If you’ve been searching for the ultimate guide to domain providers, look no further. We’ve researched the best domain registrars, all in one handy place, so you’ll know the best place to choose and buy a domain name.
If you have a great idea and need to buy a domain name, it can seem overwhelming when deciding where to register it. To help you understand more about some of the available options, we’ve explored registrar websites and other publicly available data to complete our registrar comparison every single year, so you don’t have to. While the information provided is accurate at the time of writing, it may be subject to change.
Be sure to check in each year to get the latest domain insights, and up your domain game each time you do.
Before we start investigating the best domain name registrars on the market, let’s make sure you understand what they are.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization that oversees and manages the domain name system. Known as the Internet phonebook, it manages IP addresses and matches them with domain names. Each top-level domain (TLD) is managed by official domain registries, who then work with registrars who offer domain names to the public.;
If we liken it to a supermarket, ICANN is the head office, the stockroom is the registry, and the registrar is a public-facing store.
Domain names can’t be owned outright. Instead, they are rented out for a period of time. ICANN-accredited registrars enable you to find, register, and manage a domain name. Protocols are set by ICANN to ensure that domains are only registered by one person at a time. Once you have registered a domain name, they update the registry. The registrar domain service includes the use of an account where you can renew and manage your domain.
During our research, we looked at the following:
For our investigation into the top 10 domain registrars of 2023, we looked at organizations whose primary focus is domain name registration, and that ranked high in Google for domain-related keywords. Our top 10 include (in no particular order) Domain.com, IONOS, Name.com, GoDaddy, Porkbun, Hover, Network Solutions, Namesilo, Hostinger, and Namecheap.
Looking for Domains.google? They stopped doing business on September 7, 2023.
If you don’t have the time to read our article and would rather see a quick summary, you can head straight to our final results table at the bottom of the page.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Let’s start with domain registration. To determine how great a registrar is, we looked at the number of top-level domains (TLDs) available, .com registration and renewal price, the ability to search for a domain in bulk, loyalty offers, and domain auctions (or marketplace).
The gold winner for this category is Namecheap, with 2,353 top-level domains available for registration. Network Solutions comes in second with 875, and Porkbun wins bronze with 525 TLDs. The lowest of our registrars is Hostinger, with 47 TLDs.
Source: Registrars’ websites
We looked at how much it costs to register a .com domain name for a year, and how much the renewal price is. The .com domain is the most popular domain going, and when it comes to picking a domain provider, a competitive price is important.
As you would usually register a domain name for longer than one year, it’s a good idea to calculate the costs upfront. Although the first year may be heavily discounted, the renewal price may skyrocket, bringing up the total cost of registration. By looking at the full amount, you can easily see which registrar is the most attractive, price-wise. As with all our data, the information provided is accurate at the time of writing, it may be subject to change.
Namecheap comes out on top for first-year registrations, offering .com domains for just $5.88, then $14.58 each year for renewals. If you're a new customer, check out the promo price for .com. Porkbun comes in at second place offering $9.37 for first-year registrations and $10.37 for renewals, and IONOS offers a minimum registration term of two years for $1, and then charges $17 for renewal each year after.
|1st year/1st term registration fee||$5.98 (with coupon code)||$9.37||$1||$13.95||$9.99||$11.99||$11.99||$15.99||$11.99||$25|
|Post 1st year registration fee||$10.28||$10.37||$17||$13.95||$15.99||$13.99||$16.99||$17.99||$21.99||$20|
|Minimum registration term||1 year||1 year||2 years||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
*Source: Registrars’ websites. Prices may be subject to change
If you want to register multiple domains simultaneously, you’ll need to be able to bulk domain search, and luckily, the majority of our registrars offer this service. Namecheap and all those ticked offer bulk domain search. Domain.com allows you to register through the Bulk Register tool in their control panel, and Network Solutions offers up to twenty domains at one time.
|Bulk Domain Search||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||❌||❌|
*Source: Registrars’ websites
Some registrars offer discounts when you bulk buy domains, and it’s a great way to encourage customers to stay loyal when choosing a domain registrar. When it comes to domain management, if everything is in one place, it’s easier to manage, so it benefits the customer too.
Our research found that Namecheap offers bulk-buy discounts, and Name.com and Hover offer them for renewals only. GoDaddy offers bulk-buy discounts but you have to pay a monthly fee.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
If you want to know more about bulk-buying discounts, check out how our tiers work in our VIP Rewards Club.
Sometimes you might want to offload a domain name, or discover a domain name that’s been taken, but the owner is willing to take offers. If you’re looking for domain selling sites, a domain auction or marketplace is the perfect place to buy and sell registered domain names.
Network Solutions, Porkbun, Name.com, GoDaddy, Hover, Namesilo, and Namecheap all offer domain auctions. These are the best websites for selling your domains in 2023.
