29 Aug 2019

The Best Domain Registrars of 2019

Regardless of the type of website you have, you’re going to need a domain name. Big, small, personal, or blog, a domain name will ensure that your website visitors can actually access and view your site. Domain names can be purchased through something called a domain registrar. You can also transfer existing domain names from one registrar to another (similar to web hosting migration).

As with most companies selling similar products to each other, there’s quite a lot of competition. Choosing the best domain registrar might seem like a daunting task. That’s why I’ve spent the time to research the best domain registrars of 2019.

We’ll take a look at each domain registrar individually. Some may be better than others dependent on budget, your own needs, your website, etc. Domain registrars also offer additional features and extras like domain privacy, so we’ll take a look at that too.


What Is A Domain Registrar






Domain registrars are companies where you can purchase a domain name. Domain name registrars are accredited by ICANN, so if you have any doubt about your chosen domain registrar, you can check with them. As I’ve mentioned above, a domain name allows you to see a website on the internet.

Domain names should be easy to remember and represent what your website is about. For example, we are ukwebhostreview.com – we are a web host review company based in the U.K. and produce content on other relevant material.

When you purchase a domain name you’ll have to enter in your personal information. This information is then stored on a central database known as registry. Domain registrars require permission from ICANN to sell domains.


Choosing The Best Domain Registrar

There are a multitude of domain name registrars available. Some will be able to sell all TLDs available whereas other may only be able to sell country-specific domain extensions. This is fine if this is what you’re looking for, but it’s best to be aware of what each one offers.

As you’ll see with the best domain registrars outlined below, each registrar offers something different. Domain registrars tend to offer other services like free add-ons, additional services, web hosting etc.

I’ve personally spent a lot of time researching this area. I’ve compiled a list of criteria that’s essential when considering the best domain registrar to choose. Keep your eyes peeled for the following:

  • Pricing & Renewal: When you register a domain name you’ll need to pay for it (in most cases). Many domain registrars offer a very low price for the first year, hiking up their renewal prices. If you only want to register a domain for a short period of time, you may as well take advantage of these introductory offers. However, be aware that some domain registrars require you to sign up to a minimum period.
  • Domain Transfers: It’s entirely possible to move a domain name from one registrar to another. However, you won’t be able to do this for the first 60 days after you’ve registered your domain. Many domain registrars don’t charge for domain transfers, but you’ll need to check this before registering
  • Add-ons & Extras: If you’re looking for additional services, most domain registrars offer this. You may not feel like you need these services but it’s worth considering for the future. Add-ons include domain privacy, email hosting, domain parking etc. As I’ll say time and time again, domain privacy is well worth it.

1 | BlueHost (Best Domain Name Registrar of 2019)


Established in 2003
Owned by Endurance International Group

BlueHost are one of the largest hosting companies out there. They’re my personal #2 choice in web hosting as well as domain names. Not many people realise that they are a WordPress official hosting partner, so if you’re thinking of starting a blog or website, it’s worth checking them out.

If you are looking for web hosting, ukwebhostreview readers are being offered hosting from just £2.25 per month. This includes a free domain name, SSL certificate and unlimited storage and bandwidth. Compiling your web hosting and domain name in one place often makes things easier and more manageable.

For customers just wanting a domain name, most domain registrations cost around £10 per year. BlueHost have a 24/7 customer support system as well as live chat for any issues you may encounter.


Visit BlueHost.com

2 | Domain.com


Established in 2000
Owned by Endurance International Group

Domain.com specialises in domain names and web hosting. They’ve been around for a long time so are a trusted brand as a domain registrar. You can register a top level domain (TLD) with them as well as country code domains.

When you land on domain.com you can easily use their search tool to find your domain name. If you have a domain name in mind, simply enter it into the search box to see the results. Their tool will show you whether a domain name is available or not, as well as suggested ideas and featured domains.

I mentioned earlier that most domain registrars will offer handy extras as well as the ability to purchase domain names. Domain.com has a choice of features including:

  • Domain privacy ($8.99 per year)
  • Bulk registration
  • Transfers
  • DNS management

If you’re struggling with anything, they have customer support via live chat, or you can email them. If you’re not looking for web hosting, domain.com offers great value domain names and I highly recommend them.


