Compare The Best Domain Registrars

Finding the right domain registrar is crucial for your entire website-building experience

The Best Domain Registrars

  • GoDaddy
  • Bluehost
  • Porkbun
  • Domain.com
  • Network Solutions
  • Namecheap
  • NameSilo

GoDaddy

GoDaddy offers an affordable and simple domain registrar service.

Every GoDaddy domain comes with basic domain privacy and protection at no additional cost. This means that your personal information like your address, email, name, and phone number are hidden from the public. While other domain registrars upcharge for domain privacy, it’s nice getting a freebie from GoDaddy.

For even more privacy, you can upgrade from basic coverage to a Full Domain Protection or Ultimate Domain Protection plan.

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This is great if privacy and security are important to you—and they should be. It shields your identity from scammers, hackers, and other people with malicious intent.

GoDaddy also offers one of the best introductory offers in the industry. You can get a domain name for just $0.01 for your first year with a two-year registration. It’s tough to find a better deal from such a reputable domain registrar.

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For a little extra, you can save 39% by bundling an email that matches your domain and full domain privacy. This package starts at just $2.50 per month for a .com domain.

Another standout of GoDaddy is its bulk domain search tool. With just a few clicks, you can check the availability of up to 500 domains at once and purchase all of the available ones.

This feature makes it easy to list or park domains using GoDaddy—ideal for anyone who wants to get involved with the domain investing game.

If you see that a domain you really want is taken, you can leverage GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service. They’ll assign a dedicated agent to act as an intermediary between you and the owner of the domain, helping you get the best deal you can for it.

Try GoDaddy today and get your first year for just $0.01.

Bluehost

Bluehost is the way to go if you want to grab both a free domain and web hosting in one go.

It’s the service we recommend if you’re building a brand-new website or if you’re building your very first website ever. This is especially true if you plan to use WordPress, as it’s a one-click install with Bluehost.

We recommend Bluehost highly on our list for best web host and in our article about creating your first website. Why? Bluehost offers a very intuitive and easy way for anyone (regardless of technical knowledge) to create websites.

And when you bundle your domain and web host, you end up saving money in the long run. If you’re starting a new website and want to combine your domain and web host, Bluehost is the only provider on my list that nails both services.

A free domain comes with all of their hosting plans. With shared hosting plans starting as low as $2.75 per month (subject to change due to promotional deals), you really can’t find a better deal elsewhere. At least not from a provider that offers quality hosting and quality domains.

As soon as you select a hosting plan, you’ll be brought to this page to set up your domain:

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The Bluehost domain manager makes it easy for anyone to buy, track, transfer, and update domain names from a simple dashboard. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate, which is something that other domain registrars try to add-on as an upsell.

They offer auto renewal too. That means you don’t have to worry about manually renewing each year.

Add domain privacy and protection to your registration for just $0.99 per month. You can also prevent any unauthorized domain transfers with domain lock, which is $1.99 per month.

I always have liked how easy Bluehost makes it to get the basics in place for a new website. Get started on the right foot by going with Bluehost.

Porkbun

Porkbun is a relative newcomer on this list, but they have made a name for themselves with affordable, competitive pricing – including on renewals. That’s where a lot of domain registrars get you. But Porkbun is committed to keeping its prices low and its options wide open.

With so many .com domains snapped up or way too expensive, it’s ideal to be able to take advantage of alternative domain extensions that make your URL – and brand – more memorable.

Searching keywords on Porkbun will return a lot of new and trending domain extensions to choose from. Starting a blog about the best kinds of camping gear? Snag .review or .camp. Want to show off your portfolio and get new gigs? Try .studio, .art, or .ink.

 

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A lot of these nontraditional but easy-to-remember extensions are available from Porkbun for under $8 for your first year. And they have literally hundreds to choose from, leading to nearly endless possible combinations with your desired keywords. Of course, they have .com domains available, too, starting at $4.75 to register a new one.

Right now, you can get a .shop extension for your web store starting at only $2.04 for the first year. That’s an incredible initial deal and it renews at a still reasonable $26.85/year after that. That’s better renewal pricing than just about anybody else on this list.

You can also purchase more than one year upfront, up to ten. Sure, you’ll lose out on the sweet first-year discount, but you’ll be able to secure your home on the web for up to a decade at Porkbun’s great rates. That same .shop extension can be locked down for ten years for just $228.93, an even better rate than their renewal pricing.

