What is a Domain Name Registrar
A domain registrar is a company that registers and manages domain names for all websites around the world.
A domain name registrar allows you to buy and register domain names. These companies must be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN). Website Domain registration companies are authorized to make changes to your domain name’s information in the ICANN database on your behalf.
Since these companies bid to sell their domain names, you should be wary of being tricked or falling into some of their unscrupulous traps. Therefore, it is a matter of great importance that you check to confirm that the registrar you choose is fully licensed to sell domain name extensions and also that it offers you different services to accompany the domain name. We’re listing the top domain registrars in order to help you choose a domain quickly.
Best Domain Registrars to Buy a Domain Name
It was founded in 1997, making it one of the oldest domain registrar companies in existence. It is the world’s largest web host, accredited by ICANN, and has over 77 million registered domains. It has over 19 million customers and handles over 150,000 domain transactions per day.
The company focuses mainly on domains, hosting and business applications and has already set itself apart as the best provider for:
- individual domains
- hosting plans for small businesses
- web designing for professionals.
GoDaddy offers its customers a wide range of services which include:
- domain extensions
- domain name registration
- website builder
- SSL certificates
It features a powerful site builder, which makes it easy for starters to create a new professional site from scratch despite having no technical knowledge. It is the best place to buy a domain.
It has an easy to use domain management interface, which enables one to quickly transfer their domain name or make changes to domain settings. Another good thing is that it offers new clients a 14-day free trial.
Its support team is excellent and works round the clock to ensure that customer issues are addressed.
On the other hand, GoDaddy is quite expensive than most domain registrars, and it also experiences random errors. But, if you use Godaddy coupons, it will stand out as the cheapest domain registration company. It has also been hit by ethical controversies over the years.
It is India’s most popular domain and website hosting registration company, having over 6 million customers.
Its most outstanding features include a 30-day money-back guarantee, 99.9% uptime, 24/7 technical support team.
This support team can be reached via Live chat, phone, or email. It also has an extensive knowledge base from which customers can carry out a self-evaluation test using the available tutorials. Its cPanel is also well organized and user-friendly and easy to navigate.
BigRock offers smooth domain transfer of both personal and business domains. It also has an efficient domain search engine that allows you to check the availability of the domain name you key in.
Namecheap is another top-level domain registration company founded in 2000.
It has a powerful domain search tool that returns the best domain name for your business and also gives suggestions if your preferred domain name is unavailable.
Namecheap offers free domains, easy domain transfer, and also provides SSL certificates at comparably lower prices compared to other domain registrar companies.
Some of the main ad-on services associated with Namecheap are domain privacy and premium DNS services.
A Namecheap subscription comes with a free lifetime privacy protection that bars your personal information from appearing in the WHOIS database, accessible to the public.
It also has the most straightforward checkout process with few upsells. This makes it easy to buy a domain under 2 minutes.
Free to forward emails from Namecheap makes it ideal for people who want a business email.
However, you might encounter some minor issues when logging into the Namecheap domain management panel, but a 24/7 support team is available to assist you.
It was launched in 2000 and is a household domain registrar name on the planet.
It is excellent for those seeking to buy multiple domains and highly recommended for those seeking to register a domain name without web hosting-first-timers and experienced buyers alike.
Domain.com provides you with all Top Level Domain Name extensions(TLDs) as well as some country code Top Level Domains(ccTLDs). It has a powerful domain name generator that carries out a quick domain name search for your preferred domain name and provides alternative solutions where it is unavailable.
It has an easy to use domain management area from which you can manage domain settings such as DNS settings, renewals, and privacy settings.
Domain.com gives one access to all domain management tools such as
- private registration
- free WHOIS privacy protection
- bulk registration
- easy transfers
- easy DNS management
- email account
Domain.com has a 24hr support team that can be reached via live chat or email.
For those seeking Web Hosting services, it would be good to know that they are also provided by Domain.com.
