Ready to build the online presence your business needs for growth and success today? The first step is to register your website domain. You’ll need to work with a domain registrar for this, but your choice of registrar will make a big difference in your overall experience. Some will register your domain and give you a URL and that’s it. Others will provide additional value and ensure that you’re able to create a vibrant website to act as the hub of your online efforts.
Which domain registrar should you choose? Don’t stress. In this guide, we’ll explain what registrars are, what they do, and which are the top-rated if you’re looking for more than just a URL.
A domain registrar does exactly what it sounds like: it’s an organization that registers domain names. A domain name is what makes it possible to have a website – they were developed as a key part of online accessibility to replace the need to manually enter an IP address.
Domain name registrars must be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbering (ICANN). This non-profit organization is responsible for managing all domain names in the world, from Facebook to the smallest local business. Each registrar competes with others to sell domain names and that competition means that registrars differentiate themselves with additional tools and capabilities to help convince you that they’re the right one for your needs.
With a little more information about what registrars are and what they do, let’s explore the top 5 domain registrars out there and what makes each one stand out from the pack.
Looking to buy a domain name and get everything else you need to build a thriving web presence? Namecheap should be at the top of your list (it is on ours!). Namecheap has been around for a very long time and has evolved over the years based on customer demands and needs. Today, it’s a one-stop-shop, allowing you to create a thoroughly modern website quickly and without much in the way of hassles. You get free WHOIS privacy, and DDoS protection and SSL certificates are available for additional fees. Namecheap also provide hosting, email service, and more.
If you’re looking for a domain registrar that provides what amounts to a white glove service, look no further than IONOS. With affordable entry rates and low-cost renewals, plus a wide variety of packages, it’s never been easier to get all the services you need in one place. IONOS offers a $1 introductory rate, but you can get it free if you sign up for hosting. IONOS also focuses on sustainability, cybersecurity, and delivering expert support to its clients.
Domain.com offers a solid online presence, a wide selection of domains and extension options, and more than 20 years of experience to give you confidence in your choice. They have premium domains, free DNS management, and email forwarding, and web hosting is available, too. Multi-year registrations can garner discounts, and there’s even a sitebuilder and marketing packages available for your social media and SEO campaigns. The site does charge extra for SSL certificates and privacy protection, but it’s still a bit cheaper than most other registrars. Plus, you can register for up to five years at a time, and their support is always helpful.
Bluehost is a web host first, but they also offer domain registration to users. They have affordable prices that are ranked based on the extension that you choose. You can also get it all from Bluehost, but it will be priced individually. If you purchase a bundle, you’ll save a lot of money by getting a free domain for the first year and included extras free. They have 24/7 support via phone and live chat. Email is available, too, for those who need it.
GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars out there today, and for good reason. They have some great introductory discounts that can get the initial cost down to just one penny per year, and the site offers all-in-one solutions for registration, hosting, email and eCommerce, WordPress, and more. You can search up to 2,000 domains at once and register domains for up to 10 years. While SSL security costs extra, it’s not something people shy away from.
Building a website that supports your brand and connects with your audience isn’t simple. The right domain registrar can help and will provide more than just a URL. However, you’ll need the right support in place once you start fielding calls and emails. That’s where Smith.ai can help.