The online journey for most businesses starts with having a website. And to have a website, you need a domain name.
A domain is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control within the Internet. In simple words, it is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.
ICANN is an organization that deals with domains. However, it doesn’t give domain names to people directly unless you have inside connections. It accredits other companies called Domain Name Registrars to sell domain names.
So in order to buy a domain name, you’ll have to contact a Domain Name Registrar. If you are starting a business and want to name it bestpizza.com, all of these registrars will give you the same domain name.
The difference lies in their services. Specifically, the ease of use and the other features they include with the domain, WhoIs protection, and the quality of their nameservers.
Let’s talk about the best places to buy your website domain.
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Best Domain Registrars in 2021
This service is offered by none other than the internet giant, Google, itself. It’s a simple and easy-to-use service. With Google’s clean design, DNS tools, and industry-leading security, you will have a great experience.
If you want your domain to go alongside email, Google Domains has a solution. It integrates with your existing G Suite subscription. Keep in mind that it’s a paid service and won’t work a free Gmail account.
The pricing is just right for most people. If you don’t want much trouble getting up your site, go with this service.
Like Google, Hover also offers simple services at average prices. What sets it apart from others is the suggestions. The platform shows similar domains with different styles and synonyms. This way, you can zero in on the domain you want.
Its search page shows different categories that can help you filter out domains for different extensions.
Let’s say you search bestpizza.com on Hover. If it doesn’t exist, Hover automatically suggests a list of domains similar enough to our search term. Of course, it won’t be the exact domain you wanted, but keep in mind that you won’t have to go with your “dream” domain name.
The internet is so competitive that you won’t always find your desired domain. Sometimes, you have to go for similar sounding or looking domains. Take the example of leadhawk.com. If you can’t find this, you can go with leadfalcon.com or leadeagle.com. Both these birds share some similar traits with the hawk, so you’ll be able to convey a similar meaning.
Another good thing about Hover is that it lets you find domain ideas if you’re not sure exactly what domain you want. Just have fun around Hover. You’ll find a good name.
If you go with a .com extension (which is the obvious choice in most cases), it will cost you $12.99 per year. If you want email forwarding, it will cost you $5 per year, plus free WhoIs privacy on top of it.
This is probably the most popular option out there. At least, I go to this tool when I want to figure out the availability of a domain.
Pro Tip: On a name registrar’s search bar, don’t search your desired domain name too many times. A few registrars are famous for raising the prices if they see too many searches coming for a specific domain name.
Let’s get back to GoDaddy. This platform is suitable if you want web hosting along with your domain, or you want to manage it under one roof. Normally, you would want to keep your domain separate from your hosting provider in case you’d like to switch to a different provider at some point. But with GoDaddy, you can always transfer the domain to a different registrar or change the DNS to point to a new host.
Its main selling points are great hosting services, a custom website builder, and managed WordPress hosting. On top of that, it offers many templates to help you get started.
It’s not good for you if you have a tight budget or want to run complex sites. Its prices will go up after the first year. But go with it if you’re building a simple website.
As its name says, it’s a cheap service. But being cheap doesn’t mean low-quality. It does offer fairly decent services. With free WhoIs protection and a robust DNS provider, you probably get more than you pay for.
For most .com domains, you can get started at $8.88. It also offers some extensions under one dollar, but those extensions are not that great.
With its bulk search option, you can search up to 50 domains at a time. So run your ideas at once, see which ones might be taken, and check the prices for different TLDs.
Final Thoughts on Domain Name Registrars
You can find hundreds of other domain registrars. All of those will offer you the same name you’re looking for. But I’ve picked the above ones because they offer other perks as well. They all offer services at different prices, so everyone can choose a platform according to their budget.
What’s your best place to buy a website domain? Let me know in the comments below!