13 Best Domain Registrars of 2020 (Reviewed and Compared)

13 Best Domain Registrars of 2020 (Reviewed and Compared)
Last Updated on November 21, 2020 by Adam Enfroy

Choosing a domain registrar is often the very first decision you’ll make when building a website.

Throughout the course of my digital marketing career, I’ve built hundreds of websites and bought dozens and dozens of domain names.

If you want to build a WordPress site or start a blog, you can bundle a domain name with your web hosting, or keep them separate – the choice is up to you.

In this ultimate guide, I ranked and reviewed the 13 best domain registrars based on price, performance, features, support, integrations, hosting, and more.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links where I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. However, these are the tools I fully recommend when it comes to registering domain names. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

What Are the Best Domain Registrars?

Here are my top picks for the best domain registrars.

1. Namecheap.

Best overall domain registrar (Starting from $8.88 per year).

Namecheap: Best Domain Registrars

Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar that helps you buy a domain name of your choice. It also lets you transfer your domain name if it’s registered somewhere else. And Namecheap won’t take more than 30 minutes to transfer your domain automatically.

Additionally, Namecheap also provides website hosting services, WordPress hosting, security products, business emails, etc. It covers all web hostings like shared, VPS, Managed WordPress, dedicated, and more.

There’s a ‘Beast Mode’ option that helps you find and register the exact domain name you’re looking for. You can filter your search based on options like price range, suffix, keywords, etc. You can even narrow down your search by mentioning your niche, including travel, educational, travel & lifestyle, etc.

Namecheap: Domain Name Filters

The domain registrar also comes with an in-built account panel to help you manage your domain effortlessly.

Plus, it provides a free DNS with your domain during the time of domain transfer. After the transfer, FreeDNS will automatically switch to its default new server. Not only this, but you can also transfer any expired domain name you want.

Namecheap also claims to provide zero downtime and lifetime free WhoisGuard privacy protection. You also get free DNSSEC security to protect your site from fraud and a business email for 2-months.

24/7 expert support that also includes Concierge support during the domain transfer is also a bonus.

Namecheap Pros:

  • Free hosting migration
  • 24/7 live chat with experts
  • 2-hour ticket response time
  • 2-Factor Authentication (U2F & TOTP)
  • Auto-renewal to help you stay on track
  • SMTP, IMAP, POP3

Pricing:

Different domain names have different prices based on their popularity.

Here are the base prices for some popular suffixes:

  • .com: $8.88 per year
  • .net: $10.78 per year
  • .org: $9.18 per year
  • .io: $28.88 per year
Namecheap domain prices

Although Namecheap offers somewhat inexpensive domain names, renewing your domain name becomes a bit more expensive.

2. Bluehost.

Best for free domain registration with their hosting plans (Starting at $2.95 per month).

Bluehost: cover image

Bluehost is one of the most popular website hosting service provider and the domain registrar. It also offers a free domain name for a year with any of its hosting plans. Some of the most popular domain suffixes include .com, .online, .site, .net, .org, and more.

To begin, you can search your preferred domain name in the search box and see if it’s available. Bluehost will direct you to the review page and let you purchase your domain if it’s available. Otherwise, it will provide you with several alternatives related to your search.

It also lets you manage your domain address and site from an easy-to-use control panel and change DNS across multiple domains. Plus, the auto-renewal feature keeps your domain safe and prevents it from expiring or getting lost. You can even switch back o manual renewal at any time you want.

Additionally, the ‘Domain Lock’ feature keeps your domain locked to prevent unauthorized transfers. You can unlock your domain name anytime for transfers; until then, Bluehost will keep your preferred domain name safe.

Bluehost Pros:

  • They provide 24/7 expert support through calls, emails, and chat.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Free domain name with all the hosting plans.
  • You’ll get a free SSL certificate.

Pricing:

Here are some common domain suffixes and their base prices:

  • .com: $12.99/yr
  • .org: $9.99/yr
  • .net: $14.99/yr
  • .tech: $4.99/yr
  • .co: $14.99/yr
  • .website: $1.99/yr

You can also buy its hosting plan and get a free domain and an SSL certificate for a whole year.

