Domain registrars should do one specific thing: allow you to choose and register a domain name for your website. However, it helps when they also have options like DDoS protection and other security measures. We’ve focused on price for this guide, as well as factors like free WHOIS protection. Domain registration services should also provide assistance in connecting customer domains to websites. This can be done either through a knowledge base or with the hands-on help of the customer support team.
What you need to know about domain registrars
A domain registrar is a service that “sells” domain names. When you register a domain name, you don’t actually own it, but rent or lease it, which is why you need to renew your domain name every year or term. There are some add-on services you should be aware of before choosing a domain registrar.
Why WHOIS Privacy Matters
Without going too deep into what ICANN and WHOIS are, suffice it to say that it is the not-for-profit corporation that is responsible for Internet security and the naming structure of websites such as ‘She is. It requires anyone who registers a domain to provide accurate identifiable contact information, including name, address, email, and phone number. Not everyone is comfortable with this information being public.
Domain registrars have found a way to protect your information while providing ICANN with the information they need. These domain privacy features replace your information with the registrar’s information, at least publicly. Anyone can look up who registered a domain name, so domain privacy can reduce spam for you and keep you safe.
What is the difference between domain extensions?
Perhaps the most popular domain extension is .com, but other TLDs include .net, .org, .edu, and .gov. There are literally hundreds more to choose from, and the less popular extensions are generally less expensive, with a few exceptions. .io and .co have exploded in popularity recently, so they are more expensive.
Some extensions are limited and you cannot purchase them unless you meet certain requirements. Restricted extensions include .edu and .gov. Overall, all extensions work the same way. The .com extension is preferred because it is easy to remember.
Tips for choosing a domain name
Since .com is so popular, you may have trouble finding your business name available as .com. You can try one of the more obscure extensions, such as .info, .store, .shop or any other of the hundreds available. If you’re determined to get a .com, consider using modifications to your business name.
Assume “ghostlycastle.com” is not available, then try these changes:
- Add articles, such as “a”, “the” or “une” (aghostlycastle.com, theghostlycastle.com)
- Try adding another word to your domain (ghostlycastleexperience.com, myghostlycastle.com)
- Optionally include a hyphen (ghostly-castle.com, the-ghostly-castle.com)
Warning: It should be noted that many of the domain registrars we include in our list of the best domain name registrars are subsidiaries of Endurance International Group (EIG), including Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com and BuyDomains. The fact that they’re all under one umbrella shouldn’t affect the service you receive for domain registration, but it’s good to know.