Want to jump straight to the answer? Domain.com is the best domain registrar for people that just need a domain name and already have hosting. It’s the most affordable and easy-to-use. Click here to get 25% off at Domain.com with my special 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 $2.95/month!) This is highly recommended if you need a hosting account for your new domain name, which most people do.
Choosing the best domain registrar is an important step to building any website. Below, I’ve reviewed it along with six solid contenders based on years of experience. Over the course of my career starting, running, and selling businesses, I’ve bought hundreds of domain names.
Pro Tip: Get a free domain name when you bundle domain registration and web hosting together at BlueHost
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. This is my recommendation for those of you who want to bundle these services from the same provider.
Read on for reviews of the other domain registrars on our list.
The 6 Best Domain Registrars
- Domain.com — Best for headache-free domain transfers
- Bluehost — Best for creating your first website
- 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
We’ve reviewed these top picks in depth below.
Best Domain Registrar Reviews
#1 – Domain.com — Best for Headache-Free Domain Transfers
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Great for buying multiple domains
- Easy domain transfers
- Excellent customer support
Domain.com is our top overall pick due to the simplicity and quality of the service.
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.
But where they really shine is how easy they make it to transfer a domain to and from their service. If you’re not satisfied with your current domain registrar, it’ll take just a few steps to get your domain with them—and potentially pay a lower fee as a result.
They have a 24/7 support team on call to help you transfer your domain or answer any questions. Not that we think you’ll need it of course—but it’s nice to know that if there are any issues, you can just pick up the phone or shoot an email and help will be on the way.
They also make purchasing domains dead simple since it’s their primary offering. Just type in the domain you’re searching for and click “purchase” if it’s available. You’ll be able to get a new domain in under five minutes.
From checkout to transfer, Domain.com provides an incredibly easy and painless way to buy domain names.
One drawback: Domain.com charges $8.99/year for privacy and protection. This feature allows you to hide your personal info in your domain registration from being publicly visible. Otherwise, your name and address is out there for anyone to see.
I get around this by having my domains under a company name which I’m fine being publicly available. But if you’re buying domains personally, I’d definitely protect your personal info even if it means paying a bit more.
As you continue through the checkout process, Domain.com will hit you with some additional upsells, which is standard procedure in the domain registrar industry. They offer things like G Suite, web hosting, SSL certificates, and SiteLock.
You can skip these add-ons. G Suite is something that you can purchase independently and directly from Google. SSL and SiteLock should come with your web hosting service.
The entire purchase process can be completed in a minute. This is ideal for those of you who plan to purchase multiple domains and jump on them fast. With helpful 24/7 customer support, Domain.com is a great option for domain transfers as well.
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
#2 – Bluehost — Best for Creating Your First Website
Bluehost is the way to go if you want to grab both a free domain and web hosting in one go.
As such, it’s the service we recommend if you’re building a brand-new website or if you’re building your very first website ever.
In fact, we recommend Bluehost highly on our lists for best web host and in our article all about creating your first website. The reason’s simple—they offer a very intuitive and easy way for anyone (regardless of technical knowledge) to create websites.
And when you package your domain and web host, you end up saving more money in the long run. If you’re starting a new website and want to bundle your domain and web host, Bluehost is the only provider that nails both of these services.
A free domain comes with all of their hosting plans. With shared hosting plans starting as low as $2.95 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:
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 yours started on the right foot by going with Bluehost.
#3 – Network Solutions — Best for Locking Down Domains for Decades
- Register a domain for a century
- Easy bulk search
- Private domain registration
- Expiration protection
It’s crucial to lock down your dream domain. You want to own your prime real estate on the web for as long as possible without any worry about renewals or losing it entirely.
Network Solutions goes above and beyond the other registrars out there—you can secure your domain for anywhere from one year to 100 years.
Now, 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.
A full century may be overkill, but the registrar’s options for 10 and 20-year terms are a real plus compared to the others on this list.
And, 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 it’s time to renew, 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 they’re a little steeper than the others on this list in terms of the cost.
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 want 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.
#4 – 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
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 your personal information like your address, email, name, and phone number is hidden from the public. You can even upgrade it to their full domain privacy & protection plan for even more protection, as you can see below.
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 of you who want to create a webstore.
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 ones available to you.
This allows you to easily list or park domains using GoDaddy as well, 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.
#5 – 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
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 meal on UberEats.
There are also few 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 our suggestion for which upsells to buy into: Ignore everything. Seriously, there’s nothing you need to purchase additionally. 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.
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: 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.
#6 – NameSilo — Most Affordable Domain Deals with Bulk Purchasing
- Easy bulk domain buying
- Reduced rates for massive bulk buys
- Free WHOIS privacy
- Few upsells
NameSilo is the second fastest growing domain registrar in the world. A big part of the reason for that is their easy and affordable way to buy domains in bulk.
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’d have to buy enough domains to populate a small town—but if your business wants to secure a bunch of potential branding opportunities or is looking to get into the domain trading business, this is your best way to do so quickly and cheaply.
There are virtually no upsells and you can start configuring your domain in checkout—linking it to a third-party service (like a website builder) and entering custom name servers.
Oh, and NameSilo throws in domain privacy for free (though you’ll need to opt-in by selecting it in your cart).
You can start configuring your domain name during NameSilo’s checkout flow. Don’t forget to opt-in to WHOIS privacy protection.
How to Find the Best Domain Registrar for You
The right domain registrar for you depends on your needs and goals.
Want to start a new website and need a domain? Bluehost is a great option.
Want to bulk purchase a ton of different domains at once? We like Namecheap for that.
Want a simple, straightforward domain purchasing process? Domain.com is your best bet.
If you want a little more guidance, we can help. Below is our list of criteria we used to build this list. Use them to help you make your ultimate 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.
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.
Recap of the Best Domain Registrars for 2021
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. These are the best options for you to consider:
Starting from scratch? Bluehost‘s free domain name offering with their web hosting is the best place for beginners and brand-new sites to start.
What good is a domain if you don’t have it for the long haul? With Network Solutions you can lock yours down for decades, even a full century.
And if privacy is paramount, GoDaddy is a great choice. Not only are they affordable with single-domain and bulk purchases, but you always get WHOIS privacy from them for free. And, you can add further privacy and security protections from them you won’t find elsewhere.
Regardless of your situation, budget, or website type, you’ll be able to buy a domain name from one of the registrars on this list.