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We’ve purchased hundreds of domains throughout our careers. Some of them, we use all the time like crazyegg.com. Others, we never did anything with. But we’ve used about every domain registrar on the market. Some offered excellent experiences, some were terrible, and most fell somewhere in between. Based on our experiences, we found that domain.com offers the best combo of ease-of-use, affordability, and long-term registration options on the market. Plus, you can save 25% off your purchase using the code CRAZYEGG at checkout.
The Best Domain Registrar for Most
Domain.com is our top recommendation for most websites. Registering takes less than 60 seconds, even if you’ve never bought a domain name before and you can snag your domain for up to five years without having to hassle with renewals.
Pricing starts at $9.99 per year for .coms. Don’t forget to snag your 25% discount by entering CRAZYEGG in the promo code box at checkout!
The 6 Best Domain Registrar Options to Consider:
- Domain.com – Best domain registrar for most
- Bluehost – Best dynamic duo of bundled domain and web hosting
- Network Solutions – Best way to register your domain for a century
- Namecheap – Best value with full identity protection
- NameSilo – Best domain registrar for locking down your brand
- Gandi – Most crystal-clear domain transfer guidelines
When it Makes Sense to Invest in a Domain Registrar
It makes sense to invest in domain registration as soon as you think of a domain name that you know you want. The name might not be available if you wait too long.
That’s why one of the first things you should do once you know your business’s name or the domain you want is to register the name. You don’t want to accidentally lose it to a “domain squatter” (someone who purchases domains to sell them later).
It’s unnecessary to spend thousands of dollars on a domain name that someone already purchased if you don’t have anything invested in that name.
For example, let’s say you have a cool idea for a business name. But you haven’t actually started the business, filed your LLC forms, or done any legwork to get your idea off of the ground. You’ve only thought of the name. So you browse a domain registrar to check its availability, only to find that it’s being sold for $10,000. Just think of a new name.
But if your name is available for the regular price and you know that you’ll eventually start this business, you can go ahead and register it.
#1 – Domain.com — The Best Domain Registrar for Most
Domain.com offers some of the best long-term pricing on the market for domain registration and it’s our #1 recommendation.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or have decades of experience registering domain names, it’s a smart choice. Losing your domain name on renewal because you forgot to pay or just didn’t see the renewal email in your overstuffed inbox can be catastrophic for your business or blog.
Unfortunately there are people who make it their full-time job snatching up domains that fail to renew ontime. Then they jack up the price making a profit on your mistake. Can you imagine having to pay triple digits or higher to get your domain back?
Domain.com helps you avoid this with plans that can be locked in for five years. Included in this long-term plan is promotional pricing, which also saves you money for that term.
This is a worry-free registration and renewal plan and it’s a smart way to go. This means you don’t have to worry about renewing it every year.
The registration process is quick, easy, and suitable for beginners (even if you’ve never done it before). For just $9.99 per year, you can register a .com domain.
Plus, you can get 25% off using our special coupon code: CRAZYEGG
With your special Crazy Egg discount, you’d only pay $37.46 for five years of that .com domain registration usually costing $9.99 per year, making it the most affordable long-term solution on this list.
And like most domain registrars out there, Domain.com pitches numerous upsells during the purchase process. But, you can ignore those. Add-ons like SSL certificates and SiteLock typically come standard with your web hosting plan so you don’t need them from your domain registrar.
One we highly recommend, however, is WHOIS Privacy and protection. You can add privacy and protection for $8.99 per year as well. This keeps your name and physical address off the public record unless you’re registering the domain under a business name instead of your own.
The entire domain registration process from Domain.com takes 60 seconds, at most. This makes it an ideal choice if you’re interested in buying more than one domain name, as well.
Furthermore, you also benefit from 24/7 customer support, which is excellent if you ever run into any problems or need assistance.
Register your domain with Domain.com today!
#2 – Bluehost — The Best Dynamic Duo of Bundled Domain and Web Hosting
Best Bundled Web Hosting with Domain Registration
All Bluehost web hosting plans come with a free year of domain registration. Domain registrations also include control panel access, auto-renewal options, and 24/7 expert customer support. And domain registration starts at $11.99 per year after the first year.
