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Hover Domains Review – Should This Be Your Go-to Domain Registrar for 2019?

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Hover Domains have a lot to offer, and are an attractive option for anyone thinking of registering a new domain name. In this in-depth review, we’ll look into what their offering includes, who should consider using them and what makes them stand out from all of the other domain name registrars out there.

Here’s everything you should know about Hover Domains:

πŸ€” Hover Domains review: Who Are Hover?

Just so we can get the obvious out of the way, Hover are a domain registrar. For the uninitiated, a domain registrar is a company that can register a new domain name on your behalf, and then give you the authorization to use that domain for whatever you need. Most commonly, that’s launching a website or setting up an email account.

hover domains review

Hover launched in late 2008 as a branch of Tucows — one of the oldest domain registrars on the market. The idea behind Hover was to make domain registration as hassle-free as possible so that anyone could handle the process — even if it was their first experience dealing with domain names.

Hover are also an ICANN-accredited domain registrar, albeit not directly, but via their parent company, Tucows.

πŸ’° Pricing and Domain Extensions Available with Hover

Let’s be honest about one thing: No matter how much you may prefer one registrar over another, you’re probably still not going to buy from them if their prices are too high. Therefore, let’s start this Hover Domains review by finding out where Hover stand on the pricing spectrum, plus which domain extensions (TLDs) are available.

First, let’s look at the price tags on the most popular TLDs:

Hover GoDaddy Namecheap
New Renewal New Renewal New Renewal
.com $12.99 $14.99 $2.99 $14.99 $8.88 $12.98
.net $15.49 $17.49 $18.99 $18.99 $12.98 $14.98
.org $13.99 $15.99 $11.99 $19.99 $12.98 $14.98
.co $25.99 $25.99 $2.99 $34.99 $9.88 $25.98
.ca $15.99 $15.99 $2.99 $16.99 $11.98 $13.98
.ru $14.99 $14.99
.de $14.99 $14.99 $7.99 $7.99 $6.88 $10.88
.it $14.99 $14.99 $12.99 $12.99
.club $13.99 $13.99 $0.99 $14.99 $12.88 $12.88
.site $32.99 $32.99 $0.99 $39.99 $15.88 $15.88
.design $5.99 $39.99 $19.99 $69.99 $17.25 $44.88
.online $29.99 $29.99 $4.99 $49.99 $1.99 $18.88
.shop $4.99 $39.99 $9.99 $44.99 $2.88 $32.88

As you can see, Hover win some and lose some of these battles. Even though the top registrars all sell basically the same product, there are still significant differences in pricing.

Generally speaking, Hover seem to be more honest when it comes to the differences between the initial domain registration and renewal. While GoDaddy offer many super-low entry prices, your expenses will grow quite significantly when your domain is due for renewal. For example, getting a new .co domain will cost you $2.99 a year, yet renewing it for the second term is $34.99 a year. With Hover, that’s respectively $25.99 and $25.99 for the same domain.

Some other popular TLDs available with Hover:

  • .xyz, .info, .io, .me, .mobi, .news, .tech, .us, .co.uk, .app, .charity, .ngo, .health, .llc, .organic, .style

Here’s the complete set of TLDs available at Hover, along with pricing.

One more thing worth pointing out is that Hover throw in WHOIS domain privacy for free with every domain registration (provided the TLD is eligible for that). WHOIS privacy is something you’d want to get anyway, so having it there for free is undoubtedly a great bonus. Many other registrars charge extra for this — usually in the range of $8 to $12 annually.

(Without WHOIS privacy, all of your personal information submitted during registration will be made public to anyone doing a simple WHOIS lookup on the domain name. This personal information includes things such as your name, address, phone number and email address.)

πŸ€“ Ease of Use, and How to Register a Domain Name

Hover promise the most straightforward domain registration process on the market. Let’s verify this!

To begin with, Hover give you three main options on their homepage:

hover top bar

  • register a new domain name
  • transfer a domain name that you’ve already registered with another registrar
  • renew your domain name for another term.

Transferring or renewing a domain name is probably a good topic for another time, so let’s stick to new domain registration for now, seeing as that’s what you probably want to do.

And, right up front, you’re in for a treat! Hover have kind of a ‘take you by the hand’ domain registration process.

First off, they don’t force you to know the exact domain you want to register as you walk through the door. Instead, they present you with what’s available and divide everything into a handful of sections, all depending on various factors and traits. Let me show you:

So I’ve started my search by entering ‘Mad Cafe’ into the box … hey, don’t judge. After a couple of seconds, Hover have returned with what looks like a collection of around 100 domain suggestions.

First, we have the Top Picks section:

top picks

This one is based on the exact phrase entered, my location and what’s likely to be the most popular choice for the phrase.

  • The only reason madcafe.com isn’t on the list is because it’s already taken.

However, these top picks are just the tip of the iceberg. Aside from these, Hover also have tons of other suggestions based on the purpose you need the domain for and TLD availability. On the list, you’ll find TLDs grouped under the following sections:

categories

For instance:

  • under ‘personal’ you’ll find TLDs such as .me, .guru, .expert
  • ‘professional’ — .attorney, .ceo, .dentist, .pro
  • ‘business’ — .biz, .llc, .ltd, .ventures
  • ‘organizations’ — .camp, .church, .club, .ngo
  • and so on.