If you’re looking for a fantastic domain registrar, you want to choose one that’s trusted and has established authority in the industry. For this, we looked at Trustpilot scores, domain authority, date of site registration, and Google trends.
When customers want to read, write, or research companies, they will often look at Trustpilot scores. It’s an easy way to understand how other consumers perceive a brand. A high score combined with a large number of reviews will help you to determine which brands are well-liked.
The higher the sample size, the more accurate the score will be, so from the table, we can see that Porkbun, GoDaddy, and Hostinger are considered popular and reputable domain name registrars.
Developed by digital marketing software company Moz, Domain Authority predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages. This score is based on factors including linking root domains, and the total number of links. Links from highly trusted websites are seen as more impressive, and therefore carry more weight to them. For example, if a website like Forbes or the BBC links to your site, this link is seen as having more authority than several links from small, unknown websites.
The table above shows that Namecheap and GoDaddy come out on top, with Namesilo and Network Solutions following closely.
Next, we looked at when each Registrar’s website domain was registered. Using this information we can determine the reliability of a registrar in this industry. If a website has been around for a long time, it must be doing something right!
|Date of site registration||1994-07-01||1995-01-03||1996-07-12||1998-04-27||1999-03-02||1999-12-24||2000-02-29||2000-08-11||2002-11-23||2009-08-18|
Domain.com is the oldest website and it registered in 1994, followed by Name.com in 1995, and Hover in 1996.
We used Exploding Topics which analyzes Google Trends, e-commerce sites, Reddit and more, to look at searches, conversations, and mentions across the Internet. Exploding Topics helps us understand how popular our registrars are.
We looked at 2018 to 2023 and found that in terms of growth over a five-year period, the top three are Hostinger (1011% growth), Porkbun (527%), and Namecheap (83%).
When selecting a domain registrar, security features matter. You want to know that you’re being looked after, that you’re safe from security threats, and your data matters. In this section, we look at privacy protection, account security, and DNSSEC.
Website registrants are required to provide contact information when they register a domain, which is made public through a protocol that delivers database content, known as WHOIS.
Domain privacy protection is a service that replaces this contact information with anonymous information, keeping your real details hidden from WHOIS. We looked at our registrar’s websites to identify if they offered domain privacy protection and whether it was a free or paid service.
Namecheap, IONOS, Porkbun, and Domain.com offer free privacy protection. GoDaddy, Namesilo, Network Solutions and Hover also offer free privacy protection, but it’s worth understanding what they offer. GoDaddy offers three privacy protection options. The basic option is free, but, like Namesilo, only hides details in GoDaddy’s WHOIS, not elsewhere. If you pay for the second two options, they include features that are already offered for free at some of the other registrars on our list.
Network Solutions offers a free service for the first billing cycle, then charges $1.99 every four weeks after this. Name.com offers privacy protection for $4.99 a year and this includes an SSL certificate. Finally, Domain.com charges $8.99 for privacy protection.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
Security features like two-factor authentication (2FA) help keep your mind at ease. When investigating the types of account security features, we focused on SMS, Mobile App, Device Authentication, and Backup/Recovery Codes.
When looking at the security features available, we found that Google offered the same options available for their main account, including Authenticator app, SMS, backup codes, Google prompts, and a security key.
We found that less than 50% of our registrars offered an SMS text message option, but over 50% offered an OTP.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC) are a set of protocols that add a layer of security to the DNS by authenticating the IP address. This helps to prevent users from being redirected to fraudulent websites. Read our Knowledgebase article What is DNSSEC? to find out more.
Our research showed that Namecheap, Porkbun, and Hover offer DNSSEC for default nameservers. GoDaddy offers DNSSEC through Premium DNS. Domain.com offers DNSSEC for domains using Google and third-party nameservers.
Network Solutions appeared to favor other services over DNSSEC as there was no information about it in its Knowledgebase.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
Next, we’ll take a look at how much support our registrars offer their customers. Registering and managing a domain can seem complicated, so great support is a huge benefit, especially for people new to the world of domains.
The best domain service must also have top-notch support! Here we looked at how easy it was to contact customer support and the type of support available. We found that while all of our registrars offered chat support, it was more challenging to locate this type of support on GoDaddy and Name.com.
GoDaddy, Domain.com, IONOS, Porkbun, Hover, Namesilo, and Network Solutions offer telephone support. Porkbun, Hover, Network Solutions, and Name.com all have office hours, whereas Namecheap and all those ticked offer chat and/or email support, 24/7.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
Sometimes customers prefer finding out information themselves, fixing their problems, or taking the time to learn about the products available at their registrar. We looked at the type of resources available and how easy it was to find them.
All of our registrars offer a Knowledgebase or how-to articles for their customers. We found that Network Solutions, Domain.com, and IONOS all had articles that were difficult to navigate, with IONOS showing lots of broken pages. Name.com was a positive experience and had lots of useful detailed information for their customers.