It has a comically outdated site resembling a 1990 word template. This, however, is set to change soon after it was acquired by Brison Innovation Company in 2018. The company took to overhaul the domain registrar’s features, and it now has a much-improved site that is still being tested and is set to be unveiled.
By 2018 November, Namesilo was the second-fastest-growing domain registration company in the world, showing how good the site is.
Namesilo is considerably cheap compared to other domain registrars and is perfect for ones looking to save cash while enjoying the best domain hosting. It also runs a discount program for bulk domain purchases and thus is a site flocked by owners who run hundreds of thousands of domains. You can search and buy a domain name from Namesilo.
Namesilo has an easy to use the site, from where you can carry out your registration process, domain transfers, and even renewals with no hitches. It is good to note that they also have no add-ons experience that will be great as you won’t be coerced to purchase unnecessary services.
It also features a free WHOIS domain privacy protection policy, which protects your user data from being displayed to the public in WHOIS databases. It even goes the extra mile to protect its customers from spammers at no cost. However, to enjoy this service, you will need to opt-in by selecting it in your cart before you check out.
Namesilo’s clients also enjoy absolute freedom over all the revenue generated from advertising on their websites. With the registrar’s meticulous parking manager, the user can control this advertising content, layout, and even color scheme.
Namesilo also has a wonderful support team working round the clock to ensure that all customer issues are resolved. It also has a broad knowledge base for which clients can self -evaluate themselves using the available tutorials and guides.
Is a country code Top Level Domain Name (ccTLD) for the Federated States of Micronesia, located in the Pacific Ocean. It was introduced in 1995. dot.FM is best for people looking to start a live 365 radio station.
.FM registration is open to everyone and offers its clients a registration length between 1 to 5 years, eliminating the risk associated with delayed renewals. .FM also supports bulk registration.
It also offers:
- online brand monitoring
- brand monitoring
- trademark monitoring services
- easy to use website builder
- excellent email service for both personal and business use
dotFM features a powerful domain name search engine which returns a list of the most appropriate domain names for your domain once you key in the keyword of your choice, alongside the cost for each. It also facilitates an easy transfer of domains to and from their company. It is important to note that.FM does not offer either protected domain registrations or protected ones.
dot.FM domain provides you with access to domains protected mark lists (DPML), and Uniregistry extended protection service (UniEPS). Once you sign up for their G-Suite service, you will be able to manage all of your accounts from one control panel. Important to note is that you will be charged an extra fee if you fail to manually renew your subscription by the end of the 20th day after the expiration of the current plan.
With .fm, it is easy for you to connect your domains to popular online services such as WordPress, Youtube, and Wix.
EuroDNS is an international domain registration company based in Luxembourg.
It offers a free DNS SSL certificate and mailbox included with all domain names registered with her. Euro DNS has accreditations with over 70 registries worldwide.
It provides European country code Top Level Domains(ccTLDs) and .eu domain name. EuroDNS provides the most generic extensions and international name registration for Asian countries and the US.
Some of its generic services include:
- domain transfers
- forwarding and management
- free DNS servers
- paid and free email packages.
- WHOIS domain privacy for $5.15 per year
BlueHost is one of the world’s largest domain hosting corporations. BlueHost recommended by WordPress and is the official WordPress hosting partner. It, therefore, hosts the biggest website builder worldwide. BlueHost powers over 2 million websites worldwide, making it rank high in the domain registrar lists.
BlueHost is ideal for those who are looking to start a blog or a website. BlueHost is also perfect for people who have a specific need and are sure they will not be needing more domain names.
- free domain name registration
- discounted web hosting
- SSL certificates
- unlimited disk storage
- unlimited domain hosting
- International Domain Names
- add-on domains
- parked domains
BlueHost’s subscription starts with as low as $2.95 per month, and with that, you get a free domain name.
Another important aspect of Bluehost is the Bluehost domain manager, which is useful in buying, tracking, transferring, and updating domains from a simple dashboard. Money-back guarantee is also given for the first 30 days but excluding for domain names.