Visit Domain.com


3 | GoDaddy


Established in 1997
Owned by GoDaddy Group Inc

GoDaddy is one of the longest standing domain registrars. With almost 80 million domain names that they manage, their customer base has reached near 20 million users. They offer domain registration as well as web hosting and other web services such as web development, website builder, etc.

As far as web hosts go, GoDaddy offer extremely competitive prices for domain registration. If you’re happy to keep your domain name for at least 2 years, GoDaddy sell .co.uk TLDs for just 99p per year. The domain search tool is very simple to use; just type in you desired domain name and they will tell you whether it’s available or not (as well as some suggested domain names).

If you’re looking for decent domain management tools, GoDaddy can provide you with this. Whether you’re looking to transfer your domain or amend the settings, their tools are really easy to use. Not only that, they offer 24/7 support as well as live chat should you encounter any issues.


Visit GoDaddy.com


4 | HostGator


Established in 2002
Owned by Endurance International Group (EIG)

Similar to GoDaddy, HostGator have been around for some time and have made a name for themselves. They offer domain registration as well as web hosting. Their domain names come with a wide range of TLDs as well as domain registration and simple domain management tools that are user-friendly.

When you’re ready to search for your desired domain name, their domain search tool makes things very easy. Enter your domain name and see if it’s available. If not, there’s plenty of options as well as suggestions to gain some inspiration. If you want to transfer a domain, the process is beginner-friendly and there’s plenty of documentation to help you on your way.

HostGator, unfortunately, doesn’t include a free domain name when you sign up to web hosting. But, their domain names are competitively priced, averaging around £7-£10 for a .com TLD. Domain privacy will set you back $1.25/mo (Billed Annually @ $14.95). I do recommend purchasing domain privacy with any domain name that you register.


Visit HostGator.com


5 | Name.com


Established in 2003
Owned by Right side Group

Name.com have been steadily gaining traction and introducing new customers since 2003. Similar to many domain registrars, they also provide web hosting services, SSL certificates, website builder, email hosting services, and more. They have a wide range of TLDs on offer as well as some helpful domain features.

If it’s web hosting you’re after, all of Name.com’s shared hosting plans include a free domain name. Prices start from $4.99 per month and also include a free SSL certificate. This should be enough to set you up with your first website if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’ve never used a domain registrar before, Name.com have live chat support as well as phone support and a knowledge base.

Their domain name search tool is simple and quick to use. Once you’ve entered your domain name into the search box, it will tell you if your domain is available. However, I have noticed that if a domain is already taken (but the owner is open to selling it), the domain will display as available but at a premium price (one of these I found at $34,000)!


Visit Name.com


6 | NameCheap


Established in 2000
Owned by NameCheap

NameCheap is a top domain name registrar. They’ve been in the industry for 19 years, offering domain registration, domain transfers, SSL certificates, and web hosting. Their web hosting spans across shared hosting, WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and even email hosting.

NameCheap’s domain add-on services match those in the market. They are one of the few domain registrars that include domain privacy with all of their domain names, free of charge. This is definitely something which sets them apart from their competitors. Their domain search tools is easy to use, offering suggestions for when your domain isn’t available.

If you’re struggling with anything or not sure how to transfer your domain, their live chat service is really good. I’ve personally used their phone support and I have to admit they were really helpful. They knew their stuff and they were really friendly. If you don’t want to seek customer support directly, their knowledge base has plenty of information and guides.


Visit NameCheap.com


7 | 1&1 (IONOS)


Established in 1988
Owned by United Internet

1&1 (IONOS) are probably one of the oldest domain registrars out there. They offer incredibly affordable domain names, starting from 99p per year. If you need to contact 1&1, U.K. customers will find this much easier than most of their competitors. Customer support is available via live chat, telephone, email and even social media.

Some of the features they include are domain transfer, eCommerce site builder, web hosting, website builder, WordPress hosting, email hosting, and lots more. You can probably get all the tools you need to create your own website in one place with 1&1 and a reasonable price. They may not be the most powerful web host or domain registrar, but they’re definitely cheap.

At the moment, 1&1 are offering domain names for free for the first year. After this, it will cost you £10 per year. But this is a really good offer to take advantage of! Web hosting is only £1 per month for the first year and includes a free domain name for life. If you’re looking to start a new website, 1&1 are a great place to start.


