Planning to start a new online business? You’ll need to have a few things in place before you can officially launch. One of these things is a domain name.
A domain name is a key part of your overall brand. It reflects what you do and who you want to target. Once you have a new business idea and some thoughts about the brand name, you’ll need to buy a domain, register it, and host your site.
That’s where domain registrars gain importance.
A domain registrar is an entity through which you buy and set up your domain. In the process, you also get a URL linked to a unique IP address.
But which registrar should you use?
To make the decision less complicated and cumbersome, we have compiled a list of the best domain registrars for purchasing and configuring a domain name.
The 7 top domain name registrars to use now
Best for ecommerce businesses
Shopify is the best domain registrar for building an online store. It offers all the tools and features you need to set up each website component, from apps and themes to site navigation and content layout.
For a functional website, you need a web hosting service, site design, and, most likely, email and customer service features. Although you can arrange all of this individually, it’s best to use a solution that gives you everything in one place.
Any domain you register through Shopify is connected with your online store immediately, meaning you don’t have to go through complicated DNS forwarding processes.
So if you’re looking to build an online store, Shopify is the perfect domain registrar for you.
- Pricing: Domain registration costs between $11 and $14 per year. Renewal pricing is the same as your first-year purchase price—no hidden or surprise fees.
- Domain transfer: Transferring a domain to Shopify, and vice versa, is simple. You just need to ensure your domain’s eligibility and hold it for at least 60 days to transfer it to Shopify.
- Privacy options: Shopify offers WHOIS privacy protection with all domain registration. You don’t need to purchase an additional service to add this extra layer of security.
Best for quick and simple registration
Hover is a simple and user-friendly domain registration service. It’s been operating since 2008, catering to businesses that need a domain without all the bells and whistles. You can use Hover Connect to sync essential services like Shopify, Facebook, or Etsy. Email functionality is also available, but it comes as a separate purchase.
- Pricing: .com domain pricing starts at $12.99 per year, and renewals at $14.99 per year.
- Domain transfer: For transferring a domain to Hover, you must ensure it was registered more than 60 days previous and hasn’t been transferred within the past 60 days. Plus, it shouldn’t have any dispute associated with it.
- Privacy options: All top-level domains you register with Hover include WHOIS protection by default.
Best for affordable domain registration
Namecheap offers both domain registration and web hosting services. It’s a good option if you’re looking for an affordable package with website hosting and WHOIS protection. However, customer reviews say it doesn’t have the best support, so keep that in mind when comparing it with other registrars.
- Pricing: Pricing starts at $8.88 per year for .com domains. Renewals start at $12.98, and you pay $4 more on average the second year than what you paid in the first.
- Domain transfer: You can transfer a domain out of Namecheap as long as it’s older than 60 days and hasn’t been transferred within 60 days. It’s also simple to transfer domains to the registrar: just enter the domain name in the search bar to check its eligibility and follow three steps to transfer it.
- Privacy options: Namecheap offers WhoisGuard, which safeguards your information on the WHOIS directory. Additionally, the registrar offers security features like a VPN, PremiumDNS, and SSL certificates as add ons to the annual fee.
Best for domain registration without hosting
Best known for its generic top-level domains, Domain.com is a great choice for quick domain registration. You also get live chat support, which can be helpful as you set up a new domain. But the pricing isn’t the best and privacy protection costs extra. That said, Domain.com is a reliable web host, making it suitable for those who want to host their site in the same place they registered it.
- Pricing: .com domains start at $9.99 per year with a minimum one-year contract. Renewals start at $13.99 per year.
- Domain transfer: It’s easy to do domain transfers at Domain.com. However, you have to input the domain first to see how much it’ll cost—the company doesn’t list pricing on its website.
- Privacy options: WHOIS privacy protection is available as an add on. You can bundle it with your domain registration for $8.99.
Best for simple domain registration
Google Domains is unlike other domain registrars—it’s no frills and charges less for .com domains than most other services. Plus, you can easily put out paid ads using Google Domains as your registrar. So if you’re planning to use Google Ads to promote your business, this website makes things very easy to set up.
- Pricing: Pricing for new domains begins at $9 per year. All plans include email forwarding, 24/7 customer support, Google two-step verification, and subdomain and domain forwarding.
- Domain transfer: While it’s easy to transfer a domain to Google, the cost may vary depending on the domain you want to move.
- Privacy options: You get WHOIS protection for free.
Best for ultimate domain privacy
GoDaddy is the most popular domain registrar globally but is also the most expensive. Domains come with a high renewal fee and privacy is available as an add on. GoDaddy might be a good choice if you want to register with a well-known domain service, but based on the pricing alone, it isn’t suitable for budding entrepreneurs.
- Pricing: .com domains cost $11.99 in the first year. Renewals are expensive and can only be seen in your account after registering a domain.
- Domain transfer: Domain transfers are easy and start at $7.99 for .com TLDs.
- Privacy options: Three levels of domain protection are available, and each of them includes WHOIS protection.
Best for premium domain extensions
With a variety of top level domains (TLDs), Dynadot is an ideal option for creating a niche website. TLDs are the tail end of a domain, like .com, .tech, .restaurant, etc. The service offers hundreds of these, so there’s a good chance you’ll find something suitable for your business. Dynadot’s website is quick and simple to navigate, making it a great place to start your domain search.
- Pricing: Pricing for .com websites starts at $7.99, and renewals are $8.99. You can find both registration and renewal prices for every single TLD on Dynadot’s website.
- Domain transfer: Transferring domains is straightforward and costs $8.99 for .com domains.
- Privacy options: Your domain comes with WHOIS protection. Plus, Dynadot offers two-factor authentication to all account holders.
Registering a domain for your business
As you can see, there’s no shortage of domain registrars out there. So business owners have many options to choose from. That said, the choice of registrar will ultimately come down to your needs and personal preference.
Some registrars offer fully featured plans that include an email address, web hosting, and alternative top level domains. Most domain registrars offer a standalone .com domain registration service with some add ons like WHOIs privacy.
Take a look at what packages or bundles a registrar offers so you can get a good deal or manage everything from one place.
Domain registrar FAQ
Does the choice of domain registrar matter?
Yes, the domain registrar you choose determines how quickly you can build a website. Ideally, you want to use a registrar that offers domains for purchase and domain hosting, such as Shopify.
Which is the best domain name registrar?
The best registrar for domain name registration is one that offers the features you need within your desired price range. Go through the list above and select the right one for your business.
What is the best way to buy a domain name?
Open a domain registrar’s website and use the search function to find available domain names. For instance, if you’re looking to build a clothing website, you can quickly find a relevant domain via Shopify and register it in minutes.