Choosing a domain registrar is often the very first decision you’ll make when building a website.
Throughout the course of my digital marketing career, I’ve built hundreds of websites and bought dozens and dozens of domain names.
If you want to build a WordPress site or start a blog, you can bundle a domain name with your web hosting, or keep them separate – the choice is up to you.
In this ultimate guide, I ranked and reviewed the best domain registrars based on price, performance, features, support, integrations, hosting, and more.
What Is Domain Name Registrar?
A domain name registrar is a business that handles the reservation of domain names as well as the assignment of IP addresses for those domain names.
Domain names are alphanumeric aliases used to access websites; for example, Google’s domain name is ‘google.com’ and their IP address is 192.168.1.1. Domain names make it easier to access websites without having to memorize and enter numeric IP addresses.
Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar that helps you buy a domain name of your choice. It also lets you transfer your domain name if it’s registered somewhere else. And Namecheap won’t take more than 30 minutes to transfer your domain automatically.
Additionally, Namecheap also provides website hosting services, WordPress hosting, security products, business emails, etc. It covers all web hostings like shared, VPS, Managed WordPress, dedicated, and more.
There’s a ‘Beast Mode’ option that helps you find and register the exact domain name you’re looking for. You can filter your search based on options like price range, suffix, keywords, etc.
You can even narrow down your search by mentioning your niche, including travel, educational, travel & lifestyle, etc.
The domain registrar also comes with an in-built account panel to help you manage your domain effortlessly.Plus, it provides a free DNS with your domain during the time of domain transfer.
After the transfer, FreeDNS will automatically switch to its default new server. Not only this, but you can also transfer any expired domain name you want.
Namecheap also claims to provide zero downtime and lifetime free WhoisGuard privacy protection. You also get free DNSSEC security to protect your site from fraud and a business email for 2-months.
24/7 expert support that also includes Concierge support during the domain transfer is also a bonus.
Different domain names have different prices based on their popularity.
Here are the base prices for some popular suffixes:
Bluehost is one of the most popular website hosting service provider and the domain registrar. It also offers a free domain name for a year with any of its hosting plans. Some of the most popular domain suffixes include .com, .online, .site, . net, .org, and more.
To begin, you can search your preferred domain name in the search box and see if it’s available. Bluehost will direct you to the review page and let you purchase your domain if it’s available. Otherwise, it will provide you with several alternatives related to your search.
It also lets you manage your domain address and site from an easy-to-use control panel and change DNS across multiple domains. Plus, the auto-renewal feature keeps your domain safe and prevents it from expiring or getting lost.
You can even switch back o manual renewal at any time you want.
Additionally, the‘ Domain Lock’ feature keeps your domain locked to prevent unauthorized transfers. You can unlock your domain name anytime for transfers; until then, Bluehost will keep your preferred domain name safe.
See Below Some common domain suffixes Bluehost provides and their base prices:
Prices Per Year
You can also purchase its hosting plan and get a free domain and an SSL certificate for a whole year.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars and web hosting companies that manages over 80 million domains.
It provides a ‘Domain Name Generator’ to help you generate the most suitable domain name for your site. You just need to enter your business name or idea, and their software will create a suitable domain for your website. The domain generator provides up to 100 sub-domains to create a custom web address.
You can also migrate your existing domain name to GoDaddy with just a click for $7.99 (.com extension).
GoDaddy also lets you choose from a variety of domain names in multiple foreign languages and extensions. What’s more, it centralizes multiple domain names and lets you manage them from a single dashboard.
The ability to monitor your domain running and uptime with its real monitoring feature is another bonus.
Another unique feature called ‘Domain Broker’ helps you acquire an already registered domain name.
You get the assistance of a personal domain broker to reach out to the current domain owner on your behalf and negotiate the prices and terms.
It also lets you search and buy domain names in bulk – up to 500 at a time. You can also create a list of keywords or domains and upload it as a .CSV, .XLS, or .XLSX file.
See Below the Starting costs for some common domain name extensions:
Price Per Year
NameSilo is a domain name registrar that provides domain registration services, transfer of the domain, bidding of domains, etc.
It comes with a search tool that lets you perform a single domain search and bulk domain search.
You also get domain privacy for a free and massive discount for domain registration and transfer in bulk.
