Hover Domains has a lot to offer. It’s an attractive option for anyone thinking of registering a new domain name. In this in-depth review, we look into what Hover has to offer, who should consider using it, and what makes it stand out from all the other domain name registrars out there.
Here’s everything you should know about Hover Domains:
🤔 Hover Domains review: What is Hover?
Just so we can get the obvious out of the way, Hover is what’s called 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 purpose you need. Most commonly, that purpose is launching a website or setting up an email account.
Originally, Hover launched in late 2008 as a branch of Tucows – one of the oldest domain registrars in the market. The main idea behind Hover was to make domain registration as hassle-free as possible so that anyone can handle the process even if it’s their first experience dealing with domain names.
Hover is also an ICANN-accreditated domain registrar, albeit not directly, but via their parent company, Tucows.
💰 Pricing and domain extensions available with Hover
Let’s be honest about one thing; no matter how much you might enjoy one registrar over the other, you’re probably still not going to buy from them if the prices are too high. Therefore, let’s start this Hover Domains review by finding out where Hover stands on the pricing spectrum, plus which domain extensions (TLDs) are available.
First, let’s look at the price tags on the most popular TLDs:
As you can see, Hover wins some and loses 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 seems to be more honest when it comes to the differences between the initial domain registration vs. renewal. While GoDaddy offers 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 (/year), yet renewing it for the second term is $34.99 (/year). With Hover, that’s respectively $25.99 and $25.99 for the same domain.
Some other popular TLDs available with Hover:
Here’s the complete set of TLDs available at Hover along with pricing.
One more thing worth pointing out is that Hover throws 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 $8-12 annually.
(Without the WHOIS privacy, all your personal information submitted during registration would be made public to anyone doing a simple WHOIS lookup on the domain name. This personal information includes things like your name, address, phone number, email address.)
🤓 Ease of use, and how to register a domain name
Hover promises the most straightforward domain registration process in the market. Let’s verify this!
To begin with, Hover gives you three main options on their homepage:
- register a new domain name
- transfer in 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 in this Hover Domains review – since that’s what you probably want to do.
And, right up front, you’re in for a treat! Hover has kind of a “take you by the hand” domain registration process.
First off, it doesn’t force you to know the exact domain you want to register as you walk through the door. Instead, it will 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 returned with what looks like a collection of around 100 domain suggestions.
First, we have the Top Picks section:
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.comis not there on the list is because it’s already taken.
However, these top picks are just the tip of the iceberg. Apart from them, Hover also has tons of other suggestions based on the purpose you need the domain for and TLD availability. On the list, you will find TLDs grouped under the following sections:
- under “personal” you’ll find TLDs such as
- “professional” –
- “business” –
- “organizations” –
- and so on.
One particularly interesting section there is “suggestions.” Hover takes the original phrase you’ve entered, runs it through an algorithm, and presents you with possible variations on that phrase – acting somewhat like a domain generator.
Those suggestions may include additional words, hyphens, different prefixes, suffixes, etc. This is super-cool and useful if you’re not 100% on the exact name you want to register.
The select domains that you like more than the others you can add to cart using the plus icon next to the domain. It’s probably best to treat this cart as your shortlist before committing on that one perfect domain name.
The checkout process isn’t complicated and doesn’t have any unnecessary steps.
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 1-10 years.
To complete the purchase, you only need to go through one more screen where you’re requested 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, too. You can find some true gems there, especially in the realm of those fancy new TLDs like
.ngo and so on.
👐 Hover makes things easy after the registration, too
Even though most domain registrars consider their job done with you taking out the credit card, Hover goes 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.
First, you get to see all of the vital domain parameters at a glance, along with the registration periods, services added, etc.
But perhaps most interestingly, Hover helps you hook up your domain name to a range of platforms and website hosting services. Here are just some of them:
Once you choose a platform, you’ll see a list of steps that you need to go through in order 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:
The only downside is that there isn’t WordPress on this list. In some way, that is 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 does 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 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 boasts about there not being such problems with them. To begin with, there are multiple support options available:
- phone support – weekdays 8am-11pm EST, weekends – 8am-8pm EST,
- knowledge base,
- live chat,
- online support based on tickets.
Hover promises that they don’t use any phone call trees where you’re forwarded from one person to the other before getting your issue solved. 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.
👍👎 The bottom line, should you use Hover?
This is the main question we’re trying to answer in this Hover Domains review. With loads of domain registrars available out there, you’re more than spoiled for choice.
Hover’s been getting more and more popular as a domain registrar every year. They’ve been marketing heavily over podcasts and other channels, but what’s perhaps more important is that they’ve also been able to back up all that hype with a genuine high quality of 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 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
.design, those will still probably be the cheapest with Hover (price for the initial registration period).
- But with that said, if what you want is either a
- If you value ease of use and 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 it a try? Thoughts?
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