A domain name needs to be registered with a domain registrar before you use it online. Registration is easy to do but first, you must choose from thousands of companies that offer to register your chosen domain name.
Here’s everything you need to know about registering a domain name including what is a domain registrar, the best domain registrar, domain names, and more!
First Things First: What Is A Domain Registrar?
Before we jump to the best domain registrar, it is imperative to learn what it is in the first place. Simply put, a domain registrar is an entity that can register domain names with the ICANN, an organization that manages domain names globally. ICANN acts as a proxy to make sure that you are the one and only officially recognized owner of that domain name. A domain registrar also provides the following services:
- Web hosting
- Website builder
- Privacy protection
Domain Registrar v/s Domain Names: What Is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an identification string that identifies a realm of administrative autonomy, control, or authority within the internet. Domain names are used in several networking contexts and for addressing and application-specific naming purposes.
It must be noted that a domain name registrar only provides domain name registrations. Registrars only sell the domain names which are essentially owned by registries and can only be leased by users.
Best Domain Registrar Options of 2022
1. Domain.com: Most Versatile
One of the best domain register options of all time, Domain.com offers top-level domains, sells premium domains as a broker, and offers over 25 country code top-level domains. With a two-decade experience in the online world, Domain.com ranges a number of products that include web hosting and full design service.
When using Domain.com you have to pay for privacy protection at a reasonable price of $8.99 with these additional features,
- Malware protection
- SSL certificates
- Web hosting
You are also availing of 24/7 chat, both phone, and email support. Domain.com is not cheap but has very balanced pricing.
2. Bluehost: Quality Domains With a Website Builder Add-On
Bluehost sells .com domains for as low as $12.99 per year and .org for $9.99 which makes it an ideal domain registrar option for small businesses. If you are looking for a hosting plan as well, Bluehost is the one for you. If you opt for a shared hosting plan for $8.99 from Bluehost, you must also throw in a free domain plus the website builder. This is a strong value proposition as with your preferred domain, Bluehost also offers an easy search system. You can also add protection and domain privacy to your purchase. This way your personal profile and details are kept private.
You can auto-renew your domain which saves you from manually doing it ensuring that there are absolutely zero accidental lapses that may poach your name. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find their service unsatisfactory.
3. IONOS: Great Offers for Beginner Months
IONOS is a popular company for its great hosting plans. They offer an amazing value for the 1st year but the renewal price is skyrocketing. For example, if you get a .biz, .com, .org, .net, and many others for $1 for the first year then the renewal price for .com is $15 per year whereas for .biz, .net, and .org it is $20 per year. Domains like .mobi are very expensive since the initial price and the renewal price are the same, i.e., at $20 every year.
At IONOS you will get a professional email address with your domain name and a 2 GB mailbox space. You can also avail,
- 24/7 customer support
- 10,000 subdomains
- Domain lockup
- Wildcard SSL certificate
4. Network Solutions: Best Domain Registrar for Small Businesses
When you register a domain name with Network Solutions, you get the option of private registration to protect your information. This extra protection comes free for the 1st month and then auto-renews every month at a price of $1.99. Network Solutions allows you to,
- Register a completely new domain
- Search through their premium domains
Such searches will help you want a higher search engine ranking or bid on an expired domain name. With the bidding, Network Solutions updates a list of expiring or expired domain names that you can choose from with the option to receive email alerts. To get a free domain name with Network Solutions you have to purchase one of the company's hosting plans and to avail of an SSL certificate, you must purchase the "premium" plan. This company accepts PayPal and all major credits cards with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you register for a domain name then you are not eligible for refunds but can keep it for free. If you want to get a domain name that has already been registered by another person, you can opt for a certified offer service with which you can make an offer to the current owner. The offer is presented anonymously from the Network Solutions company and paid to the seller only after the domain is transferred.
5. GoDaddy: Most Popular Domain Registrar
The world's largest, most popular, and one of the best domain registrars, GoDaddy currently hosts 75 million domains for 17 million registered customers across the globe.
Price Offered By GoDaddy
- .org domain in 1st year: $9.99 if you pay for 2 years upfront
- .co and .com domains in the 1st year: $11.99 if you pay for 2 years upfront
- .com domain in 2nd year: $18.99
- .co domain in 2nd year: $34.99
- .org domain for 2nd year: $20.99
- .mobi domain for 2nd year: $31.99
GoDaddy offers free basic Whois privacy which was an optional service previously. It redacts your email, phone number, address, and name in GoDaddy's WHOIS directory to prevent domain-related spam. There are better values to be had elsewhere but GoDaddy will appeal we'd designers who want a hosting and domain registration deal. Its array of products ensures that it covers all possible requirements along with telephone support.
