Best Domain Name Registrar
A domain name is a handy little title that allows people to find your website, blog or business within the vast reaches of the web. In order to capture this title, you will first need to go through domain registration via a company known as a domain registrar.
A good domain name gives a potential site visitor an easy-to-remember website address that can connect them to you. So the best domains are ones that are typically catchy, simple and easy to type.
If you want to create a new website you have to come up with one of those catchy domain names, check to see if it is available and then you have to register it with a domain registrar. The domain registration process will manage the addition of your new name to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, otherwise known as ICANN. This ensures that you will not ever be sharing a name with someone else.
Best Domain Registrar: What to Consider
There are many domain name registrars out there and many of them have interesting and tantalizing advertisements that we see every day. However, before you go out and buy a domain name from the first registrar that makes you laugh with a TV ad, take some time to see what is available. Here are some important factors to consider:
- Do you also need a web host? If you are looking for a server to host your site as well as a domain name, there are some registrars that offer a free domain with hosting service.
- Do you need a web builder? Some companies offer a free domain name with the purchase of a web builder.
- Pay attention to accreditation. Check the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to see what kind of accreditation the registrar has. If you choose an accredited company, you can be sure that your domain registration is legitimate.
- Add-ons can boost your cost for things you don't need. When you are purchasing a domain name, be sure that you look at your final bill before you buy. Sometimes companies will automatically include add-on services that you have to manually exclude from your final purchase.
- Premium domains are dot coms that use common words, typically shorter ones, which cost a lot of money. Sites will often charge a lot for the first year you own a premium domain, especially if they are owned but not used.
- Pay attention to renewal prices. Registrar sites often charge very low prices for the first year and then raise them up to industry standards after that. Some people are surprised at the sudden price increase.
The Best Domain Name Registrars
- Domain included with web hosting or building
- Extra features included with domain
- Competitive pricing
- Easy to use website
- One month free trial
- No live chat
1and1.com offers you a valuable combination of excellent pricing and helpful bonuses. Buying a domain with them comes with that added benefit of their website builder which allows you to build a site with 5 pages, private domain registration, masked URL forwarding and unlimited email forwarding.
1and1.com also offers some cost saving packages if you need some other services like web hosting or web building. For $0.99 a month you can get your domain and take advantage of their MyWebsite feature that allows you to simply create your website or for the same price you can get the domain and web hosting service.
The search function is easy to use and yields quick results. If your name is available a list of prices for each domain extension will be generated. Then you can select your domain to view the possible packages that are available.
Verdict - Superb
1and1.com is an excellent choice for its competitive prices and money saving packages. Plus, the extra features for buying a simple domain are attractive.
- Live chat available
- Fair pricing
- Extra features included with domain
- Domain free with web hosting
- 24/7 Support
- No free website builder
It all starts with a great domain according to Domain.com, who offers domains at fair industry prices and offers several features free with every domain. Free add-on features include URL forwarding, email forwarding and total DNS management. Domain.com also offers webhosting and web building. Each different hosting plan comes with a free domain, so if you need both you may be able to save by combining the services.
The site is easy to use and includes an intuitive search tool that can instantly show your preferred name's availability and pricing. It will also show alternative domain names and their different prices so you can make a comparison. Domain.com offers 24/7 support as well as a live chat function.
Verdict - Great
Domain.com's fairly competitive pricing and easy to use site make them worth your consideration. Plus, their free add-ons and bundled services can help you save money.
- The site has helpful marketing tools
- Intuitive search tool
- 24/7 customer support
- Informative "Training Hub"
- Offers free domain with web builder
- Search can be slow to report taken domains
GoDaddy is a big name in both domain registration and web hosting and one of the leading companies in the business. It is hard to miss their ostentatious ads if you spend any time near a TV or the internet. The company offers a great deal of features aside from domain registration including web hosting, marketing tools and the "Get Found" tool that lets you see your company's web presence. However, with all of these features, be sure that you are only buying what you want. They may include some add-ons before your final purchase.