Visit Ionos.co.uk

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12 Aug 2019

What is a Domain Name & How to Buy One

A domain name is a name and URL that represents your website’s presence on the internet. Domain names are unique and can be registered with a domain registrar. Once you register your domain name, you can ‘claim’ your part of the internet. You can use your domain name for your website address, email address, or both (which most people tend to do).

If you’ve made a start on creating your own website, you won’t be able to publish any of the content without a domain name. When you sign up to a great web host, you’ll need to provide your domain name (or buy one) to launch your website. Without a domain name, your web host’s servers have nothing to reference.

Some web hosts actually offer domain names for free, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Even if you haven’t started building your website yet, it’s worth getting a domain name. Maybe you’ve been sat down watching TV having a coffee and inspiration has sparkled. If it has, don’t wait around! Domain names are like gold dust, so if you’ve thought of a good one, grab it whilst you can.

Web hosts like BlueHost give you a domain for FREE when you sign up to web hosting. It doesn’t matter which package you go for, starting from £2.25 per month, you’ll get unlimited web hosting and a domain name.


Different Levels of Domain

Okay so this may sound like it’s going to be confusing, but I promise you it’s not. I’m going to use my own website as an example in explaining this one. When you, or anyone else, visits my website, you’ll type in www.ukwebhostreview.com and you’ll land here. The whole URL is known as the web address.

Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain is the part after the dot. In the case of our website, it’s .com and in the case of the example above it is too. There are plenty of top-level domains to choose from which I’m sure you’re aware of. Government websites will often have a top-level domain of .gov and non-profit organisations will have .org.

Most top-level domains (TLDs) are used to represent where a website or business is located. If your target market is based in the U.K. it’s worth having a .co.uk domain. TLDs like .ca and .us also tend to represent the location. If your business isn’t location-specific or you want to attract a wider audience-base then .com is a safe bet to go for.


Second-Level Domain

The second-level domain is located left of the dot. This is also simply known as the domain name. Like I mentioned earlier, this represents the identity of the individual’s website, business, or what it does. My own website represents what I do and what my website is about. Second-level domains should be memorable and easy to type so that visitors don’t end up navigating somewhere else.


Domain Name Usage

According to Singapore Data Company, there are estimated to be 137 million .com domains registered. Around 1/3 are in use and contain relevant content and 1/3 appear to be unused. There’s also a 1/3 that seem to be in ‘limbo’, used for other purposes that they’ve speculated.



In 2016 Verisign reported 334.6 million registered domain names. The registration of these TLDs had increased around 7.9 million from the previous quarter. This represented a growth of around 38.2 million domain names each year. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get completely accurate figures regarding registered domain names.

Registering a Domain

When you register a domain name, it will be regulated by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). You can actually use the ICANN website to locate a domain name registrar and register a domain with them. The cost of doing so will depend on the TLD and the registrar that you choose.

Registering a domain name can be done in a number of ways. Like I mentioned earlier, you can register a domain with your chosen web host. Most web hosts will offer domain names at competitive prices as they can sell them onto you for discounted prices. As you’ve already seen, many of them offer domains for free as part of your web hosting package. But, you don’t have to use a web host if you want to register a domain.

There are plenty of domain name registrars that are independent to web hosting or other services. The main reason web hosts or web development/design companies sell domain names is because it makes sense to get everything together. You’ll need to create your website (or use a website builder), purchase web hosting and a domain name in order to make your website live.

I’ll let you into a little secret. You can get domain names for free from certain domain name registrars.

Step-by-step to Register a Domain

Registering a domain name is pretty simple once you know what you’re doing. To ensure that you know how to register a domain name, I’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide.


BlueHost domain registration


  1. Choose your domain name registrar or web host. If you’re feeling a little stuck as to where to go, you can check ICANN’s list of domain registrars who they deem reputable.
  2. Check your domain name. Your domain name registrar or hosting service will have a domain search function. This tool will check whether your chosen domain name is available. If your domain name isn’t available, they may suggest some alternative domain names to give you some inspiration.
  3. Provide your details. When you register a domain name, you will probably be asked for some personal details. This is completely normal and your details will be registered against the WHOIS database. You can select whether your profile is public or private, however, you may have to pay to keep your details private (which I recommend).
  4. Purchase your domain. When you’re ready to go ahead with your domain name, you’ll need to pay for it. Most domain name registrars or web hosting will allow you to register your domain for a certain amount of time. This is usually 1 year, but some allow 2 years or more. Prices will depend on your TLD and how ‘valuable’ your domain name is considered.
  5. Link your domain. In order for your website to be visible online, you’ll need to link your domain name to it. Domain name registrars and web hosts will have the tools you need to do this. Most of them will have FAQs if you’re not sure how to proceed.


