The 4 Absolute Best Domain Registrars to Use in 2022

Domain registration is the first step to take when building a website. And to launch your small business website successfully, you need to find a trusted domain registrar. The best domain registrars are cost-efficient, secure, and should also provide quality support. They also have value-added features, like web hosting and advanced security features. In this article, we’ve shortlisted the top domain registrar to help you find the perfect choice.

Here are the top four domain registrar services:

  • Google Domains: Best overall domain name registrar in terms of security, support, and domain options
  • Hover: Excellent domain name registrar for website owners needing multiple domain registrations
  • Bluehost: Perfect domain name registrar for websites built on WordPress due to its integration and optional web hosting
  • 1&1 IONOS: Great budget-friendly domain name registrar for websites that are on a tight budget

Pro tip: You may be eligible for a free domain name through your web hosting provider or site builder plan. Learn more about getting a free domain and building your small business website.

Top 4 Domain Registrars in 2022

How We Evaluated the Best Domain Name Registrars

It’s vital to get the right domain name for your business website, and with so many ways to register a domain, it can be confusing to figure out which is right for you. In this article, we reviewed and analyzed the top domain name registrars based on factors that matter most to small businesses.

We evaluated each provider based on the following criteria:

  • Pricing: Each web hosting provider should not start higher than $10 for each domain. Some domain endings are more expensive than others, and we made sure each of the best domain registrar services offer cheaper options.
  • Ease of use: We removed highly complicated domain name registrars that require multiple steps (and confusing setup practices) to get a domain.
  • Customer service: Every domain name registrar on this list has to be reachable and based on reviews, we made sure issues were resolved.
  • Security: All of the domain name registrar services on this list have to offer a significant amount of security features, including verification steps, WHOIS privacy, and a free SSL (for 1&1 IONOS only).

After considering the above criteria, we found that Google Domains is the best overall domain registrar for small businesses. This is due to its transparency and competitively priced domains that come with extra features built-in, such as domain name privacy.

Visit Google Domains

Google Domains: Best Overall Domain Name Registrar

Google Domains


Google Domains logo

What We Like

  • Transparent pricing that doesn’t increase upon renewal
  • Free domain name privacy
  • Easily set up business email with Google Workspace
  • Provides domain name insights to help you choose the right domain

What’s Missing

  • Does not offer web hosting or a website builder, like Bluehost
  • Business email is robust, but not cheap at $12 per month

Best For

  • Websites working closely with Google tools, like Google Workspace
  • Websites that don’t want the hassle of complicated domain name registration
  • Websites that want the best security Google has to offer

Pricing: Starts at $7 per year

Google Domains offers in-demand domains, like the popular .com, starting at just $7 per year. The domain name registrar is well integrated with other Google tools, which makes managing your domain extremely easy from your Google account. Google Domains, however, might not be as cheap as 1&1 IONOS or Bluehost (depending on the domain ending).

In order to get a professional email using your domain, connect Google to Google Workspace. Learn more about the benefits of using Gmail for your business email.

Visit Google Domains

Hover: Best for Registering Multiple Domains at Once

Hover


Hover logo

What We Like

  • Domain name privacy included
  • Discounts available for bulk orders
  • Top-rated customer support

What’s Missing

  • Business email must be purchased separately, unlike IONOS, which includes email for free
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Does not offer web hosting services

Best For

  • Businesses that want to get premium domains and those that have multiple websites that need to be registered
  • Websites that want a more unique domain name

Pricing: Starts at $4.99, but could go up to $2,499 per year (depending on the domain name)

Hover is a domain name registrar that works best for businesses owning multiple websites. This domain name registrar makes the process easier and allows you to choose however many domains you want. Its selection might be a bit too extreme for some website owners, however, unlike Bluehost that focuses on the .com, .tech, .org, and other popular domains.

Hover lacks a free email, unlike Bluehost that includes 2GB email addresses. In order to get a business email with your domain, you’ll have to purchase it separately for $20 a year with 10GB of storage included. This option is not the most efficient for single domain registrations.

Visit Hover

Bluehost: Best Domain Name Registrar for WordPress

Bluehost


Bluehost logo

What We Like

  • Competitively priced
  • Free domain with hosting plans
  • One-click WordPress installation

What’s Missing

  • Fewer domain extensions available
  • Ultra-low pricing comes with a long-term contract

Best For

  • Businesses that want to build their websites on WordPress
  • Businesses that want affordable .website, .tech, and .org domains

Pricing: Starts at $1.99, but could go up to $27.99 per year (depending on domain name)

Bluehost is known for its web hosting services—offering a free domain for a year. However, it should be better known as the best domain name registrar when working with WordPress. It is the closest to an all-in-one service offering domains, web hosting, emails, and VPS hosting. The problem with Bluehost is that the additional security services require the “Privacy + Protection” add-on, costing $11.88 a year.

If you don’t have the budget for added security features, consider 1&1 IONOS as an alternative. It offers a free Wildcard SSL with its domains, adding to the security of your website. Although Bluehost web hosting plans also offer this, should you choose different hosting, you won’t get a free SSL (unless the web hosting also offers a free SSL).

You can also read our detailed Bluehost review to know more about what it offers.

Visit Bluehost

1&1 IONOS: Ultra-low Introductory Domain Prices

1&1 IONOS


Ionos logo

What We Like

  • $1 domains (introductory pricing)
  • Domain privacy included
  • Support includes business and marketing consultations

What’s Missing

  • Renewal fee jumps to $15, which is higher than Google Domains and Hover
  • Doesn’t offer a true cPanel, like Bluehost
  • Users report issues with billing

Best For

  • Short-term websites planned to last less than a year
  • Starting businesses that need constant consultations

Pricing: Starting at $1 per year (depending on domain name)

1&1 IONOS is perfect for starting a website due to its extremely low fees. What makes this the best domain registrar for starting businesses is that for the first year, you’ll get the cheapest domain you can purchase. It also comes with a free 2GB email address and free transfer (should you decide to switch from Bluehost or Google Domains).

1&1 IONOS has high renewal rates, making it hard for website owners in the long run, unlike Google Domains at a standard price of $7 per month. It also doesn’t specify its WHOIS privacy (security measures), but offers a free Wildcard SSL.

Visit 1&1 IONOS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better: .com or .net?

Both .com and .net are top-level domains (TLDs). However, each domain represents a different type of business. The .com extension is short for commercial, meaning any sort of business or enterprise, whereas the .net is short for network, representing the technology or web services industry. If you’re still on the fence, get more information on .com vs .net.

What do I do if my desired domain name isn’t available?

Domains are notoriously challenging to find, so if you’re seeking a fairly common or very short domain, chances are it’s already taken. In this case, try adding a keyword, location, or verb. For example, a cafe named Sunrise Cafe might try sunrisecoffee.com, sunrisetampa.com, or drinksunrise.com. For more inspiration, check out these domain name ideas.

What is domain name privacy & is it worth it?

Domain name privacy is typically offered as an add-on for an additional fee when registering a domain name. It keeps the contact information used to register the domain private. In other words, no one will be able to see the contact information by searching for your domain. It’s great for reducing spam and junk mail, but it’s ideal for online-based businesses that want to keep their physical addresses private (especially home-based businesses).

Bottom Line

The best overall domain name registrar—for those who only need to purchase a domain—is Google Domains based on the security, support, and domain options it offers. However, if you plan to build a website or need additional business tools and services, such as business email, the best value is choosing a low-cost, yet feature-rich web hosting plan like Bluehost. It includes a free domain and free business email with Bluehost’s hosting plans that cost as little as $2.95 per month for a 12-month contract.

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