There are two ways to get a domain name–bundled with web hosting or from a dedicated domain registrar.

Getting one with hosting is easier but using a domain registrar is cheaper in the long-term, better if you’re managing multiple domain names, and adds a layer of separation if you decide to switch hosts.

The Best Domain Registrars: Our Top Picks

GoDaddy and Hostinger both offer a free domain name for the first year when you purchase a web hosting plan. Hostinger is cheaper, but GoDaddy offers more marketing and business tools.

If you don’t want to bundle hosting and a domain name, our top recommendations include:

  • — 25% off with the code ‘QUICKSPROUT’
  • Network Solutions — Best for long-term domain registrations
  • Namecheap — Cheap promo rates + free WHOIS privacy protection
  • NameSilo — Best for buying domains in bulk

It really doesn’t matter too much which registrar you use. No matter what, you’ll get a domain name and an easy way to configure DNS settings. Some are a better deal in different situations, offer a better user experience, or include privacy protection for free. But at the end of the day, they all virtually do the same thing.

GoDaddy — Hosting, Business Tools, and a Free Domain

GoDaddy company logo

GoDaddy started as a domain name registrar and has since expanded into offering hosting, website builder, and marketing tools. If you sign up for its web hosting or website builder plans, you’ll get a domain name free for the first year along with everything you need to build your website.

However, you don’t have to buy hosting to get a domain name from GoDaddy. You can buy them on their own at affordable rates. It also offers a wide range of extensions (500 and counting) plus a full suite of security tools to protect your domain and personal information.

First and foremost, privacy protection (masking of your personal info) is free forever.

Many registrars and hosting providers charge $10 to $20 per year for this. Aside from that, there are two paid add-ons that provide additional protection if you need it. The basic protection plan gives you notifications of any changes made to your domain so you’ll know right away if someone’s making unauthorized changes.

On top of that, it requires identify verification to stop malicious users from transferring your domain without your permission.

The ultimate protection plan gives you a 90-day grace period if your domain accidentally expires. Without this, anyone can purchase your domain the second you don’t renew it, whether that’s because you forgot or your billing information changed and the payment failed. During that period, you won’t have to pay any additional fees, either.

GoDaddy also offers something unique–payable domains. With these, you don’t need a website to start accepting payments–you’ll get a branded link you can send to clients and customers to pay you in a few taps.

And read our full GoDaddy Review to get more information.

Hostinger — Affordable, User-Friendly Hosting with a Free Domain

Hostinger Logo

Hostinger is our favorite web hosting provider for new websites. It’s one of the most affordable options out there and it includes a free domain name for the first year–it’s also very easy to use, even if you’ve never built a website before.

It walks you through the entire process of purchasing a plan and domain name, setting everything up, and configuring basic settings.

You truly don’t have to know anything about websites to get started.

Plus, pricing starts at just $2.99 per month. Compared to GoDaddy (starts at $5.99) and other hosting providers, it’s a steal. But perhaps the best part is that it doesn’t feel cheap. The user interface is modern and clean, customer service is fast, and there’s plenty of room for Hostinger to grow alongside your website.

Like GoDaddy, Hostinger also includes free WHOIS privacy on all domains for life, keeping your costs even lower.

All Hostinger plans include unlimited SSL certificates, a website builder, unlimited bandwidth, email addresses, automatic WordPress installation (if you want to use that), AI-powered tools, and a range of security features.

As far as domains go, Hostinger offers 47 extensions. It’s far fewer than GoDaddy’s 500+, but Hostinger covers the most common options.

Check out our Hostinger review to learn more about it. — Save 25% with the Code ‘QUICKSPROUT’ company logo 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 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.

To help keep costs even lower, you can use code ‘QUICKSPROUT’ at checkout for 25%. You’ll save the most by paying for multiple years up front.

You’ll get that same discount whether you purchase one domain or several. If you’re looking for multiples, this is a great opportunity to get a great deal for up to five years.

One of the biggest downsides is that domain privacy isn’t free. It’s $8.99 per domain per year. However, that price also includes malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, and notifications when domain settings are changed. That’s more than GoDaddy covers with its domain protection at a lower price.

Get 25% off with coupon code QUICKSPROUT.

