Looking for the best domain registrar? In this post, we’ll take a look at which domain name registrars you should use for your next project
What is a domain registrar?
Domain name registrars are the companies that allow you to purchase and register domain names. Domain name registrars are all accreditated by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit organization that is responsible for managing domain names.
Domain names are what make it possible for you to visit this website at cpothemes.com as well as all of the other websites you visit such as google.com, apple.com and so forth. By now you might be thinking: “Yeah, but which one’s the best domain name registrar out there?”. Read on!
Top 10 domain registrars
Namecheap has been around for nearly 20 years now and has become a popular domain name registrar in that time. The site boasts of managing 5 million domains worldwide, making it one of the more popular domain registrars out there. But is it any good?
Well, the search facility included with Namecheap is pretty solid, enabling both searching for singular domains and also multiple searching, in batches of up to 50. This allows a little flexibility in this process. Namecheap also makes it possible to buy domains that are already taken from current owners, which is not a feature offered by all competitors.
Pricing is also reasonable. The most common .com extension is available at $8.88 per year, but the site also has a raft of special offers available at any given time. For example, .mobi has been available for as little as $2.88 for the first year. And Namecheap has a selection of ‘Agent 88’ domains, which cost just $0.48 for the first 12 months. These include some perfectly valid extensions, such as .site, .website, .space, .tech and .online.
Namecheap also delivers WHOIS protection for free, while the process of ordering from this site is painless. Overall, there is no doubt that Namecheap is one of the best domain registrars out there. We thoroughly recommend that you try out Namecheap by clicking here.
When considering the best domain registrar, it definitely makes sense to begin with one of the most established providers.
GoDaddy launched back in 1997 and has definitely established itself as the number one website builder on the market. They also offer full domain registration services as well. Clearly, GoDaddy has achieved massive market penetration and its services are easily accessible and user-friendly, but there are downsides as well.
The main issue with GoDaddy is that its pricing structure is generally considered to be pretty pricey. While the site advertises common web extensions, such as .com, as being available for just $0.99, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Starting prices are only available if you pay for two years in advance, while many of the features that other sites build in for free are added extras with GoDaddy. For example, you will be charged $8 per month for WHOIS privacy.
GoDaddy does have offer highly functional website building software and good customer service, but it cannot be considered the best domain registrar in terms of value for money. But if you think GoDaddy is the right domain registrar for you, click here to try it out.
Hover is less well-known than GoDaddy but makes the job of domain registration pretty straightforward. When you initially land on the Hover website, you will be confronted with a list of domain pricing options, along with a box enabling you to enter a particular domain and receive a price quotation. All top-level domains are catered for with Hover.
A sidebar enables you to search for domains by category, which is a nice touch and could even help inspire you to devise an inspired domain name. Pricing for Hover is also pretty reasonable. The most common .com domain costs $12.99 annually, with other commonly used extensions in this ballpark as well. WHOIS Privacy is also provided completely free of charge, which is a welcome bonus.
Hover is short on frills, but high on value and will appeal to customers who want a simple domain registration done with the minimum of fuss. If that recommendation has got you excited about registering your domain, click here to try out Hover.
There are many domain registrars available and standing out from the crowd can be rather difficult. Dynadot is a site that attempts to achieve this with a rather nifty search function.
Most domain registrars offer a straightforward searching service, but Dynadot provides users more options than is usual. While you can search for a basic website registration or extension with Dynadot, there are a variety of other parameters made available as well.
Thus, with Dynadot, you can make bulk domain searches, or also search via internationalized domain name. Advanced searches also make it possible to exclude certain domain extensions from results, as well as saving defaults for future searches. This really makes it possible to customize the domain registration process quite pleasingly.
Pricing is also competitive, with.com extensions available at $6.99 for the first year, with an $8.99 renewal fee. Other major web extensions are priced similarly, although most are slightly more expensive than the most common .com. There is also a decent website builder included with the website, while free domain forwarding is also available.
There are question marks about the quality of support offered by this provider, as live chat can be very busy at the best of times. Overall, though, Dynadot offers excellent value for money and can be ranked among the best domain registrars. Check out this superb site by clicking here.
5. Google Domains
It’s entirely natural for Google to enter the domain registration business and Google Domains has made something of a name for itself in this field. Google Domains very much follows the ethos of its ubiquitous search engine, namely that less is more. This is a straightforward and lightweight service, which doesn’t bombard users with unnecessary options, intended to break the domain registration process down to three simple clicks. Search, select, check out.
This is obvious from the appearance of the site, which features a solitary search box and little else. This is not a domain registration site with a large footprint. Prices are then listed for common domains, with all others provided in alphabetical order. The site is undoubtedly easy to use and works slickly, but there are a couple of problems.
Firstly, pricing is okay with Google Domains, but it is not the best domain registrar in this regard. $12 for a .com extension is not extortionate, but there are cheaper providers available, even though WHOIS protection is provided for free. Secondly, some fairly common extensions are not available with Google Domains, including .mobi.tv. This may not affect many users, with .com, .org, etc, being by far the most popular. But it does seem to be something of an oversight.
Overall, Google Domains is a decent provider, but cannot be too highly recommended due to these problems. But if you like the reassurance of a familiar name, you can check out Google Domains here.
