Buying a domain name is the first natural step towards publishing your website on the internet.
A good domain name is essential in your branding. It adds credibility, mobility, and more to your business.
So, how to buy your domain name to publish your website? You can do so using a domain name registrar. The Best Domain Name Registrars provide various related features alongside domain registration while also allowing you to use those services easily.
Table of Contents
- What is a Domain Name Registrar?
- What to Look for in a Domain Name Registrar?
- Best Domain Name Registrars Reviewed
- 1. Domain.com
- 2. Namecheap
- 3. Bluehost
- 4. GoDaddy
- 5. Gandi
- 6. OVH
- 7. Google Domains
- 8. Hover
- 9. ENOM
- 10. Name.com
- Which Domain Name Registrar is Best for You?
What is a Domain Name Registrar?
A domain name registrar is a service that sells and registers domain names. The Domain Name System allows us to use words instead of IP addresses to visit websites. It makes web surfing a much easier experience.
Domain name registrars keep updating the regulatory body of domain names, ICANN with the latest information so that your website’s URL loads only your website from any corner of the globe.
However, there are some nuances to the service provided by different domain name registrars that make it worth looking into. Domain name registrars charge differently and offer various related features alongside domain name registration. So, it is good to compare different services and choose the one that best serves your needs.
What to Look for in a Domain Name Registrar?
While you may pick the perfect domain name registrar for you by checking ratings or customer reviews, there are a few different things that you should pay attention to. This starts from the prices of its basic services to the bonus features that you may have access to, like privacy features, security features, and so on.
Here are the things that you should pay attention to when choosing a domain name registrar:
1. Domain Pricing
Every domain name registrar has its own pricing for its services, starting with registration prices for different top-level domains (TLDs) or domain extensions like .com and .net. Most domain name registrars charge a different rate for the yearly renewal of domain names.
Similarly, there can be charges associated with transferring your domain name to another registrar. Domain name registrars may also allow you to register a domain name for more than one year at a time, and some even allow you to purchase a domain name for up to 10 years at a time.
When going through the checkout process, make sure that the purchase is set for the amount of time you want to register the domain for. Some domain registrars allow you to purchase a domain name for up to 10 years. If you’re just starting with your first, then you may want to save costs at the beginning for other activities.
2. Expiration Policies
You should be very familiar with the expiration policy of a domain name registrar before choosing it. There are countless stories of business owners who let their domain name, for their business website, expire and lost it to someone else who purchased it before they could renew.
You want some good policies that can prevent this from happening. Some domain name registrars have a grace period after your registration expires, protecting someone else from picking up that domain name. Still, others have an automatic billing system that automatically renews your domain name registration and sends you notice of it if you want to cancel.
3. Add-On Service
As mentioned before, purchasing a domain name is not the simple process that it appears at the beginning. There are many other purchases that you will be making along the line as you build your website. It is a good idea to check up on the other additional services that your domain registrar offers.
Domain privacy is a common one, and it keeps your personal information from being revealed on domain name searches such as Whois. Similarly, it's also best to check the domain lock setting.
Many domain name registrars offer bundled services that offer domain name registration alongside web hosting for a reduced fee. Many of these service bundles might be well worth it in the quality of service you receive later on. It can be especially convenient if you are early on in your journey of running a website, for example, as a new blogger.
Similarly, you may also need to buy email hosting services or purchase email addresses associated with your domain. You should look ahead and anticipate all future purchases you may be making as your website grows before you decide upon a domain name registrar.
4. Hidden Fees (Upsells, Renewal fees)
One of the most annoying things that domain name registrars can do is upsell you in the checkout process with cluttered checkout windows or other tricks. This is the main reason why simplicity in service and checkout is prized among domain name registrars.
You may want to purchase some of the services that the domain registrar may be trying to upsell you on. But you shouldn’t be forced to purchase everything at once, especially if you do not need those services at the moment.
Some domain registrars may purposely set up a complex price structure that can trick people into thinking their services are cheap while hiding some high extra costs. This may include a low charge for first-time registration and a high renewal charge.
You should be aware of all these trends to find a good domain name registrar known for its simple checkout process with no hidden fees or upsells.
5. User-Friendly DNS Servers Settings & Dashboard
Another important feature is an intuitive and user-friendly DNS dashboard. Once you have purchased your domain name and put your website online, you will need DNS settings that are easy to navigate for actions such as transferring your domain name to another registrar. You want to ensure that the DNS settings are not made overly complicated and difficult to navigate. This way, you can maintain your DNS settings that are perfect for your needs.
