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Porkbun Review – Pros, Cons & Alternative Domain Registrars

Porkbun ReviewPorkbun Review

7.5 Out of 10
Tech SupportEmail, Live Chat, Phone & Knowledge Base
Free WHOIS PrivacyYes
Best ForStraightforward pricing & service
StrengthsExcellent domain management
WeaknessesClunky interface
PromotionVisit Website For Latest Promotions

Porkbun is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar based out of Portland, Oregon. Porkbun sells domain names along with complementary products like SSL certificates and hosting products. Their primary pitch is making the domain registration process easy, enjoyable, and affordable.

Porkbun is one of the myriad smaller domain registrars that have a dedicated but a cult following than the big brands like Namecheap or GoDaddy.

Does Porkbun hold up to its mission of being an “amazingly awesome” domain provider? We recently tried them out. Here’s our full PorkBun review with pros, cons, and alternatives.

Porkbun Pricing

Domain Ext.RegistrationRenewalTransfer
.com$9.13/yr.$9.13/yr.$9.13/yr.
.net$10.56/yr.$10.56/yr.$10.56/yr.
.org$7.63/yr.$10.72/yr.$10.72/yr.
.biz$2.04/yr.$13.50/yr.$13.50/yr.
.co$2.37/yr.$20.91/yr.$20.91/yr.

Porkbun Alternatives

Visit NamecheapRead the Review
Rating
8.5/10
Price
$1.44 - 11.88 per month
Promotion
Get A .COM For $5.98
Visit GoDaddyRead the Review
Rating
8.5/10
Price
$5.99 - $20.99 per month
Promotion
Get A .COM Domain Name For Only $4.99
Visit DynadotRead the Review
Rating
8.5/10
Price
$0.99 - $2,499.00 per year
Promotion
Visit Website For Latest Promotions

Pros of Porkbun

Here are some of the advantages that I found using Porkbun over their direct competitors in the domain registration industry.

Straightforward Search + Bulk Search Process

Porkbun makes good on its promise of a satisfying experience, especially when it comes to its domain search functionality.

Their interface is clean, easy to navigate, and straightforward. Even with their extra bit of branding flair (like the Oink! in the search bar), their function and usability aren’t compromised — which is excellent.

Porkbun Interface

They also make it incredibly easy to search for domains in bulk, which is helpful if you’re looking for multiple domains at once. You can search for up to 1000 domains at once, and automatically add the available ones to your cart.

Porkbun Bulk Search

While Porkbun does offer complementary products (such as website builder and website hosting — more on that in a bit), their design has no upsells, cross-sells, or visual clutter. There’s no distraction from the main action, which is to search and register for a domain, and the checkout process is quick and easy to complete.

Porkbun Checkout Process

Pricing (Transparency and Value)

There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a domain registrar and having to hunt for pricing information. Porkbun is 100% transparent with their pricing. Their domain page as an extensive list of pricing for all of their available top level domains (TLDs), and even has it broken out into registration, renewal, and transfer pricing.

Porkbun Pricing

There are no hidden fees, unexpected add-ons, or any surprises. In a space where pricing policies can be, well, less straightforward than website owners may want, Porkbun’s clarity and transparency is refreshing.

They bundle free WHOIS privacy protection with all domains. They also provide a free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt for all domains as well.

Porkbun also competes well with other registrars in terms of value. Their domains are on the cheaper end across most TLDs, and their renewals also tend to be less expensive than most providers.

Variety of Top Level Domains (TLDs)

Now that ICANN allows more TLDs outside of generic .com/.net/.org, website owners have to make sure their domain registrar has all of the variations they need (especially if you’re buying in bulk).

Porkbun offers a ton of TLD and domain extension options that go beyond generic domains, from country-specific domains for international use to category-specific, like technology, real estate, etc. As of 2020, they have more than 440 available, so you can find that unique, great domain that you’ve imagined.

Porkbun TLDs

Upsells

Upsells aren’t inherently annoying or bad. But so many domain registrars make the mistake of bombarding customers with direct sales tactics that they do become annoying.

Porkbun is not one of these domain registrars. They position themselves as a small team who cares about making the domain purchasing experience enjoyable — and they deliver.

While they do offer complementary products such as a website builder and web host service, they keep them in the background.

You can add them from the main navigation (which is accessible from the homepage and from your account), but at no point are you bombarded with pop-ups or forced to navigate through upsells while trying to buy a domain.

