8 Best Domain Registrars and How to Choose the Right One

A domain name is your website’s virtual address. Since it plays a vital role in your online identity and branding, you must make sure your domain name is meaningful and memorable.

Choosing the right domain registrar to manage your domain name is equally important. Different domain registrars offer different pricing, ease of use, security levels, customer support quality, and complementary services like web hosting and email hosting.

This article will review the eight best domain registrars to narrow down your options. We’ll examine their pricing structure, features, and unique advantages to help you make an informed decision.

Top 8 Domain Registrars 

We compiled a list of the best domain registrars in no particular order. The key factors we considered are value for money, how easy it is to register a domain name with each registrar, and additional services that support users’ website-building journeys.

Here are our top picks for the best domain registrars in 2024:

  • Hostinger ‒ the best all-inclusive website building solution.
  • Domain.com ‒ best for extensive domain extension options.
  • Namecheap ‒ best for domain auctions and handshake domains.
  • Porkbun ‒ best for unique domain name extensions.
  • GoDaddy ‒ best low-priced domain name registration rates for the first year.
  • Hover ‒ best for user-friendly interfaces.
  • IONOS ‒ best for domain management tools.
  • NameSilo ‒ best for bulk domain transactions.

Haven’t Decided on a Domain Name Yet?

Explore our picks for the top domain name generators to brainstorm for the perfect name.

1. Hostinger

Hostinger domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Best for: managing domains and hosting from one platform
  • Price for .com: $4.99 for registration of two or more years
  • Renewal Cost: $15.99/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

Hostinger is an ICANN-accredited registrar offering over 100 top-level domain (TLD) options. With web hosting as its leading product, you will be able to buy and manage both hosting and domains from one place.

With AI integration, Hostinger’s domain availability checker tool can help you find unique, relevant domain names for your website. It can suggest available options that align with your website idea and requirements, saving you time and effort.

Generating domain name options with AI in Hostinger

All domain purchases include free WHOIS privacy protection valued at $10-20/year. This feature prevents the public from accessing your personal information in the WHOIS database, significantly lowering the risk of spam and identity theft.

You can save money by purchasing a hosting plan starting at ₱109.00/month. Hostinger’s hosting services come with a free domain name, access to the website builder, email hosting, and other key components for starting a website.

All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee to offer peace of mind during the trial period. Here’s the pricing simulation for the highly popular Business Web Hosting plan:

Pricing simulation for Hostinger web hosting purchase

Users who want to bring their hosting and domain name to the same platform can leverage Hostinger’s hassle-free domain transfer feature. Migrate your .com domain to the hosting provider for $9.99 and receive an additional one-year extension on its current expiration date.

Key Features

  • Web hosting services ‒ buy and manage your hosting and domain name in one platform. The hosting options include web, cloud, VPS, and managed WordPress.
  • AI automation ‒ streamline your domain name brainstorming process, branding development, and overall website-building journey with built-in AI tools.
  • 24/7 customer support ‒ reliable customer support is available in ten languages via round-the-clock live chat and email.
Hostinger web hosting banner

2. Domain.com

Domain.com domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Best for: finding more domain extension options
  • Price for .com: $11.99 for a registration of one or more years
  • Renewal Cost: $21.99/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: No

Domain.com is one of the most popular domain registrars due to its massive library of over 300 domain extensions for various website needs.

An AI-powered domain name search tool is available on a dedicated page. Users can enter a quick prompt or specify the desired length, extension, and words to include to narrow down the suggestions. However, search results aren’t always accurate, even with refined queries.

Generating domain name options with AI in Domain.com

Unlike most domain registrars on this list, Domain.com sells its services separately. For example, it automatically adds WHOIS privacy protection to the cart for an extra $8.99/year. This can increase the domain name price significantly if users aren’t attentive.

