10 Best Places to Buy a Domain Name | The Best Domain Registrars

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Are you finally ready to take the next step in building and growing your business? If so, then you may want to start focusing on building your online presence by making your own blog or website! Everyone is going online nowadays – and yes, even super big brands and businesses! 

This is because having your own website can lead you to more potential customers by reaching a set of audience that you can’t reach through your physical stores. And if all goes well, you can even reach a set of international audience! However, we all have to start somewhere – and this includes building a website. The first thing you may want to start with is getting your own domain name through a domain name registrar. 

And with many domain registrar companies out there, you may have a hard time narrowing down your options. But do not worry because I have here a list of factors that you need to consider to help you choose the best domain registrar. 

The Best Domain Name Registrars

I have compiled here a list of the 10 most reliable and cost-effective domain registrars for you to choose from. 

Domain.com

Domain.com is one of the most popular domain name registrars out there that started in 2000. The good thing about this registrar is that they have a built-in quick domain search tool you can easily use to research your domain name. They have several different domain hosting packages and several add-ons that are beneficial to your website including a professional email. They have also partnered with both Google and Microsoft to offer you premium tools for your business and website. They also have experts ready to help you in setting up a plan to bring your website to life. 

They allow you to register all top level domain name extensions (TLDs) and even dozens of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

More of the features included in their plans are: 

  • Website builder
  • Private registration
  • Whois privacy protection
  • Free whois
  • Bulk registration
  • Easy domain transfers
  • DNS management
  • Email account 
  • Online store builder
  • And more.

Domain.com offers domain registration for .com at $9.99, .net for $12.99, and .org for $8.99.

Bluehost

If you are a blogger or a business owner operating on WordPress, then I am sure you have passed by the name Bluehost once in a while when looking for the best web hosting services. Although mostly known as a web hosting platform, Bluehost also offers domain registration services. The good thing about Bluehost’s domain registration policy is their Privacy policy. 

When you purchase a domain name, your personal information is registered to your domain and can be found in the public WHOIS directory. In order to keep your information private, you want to utilize Bluehost’s Domain Privacy + Protection, which also helps protect you from spam and identity theft by keeping your personal information concealed and instead listing generic Bluehost contact information. When you choose Bluehost as your domain provider you are given the ability to create a fully customizable website.

More of their domain registrar features include: 

  • Free domain name
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Auto renewal plans
  • Domain lock
  • Expert customer support
  • Website builder
  • Professional email address
  • And more.

Bluehost’s domain registration pricing starts at $12.99 for .com (renews at $17.99), $14.99 for .net (renews at $18.99), $9.99 for .org (renews at $17.99) and $11.99 for .io (renews at $11.99)

Hostgator

Hostgator is another famous web hosting platform that offers domain registration services. They also have a domain search tool to see which domain names are still available for you. They also make domain transfers and navigation easy with their beginner-friendly domain management area. Moreover, you can keep your info hidden from the public eye by opting to use HostGator’s Domain Privacy Protection. And if you decide to use them for as your web host, then you can get your domain name for free.

HostGator sells the following top level domain (TLD) extensions: .com, .club, .co, .space, .us, .website, .org, .net, .store, .press, .me, .blog, .biz, .info, .host, .online, .site, and .tech.

More of their features include:

  • A drag-and-drop website builder
  • Domain locking
  • Auto-renewal
  • DNS Management
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Email forwarding
  • And more! 

 A .com, .net and .org at Hostgator starts at $12.95 per year, and renews at $18.99 per year. 

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is definitely one of the oldest and more well-known domain registration and web hosting company out there. GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar, with 20+ million customers and 84+ million domains. Buying and registering a domain name is easy with their domain search tool and domain name generator tools that can help you find the perfect website address for your business. Their costs are very competitive, and you might even be able to register your domain for a large discount for the first year.

Aside from this, GoDaddy domains include free privacy protection to guard your personal info by replacing it with proxy info in the public WHOIS directory. They also prevent spam with private email for domain inquiries. 

