A domain name translates the IP address of your website into the user-friendly line of text that composes your URL. When you first purchase a domain name, you can elect to pay for one or more years. Your registrar may offers price specials for multiple domains or multiple years, but you must make sure your domain is renewed each year. You may be able to automatically renew your domain registration with your hosting company and/or registrar.
The cost of domain names can range from $0 to $50 or more, depending on the registrar you use and the domain name you select. Some web hosting companies also provide domain registration services and may offer free domain names with certain hosting plans. However, if you must purchase a domain name, consider one of the five best cheap domain registrars that we have discovered for 2016. We evaluated the following domain registrars based on initial cost, renewal fees, value-added services, and reliability.
GoDaddy owns a large market share of the registrar business. They have built their brand by offering value-added services, such as their mini-hosting plan with drag-and-drop site builder software and a free email address, along with cheap domain registration. The company offers amazing 24/7 support via telephone, chat and email. The knowledgeable support staff is always cheerful, helpful and technically adept. Additionally, GoDaddy maintains an extensive library of Help documentation to cover all topics related to their products and services. As with Name.com, GoDaddy’s domain search tool offers alternatives to your entries.
Navigating the site is made easier by GoDaddy’s use of high-contrast colors in the site menus and categories. The site is highly informative, yet a user doesn’t feel overwhelmed as the site design allows for easy discovery and perusal of GoDaddy’s many offerings. The user interface is designed for easy skimming if a user chooses, and at the same time, succinctly provides a full description of anything that a user wants to know.
GoDaddy currently offers “.com” extensions for $2.99 for the first year. Eight new TLDs are available for $4.99 each for the first year. These extensions include “.rocks,” “.site,” “.tech,” “.xyz,” “.online,” “.club,” “.biz,” “.co” and ”online.” Subsequent years are charged at the rate of $14.99 per year. Though GoDaddy charges an extra fee for private registration, if you purchase five or more domains, private registration is free.
Hosting at Godaddy
In addition to traditional domain services, GoDaddy also offers hosting plans, WHOIS services, and domain investing and brokering. Their sales and support teams can help you even if you have a domain that you simply want to park and use it to make some money at it; they can also help if you want to buy/sell domains either in bulk or one at a time. Their WHOIS service operates in a two-fold manner – one can choose to allow seekers to see your ownership information, or, if one prefers more privacy once can opt for GoDaddy’s “Domains By Proxy” service. Business site registrations can opt for “Protected Registration” in order to keep their domains safe from malicious transfers.
GoDaddy currently manages over 60 million domains for 13 million customers.
Consistently the least expensive domain registrar and first on our list is 1and1.com. 1and1.com sells “.com” domains for as low as $.99 for the first year. Subsequent years cost $14.99. 1and1 also sells many of the new top level domain extensions, however, the prices for these TLDs vary from $.99 for domains with extensions such as “.space” and “.info” to $49.99 for “.bio.” If you already own a domain name for your personal or business website, consider including alternative extensions to strengthen your online footprint, secure your brand and keep your competitors from purchasing domains similar to yours.
1and1.com has a 25 year history in the domain registration business, and the company serves over 11 million customers. When you purchase a domain name from 1and1.com, you also receive a free five page website, private registration to protect your personal data and an email account with 2 GB of storage space. If you currently own your domain name but you want to move it to a 1and1.com hosting plan, 1and1 will transfer your domain free of charge. If you use 1and1 to host your site, your domain registration is also free.
1and1.com Hosting Service
As with most other domain registrars, 1and1 also offers hosting, ecommerce, and the option of either building your site yourself or having it done by 1and1. They have several hosting packages, including managed cloud hosting. If one chooses to create one’s own site, 1and1 also has a template package for that; ecommerce users can decide to build their own site. Email and marketing services are also available if needed, as well as SEO.
They also offer assistance with social media marketing, including YouTube and tips on creating a business Facebook page. 1and1 also has articles about marketing on social media, and some pointers on converting Twitter followers into website visitors. Users will find quite a number of apps to help them with various functions and utilities. Over 300 apps are offered for customer use, from business hours apps to customer contact, social networks, productivity, and documentation apps. Users can keep in touch with customers, link with various social networks, add shopping carts, and perform hundreds of other tasks through their website.
Another name that is consistently mentioned on lists of the best cheap domain name registrars is NameCheap.com. As the company name suggests, this is a discount registrar so you can expect a few shortcuts when it comes to customer service. For example, telephone support is not available. You must use chat, email or forums to correspond with support staff. However, NameCheap contracts the Kayako support system to handle all technical issues. NameCheap.com is regarded as one of the best, most responsive registrars and web hosts in the business.