But the best part about Bluehost is that you can get your domain name free for the first year if you buy web hosting from them. And that is where the dynamic duo of bundling comes in.
It’s perfect for those people just getting started.
You get these two services working in harmony like the caped crusader and his partner.
The web hosting and domain relationship is like a married couple, they both have their individual responsibilities but work best together to accomplish a bigger picture. Some providers and domains don’t work as well together, so sticking with Bluehost eliminates the guesswork of compatibility and just allows you to get to work toward your future goals.
Having the two services bundled also eliminates the possibility of forgetting to take care of your domain renewal.
Plus, Bluehost’s hosting services are super affordable, starting at $2.95 per month
However, if you want to buy a domain from Bluehost without bundling your hosting services, .com domains start at $11.99 per year. And privacy plus protection costs an additional $11.88 per year.
So, you’re looking at $23.87 per year, which is the most expensive option on this list. Plus, other registrars include privacy and protection for free. If you’re not using Bluehost for web hosting, you’ll get a better deal using a traditional domain registrar.
Bundling offers exclusive pricing advantages, plus a compact user experience with fewer errors from bouncing around to different platforms.
That said, Bluehost gives the one-two punch that knocks out bundling confusion.
Get started with Bluehost web hosting and snag your free domain today.
#3 – Network Solutions — The Best Way to Register Your Domain for a Century
Best Way to Register Your Domain for a Century
Want a domain registrar that you never have to worry about renewals with? Look no further than Network Solutions. Lock down your domain for anywhere from 1 to 100 years, plus get expiration protection for just under $10. Use coupon code CRAZYEGG and get 25% off.
A big consideration in choosing domain registrars is the length of your initial registration. You’ll see most offer up to five or 10 years, some even go up to 20.
Network Solutions offers you a way to get the domain you’re looking for and keep it for 100 years.
That’s right; that’s not a typo. You can buy your dream domain name and keep it for the next century.
Now, we get it—who knows if the internet as we know it is going to exist in the same way 100 years from now, let alone your business or personal venture. Regardless of practicality, this is a clear signal that Network Solutions goes above and beyond to help you lock down your online real estate for the long haul.
So, maybe registering www.thanksillhaveanother.com for the next century is overkill. And, to be fair, you have to pay the 100-year cost upfront with no pro-rated refund (so, no backing out at the 60-year mark). But Network Solution’s domain search and checkout process is one of the best in the category.
Search for one or up to 20 domains at once. And, you’ll also get special access to pre-registration for new extensions. After selecting the ones you want to purchase, Network Solutions offers services terms ranging as follows:
- One year
- Two years
- Three years
- Five years
- 10 years
- 20 years
- 100 years
Some specific domain extensions, like .online, max out at five years. But the greatest hits—like .com, .us, .org, and .net—can be registered for any of the above term lengths.
Going the short-term route or unable to invest in a 20-year term up front? No problem. You can add domain expiration protection for $9.99 per domain, which will secure your domain name for an additional year if you’re unable to renew for any reason. That can buy smaller operations some time without having to worry about losing their home on the web.
Network Solutions also offers useful services like private domain registration, transfers, and domain forwarding. Transfers cost $9.99 and forwarding costs $12.99 per year for each domain. Anyone transferring a domain to Network Solutions gets a free one-year extension.
Compared to other registrars, Network Solutions isn’t as forthcoming with free, useful extras like SSL certificates (though a wide array of SSLs can be purchased separately). But they offer a full breadth of services at reasonable prices, including web hosting, email, marketing, site builders, and even outsourced IT.
If you want a truly set-it-and-forget-it solution regarding domain registration, then head over to Network Solutions and search for your ideal domain today. Use coupon code CRAZYEGG to get 25% off.
#4 – Namecheap — The Best Value with Full Identity Protection
Best Value with Full ID Protection
Trusted by 2+ million users with 10+ million registered domains. Includes free privacy and protection (other hosts charge for this!), free email addresses, security features, and more. You can also register for up to ten years at a time. Get a .com domain for just $8.88 per year.