More of GoDaddy’s features include: 

  • 24/7 phone and chat support
  • Website builder
  • Privacy protection
  • Simple domain set up
  • 500 domain extensions
  • Real-time monitoring
  • And more! 

Their .com domain starts at $5.17 with a 2-year purchase required. 2nd year is billed at ‪$20.17‬ If you purchase an annual Web Hosting plan or any annual Managed WordPress plan by GoDaddym you will automatically qualify for a free domain!

DreamHost

DreamHost is another well-known web hosting platform that also offers domain registration. When you register for a domain on DreamHost, you will be given a free private registration with their WHOIS Domain Privacy at no cost. DreamHost also has Shared Unlimited and VPS hosting plans wherein you can host an unlimited number of domains in one account. Another great thing about DreamHost is that if your domain name expires, you are given an opportunity to renew it before someone else can take it as they offer a renewal grace period of 30 days!  

You can also get domain availabilities, prices, and even suggestions by using their Domains Search Tool.

More of their features include: 

  • Simple domain management area
  • Free domain privacy
  • Email hosting
  • Domain transfers
  • Free subdomains
  • Free private registration
  • And more! 

DreamHost has a pretty straightforward domain pricing. Their .com starts at $5.99 and renews at $17.99

Hover

Hover primarily specializes in being a domain registrar so if you choose Hover for your domain registration, you’ll have to find a separate web host. But this just means that you can trust Hover completely when it comes to domain registration. They offer over 300 Top-Level Domains, or domain name extensions, for you to choose from including .com, .net, .org, and more.

More of their features include: 

  • Free WHOIS domain privacy
  • Phone and live chat support
  • Email available as an add-on
  • Intuitive tools to help you manage your domains and DNS
  • Domain transfers
  • And more.

The more domains you have in your Hover account, the less you pay for renewals. The savings start at just ten domains, and they go up from there. Their .com starts at $13.99 the first year and renews at $15.99.

Google Domains

If you are a complete beginner at website building, then Google Domains is a simple and straightforward domain registrar. They have a domain search tool to help find the right name for you. They also have suggestion tools with hundreds of domain name endings in case you are having a hard time brainstorming for a domain name. You will also get a professional email address with built-in email forwarding to create up to 100 email aliases.

Google Domains also offer several integrations from other Google tools and trusted partners. And if you are an ecommerce business, Google Domains makes it easy to connect your domain with trusted partners like Shopify, Squarespace, WIX, Bluehost and Weebly.

More of their features include: 

  • Domain sharing – Give clients or co-workers permission to manage a domain alongside you
  • Fast multi-domain registration – A streamlined purchase experience makes it easy to register multiple domains at once
  • DNS Export
  • Free privacy protection
  • Automatic domain verification
  • Easy access to trusted add-ons and services
  • And more! 

The most popular extensions at Google Domains start at $12 per year (.com, .net, .org).

Network Solutions

If you are someone who trusts a company based on their years of experience and service, then you may want to look into Network Solutions. Network Solutions is one of the pioneers in the domain registrar industry with over 25 years of service. They serve both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs alike, with more than just domains but also web hosting services.

They have a domain search bar to see which available domain names are available for you to use. 

More of their features include:

  • Domain transfer
  • Domain forwarding
  • Domain expiration protection
  • Premium domain names
  • Trademark protection
  • Web hosting
  • Website builder
  • And more! 

They also offer private domain registration which starts at $9.99 per year where you can register and hide your personal information from spammers, telemarketers, and bots. Network Solutions will instead replace your information with an alternate contact to ensure your personal information remains protected.

Namecheap

Namecheap is another domain registrar that has been in service for years. Namecheap was established in 2000 with a mission to deliver the best domains at the best prices with the best service. And they do live up to their mission by offering low registration prices for top-level domain names (TLD). They now have more than 15 million domains under management for customers around the world. 

Namecheap also offers a Domain Search to check if your domain name is still available to you. They also offer free products and services when you register including a free privacy protection registration. 