Network Solutions — Best for Long-term Domain Registrations

Network Solutions company logo

Network Solutions goes above and beyond the other registrars out there—you can secure your domain for anywhere from one year to 100 as long as you choose a .COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, US, .INFO or.NAME extension.

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 that limit you to five years at a time.

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.

You can also use Network Solutions 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.

Use code ‘QUICKSPROUT’ to get 25% off your purchase–even if you decide to pay for 100 years.

Namecheap — Cheap Promo Rates + Free WHOIS Privacy Protection

Namecheap company logo

True to their name, Namecheap offers domain names at incredibly affordable prices with free WHOIS privacy protection included.

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.

Unlike other providers, Namecheap also doesn’t try to trick you into buying multiple domains or unnecessary upsells. It’s everything you want in a domain purchasing experience and nothing you don’t.

To make it even simpler: ignore any upsells or add-ons they present you. You really don’t need anything else.

Namecheap already provides domain privacy via a WhoisGuard subscription. It’s free forever for every single domain you purchase–you don’t even have to think about it (unless you want to turn it off for whatever reason).

It’s as affordable and simple as it gets.

NameSilo — Best for Buying Domains in Bulk

NameSilo company logo

NameSilo is the second-fastest-growing domain registrar in the world. A big reason for this is how easy it is to buy domains in bulk.

With just a few clicks, you can search for hundreds of available domain names. Then, purchase the ones you want. You also get a discount for bulk domain purchases, which is something other providers don’t offer.

Normally, .com domains from NameSilo start at $13.95 per year. 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.

You’ll also get domain privacy at no cost, although you do need to opt-in at checkout.

Another cool feature is that you can start configuring your domain at checkout—linking it to a third-party service (like a website builder) and entering custom name servers.

NameSilo also provides enterprise-grade security that includes advanced anti-spam filtration. It’s a small touch, but nice to have.

How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar for You

No matter which provider you go with, you’ll get a domain name and all the features you need to manage it. Sure, some come with different features and have different pricing. But they all do the same thing at the end of the day.

It’s also pretty easy to transfer domains to different registrars. Even if you get one for free for the first year from your hosting provider, you can transfer it to a domain registrar at any time to keep costs low.

Don’t spend too much time going back and forth–pick one and get started.

A Note on Bundling Domains With Web Hosting

It’s fine to bundle hosting and domain registration together if you’ve never built a website before (bundling is easier) or are starting a single website with one domain name. You’ll enjoy a free year of domain registration, which is an easy way to keep costs low if you’re starting out.

You can either renew your domain with your host or transfer it elsewhere after your free year is up.

But if you’re already managing multiple domains, think you’ll eventually buy multiple domains, or think you might switch hosts/domain registrars at some point, keeping the two services separate is a good idea. Not only is using a separate domain provider cheaper in the long-term, it also makes the process of switching easy if you ever need to do so.

It also improves the quality of service you get for both.

Our Domain Registrar Review Methodology

When putting this guide together and deciding which brands to choose, we took the following factors into account. We wanted to ensure we featured a wide range of options to suit the needs of just about anyone looking for a domain name registrar.

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 folks 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. Some domain registrars include WHOIS protection for free. Those who don’t charge anywhere from $10 to $20 per domain per year.

Some people don’t need this added layer of protection though, so we still included a few registrars that don’t offer it for free.

If you’re registering on behalf of a business, you probably don’t need it. Your business’s information is already out there. But if you’re using your personal information, domain privacy is a must.

Quick and Easy Domain Transfers

Domain transfers are a sneakily important aspect of a good registrar. Moving a domain from one registrar to another should be easy with no strings attached, no matter what.

All of the registrars we included have transparent, easy, and straightforward transfer policies.

Bulk Domain Purchasing

If you’re not purchasing more than one domain, this won’t apply to you. But we know there are lots of folks out there that want to purchase domains in bulk for one reason or another.

We specifically looked for this and made sure to include options that make this easy.

Renewal Process

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.

Automatic renewals is a specific feature we sought out as it’s the best way to ensure your domain doesn’t expire.

We also included options if you want to register a domain for the long-term (10 or more years). Aside from that, some providers offer expiry protection–it’s probably not necessary though if you set up notifications and auto renewal.

Best Domain Registrars: Your Top Questions Answered