3. Domain.com.

Best for keeping your site secure ($9.99 per year).

Domain.com

Domain.com is a platform where you can buy domains, web hosting, or transfer your existing domain names. You can choose from its top-level domains (TLDs) and over 25 country codes top-level domains (ccTLDs).

It provides all types of premium domains. Premium domains are the domain names that are generally short and easy to understand. Some common premium domain suffixes include .com, .net, etc. These premium domains are easy to remember and help you with better branding, better search ranking, smart business investment, etc.

It provides a control panel that provides full control of DNS for your domain name. You can even transfer your existing domain to their platform without causing any downtime to your website. The domain transfer process generally takes 5-7 days, although the entire process is automated and hassle-free.

You just enter the domain name you’d like to transfer, and everything gets done automatically for you.

Domain Transfer

All the domains come with Lets Encrypt Free SSL to keep your site protected from various viruses and malware attacks.

Domain.com also provides numerous security add-ons with all their domains, including:

  • You get WHOIS privacy and protection against theft and fraud.
  • Full site backups.
  • Scan for malware and monitor blacklists.
  • Protection against domain-related spam and unauthorized access to your site.
  • It keeps your site protected from hackers, human errors, and malware scans.

Domain.com Pros:

  • It lets you forward email addresses under your domain to other email addresses.
  • You get access to tools like private registration, bulk registration, DNS management, etc.
  • It offers a quick domain search tool.
  • You get the option to purchase the domain for five years.

Pricing:

Average starting price (for .com extension) is $9.99 per year.

4. GoDaddy.

Best for registering domain names in bulk (starting at $0.99 per year).

GoDaddy: Domain name search

GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registrars and web hosting companies that manages over 80 million domains.

It provides a ‘Domain Name Generator’ to help you generate the most suitable domain name for your site. You just need to enter your business name or idea, and their software will create a suitable domain for your website. The domain generator provides up to 100 sub-domains to create a custom web address.

You can also migrate your existing domain name to GoDaddy with just a click for $7.99 (.com extension).

GoDaddy also lets you choose from a variety of domain names in multiple foreign languages and extensions. What’s more, it centralizes multiple domain names and lets you manage them from a single dashboard. The ability to monitor your domain running and uptime with its real monitoring feature is another bonus.

Another unique feature called ‘Domain Broker’ helps you acquire an already registered domain name. You get the assistance of a personal domain broker to reach out to the current domain owner on your behalf and negotiate the prices and terms.

It also lets you search and buy domain names in bulk – up to 500 at a time. You can also create a list of keywords or domains and upload it as a .CSV, .XLS, or .XLSX file.

GoDaddy: Bulk Domain Search

Additionally, GoDaddy offers business protection to all the domain addresses. If you forget to renew the domain name, it keeps you protected from accidental and malicious domain transfer. It also keeps your personal data hidden from hackers and protects your website with automatic malware and security scans.

GoDaddy Pros:

  • Free 1-year extension on many domain transfers.
  • You can sell your domains through GoDaddy Auctions and Afternic.
  • It provides tools like the GoDaddy Appraisal tool to help you determine your domain’s worth.
  • Get up to 31% off when you register or transfer six or more .com domains simultaneously.
  • GoDaddy makes sure that your site gets ranked on Google and other search engines.

Pricing:

Starting costs for some common domain name extensions are:

  • .club: $0.99 per year
  • .com: $11.99 per year
  • .co: $11.99 per year
  • .me: $3.49 per year
  • .net: $14.99 per year
  • .world: $1.99 per year

5. Hover.

Best for a simple domain registration experience (starting from $4.99 per year).

Hover: domain registrar

Hover is a domain registrar that helps you register new domains, renew your old domains, or transfer existing domain names to Hover. It offers over 300 Top Level Domains or domain extensions like .com, .net, .ca, .org, etc.

Enter your business name or related keywords, and Hover will provide you with hundreds of available domain name options.

The domain registrar also provides built-in tools to manage your domains, DNS, and emails. Coming to security, Hover offers free WHOIS security with all domain names and two-factor authentication.

