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Ahmad Awais ⚡️
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

Posted on • Originally published at

Cloudflare Registrar: Why Am I Super Happy About This as A WebDev/Blogger?! [Gifs]

A couple of hours ago, Cloudflare — the company that has helped me save thousands of dollars in hosting fee since 2011 — announced Cloudflare Registrar. Yes, Yes Yes! Heard that right.

✅ Many of the regular readers of my blogs already know the fact that I started as a blogger, grew up becoming an electrical engineer, and on the side always kept studying computer science — only to later find a career in software (web) development.

🤔If my recollection of lost isn't misleading me, then I started writing blogs, content, sharing tips & tricks, and all of that about seventeen years ago. I kept growing serious about it every passing year, which is also why you find most of my portfolio around the core/theme/plugin development of WordPress — a blogging script turned CMS.

💯Over the course of these years, I have bought, sold (professionally), bid against, and owned many many domains. A little over a thousand to be precise. I still have a pretty decent domains portfolio.

🎖️Cloudflare Registrar: What's Changed?

About seven years ago, when I moved my domain portfolio to Cloudflare it made so much sense. I think I can enlist a couple great advantages that I have experienced with Cloudflare in all these years

✅ No more waiting 24/48 hours when you change your DNS settings
✅ Security is top notch. Browser integrity checks keep the spam away
✅ Free SSL, did I mention the free SSL? Yes, free SSL, the free one, yes!
✅ Page rules for the win, always use HTTPS, cache no cache? No problem
😮 Thousands of dollars in hosting bills saved through aggressive caching

But while I enjoy all of these privileges with Cloudflare, I have had my fair share of issues with domain registrars. So, much so one time a hacker came this close to owning about a couple hundred domains from my account.

With a good idea on how to build a more secure registrar we asked our customers what they hated about their current registrar. Two phrases kept coming up: "bait and switch" and “endless upsell.” — Cloudflare

That's 💯 true. All the time spent on figuring out what the price changes would look like five years down the road? — Makes a huge difference when you own a couple hundred let alone 1,000+ domain names (for professional domain sale purchase — which's a good side project/income source for me).

If you've ever registered a domain, you know the drill. You get a discounted price when you first register, but with each renewal the price soars.

I do, I do, I do!!!

In the best cases we've found, it's around two times the original offer. In the worst, it's more than twenty times. It's gross. That’s in addition to the constant upsells for other products that either should be included for free (for example, DNSSEC) or that you just don’t want (for example, worthless trusted site seals). — Cloudflare

Tell Me More

Hitting the nail right at its head. 🛠️ 💅 🤣

The thing is, registering a domain is a commodity. There's no meaningful difference between any of the existing mass market registrars. Each top level domain registry (TLDs like .com .org .info .io, etc) sets a wholesale price for registering a domain under them. These prices are known and remain relatively consistent over time.

This has been like this forever. But the game's rigged by our beloved (read as super hateful) domain registrars that keep things in a sway of a mess.

All the registrar does is record you as the owner of a particular domain. That just involves sending some commands to an API. In other words, domain registrars are charging you for being a middle-man and delivering essentially no value to justify their markup. The more we looked at it, the more crazy the whole market looked to us.

Speechless Nathan Fillion

You took the words out of my mouth…

🤜🤛 The Cloudflare Registrar Promise

Cloudflare has promised something truly amazing. Been how long I have with this company, and after first hand experiencing the top-notch service they have provided to the web community, I have no doubt they'll deliver.

What promise? Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Let me just quote them…

Here's the promise of the Cloudflare Registrar: we'll follow the best possible security practices and offer you the best possible price.
What do we mean by that?

1️⃣ From the security side, we promise we'll allow you to enable two-factor authentication, we’ll lock your domain registration by default, and automatically enable best-practice security services like DNSSEC.

2️⃣From the price side, it’s even simpler: we promise to never charge you anything more than the wholesale price each TLD charges. That’s true the first year and it’s true every subsequent year. If you register your domain with Cloudflare Registrar you’ll always pay the wholesale price with no markup.

No More Registrar Drama

For instance, Verisign, which administers the .com TLD, currently charges $7.85 per year to register a .com domain. ICANN imposes a $0.18 per year fee on top of that for every domain registered. Today, if you transfer your .com domain to Cloudflare, that's what we'll charge you per year: $8.03/year. No markup. All we're doing is pinging an API, there's no incremental cost to us, so why should you have to pay more than wholesale?

Shut up and just take my money…

Seriously, folks! I am sold. It's too good to be real. But considering who's claiming this, a company I have so much to like about, Cloudflare — I'll just expect them to deliver as they always have.

What's next? Go ahead signup for early access to domains at Cloudflare →

Peace! ✌️

P.S. First published at Cloudflare Registrar.

Top comments (9)

jinbe0_60 profile image

Njalla is safer. If cloudflare was ordered by court to disclose your information, you will be assumed immediately that you have both domain and a control of its web service, and subsequently, you will be sentenced guilty.

ahmadawais profile image
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

Not doing anything wrong, so not worried about that. 👊

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

The Cloudflare thing is interesting, but - and please don't take this the wrong way - are you saying that it's good that Cloudflare don't mark up their prices, even though your "good income source" is based on you marking up domain prices?

ahmadawais profile image
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

Oh no that's not what I am saying. We are a group of developers, we buy good domains and then sell them via bidding or flat out sale. It's not a mark up on our part. Finding a good domain, digging through it's history, checking to see if it will be good for SEO (some even have over 5000 daily visitors) — finding such domains takes a lot of time, server/tooling costs — that's what we sell at 1.5 to 2x per year revenue.

vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde • Edited

Concisely written! However please note a few key details you seem to have missed out on:

You can't actually register a new domain with the Cloudflare Registrar. Not yet. Today, the service is restricted to existing Cloudflare customers transferring their existing domains to us. If you’ve had trouble transferring domains before, just wait: we’ve made the process extremely smooth and easy.

After we've given existing Cloudflare customers a chance to take advantage of the Cloudflare Registrar, we'll open it up more broadly. At that time, we'll allow new domain registration as well. But, regardless of when you sign up, our promise will always be the same: best security practices at the wholesale registration price. A registrar you can trust, and, we hope, one you can love.

Here's the source for those wanting the original post.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Amazing but now I have to see the fee to move my domains there, and calculate if is it worth the trouble.

New domains Ill get from cloudflare for sure.

ahmadawais profile image
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

You can move slowly as your domains start expiring.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

There is also downsides, if you do not want/use the Cloudlfare DNS

Once available, you will only be able to transfer domains that are active zones in your Cloudflare account.

ahmadawais profile image
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

Yeah, makes sense. Let's see how it goes.