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15 Best Domain Registrar [Ultimate Guide]

domain-name-registrar

Although registering your Domain name might be a straightforward task, there are a lot of factors you should take into consideration when picking a domain registrar.

Domain registrars are the companies responsible for registering and managing domain names for all websites around the world.

Your relationship with your chosen domain registrar is very much a long-term relationship, therefore it is important to have all the relevant information available to make you pick a domain registrar that suits you perfectly.

Here is our list of the 15 best domain registrars in 2021.

Best Domain Registrar

1. Namecheap

namecheap-domain-registrar

Founded in the year 2000 by Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap is popularly known for two services; Domain registration and web hosting. While the quality of their web hosting services is often discredited, Namecheap shines as a domain registrar.

Along with being very affordable and reliable, Namecheap is the fastest and easiest registrar to get your domain name registered; it is cheap helpful, and very efficient.

Namecheap comes with a wide range of domain name extensions as many as 400+ Looking for a domain name that ends with something as weird as .vodka? Namecheap is the right place to go.

Key Features of Namecheap

  • Custom DNS: Namecheap gives free custom nameservers and DNS updates.
  • Free Whois privacy: Whois is a central database that receives contact information and identification of a newly registered domain name. Whois privacy keeps your information from being accessed by anyone. Your explicit permission needs to be given in order to access your private information.
  • 24/7 Customer support: Quick and reliable, you never walk alone when using Namecheap because they have a great customer service who respond immediately and solve your problem at most within 48 hours.
  • Namecheap Marketplace: This provides a convenient venue for you to resell your domain.
  • Knowledgebase: A really great feature over here. Available on their site is a page referred to as the ‘knowledgebase’. This provides all the helpful resources you might ever need and more. The materials are very detailed and educational.

As said earlier, Namecheap is much more than just a Domain registrar. Other features/services of Namecheap include:

  • Shared Hosting.
  • Email Hosting.
  • e-Commerce.
  • WordPress Hosting.
  • Reseller Hosting.
  • VPS Hosting.
  • Dedicated Hosting.

Pros

  • Set up is simple and straightforward.
  • Stellar Customer service and support.
  • SMTP, IMAP, POP3.
  • Affordable.
  • 2-Factor Authentication.
  • Free Whois privacy.
  • Fast DNS services.

Cons

  • Their poor hosting reputation can be discouraging although it doesn’t necessarily reduce their value as a great domain registrar.
  • Web interface is straightforward but, could be more modernized.
  • Premium domain names can be quite costly.

Pricing

Namecheap is so budget-friendly, it has the word ‘cheap’ in it’s name. You can get a .com site for as little as $8.88.

The price ranges based on the TLD and whether you want to register newly, renew or transfer. Here is the price list for common TLD:

  • .com: $8.88 to register, $12.98 to renew and $8.58 to transfer.
  • .net: $10.78 to register, $14.98 to renew and $10.98 to transfer.
  • .org: $9.18 to register, $14.98 to renew and $10.98 to transfer.
  • .co: $7.98 to register, $25.98 to renew and $21.48 to transfer.

Final Verdict

These prices vary from time to time as Namecheap often puts up sales and discounts as high as 67% off. If you’re looking for ease and quality at a budget friendly price, go with Namecheap.


2. GoDaddy

Godaddy-domain-name-registrar

Technically the world’s biggest domain registrar with over 20million users and over 80million domain names registered since it’s launch in 1997.

“It all starts with a domain name”- Find the perfect domain name with GoDaddy and get registered in a very uncomplicated process.

Just like Namecheap, GoDaddy also provides web hosting services. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use the hosting services as GoDaddy integrates perfectly with third-party applications like WordPress.

GoDaddy is also affordable; well……kinda. Let me elaborate.

The initial prices of domain names are usually very affordable; even cheaper than Namecheap (.co.uk starting price as low as $0.99). The catch however is the price for renewal takes a huge leap to $10.17. This applies to other TLDs as well with some being as high as $35 for renewal.

Despite this, most GoDaddy users agree that the services are worth the long-term cost and they offer a diverse variety of domains and extensions allowing for some of the most creative site names you would come across on the internet.

Key Features of GoDaddy

  • Online payment processing.
  • SSL security.
  • Search Functionality.
  • Third Party Integration.
  • Whois Privacy protection.
  • Domain Auction.

Other features of GoDaddy that may be relevance to you include:

  • Blog management.
  • Facebook business page creation.
  • Website hosting.
  • Website migration.
  • WordPress website hosting.
  • e-Commerce.

Pros

  • The prices are relatively affordable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Friendly customer service.
  • The website builder is loved by many and lives up to their reputation. Although, this doesn’t necessarily improve it’s value as a domain registrar, it could come in handy for you if you want to register your domain and also build your website with GoDaddy’s website builder.
  • Ideal for managing large number of domain names.

Cons

  • No live chat support available.
  • Customer support is inconsistent; because of this, you would find tons of horror stories online about the poor support.

Pricing

Starting prices for registration start at as low as $0.99 to over $30 based on your purchase. Some of the popular one’s include:

  • .org: $10.17
  • .com: $5.01
  • .live: $2.17
  • .cloud: $30.17

As mentioned earlier, the prices are usually increased during renewal. Other domains you can get for discounts as high as 30% include: .xyz, .online, .store, .live and so many more.

Final Verdict

GoDaddy is great for handling a large number of domains and the initial prices are usually significantly low which can be a good thing.

It’s very popular and because of that, you can easily find materials available if you run into any roadblock when making use of their other more complicated services.


3. Domain.com

domain.com-domain-registrar

Do more with Domain.com! Just like it’s competitors, Domian.com offers domain name registration services and hosting services. This is a versatile provider that has been around for over 2 decades and delivers solid services.

Domain.com have a straightforward pricing system for domain registration and unlike many other domain registrars, the price is sky rocketed after the first year of registration.

Worthy of mention however is that domain.com initial prices are still considered relatively high compared to other domain registrars. The good news though is that the cost balances out in the long run.