More of their features include:

  • Free Whois privacy
  • Web hosting
  • Low cost for SSL certificates
  • 24/7 live support chat 
  • Easy set-up
  • Domain transfer
  • Free email address
  • Free DNSSEC security (protects your website from fraudulent activity)
  • And more! 

Their .com registration starts at $5.98 per year and renews at $13.98 per year.

Shopify

If you want to focus on an ecommerce website, then Shopify also offers domain registration. Another good thing about Shopify is that you won’t have to bother about complicated technical setup procedures or third-party connections when you register your domain with Shopify because it is immediately connected to your online store. This is helpful for small business owners especially since they can setup their domain and site without paying anyone for help.

Shopify also includes WHOIS privacy protection at no cost so you won’t have to bother for any additional cost on that matter. 

More of their features include: 

  • Domain transfer
  • Website builder
  • Unlimited bandwidth and products
  • Email forwarding
  • Bundled and add-on services
  • And more! 

Prices start at $11-14 USD/year with the renewal pricing the same as your first year purchase price. 

Why You Should Have A Domain Name

What is a domain name, you ask? Simply put, a domain name is the name of your website. It is your own unique domain name that will set you apart from other businesses and your competitors.

A domain name is supposed to be a unique and easy-to-remember name used to access a website. For example, “facebook.com”, “youtube.com” and more. In my case, anastasiablogger is the domain name of my website anastasiablogger.com. 

If your website do not have a domain name, then you and other users will have to type in IP addresses to be able to go to your website which are a series of numbers. An example of an IP address is: 192.168.1.1. And let’s be real, who has time to memorize all of that, right? 

Now that you know what a domain name is, it is now time to brainstorm your own domain name.

How To Choose The Right Domain Name

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a website owner is selecting a domain name. Your brand’s reputation may suffer if you make a poor decision in naming your website. With that said, what are the factors you need to consider in choosing the perfect domain name for you and your business? 

Keep it short and simple.

Long and wordy domain names can be quite confusing for users to remember. And if it’s hard to remember, then users will not be motivated to revisit your site again. For domain names, you may want to use direct to the point and short names.  

Aim for 6-14 characters – and remember the shorter, the better.You do not want to use long names with numbers in it like “thisismywebsite21.com” or “xyxsdfje.com”. If you want, you can use your own name as a domain name like “anastasiablogger.com” or your own brand name. 

Avoid special characters

This is somewhat related to my first point but you do not want to add unnecessary characters to your domain name including periods and hyphens. Hyphenated domain names are prone to typos and can actually be confusing to some since there will be times where they will forget that a hyphen is included. For example, anastasia-blogger.com or anastasia.blogger.com is not recommended when I can just put in anastasiablogger.com.

Use the right domain name extension

Domain name extensions are the words you type at the end of a website name. These are .com, .net, .org, .co. If you can, you should stick with .com domain as much as possible as it is the most common and well-known website extension. If .com is not available, then you can use the next commonly used ones like .net or .org. You may want to avoid using your own extension like .pizza, .club, and the likes as it can look less trustworthy. 

Make sure it is not trademarked! 

Make sure the domain name you choose is not already taken, protected by copyright, or being used by another business before registering it. It might lead to a legal concern that would cost you a lot of money and your domain! You can easily know if a domain name is already taken by typing in the domain name you are planning to use, and if a website or business is already using it, then move on to the next name on your list! 

After deciding on a domain name, you will now have to register it and make it public! 

What is a Domain Name Registrar?

To put it simply, a domain name registrar (DNS registrar) is a company that provides domain name registrations. All domain names are managed by domain registries, who assign domain name reservations to registrars. A registrar allows anyone who wants to build a website to register a domain name. They are also the ones who will inform if a domain name is available or not. They do this by maintaining a database of available domain names and often offer consumers an easy-to-use search engine to help them narrow down their possibilities.

After registering a domain name with a registrar, that registrar is responsible for alerting the registrant when their domain is about to expire and providing them with the option to renew, preventing them from losing their domain name. So, it is important to choose a trustworthy domain registrar. You can treat a domain registrar as your own alarm clock or secretary in this matter. 

