9 Best Domain Hosting Companies of 2019

Building a website? You’ll need a domain name. Your domain name is separate from your website hosting, but most hosting companies offer domain names. To encourage you to have your domain name on their server, some hosts will even throw in a free domain name.

I’d suggest that you think about this in depth because for the past 20 years I’ve found:

Having your domain names on a different domain host is preferable #domain #host Click To Tweet

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your website’s online address. Computers find web servers via a long string of numbers known as an IP address. These numbers are hard to remember so instead we use domain names like “YourBusinessName.com”.

Why keep your domain name/s on a separate host?

Keeping your domain names and your data on two separate hosts has many benefits. For example, if you don’t pay for a domain name – all that happens is a domain name becomes inactive (normally for about a month). While it is inactive you can still pay for your domain. Think of it like a grace period. If you don’t pay for ONE domain name after it has been inactive for a month, and you have TEN, then you can keep the other NINE. You’ll just loose the one that you didn’t pay for, ideal.

On the other hand if you decide to keep your domain names and host on the same hosting provider, then it’s a case of having all of your eggs in one basket. Let me explain…

Profit from Domain Names

A domain name, in and of itself can increase in value. You can even flip domain names to make money online. In fact, you can buy and sell domains to turn a serious profit on sites like EmpireFlippers.

Domain names have inherent value and so you should keep them in a safe place. You can also make money from your parked domains (domain names that you are not using) with GoDaddy’s CashParking service.

The domain name cars.com sold for $872 million #mostexpensivedomain #host Click To Tweet

Why Is Keeping My Domains On ONE Host Not Advised?

The main reason that you should keep your domain names separate from your host is that you don’t want to lose access to your domain. A domain name is your brand identity and important for any business or website.

Say for instance you decide you don’t like your host, and wanted to change. If for any reason the host decides you need to clear an outstanding bill or similar, then they can lock you out of your account. This will in turn lock your domain name (even if you have bought it for 2 years).

When selecting the best domain hosts/registrars we consider the following:

  • Are there any additional (or hidden) fees for transferring your domain name?
  • Longevity, history and reputation of the hosting company
  • Cost (I’ll compare prices of .com and .net)
  • Make sure the company is: Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN) Accredited
  • Do they provide easy domain transfer and forwarding services?
  • 24/7 customer support
  • WHOIS registration policies (and associated costs)
  • Renewal – Both manual and automatic is preferred

1. GoDaddy.com

BEST FOR – cheap .com domains and domain flipping

GoDaddy has been around since the very early days of the internet (founded in 1997). They are the largest domain name registrar in the world and have registered over 73 million domain names.

FUN FACT: GoDaddy used to be called Jomax Technologies #domain #hosting Click To Tweet

With more than 17 million customers, GoDaddy is a reliable and stable choice to store your domains. GoDaddy offers great features for domain management that makes organising your domains simple. You can also create forwarders and subdomains easily with GoDaddy.

Read our full GoDaddy review here

Domain Pricing & Features

GoDaddy is probably the most feature rich domain registrar. With features like bulk domain search, domain privacy and protection, domain value appraisal, domain auctions, discount domain club, domain investing and CashParking. The introductory price for a .com domain is very nice!

  • $0.99 for a .com for the first year ($14.99 thereafter)
  • $12.99 for the first year (19.99 thereafter)
  • WHOIS privacy protection costs an extra $7.99 per year
Pros

✔ Domain name transfers are free (for .co.uk domain extensions)

✔ The largest domain name registrar in the world

✔ Offer a wide range of web and email tools

✔ 24/7 customer service via phone and chat

✔ Amazing domain investment & management tools

Cons

✘ Price rises after first year

✘ Prices displayed exclude VAT

✘ Cluttered DNS management interface

2. Domain.com

BEST FOR – 24/7 customer support

Domain.com was founded in the USA in 2000. Domain.com is owned by Endurance International Group which is massive company with over 2500 employees. Keeping your domain names on Domain.com is a great idea as you’ll always remember that URL – feels organised.

Domain Pricing & Features

Pricing with Domain.com is average; however they don’t have any low introductory prices like Godaddy.com offers.

  • $9.99 per year for a .com
  • $12.99 per year for a .net
  • Free domain with hosting
  • WHOIS privacy protection costs an extra $8.99 per year.
Pros

✔ Feel organised with all of your domains on Domain.com

✔ Pricing is reasonable

✔ Get a free domain with hosting

✔ Reputable, longstanding company

✔ 24/7 customer support

Cons

✘ It is tempting to get hosting with a free domain

✘ You need to pay extra for WHOIS Privacy protection

3. Namecheap.com

BEST FOR – free Whois Guard privacy protection

Namecheap.com is one of the biggest domain registrars in the world. Founded back in 2000, Namecheap now has over 3million global customers. Namecheap is accredited by ICANN.

Domain Pricing & Features

Namecheap.com has cost effective domains and great value-add bonus features like: 100% free email forwarding services, secure DNS, free WHOIS privacy feature and custom name servers. I’m a fan of their FREE WHOIS privacy protection. Also after the free period WHOIS protection is still really cost effective.

  • $8.99 .com for a year
  • $12.99 .net for a year
  • FREE WHOIS Guard for a year ($2.88 thereafter)
Pros

✔ Great security features

✔ ICANN Accredited

✔ Domains are simple to transfer

✔ 24/7 customer support via help desk

✔ Free privacy protection from WhoisGuard

Cons

 ✘ Domain extensions can be expensive

✘ No phone number to contact customer/ tech support.