Plus, every domain purchase comes with the following extras for free:

WHOIS privacy
SSL certificate
URL and email forwarding
Trials of Porkbun’s site builder, web hosting, and email hosting
Half of domain hunting now is brainstorming the right combination of keywords and extensions. The latter can be hard if you don’t know what’s available. But Porkbun’s helpful pages for trending domain extensions and their best deals can help you find something effective and cheap. At the time of this writing, Porkbun has the lowest registration cost on the market for over 200 extensions. And they have over 500 total available domain extensions.

Get creative with your URL and make something memorable that won’t cost an arm and a leg to register. Find your site’s one-of-a-kind home by registering a domain through Porkbun.

Domain.com

Domain.com is one of our top picks because of its quality of service, overall simplicity, and affordable privacy protection.

You can get a .com domain from Domain.com for just $9.99 per year. They also give you the option of purchasing the domain for up to five years, which means you can set it and forget it for the foreseeable future.

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Where they really shine is in keeping your overall domain costs lower than average. While domain privacy and protection are two of the most important things when you own a site and domain, it is one of the add-ons where costs can really add up.

Domain.com only charges $8.99 per year for Domain Privacy + Protection. To compare, Bluehost charges 99 cents per month plus 1.99 for domain lock, and Network Solutions is $9.99 per year and only protects your information in the WHOIS database, skipping additional domain protection like malware scans.

Domain privacy is imperative. It allows you to keep your personal information safe from prying eyes, which prevents identity theft and protects against unauthorized access. With the addition of Domain.com’s SiteLock, you’ll also get regular malware scans and blocklist prevention.

Every domain registrar must maintain a WHOIS database, which lists contact information for every domain they manage. This information is available to the public. Domain.com’s privacy protection removes your personal contact information from the database and replaces it with its own.

You can add Domain Privacy + Protection at any time and it is available for all of the most popular domains, such as .com, .net, .org, .co, and more. There are some that don’t support domain privacy, including .ae, .es, .gg, and others. You can verify with the company if your chosen domain is supported.

Beyond privacy, Domain.com has other excellent services and 24/7 customer support. For example, you may be able to save even more money if you want to use them for hosting. Shared hosting with Domain.com is $3.75 per month whether you commit to 12 or 36 months. This is unlike some other hosting services, which only give you a lower monthly cost if you commit to several years up front.

You can use the Domain.com website or online store builder to get everything you need in one place or use their services for domain transfers. They make the transfer process very easy.

The entire purchase process can be completed in a minute, including grabbing the privacy and protection add-on.

Network Solutions

It’s crucial to lock down your dream domain once you find it. You want to own your prime real estate on the web for as long as possible without any worry about losing it by missing a renewal.

Network Solutions goes above and beyond the other registrars out there—you can secure your domain for anywhere from one year to 100.

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You’ll have to pay upfront for the full 100 years if that’s the route you want to go (and there are no prorated refunds for changing your mind around the half-century mark). But if you’re betting on the longevity of your organization, company, or personal brand, Network Solutions makes it easy to set your domain up for the long haul.

While a full century might be overkill, the registrar’s options for 10 and 20-year terms are a real plus compared to other options on my list.

Even if you go with a shorter term, for just $9.99 per domain you can get expiration protection. If you forget to renew, are unable, or if you just have an old credit card on file that can’t be charged when renewal time rolls around, Network Solutions will keep your domain safe from poachers and rate hikes for up to a year.

Network Solutions also offers two common features, domain transfers and private registration, but in terms of cost they’re a little steeper than the others on this list.

However, Network Solutions has better search capabilities than most, allowing you to use their portal to bid on expired domains, place a certified offer on held domains, browse the inventory of premium reseller domains, search in bulk for up to 25 keywords or phrases, and score pre-registration deals on new domain extensions.

In any case, this is the registrar you need if you’re looking to lock down your dream domain for decades.

Namecheap

True to their name, Namecheap offers great domain names at incredibly affordable prices.

They also give you a swift domain purchasing experience. In less than two minutes, you’ll be able to buy and register a domain name for less than the price of your average UberEats meal.

There are also limited upsells, nothing confusing about the process, and nothing to slow you down either.

It’s everything I want in a domain purchasing experience and nothing I don’t.

When you get to checkout, here’s my suggestion for which upsells to buy–ignore everything. Seriously, there’s nothing extra you need to purchase. Namecheap already provides domain privacy via a WhoisGuard subscription—and that’s free forever.

You definitely want WhoisGuard. It’s a privacy protection that prevents your personal contact information from being displayed in the publicly accessible WHOIS database. As long as your domain is with Namecheap, you’ll never pay for WhoisGuard. GoDaddy, on the other hand, charges $10/year and most web hosts that offer domain registration charge $12/year.

Once you’ve purchased your domain, the dashboard is clearly laid out.