Just like Namecheap, Domain.com doesn’t exactly shine in web hosting services although they deliver good services there, they are not the best.

If you are looking for a domain registrar only, domain.com is a great choice. However if you are considering other factors such as web building and hosting, you might want to go with another platform.

Key Features of Domain.com

  • Scalable Bandwidth.
  • Unlimited Disk Storage.
  • Unlimited Sites.
  • WordPress Hosting.
  • Drag-and-Drop Website Builder.
  • Automated Domain Renewal Server (ADRS).
  • SSL Support.

Pros

  • Quality customer service.
  • Straightforward pricing: Unfortunately, this is not a quality that can be added to many registrars, this makes Domain.com really stand out.
  • Easy to access and use.
  • Great range of TLDs available: we have added a list below that showcases the variety of domain name extensions available on Domain.com.

Cons

  • Still quite expensive when compared to others.
  • Interface looks outdated.

Pricing

Domian.com is very transparent with it’s prices which are pretty stable. Here is a compiled list of the TLDs and the price for renewal. Prices for popular TLDs include:

  • .com : $9.99 for registration price and $13.99 for renewal
  • .org : $8.99 for registration and $14.99 for renewal
  • .io : $47.99 for registration and $60.99 for renewal

Final Verdict

Domain.com is a reliable domain name registrar and is ultimately affordable. If you want to do more, go with Domain.com!


4. Google Domains

google-domains-domain-registrar

Google domains is a new registrar in comparison to others we have mentioned on this list so far. It was launched in 2014 by Google and offers services from domain registration, DNS hosting, to domain forwarding, and email forwarding.

Unlike many other domain registrars we have mentioned, Google domains doesn’t offer any Hosting services. So if you want to use Google domains as your registrar, you need to pay for hosting services on another platform.

Just like Domain.com, Google domains prices may come off as expensive when compared to others like GoDaddy perhaps but, they have transparent prices with no increase for renewal which makes them very much worth it in the end.

In addition, you get free privacy protection as well as Google-powered servers.

However, Google services is available only in 19 countries at the moment (US included). Check out this list to see what countries Google domains is available in.

Key Features of Google Domains

The major features of Google Domains include:

  • Transfer in existing domains from other registrars.
  • Free privacy protection included with your purchase.
  • Google-powered DNS.
  • Privacy protection.
  • Part of your existing Google account, no separate login. Also allows for two-factor authentication.
  • Email forwarding (up to 100 aliases).
  • Domain and subdomain forwarding.
  • Builder integration Easy integration with top website builders.

Pros

  • Familiar interface: Most people are very familiar with Google dashboard since it’s similar to the dashboard of other Google tools like Google analytics.
  • Free privacy protection.
  • It’s fast and reliable.
  • Custom email is included with domain purchase with no extra cost.
  • Integration with Google Suites.

Cons

  • Their domain extensions are not as diverse as other registrars like Namecheap which offers over 400 domain extensions.
  • It’s still relatively on the expensive side.

Pricing

Search through this compiled list by Google to find out the cost based on TLD. Google domains pricing

Here are the prices for the most popular domain name extensions:

  • .com : $12 for registration per year and price for renewal is the same.
  • .co.uk : $12 registration per year and price for renewal is the same.
  • .io : $60 registration per year and price for renewal is the same.

Final Verdict

Honestly, the familiarity of a Google powered product makes it pretty irresistible. The major downside you might think of is that the price is high when compared to it’s competitors but, Google domains delivers it’s worth.

Remember it’s only a domain registrar so you would want to pair it off with a hosting service if you are interested in that as well.


5. Hover

hover-domain-registrar

Hover is a domain registrar founded in 2008 with it’s headquarters in Canada. Hover promises that ‘you pay less with more domains’ Yes, this is true. The more domains you register with Hover, the more discounts you are offered.

Their generosity doesn’t end there. Hover also offers free Whois privacy and frequently put domain names on sale. This means if you are lucky you could get a domain a name extension that usually goes for $49.99 for s low as $7.99.

Although, Hover’s customer service team isn’t available 24/7 as in the case of some other domain registrars, they are known to have an excellent customer service that are friendly, professional and always helpful. Their level of customer appreciation is simply top notch!

Most customers are satisfied with their Hover experience and here are some of the reasons why:

Key Features of Hover

  • Hover Connect: “Pick the service you want to use to build and host your website. Connect helps you start using your domain name with just a couple of clicks.” Basically this feature lets you connect your domain to popular services such as hosting and publishing platforms.
  • Hover Valet Service: This service lets you transfer one or all of your domains from your current registrar to Hover with ease. If you want to be a recipient of these service, all you have to do is send an email to them at [email protected]
  • Whois Privacy: Hover provides free Whois privacy for every domain name as well as other security features like two-factor authentication
  • Email management tools.
  • Advanced DNS Management.
  • Unlimited forwarding.
  • Extensive knowledge base: Here you can explore topics on domains, renewal etc. and figure out how to make use of the Hover features to their full capacity.

Pros

  • Excellent customer support: As mentioned earlier, Hover customer service representatives are friendly, helpful and know how to leave their customers feeling satisfied.
  • Simple and uncluttered interface .
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Limited upsell noise: You don’t get overwhelmed with tons of ads and useless offers as in the case of many other domain registrars.
  • Free Whois privacy.

Cons

  • Hover email services are still in need of improvement.
  • Domain names can be considered expensive.

Pricing

On their site, they have a page where you can see the prices of domain names according to the domain name extension. Check that out here. They also do monthly sales on top domain names so be sure to check that out too.

Here are the prices for popular TLDs:

  • .com : $12.99 for registration, $14.99 for renewal and $12.99 for transfer.
  • .io : $49.99 for registration, $49.99 for renewal and $79.99 for transfer.
  • .org : $13.99 for registration, $15.99 for renewal and $13.99 for transfer.

