I'm Leaving Hover

2019.11.11
- 2 min -
Joe Buhlig

I have used Hover for almost four years. They were the first dedicated domain registrar I used, which was primarily due to the ridiculous number of times I heard about them in ad spots on podcasts. They are phenomenal at marketing and getting their name out there. But despite my history with them and their marketing, I have decided to move on.

And that’s not a decision I came to lightly. It was far from an impulse. No, this decision came after about a year of contemplation and consideration.

The need for redirects were the initial trigger that sparked my interest in leaving. I had an edge case where I needed to set up a 301 redirect. I had seen redirects as an option in the Hover settings, so naturally that’s where I went and typed in my information.

But it failed. And it failed. And it failed again. I tried numerous methods of setting up a simple redirect and eventually found out that it wasn’t creating a 301 redirect as I expected. Instead, it was creating 302 redirects, which in my case wouldn’t work. This eventually forced me to abandon the entire project I was working on since I couldn’t point my domain where it needed to go.

That was a frustrating experience and probably the major reason I’ve moved on. But there are a few minor details that slowly build up into a legitimate reason. Death by a thousand cuts.

Email forwarding. Hover wants you to pay for this, which I can’t say I understand fully. And I have done so in the past. But I know there are alternatives that don’t charge for this.

Price. Hover prides itself on free WhoIs Privacy and low prices. And I’m all for both of these. But free WhoIs Privacy is becoming expected and to be frank, Hover isn’t as cheap as others. It’s still pretty low, but not so low that it makes sense for me. I own 25+ domains. An extra $3 per registration means an extra $75 per year or more. And that’s a low estimate considering some of those are more expensive TLDs.

Security. It seems like Hover is only interested in protecting your contact information with it’s domain privacy practices. And that’s fine, but I know that it can go further with other registrars.

Honestly, I’m just complaining that I am paying more for less. And after a year of working through this, I have decided to move everything over to Namecheap.

Namecheap offers free email forwarding, has lower prices, gives me true 301 redirects, and seems to be more intentional with domain privacy. Which means it fits the bill for all my complaints.

This is not to say that Hover is a bad choice. Hover is a great choice for folks needing a no-nonsense, easy way to buy a domain and edit DNS records. So you will not find me trying to convert you away from Hover unless you mention one of the above needs. If one of those comes up, I’ll recommend Namecheap every time.