySQL Database||25 (300MB)||50 (300MB)||Unlimited|
|MS Access||7 DSN||10 DSN||15 DSN|
|MS SQL Database||25 (300MB)||50 (300MB)||Unlimited|
|Price per Month*||$14.95||$18.95||$36.95|
*Prices based on monthly term before the application of coupon/promo codes and introductory/limited-time offer discounts. While you may pay less for the first month of hosting, the prices displayed on this page are the renewal rates.
Originally founded in 1994 by brothers Peter and Richard Forman and Dan Levine as Forman Interactive, the company now known as Register.com is one of the original five testbed registrars to go online. In 1999, the company changed its name from Forman Interactive to Register.com and on April 21, 1999 it was announced by ICANN that the company would be included as one of the first five testbed registrars for the Shared Registry System. On June 7 of the same year, the company began operating as a paid registrar in .com, .net and .org domain names. Register.com was the first of the original five testbed registrars of the Shared Registry System to go online.
In 2000, Register.com offered an IPO and began publicly trading on the NASDAQ. In 2004, Register.com was named by VeriSign as one of the world’s top domain name registrars with over three million domain names being managed by Register.com at the time. In December of 2004, revenue for the company topped $100 million.
In 2005, Register.com restructured the business to focus on offering online services to small businesses. This shift in focus lead to Register.com being the first Online Services Industry organization to receive Call Center Certification by J.D. Power and Associates. In November of 2005, Register.com was bought by Vector Capital and stopped publicly trading on the NASDAQ. With the Vector Capital acquisition, the focus of Register.com once again shifted and focused on implementing better business practices to achieve cost reduction and improved profits.
In June of 2010, Register.com began negotiations to be bought by Web.com for a price of $135 million. Register.com remains one of the biggest domain registration companies in the world and continually receives high marks from the Better Business Bureau and from its customers.
Headquartered in New York City, Register.com employs approximately 400 people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Reaching beyond domain hosting, the company now offers design services and employs a specialized custom web design team in the Nova Scotia branch known as RCOMCANADA. With satellite offices in London, England and Baltimore, Maryland, a sales and service center in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and an office in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the company now offers domain registration and much more.
In addition to the company’s original focus of domain naming and hosting services, the company now offers online marketing services such as reputation alert, search engine optimization, email marketing, pay per click advertising and Facebook Boost, a program designed to build business through the power of social media.
From its beginnings as a testbed pioneer in 1994 to its global presence today, the company continues to offer domain registration and hosting and continues to develop new internet services to help entrepreneurs and small business owners around the world build, manage and maintain their internet presence. Today, the company manages more than 2 million domain names and remains a leader in domain registration and hosting.
An accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, Register.com has an A+ rating.
Register.com Web.com Group Inc. 12808 Gran Bay Parkway Jacksonville, Florida 32258 866-455-1655 902-749-2762 Fax 904-880-0350
PLEASE NOTE: While we attempt to provide timely and accurate information, any and all pricing, features, discounts, coupon codes, promo codes, etc. included on this page are beyond the control of ncmonline.com and are subject to change without prior notice.