Final Verdict

Hover are all about great customer support and giving you an enjoyable experience. With the exception of their email services which are still in need of improvement, Hover is a great choice for you if you want simplicity and minimal ads being thrown at you.


6. Dynadot

dynadot-domain-registrar

Dynadot is a domain registrar and web hosting platform founded in 2002. Their mission is “to help customers register domain names easily and inexpensively” From doing our research, we can boldly say that this is true.

With their .com domain names going for as low as $7.99 (Currently $6.99 if you use their coupon COMRR21 at checkpoint; this lasts till January 31, 2021).

Dynadot has a well-organized marketplace where you can buy and sell domain names with ease. Even better, they offer a website builder for free! Choose a theme and get started with creating your stunning website with their easy to use tools.

They offer a wide variety of TLD options such as country-specific domains for international use like .uk, .sa, etc. to category-specific, like .tech, .lighting, etc. They have 450+ TLDs available as of 2021.

Dynadot has an available forum where you can post your questions and see previously asked questions and their answers. This partly compensates for their customer support which isn’t always helpful.

Key Features of Dynadot

  • Dynadot API: Their application program interface provides you with the tools to build and use your own software and servers to search for domains, register domains, and more.
  • Advanced domain management.
  • Monthly sales.
  • Dynadot domain marketplace.
  • Website Builder: Their easy to use website builder offers features fully responsive templates that are completely customizable. They offer their website builder for free along with upgraded packages for more extensive website needs.
  • Web Hosting: Dynadot offers two affordable hosting packages. Their basic hosting package is for simple, static HTML websites and their VPS hosting package is for advanced websites. Although, they don’t offer a shared hosting which is the most in demand type of hosting service.
  • SSL Certificates.
  • two-factor authentication.

Pros

  • Super affordable prices.
  • Friendly User Interface.
  • Great variety of TLDs.
  • They offer flash deals often.
  • Free domain Whois privacy.

Cons

  • Delay in registering domain names: The implication of this is that many people search for a domain name, start the process and sometimes even pay but, do not get the domain name because Dynadot purchases it. This causes the price to go higher and enrages most customers who fall victim of this behavior.
  • Inconsistent customer reviews suggesting that they still have a lot to improve to be truly recognized as a trustworthy domain registrar.

Pricing

Check out the pricing here. Prices for commonly used TLDs are:

  • .com :$7.99 for registration, $8.99 for renewal and $8.99 for transfer.
  • .net : $5.99 for registration, $10.99 for renewal and $10.99 for transfer.
  • .org :$8.99 for registration, $10.99 for renewal and $10.99 for transfer.
  • .co : $10.99 for registration, $22.99 for renewal and $22.99 for transfer.

Final Verdict

Dynadot is great for domain registry and simple website builds. It has some downsides mostly when it comes to auctioning and bidding. If they could finally resolve these issues that constantly come up then they would be one step closer to being perfect.


7. Bluehost

bluehost-domain-registrar

Bluehost is a popular web hosting company that also serves as a domain registrar. Bluehost is actually best known as a web hosting company as it performs excellently in that department.

If you are looking for a reputable domain registrar and web hosting service provider all in one; then Bluehost might be the way to go for you.

Bluehost offers an easy to search system that makes it easy to find your desired domain name and it brings up suggestions if what you are looking for is unavailable.

However, we should point out that Bluehost doesn’t support windows based servers. It also doesn’t provide cloud hosting but, that shortcoming does not affect its value as a domain registrar.

Worthy of mention is that their Customer service and support is simply top-notch. Unlike many similar products, Bluehost offers a hassle free 30-day moneyback guarantee if you do not find their services satisfactory.

Key Features of Bluehost

These features include Bluehost’s domain registering and web hosting services:

  • Security and management features such as anti-spam filter, shared SSL, and CDN services.
  • Bluehost Marketplace.
  • Technology to support fast page load times.
  • Cloudflare integration.
  • Free site builders.
  • Free domain-specific email addresses.
  • Control Panel Integration.
  • CMS Support.
  • Web Framework Support.
  • E-Commerce Integration.

Pros

  • Easy to use User interface.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Great integration with WordPress.
  • Offers a wide range of web hosting options.
  • Offers free anti-spam solutions built right in cPanel.
  • Provides integrated Cloudflare support.

Cons

  • Lacks windows based servers.
  • It is costly to migrate from a different hosting company to Bluehost.
  • Less TLDs available when compared to big names like Namecheap.

Pricing

You can check out their prices right here. At the moment these are the prices for commonly used domain name extensions:

  • .com : $12.99 for registration and $17.99 for renewal.
  • .org : $9.99 for registration and $17.99 for renewal.
  • .net : $14.99 for registration and $18.99 for renewal.
  • .com : $12.99 for registration and $17.99 for renewal.

Final Verdict

Bluehost works well as a web hosting service with domain registering services being offered too. With great customer service and a popular name, Bluehost remains one of the top in the market.


8. HostGator

hostgator-domains

Hostgator does it all; from domain registering and web hosting to App and VPS hosting. Although, they are not as popular as some others, their customers are one of the most satisfied.

This is partly because they offer quite affordable services (renewals usually are high in comparison to the initial price) and some of their unique services they offer like providing a library of quick installs for different platforms or CMSs with a variety of options other companies don’t offer.

Hostgator has been around since 2002 (the Jurassic ages according to them) and over that time they have built a large community that consists of about 30% web professionals. This means the features and what you can do with Hostgator is more fitting for professionals in comparison to a provider like Bluehost for example which has been labeled ‘too simple’ by some professionals.

This is a bit of an irony as one of the downsides of Hostgator is that their technical team isn’t particularly always helpful although they are very professional and friendly; the odds are you would have a more enjoyable time using Hostgator if you have a solid technical background as opposed to a newbie.

Another thing about Hostgator is that unlike many of their competitors, they do not offer free domains even if you purchase a hosting package with them.

On the flip side they offer a 45-day money-back guarantee and free migration from your previous host to them for no charge for the first 30 days of sign-up.

