Are you looking for a domain name registrar to purchase the perfect domain for your business?
Choosing the right domain name is an essential step in building a website. However, it’s also important to choose the right domain name registrar. The domain name registrar you choose will affect the cost of your domain purchase, your hosting plan, and much more, so it’s a good idea to pick the right one from the get-go.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best domain name registrars out there to help you decide which one is right for your business.
Ready? Let’s get started.
The best domain name registrars – summary
- Namecheap – The best domain name registrar overall.
- DreamHost – Best for free domains with hosting.
- Domain.com – Best domain registrar for quick and easy purchasing.
- NameSilo – Most affordable domain name registrar.
- GoDaddy – Best domain name registrar for purchasing expired domains via auction.
- Porkbun – Best domain name registrar with free privacy and SSL included.
- Network Solutions – Best domain name registrar for new gTLDs (i.e. .tech, .io).
Namecheap is one of the most popular domain registrars on the internet. It has a super-simple and easy-to-use search function that can help you find your perfect domain name in just seconds.
As the name suggests, Namecheap is a great site for finding good deals and low prices. In fact, they regularly offer discounts and promotions on certain domain extensions e.g. 30% .co or .store domains.
When searching on Namecheap, it’s easy to see exactly what’s available. When you search for a keyword, you’ll be presented with a list of domains relating to that keyword. Usually, you’ll be able to view a variety of different domain extensions if they’re available.
All prices are clearly displayed, making it easy to compare different keyword variations and extensions. If your desired domain is already taken, you may be able to place an offer on the domain and find out if the current owner is looking to sell.
Domains that include highly brandable keywords such as ‘bestdomains.com’ will often be higher in value. Namecheap helps you to decide if a domain name is worth the money by listing these highly brandable options as premium. Discounted domain names and domains that have been recently registered are also clearly marked.
Once you’ve chosen your domain, simply add it to your cart and head to the checkout. All domains on Namecheap come with 1 years registration, but you can set your domain up to auto-renew during the checkout process. You can also select add-ons like EasyWP WordPress hosting, DNSPlus, and SSL for an additional fee.
In addition to its domain name search features, it’s also super simple to transfer domains using Namecheap. Simply switch the toggle on the homepage from register to transfer, and you can complete your transfer in just a few seconds.
Overall, Namecheap is one of the best domain registrars out there thanks to its wide selection of domains and add-ons and how easy it is to use.
Unlike some of the other options on this list, DreamHost is primarily a hosting provider. However, what’s great about hosting your site with DreamHost is that each hosting package includes one free domain registration.
Choosing a host that also includes a free domain registration like DreamHost can help make setting up your website that little bit easier, as it eliminates the need to purchase your domain separately and transfer or point it to your host.
DreamHost hosting packages start from as little as $2.59/month, so choosing this option can be an affordable way to get a site off the ground and save money on the purchase of a domain name.
However, if you’re still weighing up your hosting options you can also buy domain names separately through DreamHost. DreamHost offers a range of 400+ TLDs from .com to .design.
They have a basic, but easy-to-use search function that can help you to find the perfect domain name with ease. What’s great about DreamHost is that you get domain name privacy for no extra cost. You also get access to free subdomains and easy transfers. Other free add-ons include SSL certificates and custom name servers.
DreamHost is the perfect all-in-one hosting solution for beginners that are new to the process of setting up websites. Having your domain and hosting all in one neat package can make life a lot easier, and DreamHost also offers some other beneficial tools that might help you out.
For example, they offer a WordPress website builder, email hosting and Google Workspace, and more. You can even access pro services like marketing, design, and web development. Overall, it’s the perfect choice if you’re in search of both a new domain name and a reliable hosting provider.
Domain.com is a big name in the domain registrar industry, and it plays host to a huge database of top-level domains.
The Domain.com homepage is neat and simple and features only a search bar. Simply input your chosen keywords, and you’ll be presented with a wide range of domain name options in just a few seconds.
