A domain name is a unique internet address that allows people to easily find your website online. As you go through the process of choosing your domain name, you’ll also need to pick a place to register it. That’s where domain registrars come in. A domain registrar is an entity through which you purchase and set up your domain; it also assigns your URL to a unique IP address.
You’ll want to vet the different domain registrars before you make a final decision.
These are the best places to register a domain name.
GoDaddy is the most well-known domain registrar in the world, but that doesn’t make it the best option. GoDaddy is the most expensive of all of the domain registrars, with high renewal fees and privacy as an add-on. If you want to go with a big, well-known domain registrar, GoDaddy is the best choice.
Initial prices and renewal pricing:
Pricing for .com domains starts at $11.99 for the first year. Renewal cost is not listed on the website and can only be found in your account once you have a domain registered with GoDaddy. From personal experience, GoDaddy renewals are the most expensive out of all of these registrars.
Privacy options: WHOIS protection is not included with your domain. GoDaddy offers three levels of domain protection, all of which include WHOIS privacy. Pricing depends on your domain.
Domain transfer: Transferring is easy and starts at $7.99 for .com domains.
Bundled and add-on services: Website security, privacy protection, website builder, website hosting, email, and an online store builder.
2. Google Domains
Google Domains is no-frills. The pricing is affordable, and it costs less than other domains. The best part about using Google Domains as your registrar is the ease of putting out paid ads. If you’re planning to use the Google Ad platform to market your products, Google Domains makes it very easy to set up. Google also offers built-in email forwarding and 24/7 customer support.
Initial prices and renewal pricing: New domains start at $9/year. All plans include privacy protection, 24/7 customer support, email forwarding, Google two-step verification, Google Cloud DNS, and domain and subdomain forwarding.
Privacy options: WHOIS protection included.
Domain transfer: It’s easy to transfer a domain to Google, but the cost depends on the domain you’re looking to transfer.
Bundled and add-on services: You can add on Google Ads, email, and website design to your purchase.
Namecheap is an affordable option for domain registration and offers a nice web hosting bundle. This is a good option if you’re looking for a fair price and package that includes WHOIS protection and web hosting.
Initial prices and renewal pricing: Pricing for .com domains on Namecheap starts at $8.88/year. Renewal pricing starts at $12.98 and averages about $4 more the second year than you paid during the first.
Privacy options: WhoisGuard protects your personal information from the WHOIS directory, and it’s free for all domains registered with Namecheap. Namecheap also offers security features like SSL certificates, a VPN, and PremiumDNS as add ons to your yearly fee.
Domain transfer: Transferring a domain out of Namecheap is as easy as it gets. It’s a pretty standard process—you can leave Namecheap so long as your domain is over 60 days old and it hasn’t been transferred within 60 days. Transferring a domain to Namecheap is fast (from 30 minutes to six days) and affordable. You just type the domain you want to transfer over in the search bar to see if it’s eligible and then transfer it in three steps.
Bundled and add-on services: Namecheap offers a package deal with domain registration and web hosting. Add-ons include email, security features (SSL, VPN, DNS), and WordPress hosting.
Domain.com is known for speed and reliability as a web hoster. It also offers a live chat function, which can be deeply helpful as you start to set up your new website. But, privacy protection costs extra and pricing is better elsewhere. Domain.com is a good choice for reliable web hosting, so it's good for those looking to host their site the same place they register it.
- Initial prices and renewal pricing: Pricing for .com domains starts at $9.99/year with a one-year minimum. Domain renewals for .com domains start at $13.99/year.
- Privacy options: Domain privacy is considered an add-on, and you can bundle it with your domain registration for $8.99/year.
- Domain transfer: Domain transfers are easy at Domain.com, but the caveat here is that the company doesn’t list pricing on its website. You’ll have to input the domain you want to transfer before seeing how much it’ll cost. If you do decide to go with Domain.com, be sure to take a look at the other services listed here to make sure you’re getting the transfer at a fair price.
- Bundled and add-on services: You can also purchase web hosting (starting at $3.75/month), WHOIS privacy protection, web design, and marketing services, a website builder, email, and website security like SSL.