8 Best Domain Registrars (Ranked and Reviewed)
No matter what kind of presence you are trying to create in the online world, standing out is tough, especially for businesses and individuals trying to prove to their audience that they are authentic.
Establishing a reputable and professional-looking presence online means mastering every detail, the domain name being a prime example of this.
Your domain name will essentially be the online address of your website; it is the means by which people can identify your particular site, and it represents the location of your presence on the internet.
Bluehost and Domain.com are our top selections.
For example, Google’s address is conveniently google.com, so you know what you’re going to get when you search it.
It is imperative that this domain name reflects your company name as accurately as possible. Otherwise, people may have a hard time finding you online.
Choosing the right domain name can be important for online branding, yet it’s not always as straightforward a process as it could be.
This is where domain registrars come in. Through a dedicated domain registrar, you can lease the perfect name for your company.
Why is this important? Because everything you do in the public eye should reflect the standards and quality of your brand.
What Does a Registrar Do?
A domain name registrar is an organization that can lease you a domain for a price. You can’t directly own a domain; you can only rent it, which is why there is a recurring fee for obtaining your name; you are essentially renewing the lease.
While there are many different types of domain registrar, they do not all function in the same way, nor do they offer the same features.
For example, some registrars are also website hosting services, whereas others simply rent you the name and nothing else.
Aside from this, there are a few essential elements to look out for when buying from a domain registrar, such as their security levels and their reliability, so it is not just the costs that need considering.
The quality of service they offer can differ immensely too, and there are some definite outliers operating right now (and a few that are not worth your time), so it is worth shopping around to find one whose features fit your personal needs.
If you happen to be changing your company’s website any time soon, undergoing a rebrand, publishing your website for the first time, building a new site from scratch, changing your website’s name, or simply looking to switch domain registrars, here are some prime examples of registrars to look out for.
Bluehost is one of the internet’s largest web hosting services, and it is used by several big brands on the planet and plenty of individuals with personal blogs.
Bluehost, as the name would imply, is a website hosting service that offers a free domain and a ton of great hosting advantages like a famously good uptime rate (this is how long the hosting service is operational throughout the year) and all the tools you will need to build a fast and functional website.
If you are just hoping to use it for a domain registrar, you might be better off spending less money on a dedicated platform, as with Bluehost, you are technically paying for the entire hosting service and additional website building features, too (it thrives on WordPress and Weebly integration for this part).
This, of course, is ideal for anyone wanting to create a new website and get their hands on a great custom domain name for free.
You will need to pay extra for domain privacy when many other registrars offer this service for free as part of their package.
This is security feature protects your domain in the WHOIS records (all of the online information associated with your domain name). Without it, your data might be at risk of falling into the hands of unauthorized users.
- There is plenty of support available for it online.
- It is a complete hosting service, which means that you will have everything you need to build a website and publish it with the custom domain name you want.
- It offers the option to add your domain to email addresses, which is great for brand authenticity purposes.
- There are some great options for interacting with your viewers, like a live call-in feature, for example.
- For those who wish to create the whole package, the pricing is very decent.
- There is no limit on bandwidth.
- It is officially partnered with WordPress, so it is optimized for their flexible site-building features.
Should You Choose Bluehost?
If you just want to change your domain name, here are other services worth checking out.
If you want to build a website and relish in the many benefits of a popular, adaptable, and powerful all-in-one tool, Bluehost is certainly worth checking out.
It is one of the quickest ways to get your website up and running, which is why it is preferred by so many bloggers and first-time creators as well as major organizations.
Rank: A+ Try Bluehost >>
1&1 Ionos is a well-renowned internet service that provides web solutions to a huge client base.
It is known for various services, including its hosting plan, but it also offers some enticing options for domain registration.
It is one of the cheaper options since you can lease a .com domain for just $1 per year for the first year.
The renewal price hikes up to $13 dollars a year after this, but the very low starting price is worth it alone.
