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GoDaddy drops Uniregistry again

This time it appears to be permanent.

Earlier today I recorded a podcast with Frank Schilling that will air Monday morning. During the recording, Schilling informed me that GoDaddy will stop offering Uniregistry top level domain names. This isn’t the first time GoDaddy has dropped Uniregistry names, but it seems they now have put a permanent transition in place.

GoDaddy stopped offering new registrations of Uniregistry TLDs in March due to Uniregistry’s planned price hikes, but then added them back in with high prices. While new registrations are available as of today, this will soon be switched off.

I reached out to GoDaddy to ask about the decision. Mike McLaughlin, EVP & GM, Domains, replied:

GoDaddy strives to provide its customers with great product experiences wherever possible. After careful consideration, we decided to stop offering new Uniregistry domain names for sale because their pricing changes caused frustration and uncertainty with our customers.

For existing customers who have Uniregistry names, GoDaddy has partnered with Hexonet’s 1API GMBH to take over the backend management of the domain names. Customers will continue to manage their existing Uniregistry domains through the GoDaddy platform.

The deal with Hexonet is interesting. Customers who already have Uniregistry domains registered in their GoDaddy accounts will manage them as usual in their account interface. This will link to Hexonet’s backend.

The only difference customers might see is that they can no longer have Whois privacy on their Uniregistry domains. I came across this tweet from someone who received a notice about losing privacy:

For his part, Schilling is taking the decision in stride. He said GoDaddy was never a huge registrar for its domains because GoDaddy didn’t offer Uniregistry domains at launch. He also noted that the large registrar 1&1 is getting ready to offer Uniregistry domains again. Listen to the podcast on Monday to learn more.

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  1. George Kirikos says

    “.link is proving to be very popular. It will get to a million registrations in 2017, on it’s own, without reserved names.” — Frank Schilling, 12:08 PM – 12 Dec 2016

    https://twitter.com/Frank_Schilling/status/808357871016640512

    It’s “only” 850,000 or so registrations away from a million, with just over 4 months left in 2017. It started off 2017 with over 300,000 registrations, but has shrunk in half to around 150,000.

    http://registrarstats.com/TLDHistoryChart.aspx?TLDName=LINK

    • Rich says

      No kidding. Finding out he axed all of the account management staff has made me begin transferring my domains away. My rep was really the only reason I continued to use them. I’ve never seen a business implode so quickly.

    • DannoA says

      I think that answer is pretty obvious. Uniregistry has a really good registrar by the same name that’s a thorn in the side of many of the primary customers Frank would serve. If Frank wanted to lower prices to 50 cents and push his names in volume he’d have been at a million names long ago.

  2. Martin says

    Sometimes we get lucky and we think it was our skills, but it’s not always the case. Business is oftentimes hard. Franky took some major bets and they don’t all work out as well as planned. Everyone who wishes to complain, go try on your own, put your money where your mouth is. GL with that.

  3. rubensk says

    The answer is pricing. Add to the scenario that GoDaddy recently started offering the cheap 1.111 Billion .99c .xyz domains … so even low-quality names at low prices can sell, but when prices are higher, that changes.

  4. ada says

    Frank Schilling so many times lied and manipulated people in the past, not following what he said and promised but somehow still naive domainers go and use Uniregistry.
    In other industry where people use brains he and his business would already suffer severely.

  5. nik says

    Uniregistry have fundamental issue. customer support. Frank is not honest and is manipulator.
    Godaddy is the one using others domain to make money.
    This model will die soon. They are scavanger and scum.
    We are preparing class action against godaddy. We have already more than 1832 past owners signed up for this. Lots of Chinese guys are also getting together on this. Very soon.

  6. Joey says

    I have absolutely nothing against Frank. He has done a lot of great things for the domain industry and he seems like a very nice guy. I think, however, that his heavy bet on the new gtlds is now proving to be a bad one.

  7. Richard says

    As much as I adore Frank as a domainer, I always thought his nTLD bet was a mistake. The only ones that made money out of it were the ones that lost the auctions and got paid off. I don’t doubt that some of the strings and registries are making money but overall it’s a giant failure. There was never a supply issue in the first place. Icann saw it coming, but they took these suckers for all their worth. They pocketed $100 million in fees and laughed all the way to the bank. So will there be a second round? I highly doubt it. Is Uniregistry still a great product? It sure is.

  8. Ryan says

    They must provide the new registry for our GoDaddy accounts. We hope you will fix this soon and stick with the old price.

  9. Jane Bright says

    It’s been almost 2 years or more, but still when I see anything other than .com .net .org (and my country ccTLD) in SERP, my mind signals me: Is that legit site? Is that spam? If that’s informational site, I usually click, but if that’s a “domain registration / hosting” site or any eCommerce site where I need to buy my WP plugins/themes or php scripts or even local shopping on a new gTLD, I always “skip” those and find the .COMs or local ccTLD. As an investment new gTLDs might be a great scheme, but for regular business activities, I still don’t trust them. And with so many blog posts/reports on new gTLD failures/under-performing TLDs, they’ll be here today, and closed one day for sure.

    • Max Menius says

      There are plenty of reputable companies using new gtld’s for their website. There is also a plethora of spam, “non-legit” specifically in .com and other legacy tld’s – so the contention that it’s characteristic of new gtld’s is untrue.

  10. Mike says

    Uniregistry also doesn’t support all extension. I’m unable to transfer .uno names to their platform. It’s shame.

  11. Max Menius says

    @Richard

    Check namestat.org and you will see that 92.5% of .trade regs are in China. It’s indefensible to claim all new tld’s are the same based on your spam experience with .trade. Improper uses are not a function of the tld itself, but a result of how cheaply they are given away. When .info were offered at .99, bad actors picked those up as well. Many of the new gtld’s have pricing that insures they’ll not be picked up for purposes like spamming.

    • Reality says

      Imagine how few new tld registrations there would be if they hadn’t given them away so cheaply. The whole project would have been a spectacular failure, instead of just a massive failure.

      • Max Menius says

        That’s a valid point. But the larger issue is that not all new tld’s are the same, and pointing to one as a basis for condemning them all is neither smart, nor accurate.

  12. Domo Sapiens says

    Frank sells the sizzle and not the Steak…
    or like we say in Texas..
    If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit

  13. Paul says

    Doesn’t Frank realize that GTLD stands for Good To Lose Dollars? Sounds to me like he may have missed the memo. Not sure what he was thinking. Their ultimate failure seems rather obvious to me now and always has since the first time I heard the concept.

  14. Registernuke says

    Personally, I thought the idea of the new slew gTLD’s was a good idea that had the potential to be great for the domain industry in general. I felt the price hike was rather extreme and a little greedy and could have been a lot, lot less. When I think about what could have been……. the following saying comes to mind “Pigs get fed and Hogs get slaughtered”‘

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