6. Technical Support
Not all domain name registrars offer round-the-clock support, and not all of them offer support at the click of a button. This can be super important if you run into serious issues that cause downtime. For e-commerce sites and media websites, every minute of downtime is money that is lost. So, you want to ensure that the domain name registrar you choose provides adequate support to meet your needs.
Best Domain Name Registrars Reviewed
Now that you are familiar with the main features and issues related with the purchase of a new domain, let's check out our picks of the 10 best domain name registrars.
Domain.com is the most popular domain name registrar by far. This top-level domain was established in the year 2000. It offers a complete list of features. You can start off using their services with its easy search tool to see which domain names are available, even including premium domains.
Domain.com allows you to easily operate your various domain-name-related activities, including easy domain name transfers and user-friendly DNS management.
As a business owner, it can also be useful to have private registration features. This prevents your private information from being displayed on public domain name search platforms like Whois.
This is the biggest domain registrar that allows you to register a domain name with any annoying upsells, and you can easily get the essential services you need. You can also get bulk registration features. This service has a solid premium domain name market, too, if you are looking for something more effective.
You can register your domain name under most of the popular top-level domains (TLD) like .com and .net, while it supports 25+ country-code TLDs.
- It is really easy to use and offers all the needed features without unnecessary clutter.
- Finding the pricing for a particular domain name is super easy with Domain.com’s website interface.
- You can get a broader set of features such as email hosting from this registrar without having to face annoying upsell tactics.
- There is no good user manual or tutorial for new users to use as reference when starting to use Domain.com. You just have to figure your way around the control panel and other elements.
Domain.com offers 24/7 support through phone or live chat. So, you can get help any time you need it.
You can get a .com domain from Domain.com for as little as $9.99 per year with an additional $8.99 if you want privacy protection.
Namecheap is another one of the many popular domain registrars, known for its wide variety of services that are often bundled together in various attractive packages. You can check in with them not just for domain name registration but also for hosting plans, SSL, certificates, and more.
You can register your website under various TLDs, including .net, .dev, .info, and more. Namecheap also comes up with special deals with a coupon code quite regularly where you can get a cheap domain.
Unlike Domain.com, Namecheap offers you Whois privacy protection for free — it just comes with the domain name purchase.
There is a large collection of bonus features that you can purchase from Namecheap, like SSD-accelerated disk space for web hosting. It has a purposefully designed checkout system that makes it super easy to purchase any of their services — you can get done with registering a domain name within two minutes.
- For a leading domain name registrar, their pricing is really competitive.
- They offer free domain migration to and from other registrars.
- You also get great security features including backup servicers and SSL certification.
- Namecheap is known for a low uptime of 99.87%.
Although Namecheap does not have phone support right now, you can get 24/7 live chat support for any issues.
Purchasing a .com website will set you back $8.88 while domain renewal costs slightly higher at $12.98.
Known mainly as a hosting service, Bluehost is WordPress’s preferred domain. Its hosting services are quite stalwart, with services like shared hosting, VPS hosting, and more.
If you want to get your web hosting from the same place, though, Bluehost will add 30 days of free trial for their hosting plan.
As a whole, Bluehost is a worthy option if you’re looking for both hosting and domain registration from one service. In fact, you also get a domain for free if you purchase any of their hosting plans. Bluehost also offers you free SSL certificates too with its hosting services.
Bluehost actually operates as a one-stop solution for businesses, offering not just domain registrations and hosting but even website building and digital marketing services. You even get a free website builder if you want to try your hand at building a website yourself.
Besides that, it also boasts a 99% uptime as well as faster loading websites. The security services offered by Bluehost are also top-notch.
- One-stop solution for extended services such as website building and digital marketing
- Uses technology for faster loading of websites
- You also get free domain-specific email addresses, which is particularly useful for businesses.
- There is no refund policy on domain names.
- The price is quite steep, and the renewal prices are still higher.
This registrar has a well-developed support system, and you can approach them 24/7 for technical support through live chat, email address, or phone support.
Purchasing a .com domain name from Bluehost will cost you $12.99, while Whois privacy protection costs $11.88.
GoDaddy is one of the most famous domain name registrars on this list, handling over 75 million domains.
However, GoDaddy offers you free WhoIs privacy protection in all of their domains. GoDaddy is best known as a one-stop solution for all domain and hosting needs.
