What’s the Cheapest Domain Registration Company?

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1st
Namecheap Domain Registrar Logo
2nd
1 and 1 Domain Registrar Logo
3rd
Dotster Domain Registrar Logo

You’ve got your business up and running and now are looking to secure your online real estate with a corresponding domain name, but you don’t want to pay a fortune for it. Who offers the cheapest domain registration? There are so many domain registrars out there, how do you know which one to work with? We’ve published a separate article that discusses the best domain name registrars. So, here we’re going to focus solely on price. Note that we have left out registrars which we would never recommend. There’s no point buying a domain name if you lose control over it or get scammed out of your hard-earned money, right?

What is a Domain Name Registrar?

Need some clarification on what you should be looking at when it comes to domain name registrars? Watch this short video clip for a clear explanation.

 

What is a Domain Name?

According to Wikipedia, “A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS)”. In more plain English, this is kind of like your address because it gives all internet servers around the world one unique place to find you and your website.

Finding a Reliable and Affordable Domain Name Registrar

First, the most important function of a registrar is that they allow you to easily and effectively administer and manage your domain name. Functionality or features to look for in a domain name registrar include:

  • An established reputation (given the ease of becoming a registrar, there are many fly-by-night outfits out there that will take your money and run)
  • No hidden fees (such as a fee for transferring a domain out to another registrar)
  • Comprehensive administration (for nameserver, mail, who-is records, etc.)
  • Reasonably priced registration fees
  • Accredited by a governing body (such as ICANN: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organization)
  • Easy transfer of domain name in and out of registrar
  • Domain name forwarding
  • Manual and auto renewal – Careful with this one. Many registrars will try everything they can to auto-renew by default, which may result in you renewing a bunch of domain names every year that you don’t want to renew.
  • Private whois registration – Conceals your whois data, i.e. your name, address, phone, etc. from prying eyes
  • Do you need email accounts? Some registrars will host your domain’s email for you. This is practical if you need email up and running but are not yet ready to host.
  • Customer support – It’s crucial that your domain registrar have good customer support, whether via phone, email, or live chat.

Note: We leave hosting out of this discussion because we don’t recommend you host with your registrar. Why? Because they are two very different specialty areas and it is hard to be great at both… it’s like eating at a restaurant that sells both Chinese and Thai food and expecting both to be authentic!

How We Chose Our Rankings

This article’s rankings were based on price. So you may be confused when you see that there are some companies with more cons than others that are ranked higher up. Just keep in mind that the rankings are purely based on the renewal price.

Inexpensive, Reliable Domain Name Registrars (Table)

These rankings are based on price, but we also recommended the top 2 above because they are quality registrars where you will be able to reliably host your domain names. You may well find a less expensive option, but odds are they are not an approved registrar and you may have difficulty managing your names.

 Namecheap1&1DotsterGoDaddyHost GatorMoniker
Namecheap1&1DotsterGoDaddyHost GatorMoniker
View WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Overall Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
Price for .com (1st Year)$10.69$0.99$9.99$12.99$12.95$9.99
Renewal Rate (Per Year)$10.69$14.99$12.00$14.99$15.00N/A
Private Registration (Per Year)$2.88Included$8.99$8.99$10.00N/A
Email Hosting (Per Year)$28.88$21.89$50.04$59.88/user$66.72N/A
Customer ServicePhone, Email, Chat
Phone, FAQ, ForumsPhone, Email, ChatPhone, FAQ, Email, ChatPhone, Chat, Tutorials, ForumsPhone, FAQ, Email
View WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website

Namecheap Review

#1

Visit Website

Namecheap has the cheapest renewal rate and an established business history, making it our #1 pick. If you’re looking for easy and affordable domain management without unnecessary frills, Namecheap is a good company to go with. It’s easy to transfer your domains in and out as well.

1&1 Review

#2

Visit Website

While 1&1 has a great introductory rate of $0.99 for the first year, the renewal rate of $14.99/year will make this more expensive than Namecheap if held for more than 2 years.

Dotster Review

#3

Visit Website

Dotster appears to be extremely unreliable based on most user experience stories. We’ve discovered a significant amount of bad reviews across the Internet and people appear to be pretty frustrated with the company. We don’t recommend them, but they are one of the cheapest domain registrars which keeps them in our top 3.

Below are the reviews for other companies ranked according to price.

GoDaddy Review

#4

Visit Website

GoDaddy comes with a big name and is best known for their web hosting solutions. It’s easy to get started with GoDaddy except checking out can be a bit confusing for some. Customers say they constantly try to upsell and their customer support could use some help since they have long wait times.

Host Gator Review

#5

Visit Website

Host Gator is a big corporation with many awards under its belt. They’ve been around for a long time so they’ve had plenty of time to build their company. They pride themselves in customer service and have many features to choose from.

Moniker Review

#6

Visit Website

We tried to research Moniker but had difficulties finding reliable information on them. If you’ve used Moniker let us know!

Who’s Your Favorite Registrar?

While there are quite a few domain registration companies out there that meet the above criteria, there are even more that don’t. And of those that do, there are many that charge above and beyond the wholesale price of a domain name (for example, register.com, which charges a $38 renewal rate, or Network Solutions, which comes in at a hefty $35 per year).

Which domain name registrar have you used? Was it a good or bad experience?