Pricing simulation for Domain.com domain registration

You can bundle domain registration with add-on services like web hosting, WordPress hosting, and its website builder. Unfortunately, it lacks cloud and VPS hosting options.

Domain.com bills hosting plans annually but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for added security. 

Key Features

  • Domain expiration protection ‒ for $9.99, Domain.com automatically extends your domain for a year when payment fails, protecting you from reinstatement fees.
  • Secondary domain name ‒ get a free one-year matching domain name with the .online TLD and domain privacy protection when registering selected TLDs.
  • Domain transfer ‒ migrate a domain from another registrar for $9.99. Use its WHOIS lookup tool to check who owns the domain and its registration details if necessary.

3. Namecheap

Namecheap domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.1/5
  • Best for: securing auctioned and handshake domain names
  • Price for .com: $10.28 + $0.18 ICANN fee
  • Renewal Cost: $15.88/year + $0.18 ICANN fee
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

Namecheap simplifies domain name search with an advanced, user-friendly domain checker. This tool lets users search for domain names using keywords and their variations, as well as specific price ranges. 

Alternatively, find and register bulk domains by importing a CSV file containing a list of domains.

Finding domain name options in Namecheap

Users can claim the free lifetime domain privacy protection during checkout. 

Besides domain registration services, Namecheap provides numerous add-ons to kickstart your website, including shared hosting, WordPress hosting,  domain name system (DNS) hosting, and SSL certificates for HTTPS.

Pricing simulation for Namecheap domain registration

Users who are interested in domain flipping or want to get a valuable domain can bid on premium domain names through Sedo, one of the largest domain name marketplaces integrated with Namecheap. 

Namecheap also offers handshake domains ‒ new TLDs based on a decentralized blockchain-based system ‒ for unique domain extensions.

Initiating a domain transfer for .com domains costs $10.48. Most domain transfers, except for a few country code domains (ccTLD), include free lifetime domain privacy protection to protect your information on the WHOIS database.

Namecheap customer support is available 24/7 via live chat. However, user reviews regarding their response time and renewal processes are mixed.

Key Features

  • Domain bidding ‒ make an offer for a registered domain name or bid on a premium one via a Sedo auction.
  • Bulk domain search ‒ search for up to 5,000 keywords simultaneously and register domain names in bulk to save time.
  • Domain vault ‒ limit domain access and have a specialist monitor DNS changes.

4. Porkbun

Porkbun domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Best for: searching for niche domain extensions
  • Price for .com: $10.37
  • Renewal Cost: $10.37/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

Porkbun is one of the best domain registrars to shop for unique domain name extensions. Choose from over 500 TLDs with ease using bulk and AI search. Users looking for more options can browse the marketplace and auctions by third-party sellers.

Finding domain name options in Porkbun

Domain name registrations come with free domain privacy, SSL certificates, and trials for web hosting, website builder, and email hosting. 

You can bundle Porkbun’s hosting plans with your domain purchase. However, they’re relatively pricey and offer less value compared to those offered by hosting providers. For instance, the lowest-tier shared cPanel hosting plan costs $9/month, allocating only 25 GB of disk space for a single website.

Domain transfers start at $10.37/year for .com domains, with no additional fee for renewals. However, Porkbun doesn’t provide refunds for both domain registrations and renewals.

Pricing simulation for Porkbun domain name registration

Free domain forwarding is available for users who host their websites on another platform. It supports 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Found, and 307 Temporary redirects, minimizing the impact on your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance.

Key Features

  • Marketplace ‒ buy your desired domain name from a third party or sell yours on Porkbun with a 7% commission.
  • Web hosting services ‒ options include shared cPanel, static, PHP, and WordPress hosting, starting at $2.50/month.
  • Email forwarding ‒ conduct up to 20 free email forwards for all domains registered.