Besides, all the domains come with:
Prices Per Year
Their add-ons such as WHOIS Privacy, Email Forwarding, Domain Defender Protection, Custom WHOIS Records and DNS Management are always 100% free!
Domain.com is a platform where you can buy domains, web hosting, or transfer your existing domain names. You can choose from its top-level domains (TLDs) and over 25 country codes top-level domains (ccTLDs).
It provides all types of premium domains.
Premium domains are the domain names that are generally short and easy to understand. Some common premium domain suffixes include .com, .net , etc. These premium domains are easy to remember and help you with better branding, better search ranking, smart business investment, etc.
It provides a control panel that provides full control of DNS for your domain name. You can even transfer your existing domain to their platform without causing any downtime to your website. The domain transfer process generally takes 5-7 days, although the entire process is automated and hassle-free.
You just enter the domain name you’d like to transfer, and everything gets done automatically for you.
All the domains come with Lets Encrypt Free SSL to keep your site protected from various viruses and malware attacks.
Domain.com also provides numerous security add-ons with all their domains, including:
Average starting price (for .com extension) is $9.99 per year.
Gandi is a domain name registrar that lets you register, transfer, and renew your domain names. It provides an easy-to-use domain search and suggestion tool that lets you choose from over 700 domain extensions.
You also get a free SSL certificate, two free mailboxes with 3GB of storage, and unlimited email forwarding and aliases with your domain name.
Although most of its renewal prices are the same as registration prices, it’s still a bit on the expensive side. However, you do get special discount offers for registering or transferring multiple domains at once.
HostGator is another popular web hosting service provider that offers domain name registration and transfer services.
However, unlike other platforms on this list, HostGator sticks to 15 traditional and most popular top-level domains. So, if you don’t want to filter through other additional suggestions, HostGator might be a suitable option.
Some common options include .com, .website. Org,, .club, .net, .Co, .me, .space, .online, .site, etc.
You also get an auto-renewal feature that helps you prevent your domain from expiring due to human error.
With their Domain control panel, you can also manage all aspects of your domain name from a dashboard.
Plus, you can protect your personal information with Domain Privacy. Domain privacy avoids identity theft, unwanted spam, etc. It uses WHOIS to protect your domain from these potential threats.
There’s a ‘Domain Locking’ feature that helps you prevent transfer or hijacking of your domain name.
You can also transfer your existing domain name to Hostgator, but your domain should be valid and registered for a minimum of 60 days with any other domain registrar.
Here are introductory pricing plans for some of the top level domain extensions:
You’ll see a minimal hike in plans during domain renewal. The transfer of the .com domain extension starts at $7.95 per year.
Hover is a domain registrar that helps you register new domains, renew your old domains, or transfer existing domain names to Hover. It offers over 300 Top Level Domains or domain extensions like .com, .net, .ca, .org, etc.
Enter your business name or related keywords, and Hover will provide you with hundreds of available domain name options.
The domain registrar also provides built-in tools to manage your domains, DNS, and emails. Coming to security, Hover offers free WHOIS security with all domain names and two-factor authentication.
The fact that it’s solely as domain registrar can be a good thing since you won’t get bombarded by upsells. That said, you would have to rely on other software for your web hosting.
Here’s a list of the base prices for some of the most popular domain extensions:
DreamHost is a domain registrar service that provides a Domains Search Tool that provides search results for your domain prices, availability, etc. The search tool also recommends and suggests the most suitable domain names for your business.
DreamHost provides over 400+ top level domains (TLDs), including .club, .online, .io, .net, .xyz, .shop, .tech, .com, .blog, etc.
It’s one of the few domain registrars to provide FREE WHOIS Domain privacy to secure your data. WHOIS domain privacy is free with every domain registrar and will renew automatically.
You also get free unlimited subdomains for your website with VPS, Dedicated, Shared hostings.
Plus, you can manage all your domains from one account by transferring them to DreamHost. It provides a single panel for domain management to edit DNS records, set up domain forwarding, and more.
Additionally, DreamHost protects your domain from phishing and email spam and automatically removes emails sent from proxy addresses.
Here’s the pricing list of some of the most popular domain extensions:
You get free private registration, security measures, and subdomains with all the domain extensions.