A domain name may be reserved for a maximum of ten years. Given that registrars typically permit users to keep renewing their reservations indefinitely, a user may keep a domain name for longer than ten years. However, the user only leases the domain; they never truly own it. 

DNS registrars typically give the choice of annual renewals or multi-year subscriptions, with the possibility of receiving a discount if the name is registered for a longer duration up front. The majority of domain registrars offer a user account where you may monitor the status of your domain registration and access tools like automatic renewal or email reminders.

How To Choose The Best Domain Name Registrar

Because domain registrars are basically your starting point in building a website, you must choose a trustworthy domain registrar that will fit your needs. 

Reasonable pricing and hosting plans

Pricing is always an important consideration for small businesses and even big businesses when making purchases. Especially for small business owners or startups, they may want to look for a domain registrar that offers a pricing plan that will fit their budgets. You must carefully read the inclusions on their pricing. Sometimes, most registrars sneak in add ons and additional fee like renewal pricing and private registration which may add to your payment. 

Renewal pricing

Just as what I have mentioned before, you do not really own your domain name – you just lease it. That means that your domain will have its expiration date and will stop working unless you renew it. With this, you will have to be smart in choosing what renewal price plan to choose. 

For instance, some domain registrars may provide inexpensive upfront renewal rates for the initial year of registration, but their renewal prices may be much more. 

A domain name can be registered for a minimum of one year. However, most businesses can want a longer registration time, perhaps as much as two years. A domain name can be registered for up to ten years at once. Domain registrars have different renewal pricing plans so you may want to choose a plan and duration that will fit your budget.

Domain Expiration Policies

Another important factor you need to check is the domain registrar’s domain expiration policies. You can’t have your website randomly shut down and stop working one day, can’t you? Anybody can buy an expired domain name and use it to host their own website, thus sealing out your company. In such case, you’ll have to repurchase the domain name at a greater price or risk losing access to it forever.

It is better to look for a domain registrar that offers a grace period after your domain registration has expired. Registrars with a grace period will usually lock your domain name to give you time to renew it even after your expiration date. 

Domain Transfers

Domain names can be transferred from one registrar to another. Normally, you wouldn’t need to transfer your domain name right away, but if you’re not content with your domain registrar, you should be able to do so without any difficulty. The majority of domain registrars make it simple and cost-free to transfer domain names. Before purchasing a domain name from a registrar, be careful to read the domain transfer policy.

Customer Support

Does the domain registrar website have a 24/7 chat support or customer service ready? For instances where your website randomly stops working even if the expiration date is far away, you will need to contact your registrar to help you. With this, you will have to make sure that their customer support is reliable and replies very quickly. 

Add-on Services

Along with selling domain names, many well-known domain registrars also provide additional services with no additional cost. If you sign up for their other services, some businesses may even give you the domain name for free. Depending on the domain registrar, most of the add-ons (with no extra costs) include: 

  • Domain privacy
  • Website builder
  • Tools for online stores
  • Site templates
  • Regular and managed site hosting
  • Dedicated servers
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Website security and backups
  • SEO services
  • Email marketing
  • Professional email addresses 
  • Privacy protection

How To Buy A Domain Name

If you are scared to start buying and registering your domain, then here’s a quick walkthrough on the process of buying a domain:

  • Choose a domain registrar from the list I compiled above.
  • Run a domain name search and see if your domain name is available. You can use an online domain checker tool. 
  • Complete the domain registration. Purchase your domain name and complete its registration. You will mostly type in your details, billing address, etc. 
  • Verify your domain ownership. The last step is to verify the email address you entered during domain registration to confirm that you are the owner of the domain. Typically, the email is received shortly after the domain setup is complete. To validate your contact information, only click the verification link in the email.

Final Thoughts 

Starting your own website does not have to be super costly or overwhelming. And no, you do not need to hire someone to make your own website for you since that will just add another cost to your budget. This is why domain registrars exist – to help you build your own website and start your business. I hope the tips and recommendations I gave have helped you save time in researching and starting your online business. 

If you have more domain registrars that you personally use and recommend, feel free to comment them down below! 

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