Kimberly has always enjoyed testing out the latest tech gadgets and loves seeing how things evolve. She’s a fast learner when it comes to the latest fads and likes sharing her findings with others. Although she loves technology, she also enjoys escaping the online world and likes to spend time outside away from the gadgets.

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25 Comments on "What’s the Cheapest Domain Registration Company?"

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Alex
Alex

What do you know about Domainer Pro?

Khalid
Khalid

Namecheap : the first year private whois is free
1 and 1 : you have to choose 2 years domain subscription if you want to get firs year for 0.99$
Godaddy : offers one year domain registration for 0.99$ for new customers

Khalid
Khalid

HELLO

Namecheap is a great registrar company really cheap and easy to use they have a super customers service in live chat they stand with you until you find the solution if you faced any problems with your domains and sites i love it really worth the number one !

Thank you
best
khalid

Amna Khan
Amna Khan

Thanks for the nice article. Has anyone tried rebel? I got first year with them very cheap (got those $1 domains), so now I have liek 20 domains I would like to keep.. but now I am thinking, even if its $1 more expensive, itll end up costing me $20 more.. Their service seems to be good.. not sure about pricing

Dave
Dave

Google does domains for $12 a year and includes private registration. That’s pretty awesome.

Sara L
Sara L

That’s awesome until they 1) discontinue their domain service like they do more than half of the initiatives they launch (like Google Domain Parking for example), or 2) they harvest and monetize all your private data (your domain whois record, after all, has all your contact info).

Geo

Which registrar would be the best and cheapest for 20 domains for an individual, not an internet business?
Thanks

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Hi Geo, some domain companies give you discounts for bulk purchases, but our list remains the same. Pricing for individuals and businesses remain the same as well.

MJ_0123
MJ_0123

Cosmotown offer cheaper price than any of the mentioned above companies and renewal price never change.

Dave
Dave

Dude…… Cosmotown looks amazing. $9 for a .com WITH free private registration? That’s amazing. Have you been with them long? I used to think Namecheap and Google Domains were the best/cheapest but if these guys are legit, they put all of these registrars to shame.

forkman
forkman

I have used GoDaddy, 1&1 and Namecheap among others. A few years ago I moved to Namecheap because of pricing and poor service from all the others. Namecheap was the lowest and I could renew with coupons to keep the price low in keeping with the list posted here. But not today. They are charging me $18.55 for my third year renewal and have rejected every coupon that coupon sites say are valid for this month.

jack bower
jack bower

I advise you to use 1and1 it is the worst s*** in the history of internet. plz remove 1and1 from your list by experiment.

Issokay
Issokay

It sounds to me like you have meant to convey your advice to be *not* to use 1and1. Whereas, in this comment you expressed extremely conflicting opinions. 🙂
Have a good evening.

sam59
sam59

Thanks for this article 🙂 For most of the GTLD’s they are definitely the cheapest with 101 domains. But concerning ccTLDs I would highly recommend NETIM or Marcaria which are really competitive too.

Jim //Z\\\\
Jim //Z\\\\

I had enough problems with domains (including registrars listed above) that I now just run my own DNS server. I’d love to find a registrar that just registers. I use afraid.org as my DNS secondary. Fantastic service (one man operation!) so I now use them as my registrar.

Issokay
Issokay
I’d love to know how this works. I know only enough to sorta pay for my .com (website[?]or hosting, or domain) but almost always, even when I renew, for seemingly NO reason I can tell, I have to call them within the next day or so. because shortly after renewing my existing domain as well as when I fall for those dumb ads to upsell me all the way through to checkout, I can barely/hardly tell what it is that I’m paying for, much less what it does/if I want/need it/can I even afford it? Because I need something that… Read more »
Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Thanks for the feedback Jim. The only thing I’d caution you on is a fallback approach in case the “one man” in that one man operation closes their business or becomes unavailable – make sure you still have access to your domains. We recently switched from Fabulous to Namecheap for this reason (larger company and support staff).

Jim //Z\\\\\\\\
Jim //Z\\\\\\\\
Thanks I had not considered the case of a registrar going out of business. I am not associated with afraid.org other than as a customer. I am happy with the service. Just to be fair I asked if the owner had any comment about being a one man operation. I post his responses here just to be complete. This not the kind of personal response that you’d expect out of the big boys. —————— Hi Jim, I have no plans to close things. I have worked for top 100 Internet companies so I am quite comfortable and versed with operating… Read more »
Charles
Charles

I went to your site and could not find any pricing so I sent you and email.
Thanks

davebarnes
davebarnes

Thanks for writing this. I have been using GoDaddy forever and was thinking of a lower priced alternative. But, with only personal 10 domains, it does not appear to be worth switching, I have found their telephone support to be quite good in my 21 years as a webmaster and dealing with hundreds of domains.

proft0x
proft0x

Moniker tries their best to hide all pricing until you sign up with an account. Their customer service rep begrudgingly stated that their standard .com price is $9.99, .net is $12.53 and .org is $11.69. I personally will not be using them given their sneaky approach.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks for this. With the ridiculous amount of domain registrars out there it’s difficult to find one that’s both reliable and affordable. I think ICANN needs to be more stringent with whom they accredit.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Nice – how does this service correlate with the domain name registration search you offer in your sidebar? Which ones offer the better prices?

We Rock Your Web
We Rock Your Web

Good question – the sidebar domain search may offer better prices on International domains, while this article focuses on a service that offers great value for U.S. based domain names.

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