More than two million customers use Namecheap for domain registration, making it one of the most popular domain registrars on the market. It also currently provides registration for more than 10+ million domains.
As the name implies, Namecheap offers affordable domain names. But beyond that, they also offer free full identity protection with every domain.
Imagine setting up a sign on top of your house with neon lights. This sign shows your full name, address, email address, and other personal information about you like your phone number and date of birth for everyone to see.
Would you be comfortable revealing that to your entire neighborhood?
Didn’t think so. But when you set up a domain without WHOIS Privacy, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Namecheap makes sure this doesn’t happen to you and protects you completely at no additional charge. Most providers expect for you to pay a yearly fee for this service.
When you consider how cheap the domains are and that you get this kind of critical protection for free, it’s clear to see the value added and it’s no wonder Namecheap is so loved by so many.
Domain renewals from Namecheap start at $12.98 per month. So just remember that the price goes up when your initial registration period is over. Do your research on long-term pricing plans with them and figure out your promotional pricing options.
Once you register a domain, you can manage everything with Namecheap’s simple dashboard and account panel.
Plus the Namecheap’s customer support team is knowledgeable, friendly, and available 24/7.
Namecheap is an excellent, low-risk route for registering a domain. First, you spend very little and you receive a lot, plus you have full control over managing your domain. And, perhaps most importantly, WHOIS protection at no cost.
Register your domain with Namecheap today!
#5 – NameSilo — The Best Domain Registrar for Locking Down Your Brand
Best for Locking Down Your Brand
Currently managing more than 3 million domains. And all NameSilo domain registrations include free privacy and protection, DNS management, and email forwarding. Plus, you can get bulk discounts when purchasing 50+ or more domain names at the same time. Prices start at $8.99 per year for .com domains.
You work your butt off everyday to be unique, to build traffic, to create offers your customers will gobble up like breadcrumbs fed to hungry seagulls. So, it’s not okay when a competitor tries to siphon off your work and succeeds.
In the digital world, just the smallest margin of change in visitors can make the difference of ranking #1 on google or eighth on the first page. Fewer visitors equates to a large disparity in clicks for you.
If you are not aware this can be happening to you—surprise.
But, seriously, that is why we are here to help. And NameSilo really gives you the power to lock down your brand.
It’s our #1 choice for purchasing common misspellings of your main domain and iterative domains for redirects, as well as managing multiple brands under one flagship. There is a whole plan when it comes to setting up redirects and domain strategies. That’s outside the scope of this article, but here is a brief article on cornering the market for your brand.
Registering a .com domain starts at $8.99 per month but NameSilo stands out from the competition with its discounts for bulk purchases. They make it extremely affordable to eliminate as much ambiguity with naming conventions as you can.
NameSilo has a cool price comparison tool on its website to help you see where they stack up against the competition. All you have to do is select the number of domains you want to buy and the length of your registration.
Then, the tool automatically displays those prices.
The more you buy, the less you have to pay for initial registration. Other providers offer this too, but NameSilo’s rates are some of the best in the industry.
#6 – Gandi — The Most Crystal-Clear Domain Transfer Guidelines
Best for Clear Transfer Guidelines
20+ years in the domain registration industry with more than 2.5 million registered domain names. Include free privacy and protection, a no BS philosophy, an extremely user-friendly buying + management experience, and more.
Registration for .coms start at $15.50 per year.
Gandi has been in the domain registration business for over 20 years. Today, they manage over 2.5 million domains. And they employ a “no BS” philosophy and company culture, which is a unique pitch (to say the least) that benefits you, the customer, the most.
Aside from marketing creativity and decades of experience, Gandi stands out from other domain registrars because of its transparency and clarity on transferring domains from other providers.
They give you links to the other providers’ domain transfer policy pages and make sure these links are accurate.
Why is this so important?
It’s a nightmare when you want to transfer your domain to another provider and your current provider is making it difficult.
