Cheap Canadian Domains: Finding a good Canadian Domain Registrar

Finding inexpensive Canadian domain names is hard, but I managed to get them for $8.45/year.

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.

  • Geta.ca
    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
    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
    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.

  • CanReg.ca
    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.

Netfirms
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 much?

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.

Forwarding included
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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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Choosing a good web site provider and registrar is critical for a successful internet business.
    I have come to the conclusion that I made the dreadful error of choosing a company because it had a 5 page ad in a popular computer magazine. I believe I have put my trust in a straw man. In my opinion 1and1, with CEO Oliver Mauss, is a horrible company and many customers have voiced a host of complaints on various blogs.
    It should be a warning that when their phone is answered by a recording that tells you if you have gotten a notice from NCO, a collection agency, to press a certain number. If they are a reputable business, why do they have to send so many accounts to a collection agency?
    Patrick Frey (Patterico) of the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office alleges his domain was high jacked and put up for auction on SEDO. SEDO is an associate company of 1and1.
    Patterico: “I believe I’m facing massive incompetence, thievery, or very possibly a deliberate combination of the two. It feels like evil intent — but not for political reasons. It feels like cyber extortion — people going after the almighty dollar. Commenters have pointed out corporate ties between 1&1, which can’t seem to process my timely renewal, and Sedo/Domcollect, which stood to profit from 1&1’s failure. Usually, corporate incompetence does not earn the corporation money — but 1&1 and its related companies have found a way to make money off of their own slipshod procedures.”
    Patterico was able to regain his domain.
    Also Investigative journalist, Kelli Jack, has written 30 articles about this company and has a suit pending against them. Kelli alleges that 1and1 stole her domain name and sold it. Kelli states: “1and1 should be shut down.” As of today Kelli is working with the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
    I have filed complaints with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission, Eastern Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau, ICANN, and others. I recommend everyone else having a problem consider doing the same.

    The Washington DC, Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau has them listed as “Unsatisfactory” Read comments on the BBB why. Read some customer comments on Red Flag.
    Warth Publishing Inc

  • Thanks for this blog. Very enlightening, in deed.
    Just recently I have discovered that I pay on average 4 times as much to Internic.ca than actually needed. For 4 years now i needed this company only as a registrar to CIRA, nothing else. It has cost me so far little over $200 for that. At Netfirm it could have last for 20 years!
    I did ask Internic.ca, if they could give me a reason why I should pay this much and stick with them. This was their answer:’The price of a service is often reflected in the value you get from the service. With lower cost services, you’ll often be faced with lower quality or limited availability of support. The lower price being offered may also be made up with hidden fees or higher priced add-on services. We pride ourselves on our exceptional services and support, and believe that the price of our service is on par with the quality of our service.’
    Of course, when I started this inquiry I got an auto response that I will be getting an answer within 24 hours. Well, I had to complain about that after 17 days. After those 17 days, I got another auto response, but this time the actual response came 6 hours later. I think though, that it would not have happened, if I would have not complained about it. So much for quality service.
    Words are patient, action earns trust. I guess I’ll be looking for another Canadian registrar.
    Cheers,

  • The “wholesale” price of a .ca domain is $8.50 + GST or $8.93, so you can’t really get them much cheaper than that. I’m guessing that your $8.45 price is a very limited time special.

    There are several really good .ca domain name registrars on the market that provide not only good prices but good service. These include NamesPro.ca, Sibername.com, and DomainsAtCost.ca

  • i can’t believe there price’s internic.ca, the worest sevice.
    I think there is like two people working at this firm, i always get the same guy. Ths company has they most expensive price’s it crazy.

    They charge FIVE times the amount i am paying right know. I asked the guy that usually picks up the phone, why are your prices so much higher then all the companies he said ” because we are 24 hr service”, that isa joke.

    STAY away from internic.ca guys.

  • I would also stay away from the “non-Canadian” .ca registrars… they simply don’t know how to handle .ca domains. I had a nightmare experience dealing with one when I needed to file a MCACE request.. they had no idea what it was. I switched to http://www.canspace.ca and they’ve been great so far.