The service also offers a few neat extras like an auto-suggestion tool when you search for your domain and a nifty bit of kit for anyone wishing to build a portfolio.
You will get some stellar support if you choose this option, and while there are cheaper long-term options out there, Ionos is a tried-and-true company with a great reputation and a heap of other offerings to boot.
1&1 Ionos offers so much in the way of online services that it could be your one-stop web service extraordinaire if you wanted.
For example, they provide cloud hosting, VPS hosting, e-commerce hosting, and dedicated server hosting, just to mention a few.
You may find that the interface is a little outdated, and the backend is quite clunky to manage. However, if you are just in it for the domains, you can be sure this is a reliable choice.
- They have transparent pricing and a great introductory deal.
- Enjoy neat tools like the domain name recommendation feature.
- Your domain comes free with an email account (2 GB).
- Get totally free private registration for the added security bonus.
- It offers you free website protection through its Wildcard SSL feature should you need it.
- There is a bulk domain search feature that allows you to check up to 100 domains in one go, a potentially massive timesaver.
Should You Choose 1&1 Ionos?
1&1 Ionos is a great all-rounder option. They offer plenty of services should you wish to take care of your other online needs at any point, and their friendly and helpful team is willing to offer their support if you ever need to reach out.
It is on the pricier side for renewals, but the bargain $1 entry point for some top-level domain options could be a dealbreaker for those looking for a temporary solution to their domain renting needs.
Rank: A+ Try 1&1 Ionos >>
For those wishing to buy domain names in bulk, then Namesilo might be one of the best options around.
You may want to buy domain names in bulk for a whole bunch of reasons, but a common reason for doing so is to prevent other companies from taking your name.
Another reason might be to account for people’s spelling mistakes when searching for your site online.
If you own similar-looking domain names, there is a greater chance any users will be directed to your site if they make a mistake via keywords in the other names that you own. Some companies have portfolios of thousands of domain names.
The reason Namesilo shines out here is that it offers you a discount if you buy more names, which is highly uncommon among the competition.
Say, for example, you wanted to buy ten domains. By checking the pricing calculator on their website, they can offer you ten domains for $99.99, and that includes security. This is by far the cheapest deal you can find.
If you just want to buy one domain, it will currently cost you $9.95. Since all the addons are free, it is noticeably cheaper than others on this list.
It also offers cheap renewal costs for those bulk domains, which is worth noting if you are planning on building a long-term portfolio.
- Get great value on bulk buying domain names.
- It offers free WHOIS security on all domain names, a great offering since many others charge a fair bit extra for this.
- DNS hosting and email forwarding are included in the initial price.
- The free security options are a welcome bonus in a world where you usually pay.
- Transparent pricing is refreshing, as some of the other prices are incredibly hard to find and take a fair bit of research to get a single figure.
- It is easy to understand and interact with.
Should You Choose Namesilo?
There is a noticeable lack of guidance and handholding happening with this offering, but this should not be an issue if you have a bit of technical experience.
Namesilo is a great choice for people wishing to buy and sell domains, build their domain portfolio, or simply register a domain for a great price.
Rank: A+ Try Namesilo >>
Domain.com is another great domain registrar that also doubles as a hosting service, and it is among the more popular options for a wide variety of reasons.
Their customer support is always on hand to help out, and they tend to be super friendly too, which can be an important selling point these days.
They are undoubtedly operating among the cream of the crop.
Therefore, they can offer you a wealth of features like WHOIS security, very easy domain transfers, and a handy domain name search tool to make it a dream for those wishing to change their website name.
It is fairly priced at $9.99 for the first year, but this is an introductory rate, and it will jump up to $15.99 per year, which is still pretty decent.
- It has all the high-end tools you would want from a top contender, like good security features, responsive support, and straightforward DNS management.
- They allow you to register many different domain names, not just the most popular ones.
- It doubles as a hosting service.
Should You Choose Domain.com?
Domain.com is a wonderful registrar with some great features and a reliable 24/7 support component, so if you are looking to get a good price on finding a new name, this could be the one for you.