10. Google Domains
Google Domains is a domain name registration service offered by Google. It provides domain names, domain & subdomain forwarding, and supports various top-level domains, including .com, .co, .academy, .io, .biz, etc.
Every Google Domain you buy or transfer includes additional services like:
It also provides several alternatives if your preferred domain name is unavailable.
Google Domain Pros:
Google Domains provide straightforward pricing for all its domain extensions.
Here’s the list of some of the most popular domain suffixes:
BuyDomain.com offers domain name registration services, including single-domain registration, bulk registration, domain transfer, and domain transfer.
All the domains come with a domain forwarding and masking feature that directs users to your website for all the domains you own. You also get a ‘Domain locking’ feature to prevent accidental or intentional transfers of your domain ownership. This feature also stops anyone from redirecting your name servers.
BuyDomain also lets you manage your DNS records, FTP, subdomains, emails, etc., from one control panel. You can even monitor the status of your domains and get instant alerts.
It also provides the auto-renew feature to automatically renew your domains and hostings plans before the expiry date.
The search tool quotes prices based on your search.
Shopify offers a domain name registration tool and automates the entire domain configuration and registration process. It provides over 50 domain extensions, including top-level domains, generic domain names, and ccTLD (country code Top Level Domains).
You can use ccTLDs to specifically target the audience from any country or region and boost your search engine ranking in that specific region.
It comes with a domain name generator tool that provides suggestions for the keyword or the company name you enter. Or you can opt for the most popular domain names. All the domain name suggestions come with the pricing of each year.
Plus, it lets you manage sub-domains & email forwarding, removes domains from your store, and transfer your existing domains to Shopify. Besides, all their domains come with WHOIS privacy protection that keeps your personal information safe and secure.
Additionally, you can use Shopify’s website builder to build your website or start a blog and then register a new domain simultaneously. The website builder comes with a drag-and-drop feature and 70 professional themes.
Different for every domain name and domain extension.
1&1 IONOS is a Europe-based domain registrar that provides plenty of free add-ons with its domain registration and transfer services.
All the domains include features like:
You can also transfer your existing domain name or email to 1&1 IONOS in 3 steps. You just need to request an authorization code from your current domain provider, enter it in IONOS, and confirm the transfer through the link sent to your email.
1&1 IONOS Pros:
Here’s a list of first-year registration prices of some of the domains:
14. Network Solution
Network Solutions was founded back in 1979 as a technology consulting company. In 1991, they were contracted by the federal government to operate the first domain name system registry.
The company went public with an IPO in 1997, and they have been bought out by several other companies since then. Network Solutions is currently a subsidiary of Web.com.
If you register your domain names with Network Solutions and are hosted on the company's name servers, you will have access to the DNS Manager tool.
The Advanced Tools section of the DNS Manager tool allows you to make changes to your domain's DNS records instead of waiting for your hosting company to make the changes on your behalf. Some of the things you can do include:
Web.com has been owned by several different entities over the years.
In 1999, Website Pros was founded in Jacksonville, Florida. Then, in 2008, Website Pros made the first of their many acquisitions when they purchased the Atlanta-based Web.com.
Website Pros switched their name to Web.com after the acquisition in 2008. The other brands that they acquired include Network Solutions and SnapNames.
And in 2018, Web.com was acquired by Siris Capital Group for $2 billion.
Today, Web.com employs more than 3,000 employees and serves nearly 3 million customers.
They are focused on helping small businesses create and launch successful websites. Also, in addition to web hosting, their services include domain registration and digital marketing.
The process begins with a customer interview, where you meet with a Web.com representative to discuss your goals and your vision for the site.
Then, the design phase begins. After a set number of iterations, you choose the final design and Web.com creates your website. You'll also get free domain registration for one year and an SSL certificate for extra security.
Once your website is live, you can add extra Web.com features such as:
Square space is ideal for creating professional websites. It has the best quality designs and features on the market, and while it can take a little getting used to, the final results are worth your patience. We recommend it for those who care about design, or have a bit of technical skill.
This website builder offers 113 templates that easily adapt to mobile devices, and its customer support live chat service is strong. Squarespace doesn’t currently offer phone support.
Squarespace offers built-in tools that support bloggers, small business owners, and creatives. G Suite and PayPal integrations are available, plus SEO tools, ecommerce functions, and easy social media integration.
