There are a lot of domain name registration services out there and a prospective webmaster should always shop around. In fact, it’s one of the most competitive industries on the Internet. Prices regularly change, as do offerings and their quality. Hover, the subject of this article, claims that it is and will be different from other domain name registration services in a way that will be positive to the consumer.
Hover.com is the retail division of Tucows Inc., the third largest ICANN-accredited registrar and largest publicly traded domain name registrar in the world. Operating atop the reliable, robust OpenSRS platform and led by general manager Ross Rader, a man reputable for being a compassionate perfectionist, Hover is definitely a force in the industry to be reckoned with. Although the service only launched in 2009, it’s not necessarily correct to refer to it as a “new kid on the block” in the domain name and email business, as Hover is actually the result of the successful combination of three very successful companies.
Tucows has been around since 1994, when it got its start offering software downloads and reviews. Domain Direct, Tucows’ first domain name registration service, launched in 1997. In 1999, Tucows became ICANN-accredited and was one of the first registrars to do so. Over 10,000 service providers globally sell domains managed by Tucows via OpenSRS, Tucows’ advanced wholesale reseller platform. Presently, Tucows has over ten million – 10,000,000 – domain names under management.
In 2006, NetIdentity was acquired by Tucows and in 2007, so was It’s Your Domain (IYD). These two services, as well as Tucows’ own Domain Direct, were all successful. All under one roof, the task at hand became their successful amalgamation and it is from this that Hover was born. Hover is the result of the successful merging of Domain Direct, NetIdentity, and It’s Your Domain into one unit. In 2009, Hover went live.
Unlike many other domain name registration services, Hover tries hard to keep things simple while providing an intuitive, painless user experience. Additionally, instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, Hover instead specializes in domain names and custom, personalized e-mail. The result of this is that there are no confusing add-ons or potentially misleading service offerings with Hover. Also, there are no hidden fees so an individual can rest assured that the price seen is the price paid, short of a sale or other form of discount. Customer service and pain-free usability are Hover’s top priorities.
The Hover experience revolves around the customer. When a customer calls customer service, a person answers the phone, not a recording. Whoever answers the phone can help without needing to ask somebody else for permission. Additionally, regardless of what one calls about, whoever answers the phone can provide assistance. All of Hover’s customer service staff have the same training and can handle everything from billing to technical issues. Customers can rest assured that they won’t have to spend time on hold and that they won’t have to endure being transferred from one department to another when they call or e-mail customer service.
Hover prides itself in having a very clean, advertisement free user interface. Unlike some other services that bombard customers with a constant slew of promotional offerings, Hover doesn’t try to push services on its customers. The minimalistic, advertisement-free interface of Hover makes it easy for customers to find what they need. Everything that a customer might need to do to manage their domains and/or personalized, custom email is easy to find. This is made possible by Hover giving a customer everything that customers actually need and nothing that they don’t.
Hover’s domain name registration process is quick and easy. Like with other domain registration services, one need only type in the name they desire to see if its available and proceed to purchase it. Unlike many other registrars, Hover’s checkout process is fast, taking only a few seconds to a minute at most for most people. Management of one’s new domain name, be it setting name servers, WHOIS data, turning off or on Private Registration, or making advanced DNS settings, is easy.
The NetIdentity component of Hover brought over 40,000 surname domain names into the equation. This makes it possible for Hover to offer first @ last. com style email addresses for everyone with a given last name since Hover owns the surname domains. For example, a Sylvia Gonzales could get sylvia @ gonzales. com,.net,.org, etc., depending on which names Hover had available. George Gonzales could get george @ gonzales. com. When purchasing a first / last surname e-mail address from Hover, one pays for the e-mail address, but Hover owns the domain. This makes it easier for people to get the perfect e-mail address for their identity.
Whether transferring in or transferring out of Hover, the process is as painless as possible. Hover does everything it can to make the transition in or even out of its service as easy as possible for incoming and outgoing customers alike. Hover doesn’t believe that a business should hold one’s domains hostage.
Admittedly, Hover had a few bumps to overcome when it launched. Most new services do. However, if Hover continues to offer great products for affordable prices and treat customers like human beings and actually provide them service when they contact customer service, Hover and Tucows Inc. may well eventually dominate the domain name registration scene.