In addition to BlueHost’s fast speeds and affordable pricing, its subscription also comes with unmetered bandwidth, free business email address. There is also a feature for a 1-click WordPress website installation on the dashboard.
Domain privacy protection is available at $0.99 per month while giving the domain owner the option of purchasing a domain lock for only $1.99 per month. The domain lock is important in that it helps secure the domain by preventing unauthorized domain transfers.
Bluehost offers the customer auto-renewal feature, saving one the stress of having to check whether the domain has expired or not. This accords the domain owner time to relax and worry about other important things.
Bluehost has a 24-hour expert support team that is always ready to assist the customers.
Hostgator is primarily a web hosting provider with over 9 million registered domains.
Hostgator offers the client a complete package of services consisting of:
- domain names
- shared website hosting
- dedicated hosting
- cloud hosting
- windows hosting
- application hosting
A domain owner also benefits from a nice selection of extensions, excellent domain privacy as well as an easy to use DNS management tool.
Hostgator has an easy to use domain tool, which is helpful when searching for the perfect domain name for your business. It also has one of the best beginner-friendly management areas kept meticulously clean and well documented to enable starters to easily navigate their domains.
Hostgator has a splendid domain transfer policy, in that owners are allowed to transfer their domains to the domain registrars of their choice, free of charge. This process is also transparent and smooth, and domain owners should be able to complete it in no time at all.
Hostgator recently introduced a new drag and drop feature called Gator, which is a drag and drop website builder guaranteed to give you the best drag and drop building experience. This feature is valuable for starters who have no technical knowledge of website building.
Hostgator clients enjoy:
- a free domain name and hosting for all their website builder plans
- easy sign-up process
- up to 99.9% uptime guarantee
- a 45-day return policy
- unlimited bandwidth and disk space
10. Network Solutions
Network Solutions is an American-based tech company. It is a subsidiary of Web.com. It was founded in 1979 and operates primarily as a web host and domain registrar company. In October 2019, it was ranked as the fifth-largest domain registrar with a customer base of close to 7 million.
Network Solutions is focused on assisting small developing companies to establish an online presence.
Network Solutions offers it’s clients services such as:
- Website development
- Web hosting
- Website design
- Online marketing
- Email hosting
- SSL certificates
- Domain name search
- Domain transfer
- Private registrations
- Expired domain search
- Web forwarding
Network Solutions is the perfect registrar for one’s seeking to register domain names at an affordable price. It also has a great knowledge base for clients to self evaluate themselves.
A defunct domain registrar company established in 1999. It has been inactive since 2016. During its heydays, it operated primarily as a domain trading market.
Some of the main services offered by Buydomains are:
- Premium domains
- Domain registration
- Domain transfer
- Web hosting
Buydomains.com features a powerful domain name search engine. It returns domain name results filtered by price and availability.
Domains are put in three categories:
- Buy Now
- Make Offer
- Request Price
For the first category, one clicks to add the domain to the cart and proceed to purchase it. The second category allows the client to submit a bid for a domain name. The last category requests the price of a domain, which is communicated within an hour (or at least used to be).
12. Google Domains
It is a domain name registration service offered by Google. It provides a user-friendly google style interface.
Google Domains offer a registration period of up-to 10years eliminating the risk associated with late renewals.
Google Domains have virtually no upselling. But Google Domain prices are a but higher as compared to the competitors.
Some of the features of Google Domains include:
- WHOIS privacy protection
- email forwarding
- domain forwarding
- custom subdomains
- simple domain management tools
- easy integration with top website builders
- new domain endings
- multi-domain registration
- domain sharing
- free cloud DNS
- DNS export
Google Domains also provide 24 hours on live chat, email, and phone support in English. Limited hours of French, Spanish, and Japanese language customer support are also available.
The subject of picking the best domain registrar to do business with is a delicate issue and should be treated with the utmost care. As a business owner, you ought to look at all your options to ensure you settle for something that gives you affordable prices, excellent features as well as good terms of service. To nail this, you will need to use the following criteria when vetting these companies.