Key Features of Hostgator

General features of Hostgator include:

  • 24/7 Support: Get customer service and technical support 24/7.
  • Free Domain Name Transfer.
  • 45 Day Money Back Guarantee (available for the first 30days after you sign up).
  • SSL certification.

Other features include:

  • Web Hosting.
  • Cloud Hosting.
  • WordPress Hosting.
  • Reseller Hosting.
  • VPS Hosting.
  • Dedicated Hosting.
  • Application Hosting.
  • Windows Hosting.
  • Website Builder.

Pros

  • Generous money-back guarantee.
  • Friendly and professional customer service.
  • Great knowledge base of FAQ information.
  • They offer discounts often which make their product much more affordable.

Cons

  • Although their customer service is professional, there are some issues with the department. If you try to reach them through its live chat platform, they usually do not respond frequently, so you might be forced to use its ticket platform which is stressful and inconsistent.
  • Multiple ads and aggressive upselling.

Pricing

Let’s check out the prices of some of the most commonly sought after TLDs:

  • .com : $12.95 for registration and $17.99 for renewal.
  • .org : $12.95 for registration and $17.99 for renewal.
  • .co : $12.95 for registration and $35.00 for renewal.
  • .online : $1.95 for registration and $15.00 for renewal.

Final Verdict

Hostgator has got what it takes to move up on this list in the nearest future. Both as a domain registrar and a web hosting service, they have proven to know their stuff and leave their customers pleasantly satisfied.

On a final note, we will add that they stand out mostly for their web hosting packages which are cheap and scalable in comparison to their domain name prices.

Taking this into consideration, you would get the best out of HostGator if you use it as your web hosting provider.


9. NameSilo

namesilo-domain-registrar

Namesilo is simple, cheap and straight to the point. You came here for domain registration and that is what this company offers. Originally, they had no web hosting services, no aggressive email account and app hosting upsells. No confusion.

This company started in 2010 and grew in popularity for it’s excellent domain registration and management services. Not until 2019 did they start providing hosting services. For now, they are still popularly known for their service as a domain registrar over a web hosting service.

As a domain registrar, they offer some of the cheapest domain name prices in the market with free value added services and bulk discounts. They are good at what they do and confident in their services so much so that their Trustpilot review is right there on their website.

Their domain search system is intuitive and their marketplace, auctioning and bidding practices are transparent and reliable.

The last time we viewed their website back in 2018, it was a little tacky but, now it looks great and has a very friendly user interface although it isn’t mobile responsive so they still need to improve their interface.

Of course every great platform has one shortcoming or the other. The only shortcoming we can come up with is that they have limited TLDs available when searching (you can only apply 10 TLDs to filter although they have 450+ options) unlike some others we have mentioned on this list. This isn’t a major issue at all, however.

Key Features of Namesilo

  • Free Whois privacy.
  • Free API access.
  • Free customizable parking options where you keep 100% of the revenue.
  • Free DNS management.
  • Email forwarding.
  • Domain Defender Protection.

Other services now include:

  • Free logo maker : Make use of Namesilo’s free logo maker for your website.
  • Web Hosting.
  • Immediate SSL certification.
  • Namesilo Marketplace.

Pros

  • Super affordable both at the initial price and the renewal price.
  • Several added services for free such as Whois privacy and domain parking.
  • No additional charges for any service.
  • Bulk domains available.
  • Top-notch customer support.
  • Offers a wide variety of TLDs.

Cons

  • Their design and branding, while it has improved from what it used to be; they still have room for more improvement.

Pricing

Most of their prices are available on their homepage. You can see the prices of those not included in the homepage by including them in your search filter. Her are the prices for popular TLDs:

  • .com : $8.99 for registration, $8.99 for renewal.
  • .net : $11.79 for registration, $11.79 for renewal.
  • .biz : $6.49 for registration, $14.49 for renewal.
  • .org : $10.79 for registration, $10.79 for renewal.

As you can see Namesilo prices are very friendly and usually stay the same per year with the exception of when their products are on sale and the price is even lower.

Final Verdict

Namesilo is cheap, it’s trustworthy and very generous. If you choose to use Namesilo for a domain registrar you might want to get hosting elsewhere. That being said, Namesilo is definitely a good choice for getting your secure domain name today.


10. Name.com

Name.com-domain-registrar

Name.com is a domain registrar first, web host provider second. Though there prices aren’t the cheapest per say, they offer a fair price and they also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee like many other domain name registrars.

This platform is easy to use and provides tons of features that are targeted mostly at beginners. The interface is absolutely beautiful and intuitive. This makes navigation on their site a breeze and gives you an enjoyable experience.

One thing about this domain registrar which has been around for almost 2 decades now, is that they belong to the group of registrars which lure you in with cheap initial registration prices and then the renewal prices take a huge leap and are quite expensive.

It doesn’t help that Name.com doesn’t offer Whois privacy for free like many other registrars that hike their renewal prices.

Despite this, Name.com has some advantages like speed in registration (takes only a few seconds) and tons of bulk tool features which save time and make domain editing really easy.

The major drawback that most customers seem to complain about and that we noticed also is their questionable customer support.

Key Features of Name.com

The general features of Name.com include:

  • URL and email forwarding.
  • Free DNS management.
  • 30+ DNS templates.
  • Bulk management tools.
  • All-in-one renewal center.
  • Sedo/Afternic integration.
  • Free Encryption Everywhere SSL certificate.
  • Automatic backups.
  • e-commerce plans: for those looking to build an online store after acquiring their domain name, Name.com has got you covered.
  • One-page website with website builder.

Pros

  • They have a large selection of various TLDs; over 500.
  • Easy to use.
  • Clean and intuitive user interface.

Cons

  • Their major con is their poor support system. First of all, it’s not available 24/7 and even sometimes during times when they are supposed to be available, they still are unreachable. This might have been less of a problem if they were very helpful when finally reached but, unfortunately, they still do not provide enough help to solve the problem ad leave some customers frustrated.
  • Not so great as a web host provider. This does not affect you if you are only looking for a domain name registrar.