For instance maybe you don’t get all the information you need or maybe you are playing chatbox tag with them. Whatever the reason, you can lose important data from your site or, worse, be offline for an extended period because of a sketchy domain transfer policy.
Gandi not only has a crystal clear help center resource for transferring domains to their platform, they also have an in-depth outline resource for moving from Gandi to another registrar. They are a no-nonsense provider that believes in fairness across the board.
From buying to transferring, the experience using Gandi.net as a domain registrar is seamless. With that said, Gandi is a bit more expensive than some of the other domain registrars on our list.
Registering a .com costs $15.50 per year, but paying extra for your .com domain registration keeps prices from spiking on renewal. One price. Period.
Gandi makes it easy to bundle multiple extensions, as well. You can get a discount on .us, .org, and .net extensions if you register all three today. But this offer is only good for the initial registration; the price renews at the regular rate.
In addition to free privacy and protection, all Gandi domain registrations come with two mailboxes, unlimited aliases and forwarding, and a free SSL certificate.
Gandi is a premier domain registrar that also has a refreshingly clear business culture. They keep it real when the tough decisions need to be made and actually walk you step-by-step through how to solve those situations.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Domain Registrar
With different domain registrars having such similar features, how can you determine the best option for you?
There are certain factors that you need to look for when you’re shopping around for the best domain registrar. I’ll explain these elements in greater detail below, so you can weigh the options according to your personal needs.
This is our methodology for finding the best domain registrar:
Choosing to Bundle vs. Not Bundling Your Domain
This is a crucial choice at the start. Read on to determine which of bundling your domain or not is best for you.
Bundling Your Domain with Web Hosting
If you’re new to web domains and hosting, bundling is the simplest way to get started. That’s why it’s first on our list.
Choosing to bundle simply means that when you’re looking for a web hosting provider, you also need a new domain name. You can choose to register your domain with your web host, as well (all in one place), instead of having a separate domain provider.
It’s exhausting having multiple platforms to manage. You have one for your domain name, which includes ongoing maintenance like general accessibility, security and renewals. Then, you have the web host platform, which will have an entirely different effective date, payment cycle, and interface to learn.
Bundling keeps things simple and that’s always best when dealing with software.
Bundling also is perfect for beginners because setup is straightforward, your website just works, and you get to skip the complex DNS configuration.
Plus, a web host will usually give you a free domain for a year, saving you some money.
Important: Web hosting providers are not the cheapest choice if all you need it is a domain name. So keep that in mind. Plus, if you plan on buying domains in bulk, there are much better options available than a bundled plan. With that said, if you’re looking to just start your online business and need a web host and a domain, bundling is best.
Not Bundling Your Domain—Who’s it for?
Not bundling has its advantages, as well. It all depends on your needs.
For example, if you already have a web host and you just need a new domain, this is perfect for you. It’s the cheapest and simplest way to get started.
Another reason could be if you have a developer creating a site for you and they simply need a domain to get started.
The last option could be if you need to buy domains in bulk at the lowest possible price to corner your market. This is a business strategy many large and small business owners practice. It prevents competitors from having domains that could be confused for your business.
For example, if you want to make sure your website is found easily and eliminate competitors from camping on similar domains, you would buy up names close in spelling to your domain, any common misspellings, and other domain name extensions like .biz, .co, .net, and so on that match your website name. Then, there will be no confusion when someone is looking for you online.
Renewal Pricing vs. Registration Period
When selecting your domain registrar, it’s easy to become confused on what your pricing is now, and what it will be later. So, to help you avoid bursting into tears or uncontrollable anger upon renewal, we recommend knowing how domain pricing works.
Not paying attention to this has severe consequences—we all live extremely busy lives and having to constantly remember to pay your domain bill every month or renew each year is a hassle.
It can also cost you thousands of dollars, all your hard work on your site, and possibly your sanity—momentarily.
Imagine waking up—your laptop hums with excitement as you anticipate your daily revenue, but instead you are greeted with a message that reads “this domain is expired.”