Easy Domain Management

Another pro of Porkbun is how easy it is to manage your domain once you register it. Check out how simple their domain management interface is.

Porkbun Domain Management

The control panel doesn’t have any bells or whistles… and that’s fine. They’re not needed. The interface is easy to navigate, even if you have no domain management experience.

It breaks down everything you need in one place, and gives you the opportunity to add on complementary products from a convenient place. If you want to add simple email forwarding or URL forwarding, you can do that quickly. If you want to simply renew your domain, you can do that quickly too. Everything is all together.

Complementary Products

It’s important to remember that a domain is not a website. It’s not email or any other service. It’s merely your address online. It helps people locate where your property is by telling browsers/email/etc where to go to get whatever it wants (website files, emails, images, data, etc).

If you want to setup a website, you’ll still need to get hosting plan or a website builder / ecommerce provider that provides hosting.

Porkbun provides an all-in-one approach with complementary products. You can bundle your domain, website builder, hosting, and email and do it all from their platform.

And while I personally prefer to separate my hosting and domains to provide an extra layer of control & reliability in addition to cost savings, many website owners prefer to have them bundled for convenience.

Porkbun products

Another element we liked about Porkbun’s complementary products: their transparency in how they work. Check out this note they have on their shared hosting packages:

Shared Hosting Porkbun

This disclaimer applies to ALL shared hosting providers (even the best ones, because you’re “sharing” a hosting environment), but not many call it out so explicitly. It’s refreshing to see Porkbun be so clear, especially with something that isn’t even their main product.

Cons of Porkbun

There are a lot of Porkbun reviews online. Most are either super-negative or super-sunny and wonderful. I try to balance and find the actual disadvantages of a company…and who those disadvantages would apply to. Everyone has different needs & goals. Your goal as a customer is to be aware of those and find a company that matches your goals. Here are some of Porkbun’s downsides.

Lack of Onboarding

Through and through, Porkbun is a solid domain registrar with a great domain transfer service.

There wasn’t much we could find that we would consider a solid “con”. If there’s one thing that stood out to us as something that could be better, it’s their onboarding.

With all software, there comes a point where you wonder, “What’s next?” Porkbun is lacking in providing that guidance and direction.

While the domain registration and management interface is simple, if you have no experience setting up your domain, Porkbun doesn’t exactly give you the next steps on how to do it.

They do have an extensive knowledge base that covers domain connections. They also have great customer support with live chat and phone support. But you have to seek out the information yourself.

If you have domain management experience, this probably doesn’t matter to you. But if you need a step-by-step process to follow, Porkbun leaves something to be desired. In other words, you still need to know how email forwarding, URL forwarding, email hosting, web hosting, and other aspects of domains work.

Deep Discounting & Bundling

Now, on the flip side of Porkbun’s “consistently cheap” approach is that they don’t really do deep discounting at purchase like GoDaddy or other large registrars. For those who like to bulk purchase domains or grab “just in case” 99c domains…Porkbun won’t make a lot of sense.

Additionally, since domain registration is their main focus, they have a hard time competing with the convenience of hosting companies / website builders who will often bundle a free domain with a purchase of a subscription.

Since a domain name doesn’t do a whole lot on its own, Porkbun does have to make an extra case as to why you should keep your domain separate from your preferred website builder / hosting. I prefer to keep my domains separate because I own a lot and I like to have the just-in-case option to quickly migrate my site. But that approach doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a single domain owner who prefers the convenience and simplicity of using a free domain from a good hosting company or website builder.

Conclusion

If you:

  • Want a very simple domain purchasing process
  • Don’t need a ton guidance on how to set up / manage your domain or can manage it yourself with an intuitive platform
  • Want to save on domain registration renewals
  • Are looking for complementary products you can customize to your own needs

However, if you’re…

  • Have no experience getting online
  • Need detailed steps on how to set up / manage your domain
  • Want to keep your hosting / website separate from your domain

There are better options (mostly for pricing and onboarding) out there for you (I personally use Namecheap).

Lastly, I have a list of the best domain registrars to find one that’s perfect for your needs.

Nate Shivar

About Nate Shivar

I'm Nate Shivar - a marketing educator, consultant, and formerly Senior SEO Specialist at a marketing agency in Atlanta, GA. I try to help people who run their own websites...run them a little better.

I like to geek out on Marketing, SEO, Analytics, and Better Websites.

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