Where Should I Register a Domain in 2020?
September 25, 2020
TLDR: It’s hard to go too wrong with this one – just don’t choose some obscure, unreviewed, fly-by-night domain registrar and you should be good. Or for extra peace of mind weigh these considerations carefully and use the domain registrars we trust.
So you’re getting ready to register a domain, and you want to get it right. We don’t blame you. And though some might say it doesn’t really matter where you register your domain, there are a few considerations that can help you feel confident about your domain registrar decision.
Let’s take a look at where to look and what to keep in mind.
The best domain registrars - what to consider and why to choose them
The two most important things to consider when picking a domain registrar are the company’s reputation and the likelihood that they stay in business. Luckily many registrars fit the bill here – you just want to reduce the risk of being in a position where your domain registrar isn’t secure, is doing something sketchy, or is going out of business. Ease of management and extra features can help to make a final decision.
*Some of the tools we suggest in this post use affiliate links, which means you can get a discount if you click them and it helps us out as well. That said, we only ever recommend tools that we use ourselves and trust.
Hover.com is an excellent option and favorite of many small business owners and web professionals alike. The interface is clean and modern, so it’s easy to navigate and manage your domain. What’s more, Hover.com specializes in domains, so you know it’s their primary focus. Namecheap is also a favorite and has been in the domain name game for a long time.
Finally, Cloudflare can be a great choice, too. Their domain settings are laid out smartly for confident management and it can be a great introduction to Cloudflare’s main features, which can greatly improve the security and performance of your website. You’ll need to use at least Cloudflare’s free plan to register your domain here, which can make this option a little more technical. But if you can get past that, it can work great as a domain registrar.
How much does a domain cost?
Though domain prices vary per domain an average .com domain will cost you between $10 and $30/year in 2020. .net, .org, and other top-level domains tend to be a bit cheaper, though it’s worth noting that domains across the board are getting steadily more expensive each year.
Should your domain registrar and web host be separate companies?
This is an age-old question, and it maybe gets more attention than it deserves. Our feeling is that, though there are small benefits to keeping them separate, the benefits are by no means overwhelming, and there are many folks using the same company as domain registrar and web host who are happy as clams.
That said, the main reasons for keeping them separate are often laid out as:
Some web hosting companies try various tactics to make it seem as if your domain and website are tied together to prevent you from leaving them. Some even disallow transfers within certain time windows. These practices can make it more difficult to switch domain or hosting providers in a pinch.
There’s a small security benefit to having two important keys to your business, your domain and your website, protected by different logins. If a hacker were to gain access to one of your accounts, they wouldn’t be able to do as much damage.
And the argument for together:
I know it isn’t a super satisfying answer – if you’re still looking for more guidance maybe our quick hit thoughts on the matter will help:
Conclusion About Where to Register your Domain
In sum, it’s hard to go too wrong with this one – just don’t choose some obscure, unreviewed, fly-by-night domain registrar and you should be good. Or for extra peace of mind weigh the considerations carefully. Either way. I hope this has helped, and also that this is the only time you’ll ever have to think this much about domain registrars. Now go on – register that thing! And move on to the more exciting parts of your website journey.
Have something to add, disagree, or want to discuss in more detail? Let us know – we’d love to hear it. And contact us if you’d like help registering a domain today.
People Also Ask About Registering Domains
What is the best domain name registrar?
Does it matter where I buy my domain name?
Where you register a domain matters because your domain name is a foundational piece of your web presence. Choosing the right domain registrar can save you money and headaches in the future.
Many domain registrars will work fine, but to reduce the risk of unexpected problems and need to transfer in the future, it can pay to be more selective.
How do you permanently buy a domain name?
There isn’t a way to permanently buy a domain name – you are technically renting it. Some registrars will let you pay for years in advance.