Even when you know the niche you want to blog about, choosing the right name is one of the toughest things for you to do.
The choice of a domain name has been compared to choosing the right name for your first child, only that the rest of the world might know the domain name and you cannot change it.
In your search for the best domain name for your website, you might find that all the names have been taken and you might need help brainstorming.
So, after going through all this trouble, you would want to register the chosen name with the best domain name registrar, and at an affordable rate, no?
But first, what makes the best domain name registrar? With your domain name being your blog’s or idea’s path to the online world, you need to know everything about a domain name registrar before you pay for their services.
A domain name registrar refers to the service which allows you to register and buy a domain name.
These registrars are ICANN ((Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)-accredited, ICANN being the not-for-profit organization given the role of managing the Domain Name System (DNS).
The DNS is important because, in its absence, IP addresses and domain names would be difficult to remember and confusing.
The DNS system ensures that you don’t buy a domain name similar to an existing one and it also allows you to choose a domain name extension that best reflects your business.
What to look While choosing Domain registrars
With hundreds of domain registrars for you to choose from, each offering lower rates than the last registrar you checked, you have to be careful who you choose as your domain name registry service.
So, below are some of the things you should consider when looking for a registrar:
Domain Transfers: you might not consider transferring the domain name to another registrar today, but you might want to in future. So, check the company’s policy for transfer protocols and whether or not the transfer of domain names is acceptable.
Customer Support: will you reach the registrar’s support team promptly and will the support team provide the help or information you are looking for?
Contract/ pricing: for how long can you register a domain name? What is the procedure for renewing your registration? And which are the associated costs?
Drop catching: what are the company’s terms on expired domains? Will your expired domain, if you forget to renew the domain name, be sold to someone else immediately? Ensure that these terms are clear.
Now that we know what to look for, which are the best and most affordable websites you can buy a domain name from?
Additional services offered: does the registrar provide additional services besides name registration? Some of the services you should check include website building and even purchase of certificates.
1. GoDaddy Inc.
An American publicly-traded company, GoDaddy Inc. is an internet domain registrar and a web hosting company. 2017 reports indicate that GoDaddy had at least 17 million customers and 6000 employees all over the world.
The registrar also offers domain name transfers where you get a year free name registration whenever you transfer your domain name.
GoDaddy will also help you to find the domain name that speaks to your audience, and you might also like the bulk registration serviced which will save you more in registration fees.
The other domain name registry features include their domain buy service, the discount domain club, and the GoDaddy auctions.
You might also like the company’s protected registration services, certified domains, cash parking, backorder domain services, and its premium DNS.
If you are building a new blog or website, BlueHost is a great place for you to register your domain name. BlueHost was found in 2003, and it has over 2 million websites hosted in its servers today. WordPress also recommends it as its best web host.
Besides its affordability, BlueHost will give you a free domain throughout the first year of registration.
The only catch to the free plan is that you have to get a BlueHost web hosting service too.
BlueHost provides great customer support services through its 24/7 live chats, phone support, and email ticketing.
For domain privacy protection, you have to pay an additional monthly fee of $0.99 totaling $11.88 in a year. you
Founded in 2000, this Arizona-based domain name registrar has at least 7 million domains, and it is accredited by ICAHN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
NameCheap is another great domain name registration option if you only need domain name registration but planning to get web hosting from another service provider.
You might also like this domain name registrar because it offers hosting account plans. With new registration, you can get a one-year free registration offer.
The annual registration fee is $10.69 while private domain registration costs $2.88 per year.
NameCheap also offers app integration services, domain transfers, email management, and SSL certification, among others. Their customer support services are reliable, and you can get help through email ticketing or live chats.
Founded in 2002, HostGator boasts at least 400,000 customers, and it has over 9 million domains registered.
Other than the affordable services offered, HostGator works like BlueHost by working primarily as a web hosting provider.
Domain registration on HostGator costs $12.95 annually. If you purchase their Hatchling Cloud Hosting plan, you will receive a free domain.
HostGator’s Baby and Business hosting plans will come with free/ unlimited domains. Besides the classic .com TLD, you can also access other TLDs like .org, .biz, .net, or .info websites.
If, on the other hand, you need HostGator’s domain name, and you are already using HostGator’s web hosting services, you will get a .com site for $2.99 per year.
Note, however, that you have to pay $14.95 every year for WHOIS privacy.
Domain.com is one of the well-known domain name registrars founded in 2000.
Besides domain name registration and management, the company also offers web hosting and online marketing services. Each of their plans comes with a free domain.
But, if you only need Domain.com to register your domain name without the web hosting package, your domain will be registered for $9.99 for .net and .com websites, annually.
Since its establishment in 2003, Name.com has developed a huge customer base with over 320,000 active customers. It has control over at least 2 million domain names.
Besides domain name registration, the company provides app integration services, domain transfers, SSL certification, and web hosting.
While web hosting is not their main service, getting a web hosting plan with Name.com will give you a free domain name.
A classic .com website costs $9.99 annually, but a niche specific TLD like .host will set you back $ 109.99 annually.
It also offers domain name transfers, web hosting, website building, online marketing, and you could also enjoy its SSL certification options and email services offered to domain name owners.
Domain name registration is super affordable at $5 monthly for the classic .com sites, as well as .info, .net, .us, and .org. among others.
Unfortunately, they do not offer 24/7 customer support.
8. InMotion Hosting
Established in 2001, InMotion Hosting offers affordable domain name registration services, and it currently has at least 300,000 registered domains.
Despite being a top domain name registrar, InMotion Hosting is well-known for its web hosting services.
The domain registration costs $14.99 annually. All their web hosting plans feature free domain renewal services.
9. Google Domains
Fairly new and still running on the beta version, Google Domains was launched in 2015.
It comes with a host of domain registration/ management features including easy G Suite integration, free privacy protection registration, customizable subdomains, email forwarding, and a wider range of TLDs.
Domains cost $12 yearly, and customer support services are accessible 24/7.
Founded in 2009, Hover is an ICANN accredited domain name registrar offering domain name registration services affordably.
Their pricing varies depending on the selected TLDs with .com sites going for $12.99 for registration and $14.99 to renew.
They also offer domain transfer services at $10.99.
Domain name registration is inevitable, but even on a tight budget, you can access the best domain names from reputable registrars.