5. GoDaddy

GoDaddy domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Best for: reducing expenses on domain registration in the first year
  • Price for .com: $0.01 for registration of three or more years
  • Renewal Cost: undisclosed
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

GoDaddy is the cheapest domain registrar on this list, offering .com domains for as low as $0.01 in the first year for a three-year registration. The domain registration includes free lifetime WHOIS protection and customer support. 

Moreover, domain bundles for up to four extensions can get you discounted first-year prices. However, it only discloses renewal prices after users register.

GoDaddy equips its domain name checker with features like filters, favorites, and history, allowing users to save and revisit domain listings they’re interested in.

Finding domain name options in GoDaddy

Like many hosting providers, GoDaddy bundles its web hosting service with free domain registration. Starting at $6.99/month, the web host also includes one year of free SSL certificates, Microsoft 365 mailboxes, DDoS protection, and daily backups.

Here’s the pricing simulation for the Web Hosting Deluxe plan, GoDaddy’s most popular shared hosting plan:

Pricing simulation for GoDaddy web hosting purchase

GoDaddy simplifies domain actions and parking for users seeking profitable side hustles. Use the domain appraisal tool to gauge your domains’ current values.

Users with a large portfolio of domain names can join the Discount Domain Club for deals on registrations, renewals, and transfers. They also get access to better prices when using other domain-related features like CashParking and Auctions.

Key Features

  • Domain investment tools ‒ GoDaddy offers broker services, a domain appraisal tool, and the Discount Domain Club membership to help you build your portfolio and make money with domains.
  • Domain transfer ‒ get up to 31% bulk discounts if you migrate six domain names or more.
  • Domain auctions ‒ buy or sell domain names for your online business needs or hustles.

6. Hover

Hover domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Best for: getting straightforward domain registration services
  • Price for .com: $17.99
  • Renewal Cost: $17.99/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

Hover is the best domain registrar service for users looking for a straightforward domain registration process. With a simple user interface and transparent pricing structure, it’s perfect for those focused on domain shopping.

Hover’s single domain registration is pricier than that of other domain registrars on this list, with .com domains costing $17.99. However, there are no renewal fees, and they include free WHOIS privacy protection. Owning more than ten domains also gives you bulk discounts on renewal.

Pricing simulation for Hover domain name registration

Hover is one of the few domain registrars that waives domain transfer fees. Instead, it will charge you for an extra year of registration, added to your existing term.

Email hosting plans with email forwarding and built-in anti-spam and anti-virus are available as add-on services starting at $20/year. You can also buy the email forwarding feature separately for $5/year.

While it lacks web hosting, Hover supports integration with website builders and publishing tools like Twitch, Ecwid, and Shopify. Support is available from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern time through live chat, ticket, and phone.

Key Features

  • Bulk pricing ‒ get bulk discounts on renewal when owning ten domains or more.
  • Hover Connect ‒ easily points your domain to your chosen publishing tools and website builder.
  • Email hosting ‒ create a business email with your domain or get an email forwarding address that redirects incoming emails to your existing mailbox.

7. IONOS

IONOS domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Best for: consolidating hosting and domains
  • Price for .com: $1
  • Renewal Cost: $17/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

IONOS is one of many hosting providers that offer domain registration services. Like Hostinger, it bundles its hosting plans with a free domain name for a year, SSL certificates, and automated backups starting at $5/month.

During checkout, you’ll need to choose a domain name and go through the upsells to finalize the transaction. Check your desired domain’s availability beforehand to speed up the process.

Here’s the pricing simulation for the Web Hosting Plus plan, IONOS’ most popular shared hosting plan:

Pricing simulation for IONOS hosting purchase

Users who only want to register a domain name can do so through the domain checker. It offers AI assistance if you’re not happy with the search results. Suggestions aren’t always accurate, but they provide a good starting point for brainstorming ideas.

Finding domain name options in IONOS

.com domains cost $1 for the first year and $17/year to renew. The domain registration includes a free SSL certificate, domain protection, and a 2 GB email account. You can also transfer your domain to IONOS for free by paying upfront for a one-year domain term.

