What is one of the first (and sometimes most difficult) parts of creating a website? Yes, the domain name. Sometimes it's easy to choose if you already have a domain registrar company name or if you choose your first and last name. But in others, it requires a lot of thought, considering search engines, brand awareness, and how much you might end up spending.
While thinking of the best domain name can be tricky, we are here to help you select the best domain registrar.
You've seen domain registrars everywhere – from popular GoDaddy commercials to NameCheap online ads. Registrars offer search tools to check available domain names and extensions. Then they sell them to you.
What Is a Domain Registrar?
A domain registrar is a company that manages and acts as an agent for selling unique domain names on the internet. To sell the domains, the company must be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assign Names and Numbers ( ICANN ) or a country-code top-level domain. Some examples of country code top-level domains (ccTLD) include .de, .uk, .fr, and .br.
Offers That Make Up a Great Domain Registrar
In fact, you will come across some that are far from delivering what you expect for what you pay. For example, some domain registrars are unable to sell all top-level domains (TLDs). A TLD is the variation of a domain, such as .com, .net, or .ca. It's great to have a registrar that continually launches new top-level domains and strives to offer as many of them as possible.
That said, it's also important to remember that some domain registrars focus on niche domains, with country-specific options like .de or .in.
In summary, it may appear that all domain registrars are the same. However, with a little research, you will find that many offer lower prices, more security, among other factors.
Here are some details to watch out for.
As with most things in life, customers tend to start their shopping by comparing prices. Although we may not always agree that this is the best method, this is how it works. Support may be important, even for a domain registrar, but it's a bit different from, say, a hosting plan with Kinsta. For the most part, after you buy your domain, you will probably only need to interact with the domain registrar once or twice throughout the year. In many cases, you won't even need any support.
Thus, pricing is important when it comes to domain registrars. After all, you are already paying for hosting monthly and potentially for other items such as themes and plugins. Why spend a lot more money on a domain?
Not only that, but domain names are notoriously cheap. Sometimes you can find good bargains for $ 1 or $ 2 a year, with an average of $ 10 to $ 12 annually. It's not so bad!
Thus, you should avoid any domain registrar that tries to make a sale for a value far above these. In addition, we strongly encourage you not to be tempted to resort to extremely high priced domain name brokers or sellers.
Essentially, this means that there are some people “holding” valuable domain names and trying to sell them for hundreds or thousands of dollars. The temptation of the “perfect” domain name may be strong, but I assure you that a domain name will not guarantee the success or failure of your business.
In general, it is better to opt for the cheapest alternative. Unless you're like Glen, who discovered an incredible business opportunity by spending $ 20,000 on a domain name.
Free WHOIS Protection
All domains can be searched using a tool called WHOIS Lookup. Essentially, ICANN requires that all contact information for a domain name be displayed to the public. This includes most of the details you used to acquire your domain:
- Phone number
- Email address
None of your sensitive information is displayed, but some organizations or individuals don't like this data being open for anyone to see. In fact, the only benefit of this is if someone tries to talk to you (but that's what a contact form is for!).
Due to ICANN, some types of contact information must be connected to your domain name. Thus, the best registrars exchange their personal information for company contact information. In this case, NameCheap would be displayed as the registrar in your WHOIS Lookup. And the registrar contact will be shown as something like WhoisGuard Protected instead of your real name.
However, since GDPR came into force, it is not yet clear how it could impact how much information is actually shared in WHOIS.
Our favorite domain registrars offer WHOIS Privacy Protection for free. Otherwise, you have to choose between paying an annual fee or making your contact information visible.