The fact that it’s solely as domain registrar can be a good thing since you won’t get bombarded by upsells. That said, you would have to rely on other software for your web hosting.

Hover Pros:

  • You can get an extra discount if you buy domains in bulk.
  • You can enable auto-renewal.
  • You won’t see many spikes in renewal prices.
  • Free WHOIS privacy included.
  • Hover’s ‘Connect’ feature helps you start using your domain name with a few clicks.

Pricing:

Here’s a list of the base prices for some of the most popular domain extensions:

  • .com: $12.99 per year
  • .online: $4.99 per year
  • .co: $25.99 per year
  • .design: $19.99 per year
  • .info: $17.99 per year
  • .io: $49.99 per year

6. HostGator.

Best for registering the most popular top-level domains (starting from $0.95 per year).

HostGator: top level domains

HostGator is another popular web hosting service provider that offers domain name registration and transfer services.

However, unlike other platforms on this list, HostGator sticks to 15 traditional and most popular top-level domains. So, if you don’t want to filter through other additional suggestions, HostGator might be a suitable option.

Some common options include .com, .website. Org,, .club,.net,. Co, .me, .space, .online, .site, etc.

Here’s a complete list of all the domain extensions offered by HostGator:

You also get an auto-renewal feature that helps you prevent your domain from expiring due to human error.

With their Domain control panel, you can also manage all aspects of your domain name from a dashboard.

Plus, you can protect your personal information with Domain Privacy. Domain privacy avoids identity theft, unwanted spam, etc. It uses WHOIS to protect your domain from these potential threats.

There’s a ‘Domain Locking’ feature that helps you prevent transfer or hijacking of your domain name.

You can also transfer your existing domain name to Hostgator, but your domain should be valid and registered for a minimum of 60 days with any other domain registrar.

HostGator Pros:

  • It provides free domain privacy and domain management tools.
  • You get a free domain name and web hosting with every website builder plan.
  • It provides an easy-to-use domain control panel that lets you control all your domains from a single source.

Pricing:

Here are introductory pricing plans for some of the top level domain extensions:

  • .com: $12.95 per year
  • .website: $0.95 per year
  • .space: $0.95 per year
  • .site: $0.95 per year
  • .info: $12.95/yr
  • .org: $12.95/yr
  • .co: $12.95/yr

You’ll see a minimal hike in plans during domain renewal. The transfer of the .com domain extension starts at $7.95 per year.

7. Google Domains.

Best for a clean interface and free security add-ons (Starting from $9 per month).

Google Domains

Google Domains is a domain name registration service offered by Google. It provides domain names, domain & subdomain forwarding, and supports various top-level domains, including .com, .co, .academy, .io, .biz, etc.

Every Google Domain you buy or transfer includes additional services like:

  • WHOIS privacy
  • Domain, subdomain, and email forwarding
  • One-click DNSSEC
  • Google 2-Step Verification
  • Google name servers with 10 million Domain Name System (DNS) resolutions per year

It also provides several alternatives if your preferred domain name is unavailable.

Google Domains Pros:

  • You get 24/7 support via help center, email, chat, or phone.
  • You can choose from over 300 domain name extensions.
  • All domain names are ICANN-accredited.
  • Renewal cost is the same as the buying cost.

Pricing:

Google Domains provide straightforward pricing for all its domain extensions.

Here’s the list of some of the most popular domain suffixes:

  • .com: $12 per year
  • .net: $12 per year
  • .org: $12 per year
  • .app: $14 per year
  • .co: $30 per year
  • .business: $12 per year
  • .io: $60 per year

8. DreamHost.

Best for domain security (starting from $0.99 per year).

DreamHost: cover image

DreamHost is a domain registrar service that provides a Domains Search Tool that provides search results for your domain prices, availability, etc. The search tool also recommends and suggests the most suitable domain names for your business.

DreamHost provides over 400+ top level domains (TLDs), including .club, .online, .io, .net, .xyz, .shop, .tech, .com, .blog, etc.

It’s one of the few domain registrars to provide FREE WHOIS Domain privacy to secure your data. WHOIS domain privacy is free with every domain registrar and will renew automatically.