Key Features

  • Bulk domain search ‒ check up to 100 domains simultaneously.
  • Customer support ‒ 24/7 assistance is available via live chat and phone in 14 countries.
  • Hosting solutions ‒ get a free one-year domain when buying a web hosting, Windows hosting, or website builder plan.

8. NameSilo

NameSilo domain registrar

Domain Registrar Stats:

  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Best for: buying and selling bulk domains
  • Price for .com: $13.95
  • Renewal Cost: $13.95/year
  • Free WHOIS Privacy: Yes

NameSilo is one of the top domain registrars for bulk domain shopping. Large registration orders and Discount Program participants can get discounts on renewal. The bulk configuration mode simplifies domain purchases, allowing users to set the term duration and activate auto-renew during checkout.

The marketplace manager lets you buy and sell premium and expired domains with a 7.5% commission fee with no minimums and listing fees. It also provides statistics, free parking, and landing solutions to maintain multiple domains. You can also backorder a registered domain through the popular platform Catch.club.

Register new .com domains for a flat price of $13.95/year. Domain registration includes free domain protection and email forwarding.

Users must create an account to check out, but this also allows them to link their domain to a third-party service and change domain nameservers to save time.

Pricing simulation for NameSilo domain regiration

Domain transfers for .com extensions cost $10.95, which includes a one-year extension of the expiry date. NameSilo also allows bulk domain transfers for up to 500 domains via TXT or CSV file importing.

NameSilo’s web hosting options come with a free website builder, emails, and SSL certificates at $2.99/month. However, they don’t include free domain registrations.

Key Features

  • Bulk domain configuration ‒ set nameservers, WHOIS profile, portfolio, and term duration for multiple domains at checkout.
  • Marketplace ‒ bid on premium and expired domains that match your preferred keywords and age.
  • Email forwarding ‒ use up to 100 email forward addresses to direct emails to your existing mailboxes.

How Does a Domain Registrar Work

A domain registrar is an accredited organization that manages internet domain name reservations. It operates under the guidelines set by ICANN, the organization responsible for coordinating and ensuring the uniqueness of domain names globally.

Most domain registrars offer a built-in search tool to check for domain availability. If your chosen domain name is up for grabs, the registrar will assist with the registration process. After buying the domain, you can point it to your website’s host, making it accessible on the internet.

However, domain registration is not permanent ownership. If you don’t renew the domain before it expires, others can register it for themselves. For this reason, many domain registrars offer an auto-renewal feature to help users retain ownership of their domains.

If you’re not happy with your current domain registrar’s features, you can transfer your domain name management to another registrar. Keep in mind that transfer policies vary for different domain extensions. Several domain registrars may also have specific transfer restrictions or fees to consider.

Thinking about Creating a Website?

Check out our breakdown of website cost to plan your budget. We also reviewed the best CMS platforms to start a website.

How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar

With so many options available, choosing the right domain registrar can be challenging. Consider the following factors to narrow them down.

Registration Period

The registration period is the length of time you can own your domain name before having to renew it. Most domain registrars offer options ranging from one to ten years.

A longer registration period is beneficial for those with a clear long-term plan for their website. It provides security and reduces the need for frequent renewals. On the other hand, a shorter period is more suitable for experimental projects due to its flexibility and lower upfront costs.

Always check whether the registrar offers discounts for longer registration periods and if there are any restrictions on your chosen domain extension. The ideal domain registrar should align with your website’s goals and budget.

Domain Transfers

Pick a domain registrar with flexible transfer policies to maintain control over your domain. For instance, check whether your registrar enforces lock-in periods that restrict domain transfers too soon after registration or renewal.

The transfer process itself should be easy, with a straightforward user interface and accessible customer support. If you plan to register multiple domains, opt for a registrar that allows bulk transfers. Consider the transfer duration as well, as it varies between registrars.