Pricing

  • .com pricing: $9.99 for registration, $12.99 for renewal and $8.25 for transfer.
  • .blog pricing: $34.99 for registration, $34.99 for renewal and $34.99 for transfer.
  • .ca pricing: $19.99 for registration, $12.99 for renewal .
  • .io pricing: $49.99 for registration, $59.99 for renewal and $59.99 for transfer.

Final Verdict

Although it’s not the best, it’s decent at what it does. It has a lot of cool and weird extensions like .ninja or .blackfriday and if you are searching for something odd and specific, Name.com might just be the right choice for you.


11. DreamHost

dreamhost-domain-registrar

Founded way back in 1996, Dreamhost serves as a web hosting provider and a domain registrar. They provide over 400 TLDs for your business at straightforward and affordable prices.

DreamHost lets you manage everything in one place–hosting, databases, domain names, email forwarders and inboxes, etc. This can make it much easier to keep track of all the important aspects of your web presence.

They give you the opportunity to add additional hosting to any open domain that you open with them or transfer.

You can add additional sub-domains and register new ones as well. DreamHost also helps you with website design through their WordPress web builder.

The major issue with Dreamhost is their support which has been tagged as ‘terrible’ in some instance. While in our experience, their support seemed decent, most long-term customers agree that the support isn’t always helpful and they lack technical knowledge in many cases.

On the other hand, Dreamhost has very good hosting plans which put it on the list of providers which deliver both services.

One odd advantage Dreamhost is their money-back guarantee which lasts for a whole 97 days! That’s pretty generous.

Key Features of Dreamhost

A list of their general features include:

  • Shared Hosting.
  • VPS Hosting.
  • Dedicated Hosting.
  • Hosting Management.
  • Storage Limits.
  • Bandwidth Allowance.
  • Email Hosting.
  • Control Panel Integration.
  • CMS Support.
  • Web Framework Support.
  • E-Commerce Integration.
  • File Management.
  • Database Support.
  • Security Tools.

Features peculiar to their function as a domain registrar include:

  • Auto-renewals: “Set you own domain name auto-renewals so that each year you can make sure your domain name stays yours and no one capitalize on your hard work.”
  • DNS Management: “Reference computers by names instead of IP addresses.”
  • Subdomains: “Receive as many subdomains as you need, for free.”
  • Custom Nameservers: “Create vanity nameservers branded with your domain to respond to DNS requests for your domain.”
  • Domain Forwarding: “Automatically redirect your site visitors to another URL or domain name for easier content management.”
  • Optional Domain Locking: “Lock your domain name for free for added security so no unauthorized changes can be made.”

Pros

  • Intuitive dashboard.
  • Serves well as an all in one platform for domain names and different hosting packages.
  • Quite affordable.
  • Simple domain management.

Cons

  • Questionable customer service; also no phone support available.

Pricing

Check out their prices for all domain name extensions on their website. Here are some of the popular one’s you might be interested in:

  • .com : $6.99 for registration, $15.99 for renewal and $9.99 for transfer.
  • .net : $10.99 for registration, $16.99 for renewal and $13.95 for transfer.
  • .org : $11.99 for registration, $15.99 for renewal and $13.95 for transfer.
  • .info : $13.95 for registration, $16.99 for renewal and $13.95 for transfer.

All these prices are sale prices which are as high as 92% off sometimes. Their renewal prices are also reasonable.

Final Verdict

Dreamhost is an all-in-one platform for getting domain names and hosting as well. They are good at what they do with the only shortcoming being their support.

In terms of their ability as a registrar, they are a great choice and provide affordable domains.


12. Hostinger

hostinger-domain-registrar

Founded in 2004, Hostinger has grown to be one of the most popular providers when it comes to web hosting. Like most web hosting providers, they also serve as a domain registrar.

If this list was for the best web hosting providers, Hostinger would have been way up there. They are really one of the best when it comes to that.

They provide the usual registrar features such as renewal, security features like SSL certification and frequent sales on their domain names.

One of the things that really make them stand out is their customer service and technical support. They are industry standard, professional and always helpful and kind.

Key Features of Hostinger

A list of their features including their hosting features include:

  • 99.99% Uptime.
  • Automated Backups.
  • WordPress Acceleration (LSCWP).
  • Unlimited Bandwidth.
  • Unlimited Subdomains.
  • Unlimited Disk Storage.
  • Unlimited Email Accounts.
  • Drag-and-Drop Website Builder.
  • 24/7/365 Customer Support.
  • 30-day Moneyback Guarantee.

Pros

  • Outstanding customer service.
  • Clean and intuitive interface and dashboard.
  • Free domains available if you using their hosting plan.
  • It’s really easy to use.
  • Great security and privacy.

Cons

Most of Hostinger cons like lack of cpanel or dedicated hosting are disadvantages in reference to it being your web host provider.

As a registrar they have no major con although, they do not provide free SSL certificates like most of their competitors. Also they do not have a wide variety of TLD options like many others.

Pricing

  • .com :$8.99 for registration.
  • .live :$3.50 for registration.
  • .tech :$0.99 for registration.
  • .link :$1.99 for registration.

Note that these domain names are currently on sale which means the price for renewal will be the original price which is as high as $35 for some TLDs.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for one platform to serve as your domain name registrar and web host provider, Hostinger is a great choice.

However, if you want a unique domain name that ends with an extension like .tattoo or .lighting or really anything asides from the usual .com, .me, etc., then Hostinger is not the right choice for you. They have limited options when it comes to that.


13. Gandi

gandi-domain-registrar

‘No bullshit since 1999’, Gandi sticks to their philosophy by providing a reliable and transparent service. They offer clean and easy process to register domain name. They also offer Whois privacy protection and a wide variety of TLDs including unique options.