When you are searching for an available domain be sure to check multiple sources. A test search showed a domain as available that was actually already taken. Sometimes the search function is late or misses recently purchased domains.
If your domain is available GoDaddy will show you prices and suggestions for other domain extensions (.us,.org etc.) that are also available. If your name is not available it will suggest available alternatives. Prices for .coms with common words are considered premium domains and can be expensive for the first year and typically drop to a more typical price after. GoDaddy charges a bit more than other top sites for a premium domain we test searched.
Verdict - Very Good
This top name in domain registration is definitely worth considering. They offer competitive prices for typical domains and prices vary for premium ones. Their intuitive search function allows you to see a domain and possible alternatives. Just be sure to check with another source to be sure if the domain is available.
- Competitive first year prices
- Intuitive search tool
- Free domain with site builder
- No live chat
- Consumer reviewers complain about expensive renewals
Register.com is owned by Web.com which is an online marketing and web building site. It offers fairly competitive first year prices but some consumer reviews complain that renewal prices were a bit more than they expected.
Register.com offers three separate domain name registration packages. For $5 each year, you can purchase the domain which comes with online account management tools and forwarding from an existing site at no additional cost. For a monthly fee starting at $1.95 you can get the domain, access to their website builder and over 9,500 design layouts.
The third package bundles the domain with the website builder and their online marketing service. This comes with search engine submission and professional SEO consultations. Bundling services can save you money if you had planned on paying for those services separately.
Verdict - Good
Register.com has competitive first year prices but their packages aren't the cheapest you can find. Plus, some consumer reviewers complain about pricey renewals.
- Competitive pricing
- Live chat
- Free mailing service
- Also offers hosting service
- No cheap first year price
Namecheap is another site that offers domain registrations at competitive prices. Although, Namecheap doesn't offer first year prices for dot coms that compete with other top registrars like Go Daddy, their renewal and ongoing annual prices are very competitive. If you plan on keeping the domain for a long time Namecheap's prices make them worthwhile but if you are looking to save a little money in the short term, you might want to look at other registrars.
Namecheap comes with some helpful extras including free email service which many other services charge extra for. They also offer web-hosting services for a monthly fee that comes with a domain name. This can be beneficial to anyone who is paying to the two separately
Namecheap offers good customer support including a live chat option if you need help or have questions while browsing the site.
Verdict - Good
Namecheap is a good choice if you want to save money in the long run but they do not offer great first year prices like some other services.
Best Domain Registrars Review Recap
If you are looking for domain registration with competitive pricing visit the top sites before you buy. There are numerous domain registration options out there but paying attention to subtle resources may mean finding a service that is perfect for you.
Best Domain Registrars FAQs
What is a domain name and why is it important?
A domain name is part of the domain naming system, which is a system of unique names for a web address. It is a way to identify a website in an easy to remember format. Domain names, in their simplest form, are made up of a term followed by a domain extension like .com or .org. Domain names are a more viable way to find a website and replace IP addresses as the primary way to locate a domain.
Domain names are completely unique to each site so that no two officially registered domains are the same. When you buy a name from an accredited domain name registrar, the service will manage your name's registration with domain registry database.
The best domain names are as short as possible and easy to remember. For businesses, their own name often follows that same easy to remember guidelines as a domain name, so a name that is as close to the business' name as possible is typically ideal.
What is a premium domain name?
If you have spent much time searching for a good domain name you may have run across something called a premium domain. These can be seen on domain registrars for huge first-year prices, even as high as hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Premium domains were once owned and registered but are put back onto the market. These names are often short names that use short, catchy or memorable phrases. There is really only one major factor that goes into a good domain name and that its ability to be remembered. Because they are so easy to remember they are hot commodities and the demand for them causes the price to go up.
Also, a name that was previously owned may already have traffic being directed to it by people who are searching for the domain name. So if you want to build a site with a premium domain, you might get some free traffic right away.