Value for Money

It can be tempting to go with the cheapest domain registrar. However, getting the necessary features and support can actually save you money and time in the long run.

For example, many domain registrars have low introductory rates for the first year but higher renewal fees. The lack of transparency for paid add-on services – such as WHOIS protection and domain forwarding – is also common, even among top domain registrars.

Besides the cost, evaluate the range of services offered. A reputable domain registrar may charge more for excellent customer support, robust security options, easy-to-use management tools, and extra services like web hosting and a website builder.

You can get a good estimate of a registrar’s value by checking user reviews and feedback.

Can I Get a Free Domain?

The easiest and most cost-effective way to obtain a free domain is to purchase a web hosting plan that comes bundled with it. Avoid free domain registrars for serious projects and business websites, as they can harm SEO and often lack security.

Extensions

A domain registrar offering multiple extensions can give you more alternative domains when popular ones like .com and .net are unavailable. 

It’s also an opportunity to get creative with your domain name. Consider unique domain extensions to make your site stand out among competitors.

Additionally, having a broad selection lets you compare and choose an extension that fits your budget and brand identity. Note that different extensions have varying prices and renewal fees. 

Ease of Use

An easy-to-use domain registrar can save you time and effort. Look for a registrar with a clean layout, user-friendly search tools for finding domain names, and a hassle-free registration process.

The domain management should also be simple. The ideal domain registrar should make updating DNS records, configuring email addresses, renewing the domain, and setting up privacy features easy.

Customer Support

Having access to knowledgeable and responsive customer support from your domain registrar can help quickly resolve domain-related issues. It’s especially important if you’re not confident in your troubleshooting skills or are new to domain management and website building.

Effective customer support can guide you through configuring DNS settings, updating records, and minimizing troubleshooting connectivity problems. All these tasks can help minimize your website’s downtime.

Check out our tutorial to learn more about monitoring website uptime and downtime and the role DNS plays in it.

Renewal Process

A good registrar will send out reminders to prevent your domain from expiring. Enable the auto-renewal option and keep your payment information up-to-date to avoid ownership lapses.

Additionally, check the registrar’s policies for expired domains, including grace periods and redemption fees. Ensure your chosen platform offers flexibility and protection for your domain in the long term.

Hostinger web hosting banner

Conclusion

As the platform that manages your domain, your domain registrar can make or break your website-building journey. With the right domain registrar, you can have peace of mind knowing your domain is secure, easily manageable, and seamlessly integrated with your website.

Here are our top picks for the best domain registrars:

  • Hostinger ‒ a reputable web host that bundles free domain registration and privacy with hosting plans, providing you with everything you need to build your website in one place.
  • Porkbun ‒ offers a wide range of unique domain name extensions and free domain forwarding.
  • NameSilo ‒ simplifies bulk domain registration and the bidding process on premium and expired domains.

We hope this article helped you find the best domain registrar for your project or business needs. If you have any questions, check out our FAQ section or comment below. Good luck!

Best Domain Registrar FAQ

This section covers the most common questions about the best domain name registrar.

What Is a Domain Registrar?

A domain registrar is a company that helps you register and manage your website’s domain name on the internet. It ensures each domain name is unique and follows the rules set by ICANN, the organization overseeing internet names.

Does It Matter Who Your Domain Registrar Is?

Yes, choosing the right domain registrar matters. Different registrars offer varying prices, services, and levels of customer support. Choose a provider that provides reliable services, good value, and the specific features you need for successful website management and growth.

What Is the Most Trustworthy Domain Name?

Generally, people recognize and trust .com the most due to its popularity and longevity. Other reputable options include .org for nonprofits and .net for tech-focused websites. Check out our tutorial for tips on choosing the right domain name.

Author
The author

Jordana Alexandrea

Jordana is a Senior Content Writer with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and web development. When she’s not busy with work, she dabbles in creative writing and movie reviewing. Follow her on LinkedIn.