However, if you want to build a website from the ground up, a different option (Bluehost) that specializes in that may be preferable.
Rank: A+ Try Domain.com >>
Time for another popular hosting company, one of the most popular in the industry in fact: HostGator.
It is a customer-friendly, dependable, and easy-to-use platform that millions choose to host the website. While it focuses on being a website host (and does it very well), it also works as a domain registrar.
You can pick up HostGator and all its great website-building features starting from $3.84 per month, and this comes with a free domain name that lasts for a year before returning to the full price of $18.99 for a .com name.
For that price, though, you do get some of the best services around, and if you are interested in building your own website, the building tools are truly top-notch too.
Their uptime is superb as well, so you will likely have no worries in that department, and if there is something wrong with your domain, the friendly team is always on hand to help.
- It is a wonderful all-in-one website builder, one of the best around.
- It is e-commerce ready, so for small businesses just starting out, the sales tools they have on offer might be the perfect fit for you.
- Highly accessible DNS management tools.
- Favored for its accessibility and friendly support, which essentially allows you to get your website kickstarted as soon as possible.
- Easy domain migration.
- Straightforward purchasing process.
Should You Choose HostGator?
This will be an expensive choice for those that just want to utilize a platform solely as a domain registrar, but for website building solutions, it is certainly a top consideration.
Rank: A Try HostGator >>
Hover.com is a rock-solid domain registrar option, so for those of you looking to get hold of a domain by itself in a hassle-free manner without needing the extra hosting services, this is a sensible option.
The platform makes it as easy as it possibly can be in terms of getting your domain name registered, transferring your old domains, and renewing your existing ones.
Their whole selling point is that it is as straightforward as can be, and they will guide you through the entire process too.
They also boast a neat domain suggestion feature, which can be useful if you are yet to decide on a name that works best for you or if you need to expand your domain portfolio.
The simplicity is its biggest highlight. This does not mean it lacks great features. It just means that the great features it has are easy to use.
There is a highly intuitive user interface that allows you to manage your domains to your heart’s content, and it is undoubtedly one of the nicer-looking and more accessible ones on the list.
Domain privacy is also offered at no extra cost, and the user interface even enables easy integration with plenty of popular hosting services like Squarespace and Etsy.
They also have phone support, which bizarrely enough is a rarity in this industry. In terms of price, you are looking at $13.99 per year for a .com domain.
- Get free domain privacy and no hidden costs.
- It is a joy to use as it is so straightforward.
- You get a massive choice of top-level domains to choose from.
- Live support with a phone option too.
- It offers easy integration tools even though it is solely a domain registrar.
- It is very unintrusive, i.e., it will not bombard you with upselling offers.
Should You Choose Hover.com?
Hover.com is a great choice for anyone who wants a straightforward domain registering experience with no hassle whatsoever.
It does creep into the slightly more expensive range, but it works out fair considering domain privacy is free.
If, however, you need a complete solution to your website hosting and domain requirements in one package, Hover.com does not offer this, so you will have to look elsewhere (Bluehost).
Rank: A Try Hover.com >>
DreamHost has been around for 18 years, and in that time, it has gained quite a worldwide following.
It is primarily a web hosting platform, and it comes complete with all the top-quality tools you will need to create your website from the ground up.
It has a super-simple WordPress integration option; it just takes one click to install.
You might be pleased to know that it also offers a very low-cost domain registration option for the first year.
Currently, it costs just $2.95 a month for them to host your website and offer you a free domain name for an entire year.
For those of you who just want to use it as a domain registrar service, you are looking at a price of just $7.99 per year, a real steal considering you also get free private registration.
The platform also offers a multilayer security service, including phishing protection and shielding for your contact info.
In addition, it has a mesmerizing 100% uptime guarantee, making it ideal for taking on intensive hosting roles. DreamHost will be more than happy to compensate you if there is downtime.
