Explore this Article
NameSilo boasts itself as one of only 30 companies with over 2 million registered domains. They were founded in around 2009, making them a fairly new competitor in the market. Today, we’re going to take a look at how they stack up in six major fields against which all registrars are compared, so let’s dive right in.
Unfortunately, NameSilo still has some work to do on this end. While the interface is merely a customer-facing aspect that doesn’t have a direct negative impact on other elements, it’s essential to the overall usability of the services they provide. NameSilo’s interface looks like something left over from the mid-2000s where rounded corners and shiny buttons were all the rage. Although, they are working on the new site’s look which is still quite messy.
A lot of the hover styling feels as abrasive as it did in that era as well. This is especially heinous considering the date of their founding. The whole site feels about 15 years behind the times visually. Nothing feels exceptionally fluid or sexy, especially given modern web standards and capabilities.
There are massive walls of text to try and navigate among weirdly styled “announcement” panels. None of it feels like it meshes.
There always seems to be too much on-screen at any given moment, either on your account landing page or even just on the site’s homepage; it’s a visual mess, and this is something NameSilo could stand to try and adjust.
The prices feel low compared to some of the major registrars out there, including names like GoDaddy or site-builders like Wix and Squarespace. A .com (gTLD) domain from NameSilo will set you back $6.99 for the first year, which is relatively cheap by modern standards where most companies charge you anywhere from $9.99 during promotions to $12.99. Prices vary all across the industry, but this feels pretty good even if we have seen some lower rates out there.
With other, less common domains like .xyz and .info you can score some pretty sweet deals, but the trade-off is the branding opportunity that you’ll miss by having a .com, .net, or .org.
NameSilo extends your domain for free for an extra year whenever you transfer to them which makes it a pretty attractive option, but the catch is that you have to pay a transfer fee that varies in price depending on your domain. It feels intentionally phrased to be misleading as you’re mostly paying for the year extension via the transfer fees you need to pay.
As of this writing, it appears that their primary service (at least the one they’re pushing in a lot of on-page ads) is the selling and auctioning of domains. This makes it appear that they’re less of a domain hosting service than they are a medium through which people can try to make a few bucks by anticipating market trends.
You’ll see some pornographic references in the domains listed for auction as well as bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain related listings priced at some quite frankly ludicrous numbers but with no inkling of whether or not anyone is bidding on these things.
NameSilo allows you to set up a “service link” during the purchasing process, where NameSilo will automatically populate your DNS settings with additional entries that will set your domain to work with other nameservers for your ease of use. This is a helpful tool to have at your disposal especially if you want to get right to work because you know where you’re going to point the domain.
NameSilo also allows you to exert a lot of control over your parked page for your domain, including color schemes, meta tags, layout, and content. You can attach your AdSense ID and earn revenue from your parked domain. They also boast that they give you 100% of said revenue. This is particularly useful if you think you’ve snagged a money-maker and want that parked page looking as good as you can make it, so it’s a great feature that NameSilo has included here.
Email and Hosting
As far as email is concerned, e-mail forwarding is handled merely by adding the necessary DNS declarations and setting up a forwarding alias through their “email forwarding” tool. It’s quick and straightforward, but it may take some time for those changes to set in.
NameSilo also allows you a quick and easy way to set up a GSuite account with your domain, though it feels unnecessary when you can forward through up to 100 aliases and not have to spend an extra dime.
Regarding hosting services, as of this writing, NameSilo doesn’t provide any web hosting services for site building, but their customer support representative assured me that this would be implemented in “the next couple of weeks.” That will be something to look forward to, and large-scale infrastructure changes like this might also bring changes to the visual problems we mentioned with the site earlier.
The on-site customer support live-chat was the most modern looking window on the entire website, with nice easing, usability, and a list of who was online. This is a useful feature that helps manage customer expectations, as you have a better idea of your wait time.
A conversation with one of their support reps was concise and pleasant, as they’d given me the information regarding NameSilo’s expansion plans into the web hosting market as well as the time needed for DNS changes to propagate.
How can NameSilo improve?
The biggest hit to NameSilo’s presence is undoubtedly their interface. It’s visually unappealing and doesn’t feel as responsive as it should. Their services are plentiful and well-rounded, but their design shortfalls make them sometimes difficult to locate or use.
I’m very interested in seeing how their web hosting services launch and whether or not their pricing will be reasonable as well as what options they’ll have for CMS installation. Rollouts of that size almost always have hiccups, and it will be interesting to see if NameSilo is up to the challenge.