When you’re just starting an online business, one of the first things you’ll have to do is register a domain name. You can do this by using the services offered by a domain name provider company, also known as a domain name registrar.
The catch is that not all domain name providers are created equally, and there are a few things you need to consider when choosing the best domain name providers for your future online business needs.
Before we get started looking at some of the best domain name registrars online, it’s crucial that you first understand exactly what a domain name provider is.
By understanding the business behind domain name registration, you can be better informed to make the best decision when choosing a company to register your online business name.
What Is a Domain Name Provider or Registrar?
In simplest terms, a domain name provider is a company that allows you to register a web address on the Internet where you can create your own website.
There are hundreds of different domain name registrars out there. Most domain name registrars are available online, but a few have business models that focus their efforts on acquiring clients offline.
Thanks to their offline advertising methods like television and radio commercials, you are more than likely familiar with some of the biggest domain name registrars online, like GoDaddy and Namecheap.
Just because you may be familiar with some of the larger domain name registrars online doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best option for your online business needs.
Before you choose what company to register your website name with, you must know some of the things you should be on the lookout for.
Special Offers May Not Be So Special After All
One of the biggest things that you must be on the lookout for when shopping for the best domain name registrars is the special offers that many of them advertise heavily. Many of these offers include things like very low-cost registration prices for the first year of domain name registration.
The problem with many of these low-cost first-year registration offers is that there are hidden fees and much higher costs for future registration years. This is a major issue as it often takes 6 to 12 months before your online business really starts to generate revenue. Many online business owners will often face higher-than-expected renewal fees after their first year of registration.
To avoid headaches in the future, you should read through the domain registrar’s contract and be on the lookout for things like:
- Non-Auto Renewal Fees – Some registrars will charge fees of $10 + if you opt not to have your domain name auto-renew after your initial registration period.
- Transfer Out Fees – Some companies stipulate that you must pay a fee if you want to transfer your domain to another registrar. Often, this fee can be $40 or more, depending on the company.
- Multi-Year Contracts – While many companies offer significant discounts for your first registration year, some companies recoup this cost by requiring you to keep your domain registered with them for two or more years in the fine print of their contracts. As you can probably guess, the second and subsequent years are much more expensive than the first year.
- WHOIS Privacy Fees – WHOIS is an online database that lets you look up the contact information of individuals and businesses who own domain names. Having this information kept private is vital to maintaining your privacy and avoiding aggravating phone calls from people trying to sell you unneeded services and products. Most registrars charge very low fees for this service, typically $5 or less, but less reputable companies may charge $10 – $20 or more per year for this basic must-have feature.
- Upsells and Bundles – Some great companies out there deliver a bundle of services like domain registration and hosting under one roof. Still, others use domain registration to lock you into exclusively using their hosting and other services for multiple years. Sadly, many of these companies charge exorbitant fees for their hosting and basically hold your domain name hostage unless you pay.
Unfortunately, these higher-than-expected expenses can place a financial burden on you if you aren’t prepared for the expenses ahead of time. This has resulted in some online business owners losing their websites because they can’t afford to pay the registration renewal fees before their domain name expires.
Once a domain name expires, other companies can purchase it and try to sell it back to you at premium prices that can often be hundreds or thousands of dollars. Since this is such an issue for many website owners, you must take the time to look at the cost of renewal fees for future years of your domain name before choosing what company you want to register it with.
Now that we’ve covered some of the hidden fees, you must watch out for when choosing the best domain name companies for your needs. I want to share with you just a few of the top companies I recommend registering your new online business.
The Best Domain Name Providers – My Personal Favorites
When you’re choosing the best domain name companies to work with, you must consider your individual online business needs before deciding which company to do business with. Each offers something a little bit different, and many specialize in one specific aspect.
For example, I wouldn’t use the same domain name registration company for a domain I plan to sell as I would for a domain I plan to build for several years.
For this reason, the companies I list below are three that I frequently interchange depending on what my goals with the domains will be.
Best Low-Cost Registrar – Namecheap
If you’re just looking for a domain name registrar and don’t need any additional services, it’s hard to go wrong with Namecheap. This is because they offer very reliable registration services at very reasonable prices that don’t become exorbitant in future years.
Aside from their everyday low prices, Namecheap also frequently runs special promotions that allow you to pick up new top-level domains, including .com, for as little as $5 for the first year.
Best of all, you aren’t locked into a multi-year contract and are free to transfer your domain to another registrar anytime after the mandated 60 days waiting period that all registration companies are under.
If you’re already familiar with everything else you’re going to need and have established hosting set up elsewhere, Namecheap will give you the ability to register domains very inexpensively and will send out reminder emails anytime any of your domains are about to expire.
This makes them a go-to choice if you’re looking for a company to just register your website name with or want to work with the company to register potential names for projects that you may want to work on in the future.
Best Registrar for Flipping Websites – GoDaddy
Building an online business that can provide you with a full-time income for years into the future isn’t for everyone, and many people would prefer to buy domain names and sell them with or without a website.
If you want to purchase domain names and build a small site to sell it in just a few months or just want to buy domain names and try to sell them without a site at all, you can’t go wrong with GoDaddy.
Over the years, GoDaddy has established itself as one of the biggest domain name registrars online and most people who are interested in creating an online business at least have a GoDaddy account, if they don’t have domains already registered with the company—because of this, using GoDaddy to transfer domains to other people is very easy to do.
Not only has GoDaddy made transferring domains to buyers a breeze, they even offer a variety of tools to help you establish the value of your site, like their Domain Value Appraisal tool, they also provide a range of services that you can use to list and sell domains registered with their company.
All in all, if you want to purchase domain names with the intent of selling them in the future, you will most likely want to have them registered with GoDaddy.
Best Registrar for Building a Full-Time Online Business – Wealthy Affiliate
As mentioned briefly above, choosing a domain name registrar offering package deals or other products can often be a little risky. This isn’t the case with Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is an online educational platform that teaches you how to build your own website and online business, promote it, and get visitors from all over the Internet to find your new site.
If you’re brand-new to Internet marketing or looking for a way to get more visitors to your site, the training and tools that Wealthy Affiliate includes can teach you how to build your business and earn money from people who visit your website.
Regarding domain name registration, Wealthy Affiliate’s SiteDomains tool is an excellent option for registering domains and hosting them inside the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
Should you choose to transfer your domain to another domain name registrar in the future, you must submit a ticket to the support desk at Wealthy Affiliate, and they can assist you in getting everything lined up.
Even better, the SiteDomains tool will not only show you what domains are and are not available but also suggest to you many different options in real-time for available domain names similar to the one you first entered; if that domain is not available.
As you can see in the image below, this tool gives a nice variety of different potential domain names for you to choose from when the initial domain you entered isn’t available.
On top of that, Wealthy Affiliate also gives high-quality hosting, a great keyword tool in the form of Jaaxy, top-notch training, and a community that can provide you with support and answers to questions that you may have while learning how to run your new online business.
All in all, if you want to register a domain name to create a long-term full-time income-generating business online, you can’t go wrong with Wealthy Affiliate.
Are You Ready to Launch Your New Website?
Now that you understand what to be on the lookout for when considering domain name registration companies, you should be prepared to get your new website online and running.
If you’re still a little confused about how this whole process works, take a moment to check out my #1 recommendation.
Once inside, you’ll find a community of people who are more than willing to help you learn all the skills necessary to create your own full-time online business.
I hope that you now understand what pitfalls to look out for when registering your own website with some of the many online registration companies out there. If you have any questions about the best domain registration companies, please feel free to leave them in the comments area below.