My American friends will be wondering, I’m sure, what the big deal is. The US has had cheap domain names for years. But somehow it’s been incredibly difficult to find a good provider of Canadian .ca domain names that wasn’t going to rape your wallet for the privilege – and then make you say thank-you.
Need a .ca
I needed to register a .ca for a relative who is going into provincial politics. (Don’t ask, I don’t understand why either!) But all the Canadian registrars I checked were unbelievably, ridiculously, outrageously priced.
The first Canadian registration company I checked was Geta.ca. They have horrible prices: $40/year. Obviously, their domains are gold-plated or something. Or else this is still 1995 and I missed a memo.
1and1.com advertising on Google for “Canadian domain names,” but doesn’t actually provide them. Or at least there drop-down of name selections does not include .ca. Not smart for their ad budgets; not helpful for those who are looking for .ca domains.
Internic.ca won’t even tell you how much their domains cost until you start ordering them, and for good reason: they charge the stereotypical arm and a leg, and then ask for a nose thrown into the bargain. If you thought $40/year for a domain was a rip-off … think again. Internic.ca charges $50/year for a Canadian .ca domain. Forget gold, this is platinum coated domain hosting. Maybe you also get a free massage from Helga, their German security guard, because obviously if you buy here you are a masochistic sucker for punishment.
After these outrageous prices, CanReg almost starts to seem like a great deal. After all, they’re only $16.95/year. Umm … be sure to read the fine print … that’s if you register for 10 years. At least, I think so – they won’t confirm their prices until you actually sign up for their services! And, since the website says “from $16.95/year,” and they offer domain registration terms of up to 10 years, that’s my guess. Not exactly GoDaddy’s $9/year, is it? Nor is it $4/year, at the chea but seemingly mis-named DomainNamesAreFree.com.
- PlanetDomain.ca, MyID.ca, Domain.ca
PlanetDomain is also too high, at $20/year. MyID.ca is also expensive, at $22.50 unless you sign up for multiple years. And Domain.ca continues the wonderful customer-friendly trend of not telling you the pricing until you’ve signed up.
So what’s a Canadian who wants a .ca domain name to do? Simple. After about 30 minutes of googling, I finally found Netfirms, the cheapest Canadian domain name registrar on the planet. (Well, actually the cheapest I could find after 30 minutes of googling. But hey, it’s pretty likely.)
How about $9.95/year? Not too bad, not too bad at all. I’m used to paying slightly premium prices for domains, because I host at MediaTemple, and they just do 1-year registrations of .com, .net, and .org for $15/year. So to get a Canadian domain for cheaper than Sparkplug9.com or any of my other domains … wow!
One more thing: I got a 30% discount when I purchased the domain name (on January 10th, 2009). I’m not sure how long that will last, but it took the total price for my Canadian domain name down to $8.45. Which is a great deal by any standard.
The other bonus at NetFirms? Domain registration includes forwarding … so you don’t have to pay extra to forward the domain to your existing web hosting company which unfortunately does not register .ca domain names. (Yes, that would be MediaTemple … but it would also be a LOT of US hosting companies.)
The final word
NetFirms is the cheapest and best .ca domain name registrar I could find. If you’ve found better … let me know!
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