One particularly interesting section is ‘suggestions’, where Hover take the original phrase you entered, run it through an algorithm and present you with possible variations on that phrase — acting somewhat like a domain generator.

Those suggestions may include additional words, hyphens, different prefixes, suffixes, and so on. This is super cool and useful if you’re not 100% sure of the exact name you want to register.

suggestions

The domains you like best can be added to cart using the plus icon next to the domain. It’s probably best to treat this cart as your shortlist before committing to that one perfect domain name.

add to cart

The checkout process isn’t complicated and doesn’t have any unnecessary steps.

checkout

The only upsells are for various email add-ons that are entirely optional. Keep in mind, however, that if your plan is to integrate this new domain name with an external web host, then that web host will likely provide you with email space for free, so no need to get it from Hover.

You can register your domain name for anything from one to ten years.

To complete the purchase, you only need to go through one more screen where you’re asked to provide your personal information — required on all domain registrations. You can pay with a credit card or via PayPal.

With that done, you’ll see an order confirmation page, and you’ll also get a domain verification email. You need to click on the link that’s in that email to fully enable your domain name (it’s a requirement from ICANN — the main organization overseeing the domain market).

Once you do that, your domain name is fully active! 🍾

Overall, I have to admit that the experience of registering a new domain name with Hover is very straightforward. Plus, those domain name suggestions based on your search are really helpful. You can find some true gems there, especially in the realm of fancy new TLDs, such as .store, .llc, .ngo and so on.

πŸ‘ Hover Make Things Easy after the Registration, Too

Even though most domain registrars consider their job done once you’ve taken out the credit card, Hover go a lot further. Their user panel is really intuitive and easy to navigate (and, trust me, I’ve seen many of them), which makes configuring your new domain name more than doable even if you don’t have any prior experience with such stuff.

hover dashboard

First, you get to see all of the vital domain parameters at a glance, along with the registration periods, services added, and so on.

Perhaps most interestingly, Hover help you to hook up your domain name to a range of platforms and website hosting services. Here are just a few of them:

connect

Once you choose a platform, you’ll see a list of steps you need to go through to get your domain integrated. Depending on the platform, that list can be longer or shorter, but Hover will assist you all the way through. Plus, some of the steps are semi-automated.

For instance, if you choose to connect your domain name to Medium, like I did for the purpose of this Hover Domains review, you’ll see this:

medium integration

The only downside is that WordPress isn’t on this list. In some ways, that’s to be expected, since WordPress isn’t a hosted platform as such, and you do need to buy a hosting account from someone before you can launch a WordPress website.

With that said, Hover do give you access to all of the advanced domain parameters and settings, such as DNS and domain records. With them, you can redirect your domain name practically anywhere, including connecting it with hosts such as SiteGround, WP Engine or Flywheel.

⛑️ Support

Support is often a problem with domain registrars, especially once they begin operating at scale and have to deal with thousands of requests a day.

Hover claim they have no such problems. To begin with, there are multiple support options available:

  • phone support: weekdays 8am to 11pm EST; weekends 8am to 8pm EST
  • knowledge base
  • live chat
  • online support based on tickets.

Hover promise that they don’t use any phone call trees where you’re forwarded from one person to the other before getting your issue resolved. Instead, you get to talk with a competent person right away.

Moreover, they also offer valet domain transfers. Meaning, instead of you having to deal with the transfer on your own (when moving your domain over to Hover), one of Hover’s representatives will take care of the whole process for you from start to finish.

πŸ‘πŸ‘Ž The Bottom Line: Should You Use Hover?

This is the main question we’re trying to answer in this review. With loads of domain registrars available out there, you’re more than spoiled for choice.

Hover have been getting more and more popular as a domain registrar every year. They’ve been marketing heavily over podcasts and other channels, but, perhaps more importantly, they’ve been able to back up the hype with a genuinely high-quality service and a user-friendly platform.

Should you use them over Namecheap or GoDaddy? Well, that depends on what the critical factor is for you when registering a domain name:

  • If you’re an advanced user and you’re not intimidated by all of the technical setup that can be involved when working with certain registrars, then simply buy from the company that sells your desired TLD at the lowest price.
    • But, with that said, if what you want is either a .shop or .design, those will still probably be the cheapest with Hover (price for the initial registration period).
  • If you value ease of use and a stress-free experiences, with no hidden fees or unclear sales messages, then check out Hover.
  • If what you want is to get a domain and then actually launch a WordPress website right away, then get the domain and hosting in one go from either SiteGround or Bluehost. Honestly, it’s going to be quicker. But be warned that it can also be more difficult to then get yourself out of that deal if you ever want to change hosts for whatever reason.

If you want to learn more about domains, check out these guides:

Used/using Hover? Ready to give them a try? Thoughts?

By Karol K

Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance blogger and writer, WordPress figure-outer, and published author of "WordPress Complete". His work has been featured all over the web on sites like: Ahrefs.com, MarketingProfs.com, Smashing Magazine, Lifehack.org, Optimizely.com, Adobe.com, CodeinWP.com, and others.
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