So, you have decided to start your own website. A stellar idea, if I might add. However, creating a website is not an easy task by any means. You will need to register your domain name, hire hosting services, and create a website. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
Luckily, we live in the age of the internet, and some companies specialize in this type of services. My goal with this article is to filter out the bad ones and highlight the best domain registrar companies currently available.
To keep this article clean and easy to go through, I will focus on the business model, services, and customer support when comparing these domain registrars, but first things first, let me show you what makes a good domain registrar, so you can avoid those scummy and money grabbing ones.
What makes a good domain registrar?
Best domain name registrars have three things in common – superb services, efficient customer support, and straightforward business model. If you pay close attention, you will realize that most domain registrar reviews boil down to these features. Sadly, it’s hard to find all three in one domain registrar, so you will need to prioritize, and make a couple of compromises. Finally, make sure your site has HTTPS encryption.
Straightforward business model
Businesses are always trying to milk the customers for money, and domain registrars are no exception. What sets apart the good ones from the bad ones is their straightforward business model. In layman’s terms, what you see is what you get. Sure, even among top 10 domain registrars, you will find some scummy practices, but in the end, they won’t bill you, and then ask for additional fees to implement some essential features.
Efficient customer support
Customer support is the backbone of every business. While things work as intended, there is no need for them, but as soon as things go bad, customer support is the first to respond. Efficient customer support is available 24/7, responds fast, and most importantly solves your problems with ease.
It should come as no surprise that the best domain registrar companies offer superb services, but you would be shocked how some of them are lackluster in this area. As I said before, it’s all about balancing the pros and cons, so even if one domain registrar has bare-bones services, they might compensate it with their pricing model or great customer support. However, if you are looking to buy a domain name and host it is as well, this should be the most important parameter for you.
Top 5 domain registrars
Here is the list of the best domain name registrars currently available. Some of them focus on the services and some boast about their low prices, so make sure you have your priorities straight before making the final decision.
GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar and certainly one of the oldest ones. When there is talk about domain name registrars, the chances are that it’s about GoDaddy. However, their popularity has nothing to do with their services, so let’s see how they fair compared to others.
Pricing: GoDaddy is hit and miss when it comes to pricing. Their standard rate for a domain name is around $15 per year, but they often run promotions during which you can snag a domain for mere $1. However, GoDaddy is the king of add-ons, and not in a good way. They will try to sell you everything, from web hosting services to privacy protection plans. If you don’t want to be bombarded with special offers, then you should avoid GoDaddy.
Services: When it comes to services, GoDaddy offers everything that you can imagine. Besides being a domain registrar, GoDaddy also offers website hosting services. So, if you are looking to buy a domain and host it, you can do it all with GoDaddy.
Customer support: GoDaddy offers both a phone and a chat customer support, which is always a plus. They are always available and ready to help you with any questions you might have. I would say that this is probably the best way to go about customer support.Find A Domain Name Get Hosting
BlueHost is an amazing domain registrar that also offers web hosting services for WordPress websites. If you want to create a WordPress website and host it, then this is probably your best option. Even official WordPress developers are praising their services.
Pricing: With BlueHost, you have two options; buy a domain name only or buy their hosting services and get a free domain. The first option will cost you around $12 per year, and the latter one will be close to $4 per month. Whichever option you choose there won’t be any hidden costs or after-purchase fees.
Services: “The best WordPress web hosting service” tagline doesn’t come by accident. BlueHost has a whole slew of services to prove you that. Starting with regular web hosting and all the way up to cloud hosting and site security, you can find pretty much everything you need here.
Customer support: I have nothing but praise for their customer support. They are quick to answer, professional, and available every single day of the week, and throughout the whole year. If you doubt my words, just check their customer support reviews.Find A Domain Name Get Hosting
In my book, DreamHost is the best domain registrar by far. They do come off on a more expensive side, but if you take into consideration their impeccable services and stellar customer support, you won’t mind that at all.
Pricing: DreamHost has as a straightforward business model as they get. Similar to BlueHost, you can either, buy a domain name for around $10/year or you can buy their hosting services for $11/month and get a free domain name for one year. Also, free domain privacy. You don’t see that often.
Services: DreamHost is a home for about 1.5 million websites. With this high number, one might think that they will face a lot of downtime and problems, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. DreamHost’s websites have a 100% uptime, and besides that, they offer a 97-day money back guarantee. DreamHost is the best option if you are looking for both a domain registrar and a hosting service.
Customer support: Lastly, I would like to give a quick mention to their live customer support service. Regardless of what type of problem you are having, they will be available 24/7 and 365 days a year. What more could you ask?Find A Domain Name Get Hosting
While on the topic of the best place to buy a domain name in 2017, we cannot go any further without talking about NameCheap. This is the first company on this list that focuses more on the domain name registration than on the hosting services. You can see that from their home page. Their domain registration process is intuitive, easy to navigate, and most importantly, you won’t be buried by special offers and promo codes.
Pricing: There aren’t many payment options for NameCheap services. For some, this is great because there are no cheap sales tactics, but for others, that want a bit more customization, this will be disappointing. Right now, you can buy a .com domain for as little as $9 per year.
Services: Even though NameCheap focuses mostly on selling domain names, they do offer web hosting services. That’s why you can buy shared hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and other hosting related services. Additionally, they offer SSL encryption, if you are looking to boost your domain’s security.
Customer support: NameCheap has 24/7 customer support, but you probably won’t need that because they went out of their way to create detailed guides both in written and in video format. This is awesome to have, especially for non-native English speakers.Find A Domain Name Get Hosting
The last but certainly not the worst of these five domain registrars is HostGator. They have been around for quite some time. Since 2002 to be more precise. During this time, they have managed to amass a huge following, and currently, they have over 9 million domain names hosted through their services. However, HostGator is not without flaws, so let’s see what they are.
Pricing: HostGator is one of the cheaper options on this list. However, they do use cheap tricks to lure in the customers. For example, they will offer you web hosting and domain name bundle for about $3 per month, but the trick is that this price is only for the first year of service. So, be careful while selecting your package. On the other hand, if you want to buy a domain name only the starting price is little less than $13 per year.
Services: This is where HostGator truly shines. They have almost unbeatable uptime of 99.99% of the time, and they have 45-day refund policy. Also, if you want to relocate a website over to their services, HostGator will do that free of charge.
Customer support: Finally, HostGator offers every type of customer support. That means you can call them, chat with them, or send them an email if that is your preferred way of communication. The most important part, they are available 24/7/365.Find A Domain Name Get Hosting
As you can see, none of these domain registrars are perfect, but that is the nature of the business. The best domain registrar for me might be completely unacceptable for someone else. However, there are certain standards that every domain registrar needs to uphold, and these five do even more.