Besides the excellent bundled hosting and domain packages, it is well known for providing many different add-on services for those who need it. You can get SSL certificates, website backup services, as well as email hosting services at GoDaddy.
Just like Bluehost, GoDaddy also seeks to operate as a one-stop solution to its customers. So, it provides added services such as marketing, SEO, and website building.
The premium pricing also comes with super intuitive domain management settings. With this service, you can easily transfer your domain name to another provider or change your key settings without much hassle.
- Detailed options at the fingertips in the domain management interface including changing name servers, updating contact information, etc.
- Despite being one of the biggest domain name registrars, it fails to provide some of the standard features such as SSL certificates and backups.
- You want to avoid GoDaddy if you are planning to use their cheaper plans. The economy plans barely offer you the standard features we’ve come to expect with domain registrations.
GoDaddy offers a variety of support channels including a live chat support, tutorial videos, a community forum, as well as a global 24/7 phone support.
With GoDaddy, you can purchase a .com domain for $12.17 a year, although the renewal cost is somewhat steep at $18.17 for the same TLD.
Gandi is probably the oldest domain name registrar on this list since it was established in 1999. This French company operates with a no-nonsense principle which means that what you see is what you get. You won’t get bothered by numerous tricky upsells when using Gandi to register a domain name.
This domain name registrar allows you access to 700+ different TLDs or domain extensions if you’re looking for something extra. Living up to its name, the homepage actually has a long list of its main domain registration prices.
There isn’t too much increase in price from registration to renewal, as is the case with many domain name registrars.
You may be wondering if the price is too steep. But, the price gives you a free SSL certificate and 3 GB worth of email storage. This domain registrant also offers hosting services and gives you a 50% discount on that if you make a domain purchase.
- Simple and easy registration
- Free SSL certificates
- You also get WhoIs privacy protection
- The interface might be somewhat complicated for beginners
Gandi offers 24/6 support to its customers through call and live chat. Besides that, you also get ample documentation to help you navigate through issues.
You can register a .com domain name with Gandi for $15.50, which is the same for renewal pricing. If you want to shift your domain to another registrar, then be ready to cough up $12.50.
OVH is a popular domain name registrar based in Europe. This service gives you a great value for money, as you can get a number of standard features for free along with domain name registrations.
These features include a free domain-specific email address along with WhoIs privacy protection. OVH also provides you with some useful security features such as DNSSEC, which protects your data from DNS cache poisoning.
Registering a new domain name with OVH is quite simple. You can easily optimize your domain settings after purchasing your domain name too, due to its simple and intuitive interface.
- OVH compulsorily provides you with a free domain-specific email address with 5 GB of storage
- You also get WhoIs privacy with OVH domain names
- Although it's one of the most popular domain registrars in Europe, the customer service of OVH is known to be somewhat slow in response.
OVH has a pretty elaborate support mechanism, and you can pay for higher tiers of support as well. You will get 24/7 support through call, email, and live chat. You also get detailed tutorials that address many issues.
OVH charges you $9.99 for registering a .com domain name. Renewals will cost you $11.49 after that. If you wish to transfer to another domain registrar, you can get it done for $9.99.
7. Google Domains
If you just want to get a website up and running without too much trouble, then Google Domains is for you. Maybe you own a small local business and just want to set up a website for appearances. Whatever the reason, Google can offer you its simple domain registration service.
With Google Domains, you won’t have to worry about annoying upsells or hidden costs. You can also buy a domain for up to 10 years, which means you won’t have to worry about renewing your domain name for a long time.
Domains purchased through Google’s domain registrar will be connected with your Google account. There is a simple, easy-to-use domain management system, and you even get free email forwarding services which can come in handy at times.
Another great advantage of registering a domain with Google Domains is that you get free domain name privacy attached with your domain registration at no additional cost. However, if you are looking for SSL security, then you might have to look elsewhere.
- You can use Google Domains through your existing google account. This includes making changes to your domain settings after you purchase one.
- Buying a domain name from Google Domains is also pretty simple.
- There are no hidden costs and the pricing for their services is quite straightforward
- You also get free WhoIs privacy so that malicious users cannot misuse your contact information.
- If you are looking for a cheap option, there are other registrars you can consider for the same added features.
Google Domains boasts a 24/7 support system through various channels. You can email them or refer to the Help Center for detailed documentations that address common problems.
