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
- Domain Name Price Comparison
- Best Domain Registrars
- Domain Registrars To Avoid
I 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.
Below is a domain name price comparison with 5 different registrars.
Below is my list of best domain registrars.
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 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 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.
I would avoid using these registrars because they have had problems over the years.
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 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.
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.