Why it’s useful to have a Registered Domain

Apart from the obvious, there are several advantages to having a registered domain name. In some cases, you won’t have to register a domain name for your website to be accessible on the internet. Some companies like website builders will offer sub-domains as part of their free packages. For example, Wix has a free plan where you create and host a website for free. They will provide you with a sub-domain that looks something like www.mywebsite.wix.com.

  1. Looks professional. Having a registered domain name (as oposed to a sub-domain) looks professional and adds credibility to your site. Sub-domains are known to be offered for free and therefore don’t look very credible.
  2. Easy to find. A domain name makes it easier for visitors and potential visitors to find your website. Regardless of whether you change website builder, web developer, or web host, your domain name stays the same.
  3. Email address. Registering a domain name often means you’ll be able to get a professional email address for your site. If a customer visits your site and wants to contact you, it looks a lot better if they can email you with a recognisable domain name.


Cost of Domain Names

Now that we’ve covered what a domain name is and where to get one, it’s worth talking about the cost of registering a domain. As I mentioned earlier, you can actually get a domain name for free, but there may be restrictions on length of term, TLD etc.


123 reg domain name search


If you’re serious about registering a domain name with a reputable registrar or web host, let’s understand the cost behind it:

Choice of TLD
Length of words or word combinations
Length of registration term
Domain auctions

Above are some factors which can affect the cost of your domain. Certain TLDs may be more expensive to register than others. Often .com domains are more costly because they are more sought after. This is also the case when using popular words or keywords within your domain name.

When you register a domain name, you’ll be asked for the length of time you want to register it for. If you’re confident about your domain, it’s worth registering it for the longest time possible. On average, you’re looking at anywhere between 99p and £9.99 to register a domain name for a 12 month period.

If you want to protect your WHOIS privacy, most registrars will allow you to do this at an additional cost. This is entirely at the discretion of the domain registrar but usually comes in at around £5.99. As I said before, I really recommend protecting your privacy.

Unfortunately sometimes your perfect domain name can already be taken. There are a range of domain name auction sites out there, as well as domain registrars. You can often find the domain name you want but may have to bid on it or buy it outright at a high cost.


Can I transfer my domain?

This is something I get asked quite often. In short, yes you can transfer your domain. As long as you keep paying the fee for your domain, you can ‘take it with you’ to other locations. What I mean by this is that if you bought a domain name from GoDaddy, you could then transfer it to Wix, and so on.

NameCheap GoDaddy Wix

In fact, you could do this as many times as you like (though I’d recommend choosing a location and sticking with it).


Why would you transfer your domain?

Following on from the above, it’s important to understand why you would want to transfer your domain. The most common reason for transferring a domain is to keep everything in one place. For example, if you purchased a domain name from GoDaddy but started building your website on Wix, it’s handy to have both your domain and website in one location.

If you don’t fancy relocating your domain name, you can just point your domain name at a different location. If you purchase a domain via a domain registrar, you can update your name servers to point at your website builder. This ensures your domain registrar remains the same, but your website is visible through your website builder.


Is it best to purchase a domain name through a registrar or website builder?

If you’re wondering whether it’s best to purchase you domain name through a registrar, or through your website builder, I can help you answer that. Both options have pros and cons, and really depend on your own wants and needs. Let’s take a look at both options:

Website Builder

Some website builders like Wix will give you a free domain for the first year
If you use a website builder for both your domain and website, your domain will automatically connect to your site
After the first year you will need to renew your domain. Doing this through a website builder can often be more costly
If you move to a different website builder, you’ll need to transfer your domain to your new website builder


Domain Registrar

If you switch your website builder, you can update the name servers via your domain registrar (can take up to 24 hours)
It’s often cheaper to purchase and renew your domain through a registrar
Connecting your domain name to a website builder takes a little more admin work


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