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The Best Domain Name Registrars

by Scott Chow | August 6, 2019

There are plenty of places you can visit online to register a domain, but it’s best to stick with one of the big ones trusted by millions. There have been hundreds upon hundreds of domain registrars over the years that popped up and fizzled out. If you purchase a domain name on a lesser known online venue, you risk the chance of losing your domain name permanently if that registrar sinks. Avoid the risk by utilizing a mainstream domain name registrar.

Bluehost is my favorite domain registrar, because when you order a web hosting package your domain registration is free. Since you will need web hosting to get your website online anyhow, you might as well take advantage of this freebie.

If you already have web hosting, or just don’t need it at this time, then

Pros

? It’s Inexpensive. There are some domain name registrations as low as $1.99 per year. These are variants of the .com or.net URLs. The .com URL registrations are only $11.99 per year.

? A Free Domain! If you purchase one of their many hosting packages (which start at $2.75 per month), you are entitled to one free year of domain name registration. More info on the hosting packages here.

? Standard Easy-to-Use Tools. The domain interface includes domain forwarding, DNS management, and transfer lock at the click of a button.

? Auto-Renewal. Easily switch your domain to auto-renewal to prevent domain registration lapses. You can easily change it back to manual renewal if you would like to let the domain expire.

? Domain Lock. This free option prevents unauthorized transfers of your domain. Your domains are automatically set to locked upon purchase. You will need to unlock your domains in Bluehost’s domain interface in order to initiate a transfer.

Cons

? Additional Cost for Privacy Protection. Upon domain registration, there is also the added but optional cost of privacy protection for the WHOIS domain database.

? No Free SSL. Bluehost doesn’t offer free SSL certificates with a domain name purchase. They do, however, offer a free WordPress SSL if you have a specific type of hosting plan. Otherwise, the SSL certificates are the normal rates of around $75 – $100 per year.


Domain.com has been around since the year 2000 and was one of the very first registrars in existence. It holds a large percentage of the world’s registered domain names and is considered one of the safest places to register.

Pros

? It’s Inexpensive. There are some domain name registrations as low as $2.99 per year. These are variants of the .com or.net URLs. The .com URL registrations are only $9.99 per year.

? Free SSL. Every domain name registration gets a free SSL certificate which is normally quite pricey. Most hosting companies charge $75 – $100 for a standard SSL certificate and implementation. Be aware that the free SSL certificate is only valid if you host on their platform.

? Standard Easy-to-Use Tools. The domain interface includes email and domain forwarding, DNS management, and transfer lock at the click of a button.

? Auto-Renewal. Easily switch your domain to auto-renewal to prevent a domain registration lapse. You can easily change it back to manual renewal and/or let it expire.

? Domain Lock. This free option prevents unauthorized transfers of your domain, a classic and nefarious mode of Internet property theft. Note that domain lock is not automatically turned on when you purchase a domain at Domain.com. You must manually activate the product they term “NameSafe” in the security section of your domain management console.

Cons

? Additional Cost for Privacy Protection. Upon domain registration, there is also the added but optional cost of privacy protection for the WHOIS domain database. Other registrars provide this freely in their domain interface.


GoDaddy

Ever since the infamous GoDaddy name jumped onto the scene with its sexy and controversial ads, it became an instant mogul in the registrar business. Since then, it has also risen to the top for website hosting, creating a one-stop shop for website setup. GoDaddy is another great place to call home for your domain.

Pros

? It’s Inexpensive. While .com variations of a URL will cost you slightly more than Domain.com at $11.99, other versions such as .online or .club will only cost you $0.99 for a yearly registration fee.

? Domain bundles. When you choose your URL, you’re offered bundles of the same URL with different extensions at 67% of the cost. This is a great opportunity for trademarked business names. This includes the .net, .org, and .info variations – the next top three domain extensions.

? Privacy Protection Included. Your name, address, phone number, and email remain private in the public WHOIS directory. Extra privacy can be purchased at an additional charge which prevents third parties from accessing your sensitive information.

? Instant Website Start. You can start your website for free on a limited website builder. This a great option to have handy if you need an immediate web presence.

? Standard Easy-to-Use Tools. The domain interface includes email and domain forwarding, DNS management, and transfer lock at the click of your mouse.

? Auto-Renewal. Easily switch your domain to auto-renewal to prevent domain registration lapses. With GoDaddy, your domains will automatically be set to auto-renewal upon purchase. You can turn off auto-renewal to let the domain expire.

? Domain Lock. This free option prevents unauthorized transfers of your domain. Your domain is automatically locked against transfer when you purchase the domain. If you would like to transfer the domain to a new registrar or new ownership, you will have to unlock the domain in the GoDaddy console.

Cons

? Website Builder is Only free for a Month. The instant website builder is only a trial and the true per month cost is not displayed upon checkout. Thankfully, it is inexpensive with four plans to choose from starting at $5.99 per month. But if you don’t cancel or modify your order before the first month is through, you will automatically be charged on a monthly basis.

? No Free SSL. There is no free SSL upon domain name registration. However, GoDaddy offers a free temporary standard URL with some web hosting packages..


Namecheap

Namecheap is another wildly popular domain registrar that offers domains, hosting, security, and managed WordPress hosting.

Pros

? It’s Inexpensive. The .com URL extensions are only $10.98 for yearly registration, sometimes coming down to $8.88 during regular incentivized specials.

? A Very Inexpensive Website Builder. Namecheap offers website hosting PLUS a website builder at only $2.88 per month when you purchase a domain through them, which is insanely cheap. Hence the name?

? Free Privacy Protection. Namecheap touts the offer of free privacy protection now and forever. All you have to do is visit their WhoisGuard page and click “Activate Now”.

? Standard Easy-to-Use Tools. The domain interface includes email and domain forwarding, DNS management, and transfer lock at the click of a button.

? Auto-Renewal. Easily switch your domain to auto-renewal to prevent domain registration lapses. You can easily change it back to manual renewal and/or let the domain expire.

? Domain Lock. This free option prevents unauthorized transfers of your domain. Your domain is automatically locked against transfer when you purchase the domain. If you would like to transfer the domain to a new registrar or new ownership, you will have to unlock the domain in the Namecheap console.

Cons

? No Free SSL. While the SSL certificate for your new domain isn’t free, Namecheap only charges $3.88 per year, which is a far cry from the “normal” price gouge of $100 per year still held by many hosting companies.

? Email Is an Additional Fee. Namecheap offers two free months of private email under your new domain name. After that, you must sign up for a subscription. Even the hosting plans do not come with included email.



We hope this breakdown of the best domain registrars helps you make a decision. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the top registrars in the business. Each one is unique in their own way, and each one is affordable.

Do you have a different favorite domain registrar? Tell us who and why in the comments below.

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