The annual charge for a domain name through NameCheap.com is $10.69, however, you must pay an extra $2.99 for private registration. NameCheap.com also offers web hosting and your domain name is free with their hosting plans. The company offers a 14 day money-back guarantee for their hosting plans.
NameCheap currently has over two million customers and manages over five million domains. An interesting fact is that NameCheap runs several redundant data centers in North America dn Europe – most domain registrars (and many companies) use only one data center. This distinction allows them to continue operating even if one of the data centers fails for whatever reason.
Hosting Reseller Packages
Another particular distinction that NameCheap enjoys is allowing customers to be resellers, and they offer four different hosting reseller packages that range anywhere from $16.95 per month to $46.95 per month. And any hosting account that you create is separate from your own personal account, allowing you to create your own hosting packages to sell to your clients. NameCheap has an entire set of tools and support available should one decide to offer hosting to their clients.
NameCheap.com recently gained notoriety in the political arena as vocal proponents of net neutrality and the SOPA act, speaking out against GoDaddy and their opposing stand.
Name.com offers “.com” registration for $10.99 per year, which is one of the best prices available for the services of a reputable registrar. However, Name.com offers a value-added service for those who seek to obtain a domain name already registered to another party. The Name.com domain search tool offers alternative domain names when you search availability, and the tool also lists those that are up for auction. Name.com’s Domain Nabber service will monitor your chosen domain for a fee and when it becomes available, the service will grab the name for you. The fee for this feature runs between $20 and $50.
Name.com offers a huge selection of the new domain extensions, priced from $4.99 to $169.99 per year, and they also offer low cost web hosting. The company charges the equivalent of the price of the domain name to transfer the name to their servers, so if the domain costs $10.99 per year, there will be a $10.99 charge to transfer the domain.
Inexpensive Hosting Plans
Hosting plans at Name.com are very inexpensive, regardless of whether you are building your first website or are a seasoned web professional. Plans start at the current sale price of $6.99 per month (regular price is $9.99 per month), and if purchased as a yearly plan, the price drops to $4.99 per month (current sale). The regular yearly plan starts at $6.99 per month or approximately $84 per year. All plans come with 26 features (cPanel, instant setup, Perl, Python, unlimited FTP, etc.). The plan differences simply depend on how many websites you would like to build, how much bandwidth you need, and the like.
Name.com also has website builder with both template and drag-and-drop capabilities, and uses Gmail and Google Drive for its customers. In addition to the usual SSL certificates, Name.com also offers two-step verification for account access as an extra layer of security. This free service that they offer means that one will have to enter a code that is sent to one’s smartphone before their account can be accessed. They use Google Authenticator, which can be downloaded to one’s phone as an app, and customers have the option of using the “Authy” app for the codes.
Eventhough being the top reseller from Godaddy, FXDomains.com always keep their price among the lowest even it causes them a smaller margins. Register your “.com” domain name for $8.99 for the first year, and $9.99 for subsequent years with FXDomains.com. The company charges an extra $7.95 per year for private registration, however, they offer bulk discounts and waive this charge when you purchase six or more domains. Additionally, the price drops to $8.69 per domain name when you buy six or more names for three years or more. FXDomains also offers low cost hosting plans with user friendly website builder software and reseller services for entrepreneurs. The customer support center for FXDomains.com is located in the United States and they offer 24/7 telephone support. When you transfer your existing domain, FXDomains provides one free year of domain registration.
Domain reselling is also an option with FXDomains. They offer two reseller packages; one is a basic plan for $59.99 per year, and the other is their “pro” plan for $119.99 per year. The basic plan allows one to buy and sell domains, as well as offer domain/hosting services to their own customers. The “pro reseller” plan has everything that the basic plan has, and one can earn pay-per-click (PPC) commissions on any and all parked domains that their customers have.
FXDomains offers hosting, dedicated servers, and other services that are generally available with any domain registrar. Hosting plans start at $1.69 per month and include unlimited traffic and 30 GB of space. All of their hosting plans are customer-configurable before purchase. FXDomains also has a website builder and marketing tools that the customer can use, and FXDomains does operate a malware scanner for its customers’ sites.
FXDomains also operates through several data centers located in the United States, Europe, and Asia. They are one of the few who declare their sensitivity for the environment; products used to clean and to cool their data centers are eco-friendly. They also very clearly state their security commitment, with 24/7 staff and state-of-the-art security technology, perimeter detection systems, etc.
*FXDomains is a top reseller from Godady
When purchasing a domain name through any registrar, be mindful that the low price you pay for the initial year may dramatically increase in subsequent years. Do your due diligence to determine the cheapest, yet best, domain registrar for your needs over time. Factor in the cost of transferring an existing domain, and whether you will require private registration. If you need hosting when you purchase your domain, consider a plan with a company that will provide your domain registration free, at least for the first year.