5 Best Domain Name Registrar Sites
Small business owners understand how important it is to choose the right domain for their website. The question is, what are the best domain registrar sites available to identify and secure that perfect domain? With so many options available, it can be a mind-numbing process. While many features offered by domain registrar sites are similar, some sites are better suited for the needs of small business owners than others.
Below is a selection of five of the best domain name registrar sites. As with any service, however, “best” is a subjective term, offers are constantly changing, and customer experiences will vary.
1. Network SolutionsNetwork Solutions
This service is now a Web.com company, founded in 1979, making it one of the oldest domain registrar companies. While the company offers services like web hosting, website design, and online marketing, its main focus has always been domain registration, and it has proven itself as one of the best domain name registrar sites currently available.
Benefits: Perhaps the most unique feature offered by the site is its certified offer system, which allows customers to make an instant offer to buy an already registered domain name. Network Solutions supervises the transaction process without revealing the buyer’s identity to sellers and manages the transfer from the seller’s account. The feature not only provides an extra measure of security to buyers, but also convenience. In addition, the company boasts a comprehensive list of domain extensions to choose from and the ability for customers to explore different options, including a list of “coming soon” extensions. The company also offers a Buyer’s Club program, which provides a 10% discount to members who wish to purchase new top level domains (TLDs) that are launching.
Downfalls: Prices tend to be a bit higher than some of the other registrar sites, but the company has a “best price guarantee” option. Pricing typically ranges from $34.99 to $129.99 depending on the contract terms and extension chosen.
This is a well-known option that claims to have over 12 million domains worldwide, is considered one of the best domain registrar sites for business owners who have multiple domains, regularly add domains, and make frequent changes.
Benefits: When it comes to pricing, 1&1 is hard to beat. The company’s current introductory offer to register a domain is as low as $.99. In addition, the domain transfer process is a major plus, as customers need only follow a few very simple steps on the company’s website to have their domain transferred from another registrar to 1&1. Another benefit is the company’s mobile capabilities, which allow customers to manage their domains, view Whois information, register new domains, and more via the 1&1 mobile app. Customers also enjoy the ability to choose from 700 new domain extensions.
Downfalls: 1&1 has been considered an excellent choice for customers who are web savvy, but it is not necessarily designed for those who may need extra guidance and support. In addition, some past customers have complained that the auto renewal policy posed problems when they had decided to switch registrar companies and therefore opted not to update their expiring credit cards, but then were charged late fees instead of having the option to cancel the service.
Another popular domain registrar company is Name.com. One click on the company’s website reveals a very modern, clean, user-friendly design and an excellent domain search user interface.
Benefits:The domain search user interface offers customers a fast, easy way to determine whether or not a domain is taken and which extensions are available. In addition to a list of a thousand expiring domains, the site allows customers to add new domain names to a “watchlist” and preorder desired domains very easily. Taking it one step further, customers can pay a fee to have Name.com acquire a currently taken domain that they are interested in as soon as it becomes available. The site also offers mobile phone users an extra measure of security via a Verisign app called NameSafe. When customers log into their account, they must key in a randomly generated security code, in addition to a username and password, making it nearly impossible for a hacker to access a customer’s account. Pricing is competitive, with registration for TLDs starting at around $10.99/year.
Downfalls: Perhaps the biggest drawback to Name.com is the limited hours the company’s customer support is available. At the time of posting, the company offered support only from Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm MST, and email hours from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm MST 7 days per week.
One of the leading domain registrars, GoDaddy has certainly developed a reputation for itself. Annual pricing is generally between $6.99 and $12.99 for a TLD.
Benefits: GoDaddy offers customers a range of free extras, including a one-page website, an email account, domain forwarding, total domain nameserver (DNS) control, and domain locking. In addition, the unique GeoDomainMap feature allows customers to target specific regions and register domains best suited for those areas. GoDaddy also offers extra features for customers who need to register international, country-specific domains, and these are available in over 100 different languages. Bulk discounts are also available for those who are registering multiple domains.
Downfalls: One of the biggest downsides to GoDaddy is their seemingly endless attempt to sell customers additional services or persuade them to upgrade. While it’s true they offer many free services as part of the registration process, the company has multiple “upgrades”, which they begin pushing right at the time of check out. In addition, their add-ons are quite costly. Another area of concern: the company has been known for using inappropriate, sexually-explicit advertising practices, which have definitely repelled some customers. The attack on GoDaddy’s DNS server in 2012 also left many customers vulnerable to ransomware.
One of the newer kids on the block, NameCheap has already made a name for itself. Domain registration is competitive, coming in at around $10.70 for a dot com, though the company does advertise that customers can register their domains for as low as $3.98.
Benefits: One of the most impressive characteristics about NameCheap is its clean, user-friendly interface, which is easy for customers to navigate. Another reason NameCheap is considered one of the best domain registrar sites for small businesses is its dedicated server options and use of Cloudflare, which is designed to reduce server strain while increasing site performance. Through Cloudflare, web traffic is routed through an intelligent global network, and the delivery of web pages is automatically optimized allowing visitors to experience fast page load times and performance. NameCheap’s hosting features are also a plus for customers who prefer to keep their hosting and domain with the same provider.
Downfalls: The biggest drawback to NameCheap is the company’s lack of telephone support. While email support has received high marks, there are some issues that are easier to resolve via an actual conversation, but that is not an option.
When it comes to domain registrar companies, the truth is, there are more similarities than there are differences. However, to set themselves apart from their competitors, the domain registrars featured above each offer customers a few unique advantages. As a small business owner, the challenge is deciding which ones are most valuable.