Are you looking for the best domain name registrar to purchase a domain name?
To start a website, you’ll need to buy a domain name and web hosting. With the right domain name, you can summarize your complete business idea into a word or two. This is why it’s important to choose the perfect domain name and buy it from the best domain provider on the market.
In this guide, we’ll share how to choose the best domain name registrar for your needs and compare the top domain sellers.
Here’s a table of contents with quick links that you can use to jump to sections that interest you the most:
I. What’s a domain name registrar?
II. The best domain name registrars
III. How to choose a domain name registrar
- Registration period
- Expiration grace period
- Capitalizing on expired domains
- Domain transfer and fees
- Addon services
- User experience
- Hidden fees
- Customer support
What’s a Domain Name Registrar?
A domain name registrar is a service you can use to register a business name for your online representation. There’re hundreds of domain providers in the world with different prices and features.
Normally, you know the business name that you want to register. However, there are domain name generators like Nameboy that also help users to generate business name ideas and URLs. The domain name registrars are accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), and they allow these registrars to provide domain names to businesses and individuals.
The Best Domain Name Registrars Compared
We shared how to choose the best domain provider for your domain name. Now, it’s time to tell you our expert picks for the best domain name registrars.
|Domain Name Registrars||Price|
|1. Bluehost||$2.75 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
|2. Domain.com||$9.99 for .com domain only|
|3. Network Solutions||$9.99 for .com domain only|
|4. HostGator||$2.64 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
|5. GoDaddy||$2.50 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
|6. Namecheap||$5.98 for .com domain|
|7. DreamHost||$2.59 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
|10. GreenGeeks||$2.95 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
|11. iPage||$1.99 per month (Domain + Hosting)|
These registrars are known for different features and pricing. You can choose the one that best fulfills your requirements.
Let’s get started.
Bluehost is one of the most popular domain name and web hosting providers in the world. They offer the cheapest rates for beginners to get started. Bluehost is also officially recommended by the WordPress core.
Their support is powerful, and they’ve options from beginner-level to enterprise users. For IsItWP users, they offer a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a good discount on web hosting.
Get a Free Domain Name with Bluehost Hosting»
If you’re looking for a complete package to start over, then Bluehost is the right choice for you. They offer easy scaling options, and you can always talk to their friendly support team as your business grows.
Bluehost provides dedicated hosting, WooCommerce hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, and managed web hosting. They also have custom plans for the large scale websites.
Domain.com is a popular domain name provider. They offer affordable pricing with several tools for beginners and advanced users. Like the other popular domain registrars, they also provide bundles for the domain name and web hosting. On buying their hosting plan, you’ll get a free domain name to start your website.
They offer a simple domain transfer facility, web designing service, email service, and more. Domain.com also offers good discounts to new domain name registrants.
3. Network Solutions
Network Solutions is a premium-quality domain name registrar and web hosting service provider. It has several solutions to start a website, including domain name search, website design, SSL certificate, business email, eCommerce store, and so on.
The domain name service also comes with a domain transfer facility, domain forwarding, private domain registration, domain expiration protection, and premium domain names. It provides WHOIS search to help find out the domain information for public domain names.
HostGator is a reliable domain name registrar and web hosting provider. They provide complete packages/bundles to buy domain names and web hosting together. If you plan to buy hosting with them, then they offer a free domain name, email, and web hosting for up to $3 / month.
Commonly known for the web hosting services, HostGator is trusted by over 10 million users which lists them among the top web hosting providers in the world. They’re the right choice for beginners to advanced users.
HostGator has reseller plans which means you can start your own web hosting business. They also offer cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars in the world. They offer low-cost domain names with many other tools and services, such as hosting, website builder, etc. GoDaddy lets you purchase a domain name for the cheapest price, typically $0.99 / year. However, their renewal charges are higher than other domain registrars.
Whenever you need assistance, you can count on their excellent customer support. GoDaddy is well-known for its quality service and reliability. If you choose to buy their hosting bundles, you’ll get the domain name for free.
Namecheap is one of the best domain name registrars on the market that offers reasonable pricing for domain registration and renewal. Namecheap has other services like web hosting, SSL certificates, WHOIS protection, free DNS, and more.
They have amazing live chat support and an extensive knowledgebase. Besides that, they also host video tutorials for their users to help with purchasing and managing domain names. Their payment method is fast and secure. They allow users to make payments using credit cards, funds, or PayPal.
The auto-renewal option enables users to stick with Namecheap for a longer period. Their renewal fees are affordable, and they also offer discounts on new domain name registrations.
DreamHost is another professional web hosting provider that offers domain name for free with their hosting plan. They offer a wide variety of hosting services such as shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. You can select the domain name at a regular price and connect it with your hosting plan easily.
Their in-house support team is available 24/7 to solve your problems. Other key features include multi-factor authentication, auto-enabled sFTP, and free secure hosting with Let’s Encrypt.
GreenGeeks is yet another web hosting provider that offers a free domain name when you sign up for a web hosting plan. GreenGeeks is the world’s #1 eco-friendly web hosting provider.
It allows you to register TLDs like .com, .net, .org, .info, etc. Their reliable customer support is available 24/7 via live chat and phone.
iPage is one of the cheapest web hosting services that also lets you register a free domain name while signing up for a web hosting plan. Aside from a free domain name, you’ll get free SSL certificate, a drag and drop website builder, free SSL certificate, and more, with their cheap hosting plans.
You can waive off the registration fee for the first year. After that, you’re required to pay the regular renewal fees.
How to Choose a Domain Name Registrar
Before choosing a domain name registrar, you’ll need to look into a few basic things, like top level domains (TLDs). The top level domains (.com, .net, .io, .biz, etc.) are a part of the domain name system (DNS) and not all the registrars offer all TLDs. Let’s see an example of the domain structure for better understanding.
