TL; DR: DNSimple offers hosting and tools that help organizations manage their internet domains more effectively. Its portfolio includes a crafted web interface for managing domains and DNS records and an HTTP API with a variety of code libraries. The company brings together DNS services, domain registration, and SSL certificates in a management environment that enables clients to maximize business focus while minimizing technical complexities.
The domain name system (DNS) remains one of the most important operational layers within the protocols, standards, and decentralized systems that enable the internet to make sense of countless connections. DNS provides a global, distributed directory service that has been a critical component of internet functionality since 1985.
The essential purpose of DNS is converting website names to the IP addresses of web servers that use those names.
While the essentials of DNS have changed little since the 1980s, the internet infrastructure that it serves has evolved rapidly. The world has become much more dependent on the internet for information and services, so DNS management has become a complex challenge for organizations and IT administrators.
And new domains continue to proliferate. Verisign reported 367.3 million domain name registrations in Q2 2021 across all top-level domains — an increase of 3.8 million registrations compared to Q1 2021.
The situation has created a demand for hosting services that can help organizations simplify DNS services management — a demand that U.S.-based firm DNSimple has been meeting for 11 years. The company offers robust DNS Hosting, Domain registration, API for Domains and SSL Certificates. It also recently introduced a Secondary DNS package.
“When I founded DNSimple in 2010, my intention was to build a DNS provider designed for developers, engineers, and operators who had to manage their DNS requirements on a regular basis,” said Anthony Eden, Founder and CEO at DNSimple. “We provide a streamlined system for managing all of your domains easily. We believe domain management should be easy.”
API Features and Implementation are Market Differentiators
According to Anthony, the fact that many domain registrars offer DNS as part of their standard service bundles tends to downplay its growing importance.
“Prospective clients frequently ask us, ‘Why should I pay for DNS? It’s a free service with my current registrar,’” he said. “DNS needs vary from organization to organization. But for us, it’s really about facilitating automation. Our message to the market is simple: If you’re looking to automate all of the things you do around DNS domain and SSL certificates, then DNSimple is the place to go do that.”
He added that DNSimple clients can use its API to automate vital processes, even if they aren’t tech-savvy.
“Even if they don’t code, they can automate the management of records with one-click services or create their own templates,” Anthony said. “Plus, we let clients manage their domains from Slack. We don’t know of any other domain registrars that can do that.”
Clients don’t have to register or transfer a domain through DNSimple to use its management services and tools. They simply add the domain to their account and update the servers at the registrar to point to DNSimple’s servers.
“In terms of market differentiation, I’d say that everything we do is well implemented and well documented, especially our APIs,” said Anthony. “We also add value with features like webhooks that most DNS providers and domain registrars don’t even consider offering.”
Secondary DNS Helps Clients Improve Uptime and Redundancy
According to Anthony, a common request over the years is to use DNSimple as a secondary DNS alongside a primary provider for additional uptime and redundancy. Now, clients can use the service in that capacity.
“As of May 2021, the answer is, ‘Yes.’ Our clients can now use DNSimple as their secondary DNS provider or in conjunction with their primary DNS provider,” he said.
All businesses should include a secondary DNS solution, Anthony said, because everyone’s looking for the same thing when it comes to maintaining their online presence: 100% uptime.
“Availability is now key because all businesses must have an online presence. If your website becomes unavailable, you’ll lose traffic, but you’ll also lose leads and trust,” said Anthony. “That is why it’s important to have an additional redundancy strategy for your DNS. Using multiple DNS providers ensures services stay online, which seems like a fairly obvious way to secure your value proposition.”
DNSimple also automatically synchronizes the records from a client’s primary DNS provider using the AXFR protocol. Clients can also use its API to configure DNSimple as a secondary from their own scripts. The company’s developer API libraries are ready for plug-and-play secondary DNS configuration.
“We automatically pull the zone from a client’s primary DNS provider to our own name servers,” Anthony said. “If one of our client’s primary providers goes down, DNSimple name servers can serve the requests to their domain seamlessly, without missing a beat.”
Tiered Pricing Model Enables SMBs to Scale as Requirements Grow
DNSimple has a broad client base ranging from SMBs to enterprises, with a particular focus on agencies and developers. Its client-partners include Apex Hosting, ClickFunnels, Unsplash, and Zenjoy.
Its tools and services are available through a tiered pricing model. The entry-level Personal plan is priced at $6 per month, with a charge of $0.50 per additional domain after five domains. The Personal plan provides individual users with Unlimited DNS records, Unlimited DNS queries, Anycast DNS, and DNSimple’s Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates feature.
The midrange Professional plan is priced at $30 per month, with a charge of $2 per additional domain after five domains. Clients can also save $60 by paying for the entire year in advance.
The Professional plan includes all of the features from the Personal Plan, along with Let’s Encrypt SSL Wildcard certificates, Enforce two-factor authentication for all team members, and a 99% uptime service level agreement.
DNSimple’s top-tier offering is its Business plan, priced at $300 per month, with a charge of $5 per additional domain after five domains. Opting to be billed yearly gives entrepreneurs and enterprises a $600 savings. The Business plan includes all the features of the Professional plan, plus Priority support response and a Concierge feature, through which the DNSimple team will complete domain transfers and other basic tasks. It also includes Vanity Name servers and a 100% uptime service level agreement.
Individuals and businesses can try any DNSimple plan free for 30 days.
DNSimple: Clients Appreciate ALIAS Records Implementation
DNSimple aims to make its products and services even simpler for clients because the hosting environments companies transition from are bound to get more complex.
Businesses also continue to seek DNSimple services because it implements ALIAS Records, Anthony said. An ALIAS is a virtual record type DNSimple created to provide CNAME-like behavior on apex domains.
“For example, if you have the domain example.com, and you want it to point to a host name like myapp.herokuapp.com, you cannot use a CNAME record, but you can use an ALIAS record,” Anthony said. “The ALIAS record will automatically resolve your domain to one or more A records at resolution time, and resolvers see your domain as if it had A records. Our clients have told us we have one of the best ALIAS Records implementations out there.”
Anthony said that the company’s plans include a focus on greater ease of use.
“Our value proposition is already multi-faceted, and staying focused can be a challenge. But with millions of new domains registered each year, we feel fairly confident about being gainfully employed when DNSimple’s 20th anniversary rolls around in 2031.”