Gandi is a French company founded in 1999 that serves as a domain name registrar, web hosting provider and also provide similar services. Despite the other services provided by them, they remain popular mainly for their role of registering domain names.

Their DNS management is easy to use even for non-technical users. They are great with support, service and products.

With Gandi, you can get your email account associated to your domain name and link your domain name to other services. They also provide multiple device support and 2 free mailboxes when you register a domain name with them.

Key Features of Gandi

  • Full Domain Management.
  • Private domain registration.
  • 1-year free SSL certificate.
  • 5 mailboxes and 1000 forwarding addresses.
  • Domain API.
  • Full name server management.

Pros

  • They provide free support.
  • Fast creation and domain name registration process.
  • Reliable.
  • They have so many options when it comes to domain name extensions.
  • Initial and renewal prices are mostly the same; this is an uncommon feature in the domain name registration game.

Cons

  • Their prices are a little bit on the higher side and unlike many other registrars, they are not popular for putting out massive discounts and sales although they do so for a few TLDs.
  • Although they offer 24/6 customer support, their customer service department is still somewhat lacking if we were to compare them to other top domain name registrars.

Pricing

As mentioned earlier, Gandi has a massive stocking of domain name extensions. You can browse through them and their prices right here. We will mention the most commonly used ones:

  • .com: $15.50 for registration, $15.50 for renewal and $12.50 for transfer.
  • .org: $9.99 for registration, $17.20 for renewal and $14.20 for transfer.
  • .net: $18.50 for registration, $18.50 for renewal and $15.50 for transfer.
  • .co: $33.00 for registration, $33.00 for renewal and $30.00 for transfer.

Final Verdict

When it comes to Gandi, think international. Even their pricing is originally in Euros and you have to manually change it to dollars or whichever currency of your choice.

With this in mind, they provide you with over 750 options for domain name extensions and they have so many country-code TLDs and they plan to bring on even more. If you are looking for this kind of variety, Gandi is the right choice for you.


14. Network Solutions

network-solutions-domain-registrar

Network Solutions is perhaps the oldest company on this list. The company was launched in 1979 but, only started operations as a DNS registry and management provider in 1991.

With a lot of challenges and controversies circulating around them from over 2 decades ago to as recent as 2008, Network Solutions has put in a lot of work to gain the trust of their users and still be recognized today.

As of 2018, Network Solutions was recognized as the 4th largest .com domain name registrar with over 6.7 million registrations.

We can only assume that number would have grown larger by now. It’s no surprise seeing as Network Solutions has been around for a long long time and providing domain names to individuals even before the era of industry giants like Namecheap.

They also provide web hosting services, a do-it-yourself website builder and professional design services from specialized WordPress to ecommerce offerings.

The one odd thing about Network Solutions is that they aren’t upfront about their prices. You might spend countless hours searching through their website and the internet for precise prices but, you won’t find them.

Once you add a domain name of your choosing to your cart you would be able to see the price.

Key Features of Network Solutions

  • 15GB to Unlimited Storage Space.
  • Unlimited Data Transfer.
  • Powerful Website Builder.
  • Free Custom Domain.
  • AWStats Website Statistics.
  • 25 to Unlimited FTP Accounts.
  • 1GB Email Storage.
  • 1000 to Unlimited Email Boxes.
  • Virus Checking.
  • WebMail (Checking Your Mail Online).
  • Email Forwarding.
  • Autoresponders.
  • IMAP Support.

Pros

  • Longevity: Network Solution was the first domain name registrars on the internet. They have experienced a lot of changes and growth to deliver good service.
  • They have low introductory prices for many of their products including domain names.
  • Friendly customer service representatives.

Cons

  • No straightforward pricing, you can’t really know the price until you add to your cart. This means you won’t know the renewal price until it’s time to renew and we hear it takes a huge leap from the introductory prices
  • Although they have friendly customer service, they are not often knowledgeable on how to help and therefore are not the most helpful.
  • Still on the expensive side.

Pricing

As mentioned earlier, there is no already made list or table of the registration, renewal or transfer prices. We went ahead and added some to our cart and here are the initial prices for some of the common TLDs:

.com : Their pricing isn’t based on the domain name extension alone so we noticed the price for a .com domain name ranges from $20 to $25. Note that the $20 price was a discount price (20% off).

  • .net: This was available for $20 as the original price.
  • .org: This was available at $20 but, this was a discount price with 20% taken off.
  • .info: This was also available at $20 but, this was a discount price with 20% taken off.

Final Verdict

There is no solid reason why you should be using Network Solutions when there are many other better options. Perhaps if you are of the sentiment that old is gold or if you find an extension that only they provide which is not likely.

The cost is simply way too high in most people’s opinion. They do offer free protection and free tools for website building so I guess that’s a plus.


15. Register.com

register.com-domain-registrar

Register.com was founded in New York back in 1999. Originally, they only sold registrations for common domain name extensions like .com and the likes but, they have grown to having over 450 TLDs and offer other similar services website builder, web hosting, email marketing and e-commerce tools.

They were one of the oldest and most established domain registrar companies in the game outside of Network Solutions before the market became filled with various options.

When it comes to pricing, Register.com set their bar really low, you can be getting a .com domain name for $5 but, what’s the catch?

Just like Network Solutions, Register.com has no straightforward pricing. There is no way to know what a renewal will cost unless you are already in need of one.

In fact, this is not the only similarity between Network Solutions and Register.com as their sites look somewhat similar. This isn’t a cause for alarm. We know they are both legit companies and are accredited by the ICANN. Similarities might just be because they are from a similar time.

