KTech System Network Blog

Compare The Best Domain Registrars

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Posted on: January 13, 2022

Just need a domain name without hosting? Domain.com is the best domain registrar for people that only need a domain name. It’s affordable and easy-to-use. Click here to get 25% off at Domain.com with the coupon code QUICKSPROUT.

Need hosting, too? Get a FREE domain name with the best web hosting. You can instantly get a free domain name when you sign up for Bluehost hosting (starting at only $2.75/month!) This is highly recommended if you need a hosting account for your new domain name, which most people do.

A domain registrar can make or break your website-building experience. Luckily, you don’t have to sweat the details. I’ve reviewed the options out there and whittled my recommendations down to seven solid contenders.

I based my reviews on my years of experience starting, running, and selling businesses. During that time, I’ve bought hundreds of domain names. Read on to discover the best domain registrar for your specific needs.

Pro Tip: Get a free domain name when you bundle domain registration and web hosting together at BlueHost

  • Free domain name included
  • Plans start at $2.75 per month
  • 24/7 phone and chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Get a FREE domain now

Although you may be tempted to bundle domain registry with your web host, if you’re planning on buying more than one domain over time, you should keep them separate.

It’s not a big deal to go ahead and buy them together if you’re doing something simple, like starting a portfolio site or a small personal blog. But, domain names and web hosting are two different competencies, and it’s best to use expert providers for each.

With that said, if you have a very specific need and don’t think that you’ll ever need more domain names, you can save money by registering with Bluehost when you start your website or blog.

Bluehost offers a free domain name with their web hosting plans. It’s a convenient option for anyone who wants to bundle these services from the same provider.

The 7 Best Domain Registrars

  • Bluehost — Best for creating your first website
  • Domain.com — Best for keeping domain costs low
  • Porkbun — Best deals on unique domain extensions
  • Network Solutions — Best for locking down domains for decades
  • GoDaddy — Best domain registrar for protecting your personal data
  • Namecheap — Best domain registrar for tight budgets
  • NameSilo — Most affordable domain deals with bulk purchasing
How to choose the best domain registrar. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing domain registrars.

Bluehost will get your site up right away, but it might not be the best option for everyone. Each of the other registrars handles domains a little differently.

I’ve reviewed all my top picks in detail below. Read on to understand your options and make an intelligent decision about buying a domain.

Best Domain Registrar Reviews

Bluehost — Best for Creating Your First Website

  • Free domain name included
  • Plans start at $2.75/mo
  • 24/7 phone and chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Get your FREE domain

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 lists 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:

BlueHost domain setup.

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.

Domain.com — Best for Keeping Domain Costs Low

  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Cheap domain privacy protection
  • Easy domain transfers
  • Excellent customer support

Get 25% off with coupon code: QUICKSPROUT

Domain.com is one of our top picks due to 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.

Domain.com pricing and domain availability page.

Where they really shine is in keeping your overall domain costs lower than average. While domain privacy and protection is one of the most important things when you own a site and domain, it is one of the add-ons that 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, preventing identity theft and protecting 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.

Fittingly for its own domain name, Domain.com should be one of the first places you look for a domain. Get 25% off with coupon code QUICKSPROUT

Porkbun — Best Deals on Unique Extensions

  • Best deals on unique TLDs
  • Most competitive renewal rates
  • Purchase up to 10 years
  • Free WHOIS privacy & SSL

Snag your domain

The internet has been around for a long time. One drawback of that longevity is how much prime internet real estate has been snapped up. It’s nearly impossible to find an available .com anymore and even when you do, you’re often stuck paying way over market value for it.

At this point, it’s better to take advantage of alternative domain extensions that make your URL easy to remember and type in. That’s where Porkbun comes in.

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. Want to show off your portfolio and get new gigs? Try .studio, .art, or .design.

Porkbun homepage.

A lot of these nontraditional but easy-to-remember extensions are available on 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 URL keywords.

Heck, even right now you can get a .shop extension for your web store starting at $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 up front, 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 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.

So 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.

Network Solutions — Best for Locking Down Domains for Decades

  • Register a domain for a century
  • Easy bulk search
  • Private domain registration
  • Expiration protection

Find your domain

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.

Network Solutions homepage.

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.

Head over to Network Solutions to search for your domain name today and use coupon code QUICKSPROUT to get 25% off.

GoDaddy — Best Domain Registrar for Protecting Your Personal Data

  • Included WHOIS protection
  • Optional extra privacy & security add-ons
  • Affordable and easy to search
  • Bulk search and buying

Grab your domain today

GoDaddy offers a cheap and easy domain registrar service.

What I really like about them is that they give you basic domain privacy and protection with any domain purchase. That means personal information like your address, email, name, and phone number is hidden from the public. You can even upgrade to their full domain privacy & protection plan for even more protection, as you see below.

GoDaddy subscription tiers and features.

This is great if privacy and security is important for you. And it should be—it can shield your identity from bad actors like scammers, hackers, and more.

They also give you great deals when you bundle your domain with a website. You can save up to 45% on your domain along with a great website complete with SEO tools and privacy protection. They also offer a solid ecommerce plan for those who want to create a web store.

GoDaddy pricing and domain availability search page.

Another standout tool they offer is their bulk domain search tool. With just a few clicks you’ll be able to check the availability of up to 500 domain names and purchase all the available ones.

This allows you to easily list or park domains using GoDaddy, perfect if you want to get into 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 up to 45% off your domain and website.

Namecheap — Best Domain Registrar for Tight Budgets

  • Free privacy protection
  • Simple checkout process
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Find and buy a domain name in 2 minutes

Search for your domain

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.

Namecheap upsells during domain registration

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.

Namecheap final checkout screen with free WhoisGuard

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 — Most Affordable Domain Deals with Bulk Purchasing

  • Easy bulk domain buying
  • Reduced rates for massive bulk buys
  • Free WHOIS privacy
  • Few upsells

Find your domains

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.The NameSilo website is dated and belies its strength as a top domain registrar

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.

NameSilo checkout screen when purchasing a domain name

There are virtually no upsells and you can start configuring your domain at checkout—linking it to a third-party service (like a website builder) and entering custom name servers. Don’t forget to opt-in to WHOIS privacy protection.

Oh, and NameSilo throws in domain privacy for free (though you’ll need to opt-in by selecting it in your cart).

Get started with NameSilo today.

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?

Let us help you break it all down.

Below are all the criteria I used when determining this list. I judged each product against these benchmarks to see how they performed. Use the following information to help guide your decision.

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 online 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 what 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. Definitely don’t use your personal info, though.

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.

This gives you a lot more flexibility with changing 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.

If you’re going to bundle your domain and web host, you should use Bluehost. They are the only provider that is able to nail both of these services.

This is a great option for something specific and simple, such as a blog or small personal site.

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? It’s simple: you’re likely going to transfer your domain, especially if you’ve chosen to bundle it with a place like Bluehost. While we highly recommend bundling with Bluehost for beginners, it’s definitely not the last place your website will live if you want to 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 find 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 get your domain to a new registrar.

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 kicking yourself 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 if you do so with them too.

One thing to note: You’ll want to find a domain registrar with a simple and user-friendly bulk purchasing tool. That means it’s easy to use, and offers no upsells or hidden fees.

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

The Top Domain Registrars in Summary

Bluehost and Domain.com 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. Domain.com is an affordable way to purchase multiple domains.

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.

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