You also get free unlimited subdomains for your website with VPS, Dedicated, Shared hostings.

Plus, you can manage all your domains from one account by transferring them to DreamHost. It provides a single panel for domain management to edit DNS records, set up domain forwarding, and more.

Additionally, DreamHost protects your domain from phishing and email spam and automatically removes emails sent from proxy addresses.

DreamHost Pros:

  • Free custom name server.
  • Optional data locking.
  • 24/7 customer support through the chat widget.
  • Free SSL certificate and domain privacy protection (WHOIS domain privacy).

Pricing:

Here’s the pricing list of some of the most popular domain extensions:

DreamHost: Domain Pricing
  • .com: $6.99 per year
  • .net: $10.99 per year
  • .org: $13.95 per year
  • .info: $13.95 per year
  • .club: $0.99 per year

You get free private registration, security measures, and subdomains with all the domain extensions.

9. NameSilo.

Best for domain name registration and transfer in bulk (starting from $2.19 per year).

NameSilo cover photo

NameSilo is a domain name registrar that provides domain registration services, transfer of the domain, bidding of domains, etc. It comes with a search tool that lets you perform a single domain search and bulk domain search.

You also get domain privacy for a free and massive discount for domain registration and transfer in bulk.

Besides, all the domains come with:

  • DNS management tools
  • Free domain privacy
  • Registry lock
  • Domain defender protection
  • Portfolio management

NameSilo also comes with a marketplace that contains all the domains listed by their customer or non-renewed domains. You can buy your preferred domains either through auction or by paying the buyer directly.

Namesilo Marketplace

Plus, you can transfer your existing domain names to NameSilo with just three steps. You just need to verify your domain name, enter your EEP authorization code in the transfer form, and add the domain to the cart. The domain will get transferred within 5 to 7 days.

NameSilo Pros:

  • It provides an extensive knowledge-base and 24/7 customer support.
  • Free WHOIS privacy forever.
  • Email and domain forwarding.
  • Domain parking (where you earn 100%).

Pricing:

Here are the base prices for some of the domain extensions:

  • .com: $8.99 per year
  • .net: $11.79 per year
  • .shop: $2.19 per year
  • .design: $3.99 per year
  • .org: $10.79 per year
  • .biz: $6.49 per year

10. Gandi.

Best for purchasing multiple domains at once (starting at $5.99 per year).

Gandi: register, transfer, renew domains

Gandi is a domain name registrar that lets you register, transfer, and renew your domain names. It provides an easy-to-use domain search and suggestion tool that lets you choose from over 700 domain extensions.

You also get a free SSL certificate, two free mailboxes with 3GB of storage, and unlimited email forwarding and aliases with your domain name.

Although most of its renewal prices are the same as registration prices, it’s still a bit on the expensive side. However, you do get special discount offers for registering or transferring multiple domains at once.

Gandi Pros:

  • Renewal prices are the same as registration prices in most cases.
  • You can also sell your existing domains on Gandi.
  • It lets you connect to third-party business apps with a click.
  • Unlimited customer support and help from a dedicated account manager.
  • It lets you manage all your domains and other products from a single panel on all your devices.

Pricing:

Following are the introductory prices of some of the domain suffixes:

Gandi: Domain pricing
  • .us: $15.50 per year
  • .com: $15.50 per year
  • .fr: $15.00 per year
  • .io: $38.00 per year
  • .net: $18.50 per year
  • .co.uk: $9.88 per year
  • .online: $5.99 per year
  • .me: $6.50 per year

11. Shopify.

Best for existing Shopify users (starting at $14 per month).

Shopify Domains

Shopify offers a domain name registration tool and automates the entire domain configuration and registration process. It provides over 50 domain extensions, including top-level domains, generic domain names, and ccTLD (country code Top Level Domains). You can use ccTLDs to specifically target the audience from any country or region and boost your search engine ranking in that specific region.

It comes with a domain name generator tool that provides suggestions for the keyword or the company name you enter. Or you can opt for the most popular domain names. All the domain name suggestions come with the pricing of each year.

