Just need a domain name without hosting? Domain.com is one of the best domain registrars 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? You can instantly get a free domain name when you sign up for Bluehost web hosting (starting at only $2.95 per month!). This is recommended if you need a hosting account for your new domain name, which most people do.
Finding the right domain registrar is crucial for your entire website-building experience. But there are thousands of options to choose from.
Fortunately for you, we’ve purchased hundreds of domain names throughout the years. So we know exactly what to look for in different situations. Based on our research and experience, we’ve narrowed down and reviewed the top six domain registrars on the market today.
Pro Tip: Get a free domain name when you bundle domain registration and web hosting together at Bluehost
If you’re buying multiple domains or planning to buy and sell domain names as a business, it’s usually best to keep domain registration separate from web hosting. Domain registry and web hosting are very different, and you should stick to expert providers for each service.
But if you’re starting a blog or simple portfolio website, it’s perfectly fine to get your domain name and web hosting service from a single provider.
Bluehost is the best option to consider if you fall into this category. They offer a free domain name with very affordable web hosting. Bluehost is the fastest and easiest way to get a new website up and running—and you can save money by bundling your domain with a hosting package.
The 6 Best Domain Registrars
- GoDaddy — Best for domain protection and privacy
- Bluehost — Best for bundling domain registration and web hosting
- Domain.com — Best for fast and simple domain purchasing
- Network Solutions — Best for long-term domain registrations
- Namecheap — Best for affordable domain registration
- NameSilo — Best for buying domains in bulk
We’ve reviewed all our top picks in detail below. Read on to understand your options and make an intelligent decision about buying a domain.
Best Domain Registrar Reviews
Each of our top picks below is best for a particular need, use case, or scenario—which we’ve called out and highlighted in every review.
GoDaddy — Best for Domain Protection and Privacy
GoDaddy is one of the largest and most well-known domain registration services on the market. It’s a simple and affordable way to register your domain and ensure its protection.
With GoDaddy, you’ll benefit from arguably the best introductory offers in the industry. You can register a domain name for just $0.01 for your first year when you commit to a two-year registration. It’s tough to find a better deal from such a top-notch domain registration service.
Where GoDaddy really shines above the crowd is with its privacy features.
Every GoDaddy domain comes with basic domain privacy and protection. This is available to you at no extra cost and protects things like your name, email address, phone number, and other personal information.
It’s common for other domain registrars to charge for domain privacy. So it’s nice that GoDaddy offers it for free.
For even more protection, you can upgrade to a Full Domain Protection or Ultimate Domain Protection package.
The Full package prevents hackers from stealing your domain or making changes. It also requires two-factor authentication for deletions, transfers, and other vital changes. The Ultimate package includes all of this, plus it holds your domain for an extra 90 days if your billing method expires upon renewal.
If you care a lot about your personal privacy and domain protection, then you’ll love GoDaddy.
Another unique standout of GoDaddy is its bulk domain search tool. You can use it to check the availability of up to 500 domains with just a few clicks. GoDaddy also gives you the option to purchase all of the available ones simultaneously.
If you’re thinking about getting into the domain flipping business, this tool makes it easy to list and park domains as well.
It’s also worth noting that GoDaddy has a domain broker service to help you purchase domains that are already taken. You’ll be assigned a dedicated agent to negotiate the deal between you and the current owner.
Save up to 50% on your first year when you register a domain with GoDaddy today.
And read our full GoDaddy Review to get more information.
Bluehost — Best for Bundling Domain Registration and Web Hosting
Bluehost is the best way to get free domain registration along with web hosting.
Instead of getting these from separate providers, use Bluehost and take care of everything in one place.
You’ll get fast, reliable, beginner-friendly web hosting, and you won’t have to pay any fees for domain registration for the first year.
Seriously, Bluehost offers free domain registration with plans starting as low as $2.95 per month.
It’s the service we recommend if you’re building a brand-new website. You can search for the perfect domain name on Bluehost, set up web hosting, and launch your new website in minimal time.
WordPress is a one-click install with Bluehost, which makes it easy to start getting content on your site.
Bluehost also includes a free SSL certificate for the first year, which many domain registrars will charge you extra fees for. Plus, it’s easy to handle SSL certificates in Bluehost’s user-friendly control panel for managing your site. Our Bluehost review goes into more detail.
It’s also worth noting that you can use Bluehost as a domain registrar without having to sign up for web hosting. But we only recommend it if you’re planning to bundle your domain with a hosting plan. Otherwise, you’ll likely be better off with a standalone domain registrar.
Register your domain with Bluehost, lock in a great rate on web hosting, and get your site online in minutes. Save time and money setting up your domain with Bluehost.
Domain.com — Best for Fast and Simple Domain Purchasing
Domain.com is one of our top picks because of its quality of service, overall simplicity, and affordable privacy protection.
You can get a .com domain from Domain.com for just $11.99 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.
Where they really shine is in keeping your overall domain costs lower than average. While domain privacy and protection are two of the most important things when you own a site and domain, it is one of the add-ons where costs can really add up.