Domain.com has certainly snaffled one of the best domain names in this field for itself! But what sort of service does it offer customers? Well, the first thing to note is that domain.com has a wide variety of services available, with web hosting, VPS hosting, email, SSL certificates, and web design all offered on its website.
The front end of domain.com has a very slick corporate feel and searching seems to operate with the minimum amount of fuss. With several different hosting plans available, there is plenty of choice with domain.com, while various eCommerce solutions and marketing tools are also made available to customers.
Pricing is pretty decent, although there are a few cheaper options out there. A .com extension costs $9.99 with domain.com, which isn’t unreasonable but also doesn’t make it the best domain registrar in terms of value. Plus, the site charges you extra for WHOIS domain protection.
Domain.com has a lot going for it, but it is hard to recommend based on its pricing structure. Nonetheless, if you fancy sampling some of its undoubtedly impressive features then you can do so by clicking here.
Bluehost is perhaps one of the lesser known domain registrars out there, but the company currently services 2 million websites. One interesting notch that Bluehost can proudly add to its belt is that the website is recommended by the highly popular platform WordPress as its web hosting choice. Definitely not a boast to dismiss lightly.
Its web hosting is therefore pretty decent, with plenty of options available. Shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated and reseller hosting are all on the table, while Bluehost’s customer service is also very good. There is strong live chat support available and they will generally walk you through any problems patiently and helpfully.
However, it’s hard to recommend Bluehost based on pricing. Registering a .com extension costs $11.99 annually, while domain privacy protection is almost the same price, at $11.88 annually. This means that you’ll pay $23.87 for the cheapest protected domain with Bluehost.
Considering some of the other options out there, this is pretty pricey and means that Bluehost cannot be recommended among the best domain registrars, despite the positive qualities that it delivers. However, if you don’t mind paying a little extra then Bluehost is worth a look due to its advanced features. And you can do that right now by clicking here.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HostGator has been around since 2002 and is currently responsible for 9 million domain registrations. Focusing on web hosting, HostGator offers a variety of features in this area and can be seen as a similar type of domain registration service to Bluehost.
So we should mention straight away that HostGator is even more expensive. If you want to register a .com extension with this site then it’ll cost you $12.95 annually, while to receive WHOIS protection you’ll have to shell out another $14.95. This makes the annual cost of registering a .com website $27.90; some 17% more than Bluehost. This can soon add up across multiple domains.
Nonetheless, HostGator does have some impressive features and its uptime has been regarded among the strongest in the industry. They do also offer regular deals on common extensions, making their domain registration more affordable.
Overall, though, it’s hard to recommend HostGator over other cheaper domain registration options. But if you do want to check out what they’ve got to offer then you can head over to HostGator by clicking here.
9. 1&1 Ionos
Incredibly, 1&1 Ionos was founded in 1988, before most of knew that the Internet existed! But this German company was well ahead of the curve and has been registering domains for over 30 years! We should just quickly mention here that although the company was founded as 1&1, it has rebranded as Ionos since then.
We weren’t overly impressed with the front page of 1&1 Ionos. The color scheme of the site is a little garish, while its search facility is pretty slow compared to some others. However, full 24/7 customer support is available, so that’s a major positive for the site.
Pricing is competitive, but slightly misleading. You can currently register virtually any .com domain extremely cheaply, with a starting price of just $1 per year. However, 1&1 Ionos chooses to make its money by escalating the price to a pretty high level during later years. So a .com extension costs $20 annually once the 12-month period is over.
And some of the pricing for other extensions is pretty steep. Some common domain extensions, such as .co and .online were offered for $40 per year for the second years onwards, while .io was charged at $50 annually and .store at $80 annually! This didn’t seem like a very transparent or fair way of dealing with pricing, although if you only need a site for 12 months then 1&1 Ionos makes you an unmissable offer!
It should be mentioned that WHOIS domain privacy protection is available for free, but we still feel overall that 1&1 Ionos doesn’t rank among the best domain registrars. But if you’d like to sample the site’s wares anyway, please feel free to click here.
Finally, Register.com is another company that has snagged a valuable domain name for itself, but how does it fare when registering domains for customers?
Firstly, it should be noted that Register.com delivers a wealth of online marketing tools, with search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, Facebook Boost and other goodies available. However, it should be noted that customer support is a little lacking, with no apparent live chat available and no 24/7 service.
Furthermore, Register.com fails to deliver a transparent service, not making pricing entirely clear on its website and forcing customers to sign up with them before revealing the price of a domain that they’ve searched for. This leaves a bit of a sour taste and strikes us as being manipulative marketing, albeit pricing is actually pretty good in reality.
The most common .com extension starts at $5 annually for the first year, with WHOIS privacy protection is available for an additional $11. Not a bad price for domain registration, but somehow the whole process with Register.com doesn’t feel quite right. Its affiliation with web.com means that this is a big corporate site and Register.com makes you feel as if you’re having products pushed on you, rather than being treated as a valuable customer.
In short, there are more user-friendly and helpful providers available than Register.com that we would more readily recommend. But Register.com is still a big and powerful registrar site, so you might want to delve deeper into it by clicking here.
Choosing The Best Domain Registrar – Summary
So we hope that this guide has made it easy for you to select the best domain registrar for your needs. It is important to think about precisely what you require from a domain registration site before taking the plunge, but the good news is that there are registrars available that cover every possible base and personal requirement.
What domain registrar is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments below!