Immediate panic rushes through you. Not only do you not have your revenue report, you’re losing money at the same time. You have failed to renew and your domain has been purchased by someone else who wants to charge you $3,000 to get it back.
Now, this is an extreme case—but it happens often.
The point is, promotional registration pricing is a huge benefit and taking advantage of it for as long as you can is smart business. Upon renewal, you will pay a much larger monthly fee—commonly between $12.99 per month to $29.99 per month, depending on your provider.
And, if you fail to renew on time, you could lose your domain entirely and all the hard work and traffic you built.
Make sure you understand the renewal pricing and when that bill must be paid.
The providers on our list offer you a five or ten-year option when first getting started with your domain name. This is a phenomenal bargain. Not only do you get the lowest possible rate available for up to a decade, you don’t have to worry each year about renewing and potentially losing your domain.
WhoIS Privacy and Protection
When you buy a domain name through a registrar, you must, by law, provide them with accurate details about who you are and where you live. And lying about it has serious consequences.
But now you are putting your personal information out on the web—and this is dangerous.
If you’re not extremely careful to take the steps to protect your identity, you become a beacon signaling every hacker, scammer, and identity thief looking for the easy take.
We know hearing this can leave your insides quivering, but it’s the truth.
WhoIS Privacy and Protection is a service that hides your personal details, like your phone number, address, email, and more. This privacy service keeps your personal details inaccessible through public records and to predators looking to exploit you online.
We want this to be crystal clear why this is important.
Some domain registrars charge for this service and some offer it for free. But if you have no clue what this really does, it’s easy to just brush it off and try and save a few bucks. That can be catastrophic in the long run, allowing malicious cyber bullies to play hot potato with your identity.
Whenever you are purchasing a domain, it’s recommended you always get this service.
The one exception is if you’re registering a domain under a business entity, with a company address, email, and so forth. This is public information anyway, so attaching a domain name to it is no problem.
NameSilo and Namecheap offer WhoIS privacy for free, while Bluehost charges $11.88/year and Domain.com charges $8.99/year.
Make sure you choose your registrar based on the needs for your business and not only because Whois privacy is free. Weigh your pros and cons—because paid or free, you’re not breaking the bank here.
Reliable Domain Transfer Policy
This is one of the most overlooked critical pieces to selecting a domain registrar.
A domain transfer is when you take a domain you currently own and move it to a new provider.
This is common when you start with a bundled provider but now need more powerful features that streamline your web hosting experience and give you more control and more options.
Another example is you’re just not satisfied with the service provider you have and you want to switch.
The nightmare begins when you blindly select a domain registrar from the start without knowing how they handle domain transfers. Some providers can hold your domain hostage and not let it go until you pay for its release. Others will cancel your connection to their servers but not release it yet.
Then you’re stuck playing phone tag for hours or, worse, get stuck communicating with a chatbot trying to figure out how to get a hold of a real, live person. In the meantime, your website is being held in limbo where it’s not receiving any visitors or even being found online.
This can continue until you provide specific proof needed to have the domain released or pay the old provider to release it (depending on their policy).
You might even have to coordinate a discussion between both the new and old providers to move over a domain.
This can be extremely costly. It’s time sensitive since, chances are, you have traffic and rankings evaporating into thin air, sales that are slipping away, and your perceived reputation as being reliable is rapidly withering away like two-day old cilantro while your site is down.
The other problem is some providers “accidently” cause lost data and content that sometimes can’t be found after domain transfers.
Selecting a reliable domain registrar that is trustworthy and won’t throw a temper tantrum if you decide to move on is extremely valuable. Some providers charge for this service and some offer it for free. Understanding how their entire process works is critical.
A bonus tip we want to share with you is to back up your data and content somewhere outside of your web hosting provider. This is a way to help prevent you from losing your web content whether you transfer web hosts or files get deleted by accident.
Registering a domain name can be intimidating if you’ve never been the process before. But finding the right domain registrar will make your life much easier.
However, you can use this guide to find the best domain registrar for your needs. From beginners to experienced buyers alike, the list above has something for everyone.