Key Features of Register.com

  • Online Account Management: “Easily manage your domain names and other Web services from any computer with Internet access.”
  • Free 24/7 Support.
  • Free Sub-Domains: “Use subdomains to extend your brand and make your website’s SEO stronger. As extensions of your existing domain, a subdomain also lets you better organize your site’s content.”
  • Domain Transfer Lock: “Prevent unauthorized domain transfers by locking your domain. With Domain Transfer Lock turned on you can still perform legal name changes, account consolidation, or transfers between Register.com accounts.”
  • Auto-Renew: “Simplify your life with our auto-renew service.* With this option, we’ll automatically renew your domains prior to their expiration. It protects your domains from service interruption or deletion in case you can’t renew your domain manually.”
  • DNS Management: “Manage name servers and DNS records online and at your convenience. Add new hosts to the domain, change IP addresses, or modify an email delivery address. Updates reach the Web in five minutes.”
  • Online Resource Center: “Find online user guides, helpful tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions about how to set-up your domain, website, and email, and more”
  • Premium Resale Domains: ” Find registered domains for sale by the owner at a set price” This includes anonymous auctioning and bidding for expired domain names or domain names no longer in use by their owners.

Pros

  • Cheap introductory prices.
  • Reliable domain registrar.

Cons

  • No definite, straightforward pricing system.
  • Despite having an award winning support, their support is often difficult to reach and unavailable.

Pricing

Although there is no available list to check out the pricing beforehand, once you add it to your cart, you can see the prices and all the additional charges. We went ahead and made a little list of the introductory prices for some popular TLDs:

  • .com : $5
  • .net: $5
  • .org: $5
  • .online: $49

There are extra charges for expiration protection, web forwarding and private registration. Some of these services are added for free by other domain registrars but, not Register.com.

Final Verdict

Unless you have a personal reason or you are a fan of patronizing the domain registrars that have stood the test of time, there is no major advantage Domain.com has over others in this industry. In our opinion, their cons out shadow their pros.

If you still want to try out there services, do so. At least they made the list and they still have several users that are more than satisfied.

So that ends the list of the 15 best domain registrar that you can use to book a domain name.

Below is the useful information that will help enhance your knowledge of domains, domain registrar and how to choose a best domain registrar.


What Is A Domain Name

what-is-domain-name

According to Wikipedia, “A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet”. Now, this definition might make complete sense to some; it’s not very understandable for the beginner.

A simplified definition of a domain name is that it is a unique name that identifies your website; think of it like an address composed of two directives: the website name and a suffix which is the domain name extension.

Take Google, for example; it’s domain name is Google.com. Google being the name of the website and .com being the domain name extension. So if you are looking for Google, that’s the address you put into your browser and like a taxi it takes you there.

Most but, not all domain names have the same prefix which is www. This is not part of the domain name
You might be wondering; “isn’t an IP address the address of a website?”

Well, the domain names are linked to IP addresses. An IP address by definition, is “an address that computers, servers and other devices use to identify one another online”.

Think of it this way, the IP address is useful information to computers for identifying other computers and devices while, the domain name is an address you enter into your browser to reach a specific website.


What is a Domain Registrar?

domain-name-registrar

A company or organization that is responsible for the registration and management of domain names for websites. Popular domain registrars include Namecheap, GoDaddy and Domain.com.

To debunk some popular misconceptions about domain registrars;

  • They do not sell out domain names to users but, simply lease them out for a period of time. So no owns domain names but, only you can register one with a registrar and keep renewing your lease to keep using it.
  • Domain registrars are not the same as web-hosting providers. Although, many domain registrars function as both, by definition they do not have to. This is just a business extension and a convenient one as this enables them to give out domain names for free.

Registrars operates in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries.

What is the difference between a registry and a registrar?

A registry is an organization that maintains the record of domains registrants and DNS settings. These registries are managed by IANA(Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) — a department under ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a global organization that coordinates several processes and databases that support the Internet’s basic functionality.

Registrars are accredited under ICANN and have the permission to take orders from a registrant (that’s you). Basically, ICANN regulates the domain naming system.


How to Choose the Right Domain Registrar?

Right Domain Registrar

Choosing the right Domain Registrar can prove to be a difficult task. If done right, it’s a peaceful and easy experience. If done wrong, it could leave you frustrated and even lead to the demise of your website dreams.

Here are the steps to take into consideration when choosing a domain registrar. With these factors in mind, you would be able to pick a domain registrar that is just right for you:

1. Pricing

Throughout this guide, we have laid serious emphasis on the pricing in three directions; initial registration price, renewal price, and transfer price. The registration price is usually low but, not in all cases. Most domain registrars offer huge discounts to lure you in nice and easy.

A good price varies per TLD so we cannot explicitly tell you what is an ideal price but for the most popular TLD which is .com, anything above $13 for the initial price is above average pricing. When it comes to the renewal prices, most domain registrars increase their prices by several dollars.

Make sure to look out for this. When you see a TLD that is being sold for a low price like $0.99, for example, make sure to check the renewal price before going ahead and buying. It could be as high as $15 or even more. If this still suits you then, you can proceed.

If a domain registrar doesn’t readily display it’s renewal prices to you, you might want to go with a more transparent option that we mentioned many in our lists like Namecheap, GoDaddy, and Domain.com.

The transfer prices might never come into play because you would only need to pay this if you choose to change your domain registrar. Nevertheless, this is valuable information that you must know as some registrars charge high prices for transfer.

2. Domain Transfer Policy

Before deciding on a domain registrar, be sure to read their domain transfer policy. Asides from the pricing which we have mentioned, some registrars still put extra charges, some allow you transfer without any extra fee and some have a complicated procedure for transfer.

You should be aware of the registrars transfer policy before choosing. Also take note that you can only transfer your domain 60 days after registration as declared by ICANN.

Expiration policies: When you purchase a domain name, you do not ‘own’ it. You are simply leasing it for a period of time. If you pay for use for a year (or 5 years) know that this lease would expire one day. Some domain registrars offer expiration protection for a price.

This secures your domain for 1year extra even if your card was unable to be billed. Most domain registrars set your billing method to automatic so even if you forget to pay, you are charged automatically.

Knowing your domain registrars domain policy and deciding which method to go with is important in deciding which registrar is right for you. Note that if your domain name expires, anybody else including your registrar can register it for themselves, this would mean you would lose everything and this can even ruin your business.