For example: www.mywebsite.com
In this domain structure, ‘www’ is the protocol, ‘mywebsite’ is your business name or second level domain (SLD), and ‘.com’ is the top level domain (TLD). You can choose any TLD that you need though you’ll need to check whether your domain registrar is selling it or not.
The domain name search should be simple and intuitive. Sometimes you know what domain name you need to register. But, if you’re confused about it, then the smart search system should also give suggestions in the search results to help you select your business name.
There’re many other aspects we’ll be discussing below to help you choose the best domain name registrar for your domain name.
Pricing is the key feature that can aye or nay your decision to purchase a domain name from a specific registrar. The default process with most of the registrars includes searching a domain name, checking for domain availability, and buying it.
However, there’re a few domain sellers who don’t keep this process as simple as it sounds. You may find addons, hidden service charges, additional renewal fees, etc. tacked on. It’s important to know when a domain registrar is not honest with pricing, and if there are any hidden aspects, you’re not seeing.
Make sure you check the total pricing of a domain name inclusive of all hidden charges before making your purchase.
2. Registration Period
You can register the domain names for as many years as you want. There’s no restriction forcing you to buy it for 1 year only. If you choose to purchase a domain name for more than 1 year, then you’ll save the additional renewal fees that you’d need to pay every year. However, you’ll need to renew the domain name before it expires for the continuation of service.
The registration period can be extended anytime during the year or at the time of expiration of your domain. Most domain registrars send emails and notify users about the expiration date. This helps in renewing your domain before expiration.
3. Expiration Grace Period
In case, you forget to renew the domain name in time, and it expires, then your domain registrar should wait a month before deleting it from their list. This is called the expiration grace period. Once your domain name is removed, it’ll be available to the public, and you can lose it.
The expiration grace period is an opportunity for users to renew their domain name after the expiration date. Some of the domain sellers may not offer the expiration grace period and delete your domain right away at the time of expiration. In that case, you’ll need to be careful and renew the domain name before the expiry date.
We recommend you choose a domain provider who offers a grace period. That way you’ll have enough time to renew your domain name. Another easy way is to set your domain name on auto-renewal. It’ll save you time and give you peace of mind.
4. Capitalizing on Expired Domains
This is a common practice among domain registrars. Once your domain expires and isn’t renewed within the grace time, the registrar puts it up for auction. This auction or capitalization is based on the popularity of the domain name. If your domain name is common, then the registrars ask for a hefty amount on the bid.
With unique and unwanted domain names, the registrar sticks to an amount more than the actual price to capitalize on the expired domains. If you want to continue with your domain name, then make sure to renew it in time to avoid paying more later on.
Learn more here: How to Find and Buy Expired Domain Names.
5. Domain Transfer and Fees
It’s not as difficult as it sounds to move your domain from one registrar to another. In the beginning, you might buy domains from any registrar, but you’ll need a reliable domain seller for long-term business. A domain name is eligible to transfer after 60 days from the date of purchase.
We’ll share the best domain name registrars below in this article so that you can choose smartly. But, before that, you should know about the transferring fees.
Domain registrars charge a fee to transfer your domain name to other registrars. This transfer fees can come with hidden service charges that you should know before processing it. If you have multiple domain names registered with one seller, then you can also make a deal to save some money on bulk transfers.
6. Addon Services
Generally, the domain name registrars have other products like web hosting, SSL certificates, email services, etc. As long as they don’t make it mandatory for you to buy the addons with your domain, it’s fine. You can remove the checks from the addons and pay for your domain name only.
However, there’re a few domain registrars who force you to purchase addon services with your domain name. In that case, you should look for a better provider when registering your domain name and don’t pay for the services that have little or no value to you.
7. User Experience
As shared previously, the domain industry has hundreds of registrars who’re accredited by ICANN. Each registrar comes with its services, features, and pricing. You can search for reviews and read what their users have to say about their service.
User experiences always help in choosing the best domain name registrar. They show the pros and cons of a registrar clearly, so you can decide about a domain provider before purchasing your online business name.
8. Hidden fees
When starting your business, you may look for a domain registrar that offers low-cost domain names and has no hidden fees. However, the hidden costs can affect you at any stage. In the pricing section above, we talked about the confirmation of total pricing with the domain provider. But hidden fees are important to discuss separately too.
Some of the domain registrars consider it unnecessary to display honest pricing. The best way to discover the hidden fees is by observing the * sign with the domain price. It indicates that the information isn’t complete.
You should follow the * sign to see the notice mentioned with it. If you’re not sure, then talk to a representative of the domain registrar. Sometimes the hidden fees are so much that they can affect your budget extremely severely. Be 100% sure about the pricing before hitting the pay button.
9. Live Chat Support
Customer support is common with web hosting services. Most of the domain registrars prefer email support or ticket-based support. They add FAQs/knowledgebases on their websites to answer the general questions from users. However, few providers also offer live chat support for domain purchase.
Live chat support helps beginners to get solutions quickly. For example, if you want to add the nameservers against your domain name and you’re new to the domain management dashboard, then you can request a support representative to get it done.
We hope this article helped you learn how to choose the best domain name registrar to purchase your domain.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like our step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
Comments Leave a Reply
totally outdated pricing!
Hey Andi, we are regularly updating prices and you may find some prices lesser than the actual cost on a brand’s website because we offer deals for our readers.
Hey, IsItWP team, LOVE this one. Really useful, valuable insight and info. What would make it even better is a visual table that compares the registrars you compared along the guidelines specified. What do you think?
That’s a good suggestion, Joe!
I’ll do that when I get a chance. Thank you!