6. Hover: Easy and Straightforward
Hover is a popular domain registrar owned by Tucows which also operates OpenSRS and eNom. Its website is straightforward and clear. On the Hover, a domain pricing page will allow you to check all registration costs before you begin. You can also use a search box to locate your preferred TLD. The results page will by default display every domain that you can register along with their prices. There's a handy sidebar that you can use to filter domains by categories including Food and Drink, Video and Audio, Business, Personal, and many more.
Prices Offered By Hover
- .co.uk domain: $10.99 per year
- .com domain: $13.99 per year
- .mobi domain: $19.99 per year
- .org domain: $13.99 per year
You also get WHOIS privacy for free as long as you use domain names approved by Hover. The company keeps upselling to the minimum till the final cart stage.
Extras Offered By Hover
- Email forwarding at 5 dollars every year
- 10GB email account for 20 dollars
- 1TB inbox, calendar, file sharing, and more for 29 dollars annually
You will be supported through chat and email but it's not 24/7 since the working hours are 8 am to 8 pm (Eastern time) from Monday to Friday. On the weekends it's 12 pm to 5 pm.
7. Dynadot: Greatly Affordably and With Lots of Free Extras
Dynadot can be used like all other domain registrars:
- Type the preferred domain name
- Press enter
- Read the results
Along with this, you will be allowed to get IDN (Internationalised Domain Name) and BULK search tools that have advanced options to allow defining which domain name extensions must be included in your search. You can also set this as default for all future searches. These searches sometimes return results from domain auctions where customers sell their domain names which they no longer need. The Backorder option allows you to try and grab a domain that is not currently available but is not renewed.
Prices Offered By Dynadot
- .com domain: $7.99 initially and at the time of renewal
- .co.uk domain: $2.49 initially and $6.99 for renewal
- .org domain: $8.99 initially and $10.99 for renewal
- .mobi domain: $5.99 initially and $17.99 for renewal
Dynadot offers special deals on certain extensions and a good value at renewal.
Extras Offered By Dynadot
- A website builder to build and host a one-page responsive website
- 5 each of MX and TXT records
- Free domain forwarding to redirect visitors
- A Grace Deletion list that allows you to return a domain name
- 10 email addresses
- DNS support to create 50 subdomain records
These extras require a small amount of fee and even then you will not be able to access them always. Its live chat sometimes is offline but it has a public forum that allows you to browse common questions.
Namecheap was founded in the year 2000 and now manages more than 5 million domains. It allows you to search domains individually or in batches of 50. If a domain is taken you can check its WHOIS record or offer to buy the domain through DomainAgents from its current owner. If the domain is freely available, the search results will be shown in 4 tabs making it easier for your to sort and choose:
Prices Offered By Namecheap
- .com domain: $9.48 initially and $13.98 for renewal
- .co.uk domain: $2.98 initially and $9.48 for renewal
- .org domain: $8.88 initially and $14.98 for renewal
- .mobi domain: $4.98 initially and $19.98 for renewal
- Agent 88 set of domains: $0.48 for 1st year (includes, .fun, .online, .tech, .host, .press, .pw, .space etc.)
9. Google Domains
Google Domains is a lightweight domain registration arm that allows you to have a big name provider with reasonable service which puts simplicity and speed as its priority. There are no special deals or endless sales and upselling is kept at a minimum. It is as easy as a shopping site, i.e.,
There are no animated ads or "Sale!" banners or low headline prices on the site. You just have a search box where you can enter a domain name. The results page will show the price list for 9 common top-level domains along with an Endings tab listing at each option given in alphabetical order (domain.camera, domain.bargains, domain.academy). Google Domains does not support all domain extensions which includes common ones like .tv and .mobi. You can access the help link for all your queries and if that's not enough the Contact Us page enables you to talk to a support agent by email, telephone, or live chat.
Prices Offered By Google Domains
- .com, .co.uk, .org domains: $12
- Extras: $2.80
The Bottom Line
Domain names are registered by domain registrars and they work together to provide registration services to users. The end users can select their preferred registrars and only the designated registrar can delete or modify information about the selected domain names. It is done in a central registry database which is why some users change registrars at times. These changes of registrars are called the domain transfer process and are governed by certain domain name transfer rules. Hope our list of best domain registrar options makes your pick easier, more informed, and seamless!