You don’t need any coding skills to use Squarespace, but a little technical confidence will help a lot. Squarespace’s new version, 7.1, also allows for more design customization than ever.
The search tool quotes prices based on your search.
Hostinger is best known for its affordable prices and wide variety of features, but it does have some drawbacks worth considering. Read on to determine if Hostinger is the right provider for your site.
Hostinger was founded in Lithuania in 2004, and reached the one million user milestone in 2011. Since then, Hostinger has grown to include a number of subsidiary companies; powered by data centers in seven countries, the company and its affiliates now serve over 29 million users, with over 10,000 new signups every day.
Hostinger offers robust customer service options, including a knowledge center, 24/7 live chat, email, and support tickets. We scored Hostinger a respectable 3.5 stars out of 5 for its help and support.
What Features Do You Need in a Domain Registrar?
Business requirements vary according to the diversity in key performance indicators and deliverables across companies and industries. However, there are a few indispensable features to look at:
1. Range of Features.
Availing the services of domain registrars can be a costly affair. You need to ensure a wide range of features proportionate to the service charges.
For example, Domain.com is a feature-heavy domain registrar that allows top-level domain name extensions (TLDs), country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), enables private registrations, and whois privacy protection.
You can also take advantage of features like bulk registration, DNS management, and easy transfers.
2. Easy Domain Transfer.
Due to changing business requirements, you may need to transfer your domain to a registrar other than your current one.
As per the existing ICANN regulations, you can transfer your domain only after 60 days of registration.
Some domain registrars deliberately make the process of transferring domains very difficult so that they get to keep customers on board. That’s why it’s essential to use ethical registrars that allow easy transfers.
Registrars like Domain.com and GoDaddy ensure a seamless domain transfer experience whenever the need arises.
Pricing is a significant factor for deciding in most cases. While big companies can afford to splurge, most small businesses have to be thrifty, especially at the onset.
Domain registrars like GoDaddy and Bluehost have great high-end plans for the big players.
That said, they also have plans for small companies that are great value for money. While GoDaddy offers excellent discounts – Bluehost provides a free domain name with every hosting plan.
4. User-Friendly Interface.
Businesses want a user-friendly domain registrar so that their employees can get accustomed to it quickly and begin using it.
Domain registrars with steep learning curves can hamper business deliverables and objectives due to extended lead times.
For example, HostGator is a user-friendly domain registrar with a simple user interface. It comes with extensive documentation that demonstrates its use, making it easier for beginners to register and manage their domains.
5. Customer Support.
This is an essential consideration. Not everyone in your team may be tech-savvy, so you need holistic customer support to help you out in case you get stuck.
Domain.com provides 24/7 customer service via telephone, emails, and live chats.
6. Add-on Services.
While you may not need additional services at the moment, changing domain registrars midway can prove to be costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to check out the additional services your domain registrar can offer.
These may include services like domain parking and extended expiration protection.
There are many other considerations as well when it comes to choosing the best domain registrar for your business.
Some of them are renewal and add-on pricing, domain expiration policies, hidden fees, proper licensing for selling domain name extensions, and more
Choosing a domain name is one of the most crucial parts of building your own website. Q2 2020 closed with 370 million domain name registrations, which accounts for its importance.
It’s essential to pick the most suitable domain name since it will be a massive part of your brand identity and help you rank in search engines.
While most domain registrars offer similar services, it’s up to you to choose the one that aligns the most with your requirements. You can choose Bluehost if you’re purchasing hosting alongside your domain name since you’ll get a free domain name for the first year.
For free WHOIS security, choose domain registrars like Hover, NameSilo, Gandi, and Google Domains.
Overall, my top recommendation is Dreamhost, IONOS, Bluehost, and Namecheap due to its advanced domain name search tool, free DNSSEC security, a free business email for 2-months, etc. Nonetheless, review all the domain registrars and their features carefully before making the final choice.
Finally, now that you have a domain name for your site, you might want to check out my reviews and rankings of the best web hosting. If you’re looking to build a website of your own, check out this list of the best website builders.
Which one of these Domain Registrar are you planning to use, and why? Let me know by commenting below.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Get Latest News And Updates on the best online business Software and Platforms.