The only redemption would be to buy it back from whoever the current owner is. This usually costs several hundred (or thousands) of dollars.

3. Extra services

As you must have noticed on our list, barely any company is just offering services as only a domain registrar. Most of them offer extra services like web hosting, email marketing and other e-commerce tools as well as website building.

In some cases getting one platform to do all of these functions for you is a good idea. If you are looking for an all-in-one platform try platforms like Domain.com, Hostinger or Bluehost. If your priority is choosing an excellent domain registrar then try Namecheap, HostGator or GoDaddy. The extra services also apply when making payment.

Some domain registrar may add a bunch of add on services to your cart that you don’t need and you might just be confused and pay the full charges for services that do not apply to you.

Good thing you are reading our ultimate guide! Be sure to examine all add-ons out on your cart and untick them if they do not apply to you now. You can always buy these services if you need them in the future but, do not waste your money paying for services you are not sure you will ever use.

4. User Review

Before choosing a domain registrar, it would be a good idea to find out what present users are saying. Yes, there a many poisoning reviews out there that would condemn even the best products and there are many ass kissing reviews that would praise even the worst products.

In this ultimate guide, there are highlighted pros and cons for every product and brutally honest final verdicts. If you don’t want to spend the whole day reading through reviews on the internet, check out our reviews and decide if you can live with the cons and if the pros make the service worth it to you.

5. Register

The final step in choosing would be to register and get started. To follow all the steps listed above, you do not need to be a registered member yet or pay any money. You can find out plenty about a domain registrar before taking the final step to register any domain name.


What are the different types of Domain Names?

We are all familiar with the popular domain names that end with .com or even .org but, they are so many other types of domain names and they can be classified.

Some are available to you based on the type of website you want to run while some are available based on what country you are in. These are the types of domain names that are available:

  1. Top-Level Domain: Commonly referred to as TLD. They are at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. Although generally articles and even domain registrars refer to all domain name extensions as TLDs, by definition not all of them are classified as TLDs as you will see as you read the next type of domain name.
  2. Country Code Top Level Domains: Ever seen domain name extensions that end with .us? or .uk, .sa and the likes. These type of domain name extensions are tied to different countries. Of course they can still be accessed from anywhere in the world. They are commonly referred to as ccTLD.
  3. Generic Top Level Domains: These type of TLDs refers to the ones which are used for domains which serve a general purpose that is known to the public. For example, .org is a gTLD that is used for domains which represent non-profit organizations. .edu is another example of gTLDs which is used for domains that represent an educational institution or website.
  4. Second level Domain: By definition, a second-level domain is a domain that is directly below a top-level domain. It basically refers to the organization that registered the domain name. For example, this website’s domain name ‘softwaretools.tech’, here ‘.softwaretools’ is the second level domain while .tech is the top level domain (TLD)
  5. Third level Domain: The third level domain refers to the segment that is found directly to the left of the second-level domain. This is the ‘www’ in most cases. The third level domain is not as important as the top or second level domain and is the least on the hierarchy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)- Best Domain Registrar

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a unique name that identifies your website. Without domain names, you’ll have to enter IP addresses (which are long and inconvenient) to visit websites. Our domain name for example is ‘softwaretools.tech’ which is what you’d need to type into your browser to visit our website.

Why do you need a Domain Name?

You would need a domain name if you want to build a website that represents you, your business or organization. Getting your domain name is the first step; it’s like giving your website a name. Getting the right domain name rather than something random is important for easy identification of what your website will be all about

Can you change a Domain name once you register it?

No. If you have purchased a domain name for your website and would like to change the domain name, you would need to purchase a new domain name of your choice which means another cost. Once you purchase a new one, you can delete the old domain name and replace it with the new one on your website. This can be a risky move if your website has already gone far and gotten lots of traffic; if it’s still relatively new then there is no problem.

What is a TLD?

TLD stands for Top Level Domain and it represents the top in the hierarchy of Domain Naming System. There are at least 4 types of TLDs which are classified based on the type of website they can be used for. The most common TLD is .com which some classify as a second-level TLD. Generally, TLD is used to describe the domain name extension such as .ca, .org etc.

My site is not ready, can I still register my domain name?

Yes, you can. In fact, many registrars such as GoDaddy provide a website builder if you would need help to get your website up and running. The first step to going live and being accessible is by registering your domain name.

How to choose the best domain registrar?

To choose the best domain registrar, familiarize yourself with their pricing and policies. If they suit you then go ahead. Also, be sure of the services you are interested in. Some domain registrars only offer domain registration while most offer extra services like hosting. This could come into play when choosing a domain registrar. For a detailed guide on how to choose the best domain registrar, check out this mini-article.

What does registrar suspension mean?

According to ICANN resources, It means a “registrar’s ability to sponsor new domain names or initiate inbound transfers is temporarily suspended by ICANN. It’s not a full suspension of the registrar’s accreditation because other registrar services, such as outbound transfers, updates and domain renewals and redemptions, are not affected.” This could last for a few days up to 12 months and is usually because the registrar hasn’t fulfilled some obligations under it’s accreditation agreement with ICANN.

Who should register a Domain name?

Anyone who wants to have an online presence through their own website and personalize their website URL. To avoid paying for domain registration, you might see URLs like ‘sososo.wordpress’ or ‘sososo.netlify’. If you are serious about launching a website for your business or personal use, you need to get a professional, personalized domain name that reflects what you do and ends with an extension that applies to what your website would represent. This could help with SEO too. You need to go with an accredited registrar like Namecheap or GoDaddy to register your domain name.


Summary

Registering a domain name should be an easy and straight to the point task. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of horror stories and nightmare experiences all because some people choose domain registrar without being well informed.

Gone are the days when you just input ‘I want to buy a domain name’ into your browser and go with the first option you see. As this guide shows, need to choose a domain registrar that is right for you and your business by choosing only the best domain registrars in 2021.


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