4. Bluehost.com

BEST FOR – organizing and locking down domains

Bluehost is the host of choice for many, even WordPress.org recommends Bluehost. Although they are a bit more expensive, they do offer a good range of tools and a nice 30-day money back guarantee.

See how Bluehost stacks up against HostGator in our review

Domain Pricing & Features

Bluehost offers a few nice features for domain management, such as an easy to navigate interface and control panel. It’s possible to enable and disable auto-renewal so that you don’t need to remember when your domain name expires. You can even lock your domain down so that it isn’t subject to any unwanted domain transfer, which is great to protect your online brand identity from hackers.

  • $11.94 for a .com for a year
  • $12.99 for .net for a year
  • Domain Privacy Protection – $11.83 per year
Pros

✔ 24/7 live chat, phone & email ticketing

✔ Decent domain management features

✔ Auto and manual renewal possible via control panel

✔ Free domain offered with hosting package

✔ 30-Day money back guarantee

Cons

✘ Expensive domain registrar

✘ Domain privacy costs extra

5. HostGator.com

BEST FOR – being an experienced and reliable host

HostGator is a popular host that also has a decent web-builder called Gator. Founded in 2002 and also owned by Endurance International Group, alongside Domain.com and Bluehost, so you know that you are getting good tools and an experienced domain host provider. I would say that you probably shouldn’t have your domains on one Endurance International Group site and then your hosting with another of their subsidiaries.

Read our full HostGator review here

Domain Pricing & Features

HostGator are really expensive for domain names, however they are an experienced and reliable host.

  • $12.95 per year for a .com (or $2.99 per year if you host with them)
  • $12.95 per year for a .net
  • WHOIS privacy $14.95 per year
Pros

✔  Tutorials and live chat support

✔  Get free unlimited domains with reseller, WordPress hosting, Baby Cloud and Business Cloud

Cons

 ✘ Privacy is $14.95 per domain per year, which is expensive

 ✘ No ticketing support system

 ✘ Pricing is not transparent

6. Name.com

BEST FOR – feature rich, secure domain management

Founded in 2003, Name.com is owned by Right Side Group and between the two companies they control 16.5 million domain names. Name.com well established and cost effective domain name host that has a fantastic range of premium domain extensions to choose from for instance .live .film or .best.

Domain Pricing & Features

Domain pricing from name.com is reasonable. Domain names from name.com come with FREE URL and email forwarding, FREE Two-Step Verification, FREE forwarding to social media and FREE DNS management.

  • .com cost $8.99 per year
  • .net costs $10.99 per year (usually $14.99)
  • WHOIS privacy is $4.99 per
Pros

✔ Free domain name with hosting

✔ Security conscious host

✔ Bulk domain search

✔ Expiring domain search

✔ Feature rich

✔ ICANN-accredited domain name registrar

Cons

✘ Customer service only via email ticket and live chat during limited office hours

✘ Domain transfers cost $8.25

✘ SSL Certificates from Name.com are expensive

7. 1&1 IONOS

BEST FOR – offering a FREE wildcard SSL certificate

1&1 is one of the oldest domain hosts around and was founded back in 1988. 1&1 is a massive company with over 7,000 employees. Transferring domains is free and easy to do with 1&1 IONOS, which is awesome.

Read our full 1&1 IONOS review here

Domain Pricing & Features

1&1 offer some nice features with your domain hosting including free email address, free privacy protection, free wildcard SSL certificate and if you get hosting from 1&1 you can get a free domain for a year. They also have a domain transfer lock on all domains, so that people can’t transfer your domain anywhere (unless you authorise the transfer).

  • .com $1 ($16.99 thereafter)
  • .net $9.11 per year for the first year ($20.83 thereafter)
Pros

✔ 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, email, and social media

✔ .CO.UK domain names free for the first year

✔ WHOIS domain privacy protection is free

✔ Free personal consultant

✔ Free privacy protection

✔ Free SSL

✔ Easy to use subdomain feature

✔ Professional email addresses are easy to set up

✔ UK company

Cons

✘ Prices displayed exclude VAT and rise considerably after the first year

8. Register.com

BEST FOR – those looking to host with one of the longest established domain hosts

Register.com is a massive domain name host that is possibly the oldest. Founded back in 1994 in New York before most people even knew the internet existed. Register.com currently control over 2.5million domain names. Register.com is already an awesome domain name, they also own web.com which is a comprehensive knowledgebase and the owner of Register.com.

Domain Pricing & Features

Register.com has all of the features that you might expect from your domain host. However they are extremely expensive when compared to other providers.

  • .net $38 for 1 year
  • .com $38 for 1 year
  • WHOIS privacy protection $11
Pros

✔ AutoRenew feature included

✔ Established domain company

✔ Domain Expiration Protection can be added for $10

Cons

✘ Extremely expensive domain registrar

✘ $12.00 transfer fee

✘ Website is a bit sluggish

✘ Private domain registration is $11 extra

✘ No live chat

✘ Only open during office hours

9. InMotion Hosting

BEST FOR – feature rich domain management 

InMotion is an American hosting provider founded in 2001. A much smaller domain provider, with just 300,000 registered domains.

Domain Pricing & Features
  • .com $14.99
  • .net $14.99
  • Privacy protection $12.99
Pros

✔ Automatic domain renewal

✔ Free domains with some packages

✔ 24/7 customer support

✔ Free domain transfer

✔ Free domain with hosting

✔ Secure Transfer locking

✔ Automatic domain renewal

✔ Intuitive domain management control panel

✔ 90-day money back guarantee

Cons

✘ Pay extra for privacy protection

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