Best domain name registrar
Every great website needs a snappy, memorable domain name. Coming up with something new is a serious challenge, but once inspiration strikes, you’ll need to register that name with a domain name registrar before you can use it online.
Registration isn’t difficult, but first you must choose from the hundreds of companies competing for your business, and there are several things for you to consider before signing the virtual dotted line.
- Pricing structures can be complicated. A low headline figure could become expensive on renewal, for instance. Prices vary between domain extensions, too, so a registrar that offers great value for a .com domain might give you a poor deal on when it comes to .org.
- There may be extra costs for tasks like transferring your domain to another registrar, too. Read the small print before you sign up.
- Look for any bundled or optional extras. A Whois privacy service prevents your address, phone number and email address appearing as public contact details for the domain, something which could otherwise get you a significant amount of spam email and phone calls. We’ve seen this cost as much as $11.20 a year, but several registrars provide it for free.
- Many domain registrars offer hosting as an extra, but keep in mind that web hosting companies can also register domains. If you have an idea of which web host you’d like to use, check the details of its plans: you may be able to register a domain for free when you buy hosting, and that’s often the cheapest option.
- Finally, take a look at the support a registrar offers. You may never need any help at all, but if anything critical crops up – maybe an issue which might cause a problem with renewal – it’s important that your provider is on hand to ably assist.
- Balancing all these priorities can be tricky, so that’s why we’ve created this list of top domain registrars to help point you in the right direction.
- A versatile provider that provides excellent value for money
- Free website builder with domain purchase
- Best prices restricted to longer subscriptions.
With a name like Domain.com, the EIG-owned brand, means business, focusing primarily on small and medium businesses. It offers most popular top-level domains and over 25 country code top-level domains and also sells premium domains as a broker.
With nearly two decades of online presence, the company – which is one of the world’s biggest domain name registrars – expanded in web hosting and now ranges a number of products including a website builder, full design service and web hosting.
Domain.com prices tend to be average but we have managed to blag a 25% discount off almost everything in your cart*. Non-premium TLD (.Club, .Me, .Website etc) start from $2.99 for the first year ($2.24 with our code). In line with the rest of the industry, they rise significantly after the second year).
You need to pay for privacy protection, a reasonable $8.99, plus you can add email, web hosting, SSL certificates and malware protection, none of which is compulsory. You can stick with its basic website builder which is free with every domain: you get a drag and drop website builder, tons of mobile-friendly templates, up to six pages, SEO tools, Paypal integration and even access to stock image library.
Support is more than adequate with 24/7 chat, email and phone support. Domain.com may not have the cheapest prices but it provides with a very balanced offering.
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- A big-name provider, but look out for those prices
- Loads of hosting add-ons
- Telephone support
- High prices
Web giant GoDaddy is the world’s biggest domain registrar, currently managing more than 75 million domains for 17 million customers around the globe.
The company is well-known for its low headline prices, and it’s the same story here, with .uk and .co.uk domains available for $0.99 in year one. On the other hand .com and .org are less impressive (though still apparently cheap) starting at $12.17. Beware, though: these aren’t the bargains they initially seem.
The first catch is that GoDaddy’s starting prices only apply if you pay for two years upfront, and the second year is significantly more expensive (.com rises to $18.17, .uk and .co.uk domains rise to $12, .org and .mobi are ridiculously high, $21.17 for .org and $26.17 for .mobi).
The second problem is that there are no bundled extras, so adding something like Whois privacy – a valuable service often included for free with other providers – costs $8 a month for year one, and $10 on renewal.
There’s clearly much better value to be had elsewhere, but GoDaddy may still appeal to web beginners looking for a bundled hosting and domain registration deal. The company has an array of products covering every possible requirement, with telephone support if you need it, and buying your domain and hosting from the same provider will make life a little easier.
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- Quick, easy, and Whois privacy comes free
- Free Whois privacy included
- Fair pricing
- Easy search filtering
- Support isn’t 24/7
HostGator is one popular hosting and domain provider. It is providing its service since 2002. So there is a million users who have buy domain and hosting from HostGator. HostGator provide the best service to its customer
HostGator provide affordable hosting to customer. And if you are thinking to buy hosting from HostGator then it’s your best choice. HostGator is mainly known for it’s best hosting service. But it also provides domain at cheap price.
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- A quality registrar that excels (almost) everywhere
- Powerful search tool
- Low prices
- Stacks of free extras
Most domain name registrars offer a simple identikit service with little to separate them from the competition, but Dynadot is an interesting exception which has some unusual advantages.
This starts right at the beginning, with your initial search. You can use the website much like any other – type your preferred domain, press Enter, read the results – but you also get Bulk and IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) search tools, and advanced options allow defining which domain extensions to include in your searches, as well as setting those as defaults for all future searches.
These searches can optionally return results from domain auctions, Dynadot’s Marketplace (where other customers sell domains they no longer need) and other sources. There’s also a Backorder option to try and grab a domain that isn’t currently available, if it’s not renewed.
Prices are on the low side, with Dynadot offering both special deals on some extensions and good value at renewal. .com sites are $7.99 initially, $8.99 on renewal. If you’re after a .co.uk domain, that’ll set you back $6.95, with .org costing $10.99, and .mobi domains are $4.25 initially, $13.99 on renewal.
That’s just the start: Dynadot also piles on the free extras. A Website Builder allows you to build and host a simple one-page responsive website. There’s free domain forwarding if you’d like to redirect visitors somewhere else. DNS support allows creating 50 subdomain records, 10 email addresses, and 5 each of MX and TXT records. There’s even a Grace Deletion list which allows returning a domain if you change your mind.
This requires a small fee and won’t always be allowed (the details on how it works are here), but it’s still a welcome extra you’ll rarely find with other registrars.
Dynadot’s support wasn’t always as impressive, with live chat being offline when we checked. But the website does have a publicly available forum, allowing anyone to browse common questions and see how happy (or otherwise) Dynadot’s customers might be.
- Great value and user-friendly to boot
- It’s cheap as the name suggests
- Free Whois privacy
- Live chat support
Founded in 2000, Namecheap is a popular domain name registrar and web host which now manages more than five million domains.
Namecheap‘s excellent website allows searching for individual domains, or in batches of up to 50.
If the domain is taken, you can view the Whois record or offer to buy the domain (via DomainAgents) from the current user.
If the domain is available, results are displayed across four tabs: Popular, New, Discounted, and International. This is a neat approach which makes it easier to browse the list and find what you need.
Prices are generally very good at $8.88 (£6.8) for .com domains – $12.98 on renewal, $7.58(£5.8) for .co.uk – $9.58 on renewal, $12.98 (£10) for .org – $14.98 on renewal, and $16.88 (£13) for .mobi (at the moment, you can get .mobi for $2.88 for the first year). There are some special deals available, and Namecheap has an Agent 88 set of domains which are almost always available at $0.48 (£0.35) for the first year (these usually include the following: .site .website .space .pw .press .host .tech .online and .fun – but there may be others as well).
That would be good value all on its own, but Namecheap doesn’t stop there: you get WhoisGuard domain privacy thrown in for free.
Namecheap‘s billing is straightforward and honest, with current and renewal prices clearly described in your Namecheap shopping cart, and Auto-Renew turned off. But if there’s something you don’t understand, helpful FAQ pages and live chat are just a click or two away.
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