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Your web domain in minutes
So, you need a web presence? First things first, you are going to need to think about a domain name – your very own address on the internet. And you are quite probably going to want something catchy and original that markets your presence on the world wide web.
There are a ton of domain registrar services that can provide you with an original ICANN name. That will have to be attached to a so-called top-level domain such as .com or .net. NameBright.Com are one of the people to go to for your domain name, and a whole lot more. You can have an account with multiple domains and up to 12,800 email addresses within minutes. And a host of other services, some of which you can probably manage from your mobile phone.
A giant of a service
They have been accredited since at least 2009; so this is no fly-by-night start-up. NameBright was developed by TurnCommerce, whose core business is holding and trading domain names – it holds over a million of them. So what happens when a behemoth domain portfolio holder gets into the registration software business?
NameBright promised ‘at-cost’ pricing for registration as a point of principle at inception; their business model relies on selling you add-on e-mail addresses and storage. That alone will be attractive to small to medium-sized customers. Currently, a .com gTLD is available from $8.03 per year. (That would cover their ICANN and credit card processing fees etc.). Email addresses are from $0.83 per month.
I compared some prices with better-advertised registrars Godaddy and Namecheap. NameBright are competitive, and as could be expected have an excellent variety of top-level domains for you to choose from. So you have a good chance here of finding that dream web address at low cost from a provider who is going to be around for a while. You could, of course, go straight to a web-hosting service like Wix.com and ask them for a domain name. But going to a specialist registrar will almost certainly save you money and give you a better choice of top-level domain.
NameBright’s simple web interface at www.namebright.com should win fans among non-specialist users. We tested it by transferring an old domain name we had with another provider to it. We were impressed. Their panel was intuitive, fast and navigable. The only issue we had was that we entered the domain name with our authorization code; this was easy to correct afterward. The transfer was completed in about twenty minutes. Although, it can take up to five days depending on the nature of the transfer.
No web-hosting service included
You’ll have to go somewhere else for web-hosting, but that’s not as much of a disadvantage as it sounds. It’s easy to link your dream domain name to the hosting service of your choice.
Your website needs may be so well-thought-out and straightforward that a standard piece of free blogging or WYSIWYG software will do the job. Otherwise, the world of web hosting is a complex one. Once you have a precise plan as to what you want your site to do and look like, it’s worth taking a look at your choice of hosts quite separately from the domain registration issue.
Unique additional functionality
So far, so good. But let’s take a look at the rest of its functionality. NameBright offers you a lot more than just the domain and the associated email addresses with their storage. It’s easy to redirect emails internally and externally, and unlike with many bulk email providers, it’s free. You can transfer an existing domain to NameBright within minutes; it’s also no problem to forward a domain name registered with them to another domain or web URL. Again, that’s free.
They provide excellent domain history tracking tools. A history is kept of external visits to your domain. Internally, one panel shows you who in your organization has made changes to it, in terms of domain management, nameserver updating or registration renewals.
NameBright provides ‘linked accounts,’ whereby special permissions are granted to different users without allowing them to transfer the domain itself. Perfect for web developers who need remote access without full control! You can also have ‘category based email accounts,’ whereby you link an enterprise function to several of your domains and then communicate with customers who interact with that function from just one single email account.
Your privacy is protected by ensuring only a forwarding address is available in the WHOIS Directory – that service is free for a year and after that costs $2.49 per year. There’s a two-stage authentication procedure to access the domain. Server-client encryption can be provided via SSL, for about $1.25 per month. They partner with GeoTrust for online transaction security.
Built to scale up
One NameBright account can handle multiple domains; in fact, the software was built to handle hundreds of thousands. It’s hard to see who the competition is here, other than NameSilo. It’s top-class for this kind of bulk management. The interface is a neat modal pop-up with a percentage bar. But there have been some negative reviews about slow loading time for big jobs like this and even occasional service outages.
But where is NameBright going?
NameBright has very few negative customer reviews out there. But TurnCommerce hasn’t pushed it out much since it was launched five or six years ago, and there’s no word out there about their plans for it. There’s no substantive social media presence. But there are whispers about a support response that can be slow and perfunctory, and the site is said to have even been out a couple of times. Has the behemoth developed a cool piece of software that they’re not invested in maintaining to customer micro support level?
It’s a great spot to pick up a domain. And some of that functionality isn’t out there with Godaddy or other better-known registrars. The questions are around their customer support. But we found that the underlying platform is now so seamless it’s hard to see what you’d need them for if you want to put your PayPal down for a quick package of domain plus e-mail. Would I invest a large amount of domain hosting with them? We’d need a relationship with the support team first.