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Want to get right to the point? My top picks for the best places to register a domain are definitely Domain.com (Get 25% off using our special coupon code: CRAZYEGG) or Bluehost (get a free domain with any hosting plan).
Your website needs a domain name. For that, you need to go through a domain registrar.
We’ve purchased hundreds of domains throughout our careers.
Over the years, we’ve used about every domain registration platform on the market. We’ve had excellent experiences with some, terrible experiences with others, while the rest fell somewhere in between.
Based on our personal experiences and extensive research, we created this guide to show you the best domain registrars on the market.
We looked at dozens of options and narrowed it down to our top five recommendations.
The 5 Best Domain Registrar Options to Consider:
- Domain.com – Best long-term pricing
- Bluehost – Best domain registrar for bundled web hosting
- Namecheap – Best domain registrar for simplicity
- NameSilo – Best domain registrar for bulk buying
- Gandi – Best domain registrar interface
#1 – Domain.com Review — Best Domain Registrar for Long-Term Pricing
Domain.com offers the best long-term pricing on the market for domain registration. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or have decades of experience registering domain names, this is our #1 recommendation.
For just $9.99 per year, you can register a .com domain from Domain.com. Plus, get 25% off using our special coupon code: CRAZYEGG
Plus, the process is quick, easy, and suitable for beginners.
And one of my favorite things about Domain.com is the ability to register your domain for up to five years.
This means you don’t have to worry about renewing it every year.
With your special Crazy Egg discount, you’ll only pay $37.46 for five years of domain registration, making it the most affordable long-term solution on this list.
Plus, you can add privacy and protection for $8.99 per year as well. This keeps your name and physical address off the public record.
I highly recommend adding this option to your domain purchase unless you’re registering the domain under a business name instead of your own.
The only downside to Domain.com is paying extra for this since other domain registrars offer privacy and protection for free.
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.
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 Review — Best Domain Registrar For Bundled Web Hosting
Best For Bundling 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.
The best part about Bluehost? You can get your domain name free for the first year if you buy web hosting from them.
Bluehost makes this process as easy as possible for new website owners. When you sign up for a hosting plan, you automatically have the option to register a new domain for free.
And their hosting services are super affordable, starting at $2.95 per month.
Bluehost domain registration includes full access to your control panel and DNS settings, various auto-renewal options, domain locking, and expert 24/7 customer support.
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.
So, if you’re not using Bluehost for web hosting, you’ll get a better deal using a traditional domain registrar. Bluehost also isn’t suitable for anyone interested in buying numerous domains at once.
That said, Bluehost is the only provider I recommend bundling domain registration with web hosting.
Get started with Bluehost web hosting and snag your free domain today!
#3 – Namecheap Review — Best Domain Registrar For Simplicity
Best For Simple Domain Registrations
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.
You can purchase a .com domain for just $8.88 per year, making it one of the cheapest options available. Registrations also include privacy and protection, even for existing domains transferring to Namecheap.
Other providers charge extra for this service, so you’re getting an excellent deal.
Plus, the entire domain registration process is as simple as it gets.
Furthermore, you can register your domain for up to ten years with Namecheap. That’s double the length of Domain.com’s offer.
I always recommend this option when it’s available so you don’t have to worry about renewing every year. Plus, you can lock in the lowest rate for the longest period of time.
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.
Plus, once you register a domain, you can manage everything with Namecheap’s simple dashboard and account panel.
And Namecheap’s customer support team is second to none. They’re knowledgeable, friendly, and available 24/7 to assist with your needs.
Register your domain with Namecheap today!
#4 – NameSilo Review — Best Domain Registrar For Bulk Buying
Best For Bulk Registrations
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.
NameSilo is another simple and straightforward domain registrar. It’s not quite as popular as Domain.com or Namecheap, but it’s still one of the most reputable, reliable, and trustworthy registrars on the market.
It’s our #1 choice whether you’re interested in cornering the market, purchasing common misspellings and iterative domains for redirects, or managing multiple brands under one flagship.
As one of the world’s fastest-growing registrars, NameSilo has more than three million active domains registered through its platform.
So, you’re in good company when you purchase through them.
Registering a .com domain starts at $8.99 per month. But NameSilo stands out from the competition by offering discounts for bulk purchases.
Here’s a look at their bulk registration pricing:
So, 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.
On top of that, you also get privacy and protection for free with all registrations. Not all registrars do this, so this is a huge benefit.
Furthermore, your registration also includes:
- Domain defender protection
- DNS management
- Email forwarding
- Custom WHOIS records
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.
All .com domain renewals are $8.99 with NameSilo, regardless of how many active domains in your account. As such, your rates will increase after your initial registration period.
With that said, $8.99 is still less than some registrars charge for initial registration. So, it’s definitely a great deal.
Get started registering your domain with NameSilo today!
#5 – Gandi Review — Best Domain Registrar Interface
Best Domain Registrar Interface
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 20+ years. Today, they manage over 2.5 million domains.
They employ a “no BS” philosophy and company culture, which is a unique pitch. You don’t often see curse words plastered over a domain registrar’s website.
They even have a complete landing page dedicated to their golden rule.
Aside from marketing creativity and decades of experience, Gandi stands out from other domain registrars because of its beautiful interface.
From buying to renewing and 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. And it comes with free privacy and protection, but so does Namecheap and NameSilo. So it’s tough for me to justify the extra cost here.
However, you can register for up to ten years at a time (twice the amount of time domain.com offers), which helps justify the price since you’ll spend less time messing with domain registrations and renewals.
The bright side of paying extra for your .com domain registration is that the prices don’t spike upon renewal.
Gandi also makes it easy to bundle multiple extensions. 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.
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.
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.