When viewing your results, you’ll be able to clearly see the price of each domain on the right-hand side. High-value domains are marked as Premium to help you to highlight the more expensive and valuable options. In addition to the cost of the domain name, you have the option to add domain privacy and protection for $8.99/year.
Once you purchase your domain, you’ll have access to a range of management options like DNS management, email accounts, and forwarding, bulk registration, transfer options, and more.
With Domain.com, you have the option to pay for 1 or 2 years of registration upfront. In some cases, paying for two years in advance is preferable, as you don’t need to worry about failing to renew in your first year and you can focus on building and growing your site. You can also add extras like SSL certificates, Sitelock security, and Google Workspace subscriptions.
If you have any problems purchasing your new domain name or transferring it, you can call their support team or chat with them online. They even have an extensive knowledge center that includes a range of useful resources.
Compared to other options on this list, domain.com does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a no-frills domain name registrar and nothing else. Although there are some options for add-ons at the checkout stage, domain.com doesn’t provide any sort of hosting or WordPress services.
That’s why it’s best suited to people or businesses that already have a hosting provider, and just need an affordable domain name that is easy to renew and transfer.
NameSilo is a domain name registrar that focuses on helping users find cheap, safe, and secure domain names. On its homepage, NameSilo boasts that it’s cheaper than other popular registrars such as GoDaddy, Name.com, and Google Domains.
Domain names from NameSilo start from as little as $0.99 and there are other discount options available to make purchases even cheaper.
For example, if you buy domain names in bulk, NameSilo offers a range of attractive discounts. They also join the discount program for further reductions. NameSilo’s registrar features millions of unique domains, with over 400 different domain extensions available.
To find your perfect domain name, you simply need to search for your chosen keywords using the search box on the homepage. You’ll then be presented with a list of options that you can buy, or make a bid for if they’re already owned by someone.
What’s great about shopping with NameSilo is that they not only show you the price of the first year’s registration, but they also show you how much the domain name will cost to renew. With some registrars, the renewal cost is more than the original price. However, with NameSilo it is usually the same amount as the first year or less.
Once you’ve chosen a domain, you’ll then be able to choose from a variety of extras that NameSilo offers. You can add domain protection and privacy for $9 and an SSL certificate for $9.99/year. You also have the option of using NameSilo’s website-building tools.
In addition to all this, NameSilo also offers several hosting plans. Packages that include 20GB of storage, one website, cPanel, easy WordPress installation, a website builder, and email start from as little as $2.99/month.
The main benefit of hosting with NameSilo is that it’s super affordable, and you get a lot of extra perks as part of your hosting package. If you’re looking to start a blog or website on a budget, NameSilo could be the right option for you.
GoDaddy is a titan in the domain name registrar industry and offers a great option for e-commerce merchants looking to set up new websites.
Like many of the options on this list, GoDaddy has a huge database of domain names to choose from, and .com names can start from as little as $0.01 for the first two years. You can easily browse the database and find both premium and regular domain names with over 400 different extensions.
You can choose to purchase domains for up to 10 years in advance and domain privacy and protection is available from $9.99/month. There are also expired domain auctions.
In addition to domain name services, GoDaddy also offers a selection of hosting plans. If you’re an ecommerce vendor, then GoDaddy hosting is definitely worth considering. Not only do you get a free domain name included with their WooCommerce hosting plan, but there is a range of other benefits too.
GoDaddy’s WooCommerce hosting plan has deep WooCommerce integration, making setting up an e-commerce store quick and hassle-free. It comes with over $6000 worth of WooCommerce extension and automatic WordPress updates and patching.
With this hosting plan, you’ll also have access to GoDaddy’s payment platform plugin, which helps you to seamlessly integrate a payment option into your website. This comes pre-installed and activated in WordPress after you sign up, so this can reduce your store set-up time significantly.