You can purchase a .com domain from Google for $12 and renew it the next year for the same charge.
Hover is another domain name registrar that prides itself in its simplicity. A single glance at their website should tell you that simplicity is an element that the brand takes pride in. Hover is currently only offering two services — domain registration and email hosting.
Despite its simple services, it has a definite charm for users as this domain registrar seeks to do what it does very well. For example, most domain name registrars have an automatic domain suggestion feature if a particular domain name is taken. However, Hover’s domain name suggestion feature is quite advanced and can even help a small business find a great alternate name for their website.
You get all the standard domain management tools upon purchasing a domain name from them. At the same time, Hover also ensures that any domain-related services that you may seek to add are integrated seamlessly into your domain name. You also get Whois privacy for free, much like with Google Domains.
There are other security features available as well, such as two-factor authentication, which helps provide an additional layer of security to your domains.
Hover can also be a good choice if you are looking to buy domain names in bulk, as they offer discounts with bulk purchases.
- You get free WhoIs privacy protection with Hover domains.
- Hover has an easy-to-use interface. Purchasing a domain name can literally be a two-step process.
- Its pricings can be a bit on the high side.
Hover has extensive tutorials and a knowledge base that you can refer to in case of issues. Alternatively, you can email them or reach out to them at their 12/7 phone support.
Price: Hover offers you a .com domain name registration at $12.99 and renewal for $14.99.
ENOM is one of the leaders among the domain name registrars, taking care of around 12 million domain names. It offers worldwide coverage through a collection of sister companies. ENOM mainly functions as a domain name reseller, although you can also purchase brand new domain names through this company.
This company offers you domain names with an option of 500+ TLDs. This company is best for resellers with an easy-to-use control panel to manage your domains portfolio. The domain control panel even includes bulk commands allowing you to easily manage your domains.
One of the most powerful features of ENOM is its API, using which you can build a custom user interface to manage your domain portfolio. You can set up custom controls according to your needs, create detailed pricing strategies, and gain valuable insights into your business with in-depth reports.
- This registrar is best for domain resellers.
- You get a powerful control panel to manage your portfolio.
- You can also set up a custom interface using the ENOM API.
- All added features such as SSL certificates and WhoIs privacy cost extra.
ENOM offers 24/7 phone support for its BulkRegister and reseller businesses. Besides that, the EnomCentral support is active 12 hours a day on weekdays and 5 hours on weekends.
You can purchase a .com domain name from ENOM at #13.5 per year.
Name.com comes with a collection of domain-related services that can help you set up your website all from one place. This domain registrar also has a couple of hosting plans which offer a domain for free upon purchase.
Other services that you can get from Name.com include app integration, email hosting, and SSL certificates. You can also get Whois privacy protection for $4.99 yearly.
This domain registrar comes with a unique search feature that makes it easy to purchase domain names in bulk. Most domain name registrars allow you to select a single TLD for each search phrase. Name.com allows you to select multiple domain extensions for a single search and even categorize your selections like selecting country TLDs and profession-related TLDs.
You get limited technical support with this domain registrar, mostly on the weekdays. However, if you want to explore possible solutions to any issues on your own, a huge knowledge base can help you. You can always place an email ticket through a contact form on the registrar’s website.
- You can get a complete set of services to set up your website using Name.com, which includes building a WordPress website.
- The checkout process is quite tricky and you might easily subscribe to services you didn’t want.
- Name.com lags behind in loading speeds when compared with other registrars.
Name.com has an elaborate knowledge base that covers many issues that you might encounter. You can register a ticket, request for phone support, and also get live chat support for 16 hours a day.
You can purchase a .com domain name for $12.99 a year and renew it for the same amount.
Which Domain Name Registrar is Best for You?
We recommend Domain for its standard performance at affordable prices. It is one of the most reputed domain name registrars out there and won’t disappoint you with its service.
Suppose you are beginning on your blogging journey or just starting out with your first website. In that case, you may like the convenience of bundled domain registration and web hosting packages offered by registrars like Bluehost and GoDaddy.
It can be confusing to choose a domain name registrar as all of them seem to do the same job. However, you do not want to miss out on the fine details that can make one registrar better for you than another.
This is especially true when you want to register a domain name for an important website.
The best way to choose a domain name registrar for yourself is to know your needs and compare those needs against the services offered by the various domain name registrars. We hope this article helped you find the best domain name registrar for yourself.