Plus, it lets you manage sub-domains & email forwarding, removes domains from your store, and transfer your existing domains to Shopify. Besides, all their domains come with WHOIS privacy protection that keeps your personal information safe and secure.

Additionally, you can use Shopify’s website builder to build your website or start a blog and then register a new domain simultaneously. The website builder comes with a drag-and-drop feature and 70 professional themes.

Pros:

  • Unlimited bandwidth and products.
  • 100+ international payment gateways.
  • Search engine optimized.
  • Custom domain name options.
  • The primary domain can have many subdomains.

Pricing:

Different for every domain name and domain extension.

12. BuyDomain.

Best for ordering unavailable domain names in advance (Prices based on specific search results).

BuyDomain

BuyDomain.com offers domain name registration services, including single-domain registration, bulk registration, domain transfer, and domain transfer.

All the domains come with a domain forwarding and masking feature that directs users to your website for all the domains you own. You also get a ‘Domain locking’ feature to prevent accidental or intentional transfers of your domain ownership. This feature also stops anyone from redirecting your name servers.

BuyDomain also lets you manage your DNS records, FTP, subdomains, emails, etc., from one control panel. You can even monitor the status of your domains and get instant alerts.

It also provides the auto-renew feature to automatically renew your domains and hostings plans before the expiry date.

BuyDomain Pros:

  • Buy domains in bulk to save money.
  • Domain transfer is free and automated.
  • You can also register IDN (Internalized Domain Names).
  • Order unavailable domain names in advance at special prices.

Pricing:

The search tool quotes prices based on your search.

13. 1&1 IONOS.

Best for individuals and small businesses (Free if you register for two years).

1&1 IONOS: Europe-based domain registrar

1&1 IONOS is a Europe-based domain registrar that provides plenty of free add-ons with its domain registration and transfer services.

All the domains include features like:

  • Wildcard SSL certificate your site security and better google ranking
  • A professional email address with 2 GB of mailbox storage space
  • Up to 10,000 subdomains to customize your website

You can also transfer your existing domain name or email to 1&1 IONOS in 3 steps. You just need to request an authorization code from your current domain provider, enter it in IONOS, and confirm the transfer through the link sent to your email.

1&1 IONOS Pros:

  • It provides a ‘Domain lock’ feature that prevents your domain from getting transferred by any unauthorized person.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • One-click activation.

Pricing:

Here’s a list of first-year registration prices of some of the domains:

1&1 IONOS pricing
  • .com: $0 per year (when you register for 2 years or more)
  • .org: $1 per year
  • .online: $0.80 per year
  • .app: $12 per year
  • .co: $8 per year

What is a Domain Registrar?

Domain name registrars are companies that facilitate and manage domain name reservations on behalf of client companies. They help businesses ideate, select, register, purchase, and use an acceptable domain name in the market.

Domain registrars are usually legally recognized by top-level domain registries or a country code top-level domain registry. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the most widely accepted accreditation agency that manages domain name registrars.

Some of the industry leaders are GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com, and more.

With an increasing number of businesses migrating online, it’s easy even for successful companies to get lost in translation. Amid intense competition, companies need a spark to stand out and make consumers think about them.

The right domain name can go a long way in ensuring just that. A relevant and catchy domain name can build your brand value, reinforce it in the market, and help generate business.

And this is where domain name registrars come into play.

What Features Do You Need in a Domain Registrar?

Business requirements vary according to the diversity in key performance indicators and deliverables across companies and industries. However, there are a few indispensable features to look at:

1. Range of Features.

Availing the services of domain registrars can be a costly affair. You need to ensure a wide range of features proportionate to the service charges. For example, Domain.com is a feature-heavy domain registrar that allows top-level domain name extensions (TLDs), country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), enables private registrations, and whois privacy protection.

You can also take advantage of features like bulk registration, DNS management, and easy transfers.

2. Easy Domain Transfer.

Due to changing business requirements, you may need to transfer your domain to a registrar other than your current one. As per the existing ICANN regulations, you can transfer your domain only after 60 days of registration.