- It integrates seamlessly with WordPress for your hosting needs.
- It is dependable.
- A highly responsive support team is on hand to help should you need extra assistance.
- Automated backups.
- There is a huge range of hosting plans available, so if you need the entire service and not just the domain registration aspect, this is a good choice tool.
- They offer a renewal discount if you have more domains in your portfolio.
Should You Choose DreamHost?
DreamHost is a great all-rounder.
It works as both a stellar host and a domain registrar, so if you are new to this world, it can help you cover all bases at a very fair price.
Rank: A Try DreamHost >>
Namecheap does exactly what its name might suggest, just like any good domain should do.
Through Namecheap, you can easily and cost-effectively rent the top-level domain names available. For example, a .com domain costs only $9.48 a year, but a discount offer is usually available, enabling you to get it much cheaper than that.
You can pay more upfront to secure your domain name for longer too, and every domain purchase comes free with WHOIS security.
Namecheap also acts as a hosting service, and if you sign up to them, you get a free domain for a year, similar to many other entries on this list (the ones that double as website hosts).
The cost for all hosting plans sits at an incredible $1.58 per month, down from the usual fee of $3.88 per month, which is still great.
Other popular domains like .org are only $7.48 per year, but there are plenty of other cheap options on the platform, so it is worth checking out.
They also offer a free migration service, so if you are looking to move your website to their hosting service from somewhere else, they can help you do this for free.
One of the stand-out points of this service is that it charges very little for renewal, so you do not have to worry about the costs accumulating too drastically over time.
- It offers great prices for the best domain names around.
- The company is very supportive.
- It doubles as a website host if you need it.
- The free security options are a welcome bonus in a world where you usually pay.
- There are over 50 SSL certificates (a key that authenticates your online identity or the identity of your content).
- It is easy to understand and interact with.
- Very high response time.
- It offers you data centers in the UK as well as the US.
Should You Choose Namecheap?
Namecheap is a solid contender for anyone looking for a budget-friendly feature-rich website hosting/domain registrar, and it makes a great choice for people starting new websites because of its low costs.
As time goes on, however, costs may start to add up, such as the additional cost of DDoS protection, but it is still well worth your consideration, and there are free trials available for you to check out.
Rank: A Try Namecheap >>
F A Q
What is the best way to buy a domain name?
The best way to get hold of a name is simply to go straight to the registrar’s website and search for it using the search bar.
It is as straightforward as can be, and payment only takes a minute (and that is on most platforms too).
What happens if my desired domain name is taken?
If your preferred domain name is taken, you will probably have to come up with a new one. Try and jiggle some of the letters around or add a few hyphens.
Most of the best domain registrars will offer you some close suggestions too. You could always try and buy it if you absolutely need the domain for your brand.
Can I change my domain after I buy it?
Unfortunately not, so make sure you do not accidentally misspell it! You can try and cancel it if there is a mistake, but you probably won’t get your money back.
Triple checking the spelling before you commit is crucial.
Does it Matter Where My Domain Registrar is Located?
The location of your domain registrar does not matter; it will not affect your domain at all.
However, your host’s location might as this is essentially the location of the real-world infrastructure where your website will reside.
Is a Domain the Same as a URL?
They are not the same but do not worry if that’s confusing, it is a very common misconception, and it can be difficult to understand if it’s your first time reading about the intricacies of web hosting.
A domain is the address of your website, and the URL is the information that defines a particular part of that address, like a specific webpage.
For example, YourTopBlog.com is the domain name, and https://yourtopblog.com is the URL for the homepage.
We have put together the list of the best Domain Registrars and thus you will not have to search for them anywhere else.
Hopefully, this is a perfect selection for you to check out for the time being.
It is important to remember that while pricing and general function might be incredibly similar across a fair number of the options on this list, they all differ slightly in terms of features offered.
It could be worth trying out a few options to see what works best for you.
Bluehost and Domain.com are our top selections.
Are you looking for the best web hosting providers? Check out our review here.