Best Place To Buy A Website Domain – 5 Registrars Compared

(Last Updated On: March 7, 2019)

Want to know the best place to buy a website domain?

Of course, you do.  We all want the “best” for everything we do.   Domain names are no different because it’s an important part of our website.  Working online should be easy and paying a little more to avoid hassles is always a smart option.  I have had a ton of experience working with different registrars over the years.  So, hopefully, you can learn a thing or two about the best places to buy a domain name.

This article is going to cover the following:

Before You Sign Up With A Domain Registrar

best place to buy a website domainI can’t stress the importance of choosing a domain registrar that is easy to work with.  This means you should be able to manage your domains, transfer domains, make DNS changes, etc. with no hassles.  So, I have compiled a list of key factors you need to consider when using a domain registrar:

Good reputation.   Always go with a respectable brand that has a good reputation.  Believe it or not, there are some registrars that get very poor feedback in the industry.  Also, you don’t want to sign up with a novice company and ultimately lose your domain name once they go under.

Hidden fees.  A lot of registrars actually have hidden fees when you transfer a domain to another registrar.  These fees can be very high.  Lets’ face it no one really likes hidden fees!

Administration settings.  Should easily be able to change your nameservers, mail, whois records, forwarding, renewals, etc.

Affordable price tag.  Make sure that their prices are on par with other companies.  Some companies charge A LOT more than other companies.

Accredited.  The registrar should be accredited with ICANN.  Always, make sure they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Ease of use.  Not that you’re going to be spending a lot of time changing your DNS settings, making domains private, etc., but when you do you want it to be an easy process.  Also, when you sell it to a client it helps if it isn’t a huge hassle.

Domain forwarding.  Should offer domain forwarding.

Auto Renewal.  Some of the less straight-forward registrars will set your domain names to “auto-renewal” by default.  If you forget to turn this off you could end up paying for it even if you don’t want to renew the domain name.

Private Whois.  Keep your private information out of the public eye.  This will conceal your name, address, phone number, email, etc.

Email accounts.  Registrars have been known to host your domain’s email.  This can be vital even if you don’t want to use a generic email such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.

Support.  You might need technical support at some time.  You should easily be able to contact them.  A lot of registrars offer phone support, email, and live chat.

You don’t have to host your website with your registrar.  Some companies are great for domain names, but are terrible for hosting with.  Personally, I buy most of my domain names with NameCheap and NameSilo and host them with Wealthy Affiliate’s managed WordPress hosting.

Domain Name Price Comparison

Below is a domain name price comparison with 5 different registrars.

NameCheap NameSilo GoDaddy 1and1 Network Soluions
Starter Price  $10.69  $8.99  $7.99  $0.99  $4.95
Renewal Price  $10.69  $8.99  $14.99  $14.99  $34.99
 Private Registration  $2.88 Free  $7.99  Free  $9.99
Website URL  namecheap.com  namesilo.com  godaddy.com  1and1.com  networksolutions.com

Best Domain Registrars

Below is my list of best domain registrars.

NameCheap

NameCheap Screenshot

NameCheap was founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall.  NameCheap does offer a lot of different domain name TLDs.  Their prices are straight-forward.   Meaning their prices are not going to start at a low price tag and then increase next year.  A lot of other companies actually use this tactic, though.  NameCheap does allow free privacy for their first year, too.  Then, it’s just $2.88 the following years.

What I like about NameCheap is their user interface for managing your domain names.  It’s very easy to use.  Customer support is handled via live chat.  It usually takes 30 seconds to connect and they are very quick at answering your questions.  I have been using NameCheap for several years now.  Certainly one of the easiest registrars I have ever used.

NameSilo

NameSilo Screenshot

NameSilo operates the way a domain registrar company should operate.  In a poll on Namepros.com.  NameSilo got the second most votes for the best registrar, second to GoDaddy.  They offer lots of different TLDs, don’t have hidden fees, and reward their customers the more they spend with them.  They don’t start you at a low introductory rate and then raise the price next year either.

I really like how NameSilo gives you free WHOIS privacy for life.  Their support is very helpful and quick to respond.  You can get ahold of them through live chat or through email support.  Lastly, their prices are affordable and usually on the lower end versus other registrars.  NameSilo is always a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy Screenshot

GoDaddy holds the market share and is the most popular registrar as of date.  GoDaddy offers lots of different domain name TLDs.  However, GoDaddy is notorious for starting you at a low introductory rate for a domain name and then raising it the following year.  But, you can usually find a GoDaddy promo code to renew your domain name at a cheaper rate.

