Does eNom Own NameCheap?

This week I had two people ask me the same interesting question: does domain registar eNom own NameCheap?

The answer is no. Both eNom and NameCheap are separate registrars, but they do have a partnership that goes a long way.

As an FYI, domain registrar eNom specializes in reseller solutions. They don’t handle customers’ domain registrations directly, and let their resellers essentially do the legwork for them.

NameCheap started out as one of eNom’s resellers. Eventually they’ve grown to the point of finally acquiring their own registrar accreditation with ICANN.

The only “catch” is NameCheap won’t move their eNom-managed domain names into their own registrar system any time soon. This is mainly because they want to avoid the same fate that befell another former reseller-turned-registrar, Registerfly.

There’s a lot of online stories about Registerfly. But the gist of that can be summarized in the following points:

1. Registerfly likewise began as an eNom reseller.

2. They later acquired their own registrar accreditation.

3. They tried to move all their eNom-managed registrations into their registrar system, but encountered lots of problems.

4. Their own internal squabbles spread out and affected everyone, including their customers.

5. As a result, many customers lost access and control of their domains. Lawsuits were filed and eventually decided, but not much came out of it.

(Personally, I liked Registerfly and used them until their demise. I was among the fortunate few who managed to get their domains out, and I was really saddened to see what happened both to them and their customers.)

ICANN has since created and enacted a process arising from that incident. That process subsequently helped resolve a similar event, which I’ll blog about in the future.

In 2006, eNom was acquired by Demand Media. They still offer reseller or “wholesale” domain registration solutions, especially to hosting companies.

Meanwhile, NameCheap is its own entity managed by CEO Richard Kirkendall. They still maintain their eNom-reseller account to this day.

(By the way, NameCheap mentioned before they’ll essentially let users decide if they want to move into their registrar systems if/when it’s ready or remain with eNom. Time will tell, but I’ll keep you posted when I can.)

So there you have it. Both eNom and NameCheap are two different domain registrars and are owned separately.

As always, feel free to spread the word around or share your thoughts below.

(Image Sources: Sxc.Hu, eNom and NameCheap)

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