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The 6 Best Domain Registrars in 2023

The first step to building an online business is registering your domain. This guide to the best domain registrars will explain everything you need to know to buy your first domain:

  • What is a domain registrar?
  • What makes a good domain registrar
  • The best domain registrars

Let’s dive into it!


What is a domain registrar?

Domain registrars are companies that register domain ownership with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on consumers’ behalf. These companies also connect domains to IP addresses, which are the addresses computers use to recognize websites.

Domain registrars vs web hosts

There are two types of companies that can help you register a domain: domain registrars, which we discussed already, and web hosts.

Web hosts give you the server space and tools you need to actually build a website. Hosting services are typically more expensive than buying your domain directly from a domain registrar, but many of the best web hosting services include a domain in their hosting packages. This can be the most cost-effective route if you’re planning to build your site right away.


What makes a good domain registrar

There are a few features you should look for in a domain registrar:

🔒️ WHO.IS privacy.

This keeps your domain ownership information out of the WHO.IS database. This is particularly important if you’re registering the domain using personal information instead of a company as the WHO.IS database includes addresses and phone numbers.

🖥️ Web hosting.

Many domain registrars offer some level of web hosting, which makes it possible to create a website at your domain right away. Alternatively, you can always register your domain name at one registrar and then use nameservers or DNS records to point it to web hosting from a different provider.

💣 Other extras.

Most domain registrars offer a variety of internet services. Along with web hosting, email hosting and DNS services are quite common. You may want to go through the checkout process with different domain registrars to learn about what’s available.

💸 Cost.

You can typically rely on a .com domain to cost somewhere between $10 and $20 when purchased through a registrar, but there is variation. Domain registrars sometimes also offer first-year discounts. If you choose a registrar with a first-year discount be sure to calculate the long-term cost as well.

Now that I’ve armed you with this information, let’s take a look at the domain registrars!


The best domain registrars

1. Namecheap

The best domain registrars: Namecheap homepage
  • Web hosting services available: Yes
  • WHO.IS privacy: Included with all domains
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain: ~$7/year (there are almost always discounts)
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $13.98/year

Namecheap is a dedicated domain registrar that includes WHO.IS privacy free with every domain purchase. This helps you keep your personal information safe.

Most domains on Namecheap cost between $10-15/year and you can often find discounts bringing this to under $10 for the first year of registration. You can also add services like SSL certification, web hosting, and more, but these services add up quickly and are often better purchased elsewhere.

👉 Who this registrar is best for: Namecheap is a great choice for keeping costs low because they offer good first-year discounts while still having competitive renewal prices. Namecheap also offers a range of other cheap services, including web hosting and email hosting.

2. Google Domains

The best domain registrars: Google Domains
  • Web hosting services available: No
  • WHO.IS privacy: Yes
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain: $12/year
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $12/year (no increase on renewal)

Google offers all kinds of online services for business owners, including Google Domains. This is a no-frills service that sells domains automatically bundled with WHO.IS protection, with most .com domains costing $12/year.

You can’t get your web hosting through this service, but Google Domains does make it easy to connect your domain to Google Workspace. You don’t even need to set up a website!

👉 Who this registrar is best for: Google Domains is great for users who want to keep their domain registrar separate from their web hosting. Google Domains’ transparent pricing also means there won’t be any surprises when renewal time rolls around – while Google’s first-year prices are a bit higher than their competitors, they offer one of the cheapest long-term prices because there’s no price increase at renewal.

3. Cloudflare Registrar

Cloudflare Registrar homepage
  • Web hosting services available: No
  • WHO.IS privacy: Technically not, but your information is fully redacted by default so your privacy will still be protected
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain: $9.15
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $9.15

Cloudflare is a web performance and security company that provides DNS services and other security services to millions of websites. Cloudflare also works with many web hosts to provide CDN services to their customers, which allows those companies to provide faster loading times.

You can purchase a domain from Cloudflare at cost (that is, Cloudflare doesn’t make any profit). For a .com domain, this means paying $9.15/year. Cloudflare charges the same amount every year so you don’t have to worry about rising costs. If there ever is a change in pricing (as happened in fall 2022), you’ll be notified months in advance.