Some domain registrars deliberately make the process of transferring domains very difficult so that they get to keep customers on board. That’s why it’s essential to use ethical registrars that allow easy transfers.

Registrars like Domain.com and GoDaddy ensure a seamless domain transfer experience whenever the need arises.

3. Pricing.

Pricing is a significant factor for deciding in most cases. While big companies can afford to splurge, most small businesses have to be thrifty, especially at the onset. Domain registrars like GoDaddy and Bluehost have great high-end plans for the big players.

That said, they also have plans for small companies that are great value for money. While GoDaddy offers excellent discounts – Bluehost provides a free domain name with every hosting plan.

4. User-Friendly Interface.

Businesses want a user-friendly domain registrar so that their employees can get accustomed to it quickly and begin using it. Domain registrars with steep learning curves can hamper business deliverables and objectives due to extended lead times.

For example, HostGator is a user-friendly domain registrar with a simple user interface. It comes with extensive documentation that demonstrates its use, making it easier for beginners to register and manage their domains.

5. Customer Support.

This is an essential consideration. Not everyone in your team may be tech-savvy, so you need holistic customer support to help you out in case you get stuck. Domain.com provides 24/7 customer service via telephone, emails, and live chats.

6. Add-on Services.

While you may not need additional services at the moment, changing domain registrars midway can prove to be costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to check out the additional services your domain registrar can offer. These may include services like domain parking and extended expiration protection.

There are many other considerations as well when it comes to choosing the best domain registrar for your business. Some of them are renewal and add-on pricing, domain expiration policies, hidden fees, proper licensing for selling domain name extensions, and more.

How Do You Use a Domain Registrar?

First, you need to determine which domain registrar is likely to be the best for you based on your requirements and the price range. Once you make the purchase, you can move on to using the software.

I’m demonstrating the steps here with examples from an industry leader, Domain.com.

First and foremost, login to your account and click on the ‘purchase domain’ option.

An editor will pop up so that you can type your preferred domain name, your niche, or any other related keywords. It lets you search and see various domain names that are available in the market.

domains Search
Image Source: Domain.com

The status of the name of your choice is visible on the right-hand side. In this example, the first name is already taken. You can choose from one of the remaining three choices below by clicking on the ‘Add’ button provided.

Once you choose a name and add it, it automatically gets transferred to the purchasing cart. You’ll get a detailed breakup of the cost you’re incurring, domain information, and a sub-total in the cart.

Image Source: Domain.com

Finally, click on the ‘Continue to Checkout’ button on the bottom right. You’ll get directed to the final checkout page, where you’ll need to finalize the order.

Once you finalize the checkout, it can take anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes to process your order.

Before using a domain registrar, it’s good to know exactly which characters are allowed for use while choosing a domain name. For example, Domain.com doesn’t permit special characters, non-English alphabets, and spaces.

Make sure to read all such terms carefully before using a domain registrar. There is little room for mistakes since registrars do not change or edit domain names. Most of them don’t offer refunds either.

In extreme cases, the process of registration of domains can take up to 48 hours. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a customer representative in such cases.

Executive Summary.

Choosing a domain name is one of the most crucial parts of building your own website. Q2 2020 closed with 370 million domain name registrations, which accounts for its importance.

It’s essential to pick the most suitable domain name since it will be a massive part of your brand identity and help you rank in search engines.

While most domain registrars offer similar services, it’s up to you to choose the one that aligns the most with your requirements.

You can choose Bluehost if you’re purchasing hosting alongside your domain name since you’ll get a free domain name for the first year. For free WHOIS security, choose domain registrars like Hover, NameSilo, Gandi, and Google Domains.

Overall, my top recommendation is Namecheap due to its advanced domain name search tool, free DNSSEC security, a free business email for 2-months, etc.

Nonetheless, review all the domain registrars and their features carefully before making the final choice.

Finally, now that you have a domain name for your site, you might want to check out my reviews and rankings of the best web hosting and the best cheap web hosting services. If you’re looking to build a website of your own, check out this list of the best website builders.

Which one of these domain registrars are you planning to use, and why? Let me know by commenting below.