For e-commerce merchants that are looking for a domain name, hosting services, and website building tools, GoDaddy offers the full packages. WooCommerce hosting starts from as little as $15.99 a month, and with a free domain thrown in, that means it’s super cheap to get your e-commerce store off the ground.
Porkbun is a US-based domain name registrar with a vast database of TLDs. Porkbun prides itself on being a simple and hassle-free way to purchase domains and add-ons. Porkbun offers an easy-to-use search tool that can use to search single or bulk domains.
Simply input your chosen keyword to get started. Porkbun lists domains with over 400 different extensions. In many ways, Porkbun is very similar to registrars like NameSilo or NameCheap, but they have a much smaller following, and arguably, better service.
When it comes to addons, Porkbun is a great option. Whilst most companies charge around $10+ to add privacy and protection to your domain, and an SSL certificate, Porkbun includes this for free as standard. This is a major perk if you’re on a budget and don’t want your domain price to skyrocket when you reach the checkout.
In addition to their domain add-ons, you also get a free trial of their email and hosting services when you purchase any domain. This is a huge bonus if you’re still weighing up your options when it comes to hosting providers.
You can try out Porkbun’s hosting packages for up to 15 days before you make a decision. Porkbun offers WordPress, PHP, and Static hosting for as little as $5/month.
If you decide you’re not happy with Porkbun hosting once your trial ends, it’s super simple to transfer your domain. Overall, Porkbun is a great alternative to other major domain name registrars as there are no hidden fees, and essential add-ons like SSL and privacy protection come included in the price.
Network Solutions is one of the oldest domain name registrars on the market. They’ve been around for over 25 years and they’re still going strong. In that time, they’ve served thousands of websites, including small businesses and fortune 500 companies.
Network Solutions is a great option if you’re planning on registering a new gTLD (generic Top Level Domain). They’re currently running special offers on .tech, .site, and .store domains, so now’s the perfect time to grab one if you’re in the market.
Because these types of TLDs are less popular than traditional domains like .com and .org, it’s usually much easier to secure your brand name or target keyword.
Unfortunately, Network Solutions don’t have a straightforward pricing structure. They don’t state the prices of their domains upfront and you have to go a few pages into the checkout process before they even tell you, which is a bit of a hassle.
They also say domain registration prices can vary, but for the .com domain I tested, the price quoted was $25/year, with discounts for longer terms. This is probably a pretty good benchmark average.
Network Solutions offers a lot of features, such as easy online account management, supported sub-domains, auto-renewals (so you never have to worry about your domain expiring), domain transfer locks for added security, easy DNS management, and more.
They also provide excellent online support, with an extensive knowledge base filled with how-to guides answers to frequently asked questions.
If the domain you want isn’t available, Network Solutions also provides a Certified Offer Service, which allows you to make an anonymous offer to purchase it from the current holder. You can also sign up for notifications when a domain becomes available through an RSS feed.
Aside from domain name registration, Network Solution also offers other services to help you grow your business. This includes various web hosting packages, intuitive website and eCommerce store builders, professional email hosting, and even online marketing tools and services.
When choosing a domain registrar be sure to consider important factors like price, registration period, and domain transfer fees. Prices vary depending on how valuable the domain name is and the extension.
Also, it’s a good idea to double-check renewal fees, transfer fees, and addons before choosing a domain name registrar, as these can all impact the overall cost of your domain name.
If you’re still unsure about which option to choose, you can’t go wrong with any of our top three picks:
- Namecheap – For the best overall selection of domain names and ease-of-use.
- DreamHost – For a reliable hosting package with a domain name included.
- Domain.com – A no-frills domain name registrar for making quick and easy purchases.
If you’re keen to learn more about setting up a website, then check out some of our other posts like Domain Name Ideas: 21 Ways To Come Up With A Website Name Fast and How To Choose A Web Host: The Beginner’s Guide.
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