I’ve found Namecheap’s knowledge base to be thorough and helpful. Great documentation is key, since buying and setting up a domain isn’t part of most people’s expertise. It’s just not something you do every day.

If you need more support, Namecheap has 24/7 live chat help and a two-hour ticket response time.

Maximize your small budget by grabbing a domain through Namecheap.

NameSilo

NameSilo is the second fastest growing domain registrar in the world. A big reason for this is their easy and affordable way to buy domains in bulk.

With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to search for hundreds of available domain names and purchase them. You also get a huge discount for bulk domain purchases.

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In fact, their lowest rates clock in at $8.39 per domain per year if you purchase 5,000+ domains. That’s easily the lowest rates out there for domains.

Of course, you’ll have to buy enough domains to populate a small town. But if your business wants to secure an array of potential branding opportunities or get into the domain trading business, this is a fast and cheap way to do it.

 

How to Find the Best Domain Registrar

Finding the right domain registrar for your business can be tricky. Even in a list like this, how do you choose when each option is great?

Let me help you break it down.

Below are the criteria I used when compiling this list. I judged each product against these benchmarks to see how they performed. Use the following information as a framework to help guide your decision based on your unique needs.

Free vs. Paid Domain Protection

When you sign up for a domain, you need to provide information for WHOIS—a public database filled with information about users who have purchased a domain name or created an IP address.

Think of it as a phone book for the Internet. Like a phonebook, you can use it to find the personal information (including the name, phone number, email address, and mailing address) of anyone with a domain name.

Spammers love the WHOIS directory. It gives them easy access to different people they can attempt to contact—as well as their contact information.

Luckily, you can keep the information out of their hands with domain privacy and protection.

Most domain registrars, like Namecheap, include WHOIS protection for free. Those who don’t charge about $12/year, like Bluehost.

That might determine your ultimate decision on which domain registrar you go with. You’ll definitely want to research the domain registrar’s WHOIS privacy policy and whether or not you’ll have to purchase it at checkout.

You can also use your business info, since it’s already publicly available. But whatever you do, definitely don’t use your personal info unless you want to field spam phone calls and emails after your domain purchase.

Do You Need a Web Host and a Domain?

It’s common for domain registrars to offer web hosting services. It’s also common for web hosting providers to offer domain registration.

These bundles might seem tempting, but in most cases you should keep each service separate. Why? Separation gives you a lot more flexibility if you want to change web hosts and/or domain registrars in the future. It also improves the quality of service on both.

I’d only recommend registering a domain and getting hosting with the same company if you’re not planning to buy more domains in the future, or if you are doing something simple, like starting a blog or personal website.

If you do decide to bundle your domain registrar and web host in one provider, you should use Bluehost. They are the only service that is able to nail both of these services.

 

Quick and Easy Domain Transfers

Domain transfers are a sneakily important aspect of a good registrar. This is especially true if you have chosen to bundle your services.

Why? At some point you’re likely going to transfer your domain, especially if you’ve chosen to bundle it with a web hosting service.

While I do recommend bundling with Bluehost for beginners, Bluehost is probably not the last place your website will live if you get really get serious about growing your traffic and web presence.

You also might end up finding a better deal with a different domain registrar later on. Or you might just not gel with the current domain registrar.

Whatever your reason, you’re going to want to make sure you choose a domain registrar with a clear and straightforward transfer policy. It shouldn’t cost you a bunch of money and time on the phone with a customer support rep just to transfer your domain to a new registrar down the road.

As you research, see what it takes to transfer a domain from their platform. Make sure it’s spelled out in clear and plain language. If not, you might end up resenting your choice down the road.

 

Bulk Domain Purchasing

This certainly won’t apply to most of you—but for those it does apply to, this will be an important consideration.

Does the domain registrar you’re researching offer bulk purchases? This can be an important tool for many businesses, especially if you’re building out multiple sites or if you’re looking to get into the domain parking game.

Platforms like Namecheap, NameSilo, and GoDaddy are fantastic options if you want to purchase domains in bulk. They even offer great promotions and discounts, too.

But be sure to find a domain registrar with a simple and user-friendly bulk purchasing tool. That means it’s easy to use, and pushes no upsells or hidden fees.

It’s way too easy to get caught up in a flashy tool, only to later find out that you accidentally purchased a ton of upsells you didn’t need.

 

The Top Domain Registrars in Summary

GoDaddy and Bluehost are the best domain registrars on the market. If you’re starting a new site from scratch, Bluehosts’s free domain name with web hosting is the best option for beginners. GoDaddy is a cheap and easy domain registrar that offers basic domain privacy and protection with any domain purchase

Buying a domain name can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Finding a reliable domain registrar will make your life much easier.