Domain.com only charges $8.99 per year for Domain Privacy + Protection. To compare, Network Solutions is $9.99 per year and only protects your information in the WHOIS database, skipping additional domain protection like malware scans.
Some domain registrars include free WHOIS privacy protection with most domains registered through their service, which can amount to pretty big savings if you have a lot of domains.
With the addition of Domain.com’s SiteLock, you’ll get regular malware scans and blocklist prevention. Domain.com’s privacy protection also 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 upfront.
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.
Network Solutions — Best for Long-term Domain Registrations
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.
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 our 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.
Namecheap — Best for Affordable Domain Registration
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 lunch.
There are also limited upsells, nothing confusing about the process, and nothing to slow you down either.
It’s everything we want in a domain purchasing experience and nothing we don’t.
When you get to checkout, here’s our 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, a privacy protection that prevents your personal contact information from being displayed in the publicly accessible WHOIS database—and that’s free forever.
As long as your domain is with Namecheap, you’ll never pay for WhoisGuard. GoDaddy, on the other hand, charges $10 per year for it, and most other web hosts that offer domain registration charge $12 per year.
Once you’ve purchased your domain, the dashboard is clearly laid out.
We 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 — Best for Buying Domains in Bulk
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.
Normally .com domains from NameSilo start at $13.95. But their lowest rates clock in at $9.35 per domain per year if you purchase 5,000+ 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.
There are just a few quick upsells, including a Premium DNS, SSL certificate, and hosting.
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).
We also like that NameSilo provides world-class 24/7/365 support. So if you ever need assistance with your domain, you’ll always be able to contact them.
They also provide enterprise-grade security that includes advanced anti-spam filtration. These are small touches, but they’re nice to have and help protect your domain.
Here’s something else to consider. If you have domains registered elsewhere and you move them to NameSilo, they’ll extend your expiration for one year, included with your transfer price. NameSilo’s .com domain transfers start at $9.95.
How to Find the Best Domain Registrar
Finding the right domain registrar for your business can be tricky. Using our list is a great place to start, but we’ll help you narrow it down even further.
Below are the criteria we used when compiling this list. We judged each product against these benchmarks to see how they performed. Use the following information as a framework to help guide your decision based on your unique needs.
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 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.
You can also use your business info, since it’s already publicly available. But whatever you do, definitely don’t use your personal info unless you want to field spam phone calls and emails after your domain purchase.
Bundling Domains With Web Hosting
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. Why? Separation gives you a lot more flexibility if you want to change web hosts and/or domain registrars in the future. It also improves the quality of service on both.
We only recommend registering a domain and getting hosting with the same company if you’re not planning to buy more domains in the future. Companies that offer domains and hosting together will tout the ability to save money by doing both together. However, when you are purchasing a large number of domains, you often can receive a better deal by shopping around and separating the two services.
If you are doing something simple, like starting a blog or personal website, using the same company for both web hosting and for purchasing a domain can work well. When you have a simple website in your plans, you can save some money by using the same company.
If you do decide to bundle your domain registrar and web host in one provider, you should use Bluehost. It is the best service when it comes to delivering both of these services at an extremely high level while offering both of them a great price.
Best of all, Bluehost even gives you a free domain for your first year when you sign up for web hosting. This is a great way to keep costs low when you’re first getting started.
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? At some point you’re likely going to transfer your domain, especially if you’ve chosen to bundle it with a web hosting service.
While we do recommend bundling with Bluehost for beginners, Bluehost is probably not the last place your website will live if you get 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 make sure you choose 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 transfer your domain to a new registrar down the road.
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 resenting your choice 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, too.
But be sure to find a domain registrar with a simple and user-friendly bulk purchasing tool. That means it’s easy to use, and pushes no upsells or hidden fees.
It’s way too easy to get caught up in a flashy tool, only to later find out that you accidentally purchased a ton of upsells you didn’t need.
While this may seem like an afterthought, it’s important to consider the renewal process when you’re registering a domain. Otherwise, you could run the risk of losing the rights to your domain.
If this happens, you may have to go through the domain recovery steps—which can be a serious pain. Worst case scenario is that your domain expires, and someone else purchases it. Then you could be forced to have to buy back your own domain for a hefty fee.
But all of this can be easily avoided if you set up automatic renewals with your domain registrar.
In addition to auto-renew, you can look for a registrar that offers long-term registrations for five, ten, or even 20 years.
Some providers even offer expiration protection. So if your card on file expires or you just forget to renew, you can rest easy knowing that your domain will be kept safe.
Registrars like Network Solutions offer this service for an additional fee, but it protects you for up to one year after the lapse. GoDaddy has a similar feature that protects you for up to 90 days if your billing method expires, included with its Ultimate registration package.
Best Domain Registrars: Your Top Questions Answered
The Top Domain Registrars in Summary
Whether you’re buying a new domain for the first time or purchasing domains in bulk as an investment, finding a reliable domain registrar will make your life much easier.
GoDaddy and Bluehost are the top domain registrars on the market today. GoDaddy stands out for its simple registration process and domain privacy and protection included with every purchase. Bluehost offers a free domain with web hosting—perfect for beginners who want to bundle both services from the same provider.