Love them or hate them you have to respect them for being the most popular registrar.  Their customer support is pretty decent.  However, some customers don’t like how they will throw in sneaky upsells when you checkout with them.  So, make sure you’re careful when you checkout with GoDaddy.  I’ve been using GoDaddy for several years for domain registration and highly recommend them.  Also, GoDaddy Auctions is a great place to buy and sell domain names.

Domain Registrars To Avoid

I would avoid using these registrars because they have had problems over the years.

1and1.com

1and1 Screenshot

1and1.com is a company I would encourage you to stay as far away from as you possibly can.  While it may be true that they have handled 19 million domain names there is a lot of complaints from webmasters that use their service.

The entire process of changing your DNS, transferring your domain names is a huge hassle.  It’s a process that is so time to consume that I once just gave up and closed my account with 1and1.com.  I believe it was 7 steps to change your DNS!  1and1.com outsources their customer support overseas which can be very troublesome to deal with.   Billing issues could also be problematic with 1and1, too.  They are known for charging your credit card on file even when you cancel.  But canceling your service with them can be quite a task in hand.

I would NOT recommend buying domain names with 1and1 altogether.  

Network Solutions

Network Solutions Screenshot

Network Solutions has a long list of complaints about their company.  Take a look at the complaints on ConsumerAffairs.com.     It’s very hard to transfer away from Network Solutions.  Getting an authorization code and transferring out doesn’t seem to be a hassle-free experience, either.  Also, you can expect very high prices for domain names ($35 for a .com).  See this article on domainnamewire.com.

In the past years, I have bought domain names from NameJet.com (great drop catching service) which are a partner company of Network Solutions.  I have always found it to be a hassle to migrate my domain names away from Network Solutions, though.  Usually, I transfer them to NameCheap or NameSilo, but I have grown to expect delays and customer support I feel is lacking, too.

Final Words of Wisdom

Hopefully, this article has shown you the best places to buy a website domain.  There are a ton of options out there.  Obviously, you want to get your domain names for the cheapest possible price.  But, their user interface, support, privacy options, etc. need to be offered by a dependable registrar.

Lastly, there are some website domain registrars that are a hassle to work with.  Meaning they charge you more, have sneaky offers, have high transfer fees, lacking customer support, etc.

My favorite registrars are NameCheap and NameSilo because they are transparent with their pricing, The user interface is easy to use, and customer support is fantastic.

Please do let me know which website domain registrars you use to purchase your domain names.  Additionally, let me know if there are any registrars that you have had problems working with.  Please leave your comments down below.

Garen Arnold has been designing websites for a decade now. He sold his 8-year-old affiliate marketing niche site and founded SellWebsite.co to show people how to buy/sell websites and domains.

9 thoughts on “Best Place To Buy A Website Domain – 5 Registrars Compared”

  1. To be honest with you I’ve always just bought domain names with GoDaddy. I like how they are cheap when you first purchase them. It does kind of stink that they do raise the prices when you renew your domain name, though. I would like to possibly transfer them over to NameCheap if you think it’s an easy process? How hard is it to make the change from GoDaddy to NameCheap?

  2. As a newbie to online business and all this, I appreciate inspirational guides as you have done in your reviews. Thanks a whole lot I now have a way to get started.

    • No problem. There is a lot to learn in the online business world. Just remember to start slow and be patient because it can be the best decision you ever made.

  3. Great advice Garen. Buying domains can be a risky move in business if you don’t use the best providers.
    I take on your recommendation when I next purchase a domain.

  4. Hello Garen,

    When I’ve started my niche blog about a year ago I was browsing through a lot of domain registrars but NameCheap and GoDaddy looked the most trustworthy. Somehow I’ve missed the NameSilo. But at the end, I’ve bought the domain through Wealthy Affiliate (where it’s also hosted). It was a bit pricier but I was a total newbie and didn’t want to go through the hassle of moving the domain. But in the future, I may save a few bucks and put the domain elsewhere:)
    Thanks for the great info.

    Marek

    • Yeah, domain names are pretty pricey with Wealthy Affiliate. I believe they are $15 (for a .com). It’s not horribly overpriced and their web hosting is top notch, though.

      What a lot of people do is buy domain names with GoDaddy for $.99 and then after 7-8 months move them to NameCheap or NameSilo.

      NameSilo is one of those domain registrars that doesn’t get the kind of respect they should get, though. They are like the “quiet” company that just doesn’t market themselves as much as NameCheap and GoDaddy.

  5. I have always used GoDaddy. I just trust them. I have seen 1and1 before and while the price is cheap, you have to wonder how cheap the support is as well! Once again thank you for the comparisons.

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