You can also rest assured that your data is safe when you purchase a domain through Cloudflare, as data for all domain registrations is automatically redacted. This isn’t technically WHO.IS protection, but it provides the same level of security.

Here’s an example of what your information will look like if someone tries to look up your domain name:

Cloudflare Registrar redacted information

One thing to note, however, is that you must use Cloudflare’s nameservers if you use Cloudflare Registrar. You cannot change them. However, you can edit the DNS records and point your domain name to your web host that way, so you’re still totally free to use your domains with any web host.

👉 Who this registrar is best for: Cloudflare is an ideal choice if you’re already planning to use Cloudflare for your domain’s nameservers. Again, it’s important to note that you can’t currently change nameservers (though you can edit the DNS records to use Cloudflare Registrar with any web host). Because Cloudflare Registrar does registration at cost, it’s also literally the cheapest way possible to register a domain name.

4. Bluehost

The best domain registrars: Bluehost
  • Web hosting services available: Yes
  • WHO.IS privacy: Paid add-on @ $15/year
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain name: $12.99 (or free with a hosting plan)
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $19.99/year

Bluehost is mostly known as a web host, but it’s also one of the best domain registrars. You can easily find and claim your domain, and when you’re ready to start the website you can add a hosting plan to it without having to deal with a new company.

Domains through Bluehost typically cost $12.99 for the first year and $19.99/year at renewal, with WHO.IS protection costing an additional $15/year.

This makes Bluehost a bit expensive for just domain registration. However, if you purchase a hosting plan from Bluehost, you’ll get a free domain for your first year, which can help you keep costs down when you’re getting started.

👉 Who Bluehost is best for: Bluehost is a great choice if you’re planning to start building your website right away, especially if you want to use WordPress. However, if you want WHO.IS privacy, there are cheaper options.

5. IONOS

IONOS homepage
  • Web hosting services available: Yes
  • WHO.IS privacy: Paid add-on
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain name: $1 for the first year
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $15/year

IONOS is a domain registrar that offers a variety of web services, including several different types of web hosting and email hosting.

IONOS also offers hefty first-year discounts. You can get most .com domains for $1 in their first year and add domain protection for another $1 in that first year. Web hosting packages from IONOS are heavily discounted too, with the Business WordPress Hosting plan available for $0.50/month in the first year. This can help you start an online business on a tight budget, though you will have to be prepared for rising costs in the second year.

👉 Who IONOS is best for: IONOS is the best choice if you’re trying to get your online business off the ground with an extremely limited budget. It has the lowest first-year price of any registrar that you’ll find and the renewal price is still competitive with other options.

6. Domain.com

Domain.com homepage
  • Web hosting services available: Yes
  • WHO.IS privacy: Add-on for $8.99/year
  • Average first-year cost of a .com domain: ~$9.99
  • Average renewal cost of a .com domain: $19.99/year

Domain.com started as a domain registrar and now offers a wide variety of web services for businesses. This includes web hosting, website and store builders, web design services, email and marketing services, and more.

Most Domain.com domains cost $5-13/year and registration only includes the domain itself. You’ll have to pay a separate $8.99/year for WHO.IS privacy or access to any of Domain.com’s other online services.

However, be aware that renewal costs after the first year can be higher.

👉 Who this registrar is best for: Domain.com is an ideal choice for companies with no major privacy concerns and users interested in the website builder or other Domain.com tools.


Choosing from the best domain registrars

Registering a domain is easy with all of the companies we’ve looked at today, so the right domain registrar for you depends on your goals:

  • If you plan to build your site right away or you know you’ll want to host your website with Bluehost later on, choose Bluehost.
  • If you want WHO.IS privacy bundled in with your domain, choose Namecheap or Google Domains.
  • If you want to claim a domain for cheap before you build a website, choose IONOS or Cloudflare Registrar.

👨‍💻 Making your first website? Check out 👉 our guide on how to make a website! We also have a post on how to choose an SEO domain name to help you rank in Google. 😎