How to select the best Domain Name Registrar
1. Domain Price and Registration Period
Most domain registrar companies will offer you extremely low prices for the first year of registration but significantly increase this value when it comes to subsequent renewals. It is also notable that most domain registration companies will offer you a minimum registration period of one year, while others will give you two up to five years.
When buying a new web address, remember to check for the price and length of the initial registration period and whether there are annual renewals. Do check also for additional fees for domain transfers, renewals, or any other charges which may be listed.
2. Domain Transfers
When it comes to any business, there will always be dissatisfied clients, and domain name hosting is not an exception. Should you be unhappy with your current domain name registrar, you should be able to move from that domain registrar to another without any unnecessarily long processes. As much as this transfer should be free, keep in mind that some registrars will charge a fee for this transfer. Note also that for the first 60 days after registration, this feature will not be available with most domain registrars.
Make sure you carefully review the registrar’s domain transfer policy to avoid future conflicts concerning this issue.
3. Add-on Services
Domain registrars will always offer you additional services consumable with the domain name. Honestly, these services sometimes come in handy, although not always the case. Some of these add-on services are:
- domain privacy protection
- domain parking
- extended expiration protection
- WordPress hosting
- email hosting
- website builders
- email marketing
You should check the registrar’s add-on services list before settling for the one that has the ones that you think you might need.
4. Domain Expiration
When the period for which you registered your domain name elapses, your domain name expires and is made available for anyone else to register. This means that upon expiry, you are at risk of losing your domain name, something which is tragic for any business. Many businesses have fallen victim to this policy. Make sure you check the domain registrar’s domain policy to avoid future surprises.
A domain registrar that offers a grace period after the expiry of the subscription period is more desirable than one which will give away your domain name.
Things to check before you choose the right Domain Registrar
For you to enjoy the best domain ownership experience, be keen on the following:
1. Hidden Fees
Despite offering low prices for first time fees, some domain registrars have embedded some additional charges within their contracts. These charges will inflate the cost of your subscription, and you will end up paying more.
These extra charges will come disguised as administration fees paid for editing WHOIS and RDAP listings or will as additional fees to transfer your domain.
To detect these hidden fees, pay attention to the registrar’s terms of service before enlisting their services.
2. Add-on Costs
Some registrars will try convincing you to purchase additional services. Some will even try selling you some additional domain endings that are useless yet drives up the cost domain ownership. A typical .com domain should not cost more than $14.99, and anything above that should raise suspicions.
Some registrars have even gone ahead and pre-checked some add-on services on their checkout page. Be sure to uncheck all the add-ons you do not need to evade this trap. You can also double-check against the charges posted to your credit card statement to know whether you are paying more than you signed up for.
3. User Experience
Domain owners always want to have control over their domains. They also want to have the best user experience on the platform. Thus, they would want to be making necessary changes to their domains. The domain registrar, therefore, has the responsibility of making it easy for domain owners to execute changes on their domain name settings should they wish to move their domains to new domain registrars.
To identify this, have a look at the domain registrar’s online reviews, keeping in mind that happy clients rarely leave reviews.
4. Privacy Protection
Privacy protection is a must-have feature for any domain registrar. This protection is provided free by some registrars, while others charge a fee for it.
Avoid domain registrars that would want to substitute your details for theirs in the WHOIS and RDAP registries, thus secretly cheating you out of your domain ownership
5. Data Protection
The ideal domain registrar should protect your contact data and never try to sell it to third parties or misuse your customer data for their marketing purposes.
The domain registrar should be open on how they deal with your user data and their renewal rates. It should also be transparent when it comes to transferring or canceling of domain registration.
7. Support Team not Sales Team
The domain registrar’s customer care team should be courteous and professional. They should be assisting customers and not be selling them add-on services in the guise of customer support.
Check online reviews about the registrar’s support team to gauge this factor and select the best domain provider.
That said, here is now the list of the 10 best domain registrars which meet most of the above criteria.