*Source: Registrars’ websites
It’s vital to do everything you can to make sure a user has a great experience. If customers are happy with a website and service, they are more likely to use it again and recommend it to others. We looked at user engagement and whether our registrar websites were easy to use on a mobile phone.
To see how our registrars fared against each other, we looked at user engagement using data from Similarweb, which uses estimated data rather than a direct measurement. The best domain sites are the ones that captivate an audience and are easy to understand. We used the metrics ‘average visit duration’, ‘pages per visit’, and ‘bounce rate’ to get a clear picture of the most engaging websites.
The table below suggests that both Hostinger and Hover are highly engaging.
These days, people are often browsing the web on their phones, instead of at the computer, and as a result, search engines consider mobile performance an important ranking factor. Top domain sites should provide a great experience on mobile, as well as on a desktop.
We wanted to see how easy it was to use our registrar websites on a mobile device. We found that Hover, Porkbun, IONOS, GoDaddy, Name.com, and Namecheap work well on mobile. Domain.com was hard to navigate, and Network Solutions had a crowded checkout process, which wasn’t user-friendly on mobile.
We also researched mobile page speed for the homepage of our registrars, looking at the average speed in seconds of a 4G connection on an iPhone 6/7/8, in the location of Virginia. If you’re looking at your mobile you’re more likely to be shopping on the go, and would expect a website to load fast. The smaller the number, the quicker a page loaded, and we found that Hostinger, Namesilo, and Namecheap came out on top.
Lastly, we looked at mobile traffic share. The Similarweb data below shows us that the majority of all site users visit from desktop devices.
Now that we’ve covered domain registration, trust and authority, security, support, and user experience, it’s time to look at some of the added extras that some of our domain registrars offer. Here, we will look at domain/URL forwarding, email forwarding, and more.
Domain or URL forwarding (also known as URL redirects) is when a user opens a URL, and a page with a different URL is shown. In other words, a user is forwarded onto a different webpage. This is used for URL shortening, preventing broken links, and to help registrants who manage multiple domains to refer visitors to one website.
We took a look to see if our 10 registrars offered domain forwarding for free. Hover, Porkbun, Namecheap, GoDaddy, IONOS, and Name.com offer it for free on their default nameservers. Network Solutions offers domain forwarding for $12.99 per domain name. And Hostinger offered no domain/URL forwarding service.
An email forwarding service is where you can create custom email addresses for your domain to receive your emails. Any emails that are sent to these email addresses will then be forwarded to an email address of your choosing.
We found that Name.com, GoDaddy, IONOS, Namecheap, and Porkbun offer email forwarding for free. Network Solutions and offers email forwarding as part of a paid email plan, and Hover offers the service for $5 a year.
It would be remiss of us to ignore the other products, such as hosting and SSL certificates, that each registrar offers. We’ve put together a useful table to give you an idea of what to expect from our ten best registrars.
|Secure Identity Verification||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Marketing & Brand Tools||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
Using Semrush we found some information that you might find interesting. A small disclaimer to reiterate — SimilarWeb data is not a direct measurement, but an estimation.
In the table below, you can see a breakdown of males and females, and the age range of people using the registrar websites.
Below we can see a breakdown of countries by usage. Here, we can see the majority of users can be found in the US, India, UK, and Canada.
Pop on your best outfit, it’s time for the results! After extensive research, we’ve compared domain registrars to help you decide the best domain name provider for your needs. Take a look at our handy table below to see how our registrars performed. As we have previously mentioned, the information you see is subject to change.
|Number of TLDs supported||1439||525||435||551||427||436||535||479||47||504|
|.COM 1st year registration price||$5.98||$11.99||$11.99||$11.99||$13.95||$1||$9.37||$15.99||$9.99||$25|
|Post 1st year registration fee||$10.28||$21.99||$16.99||$13.99||$13.95||$17||$10.37||$17.99||$15.99||$20|
|Minimum registration term||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||2 years||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|.COM renewal price||$15.88||$21.99||$19.49||$16.99||$13.95||$17||$10.37||$17.99||$15.99||$25|
|Bulk Domain Search||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||❌||❌||✔️|
|TrustPilot score & Number of reviews||4.1 out of 13.272 reviews||4.7 out of 69,026 reviews||4.3 out of 945 reviews||4.4 out of 863 reviews||4.5 out of 1,222 reviews||4.1 out of 17,121 reviews||4.8 out of 4,187 reviews||1.9 out of 44 reviews||4.5 out of 15,387 reviews||4.3 out of 1,856 reviews|
|Domain Authority (MOZ)||94||93||86||85||92||81||60||81||72||88|
|Date of website domain registration||2000-08-11||1999-03-02||1994-07-01||1995-01-03||2009-08-18||2000-02-29||1999-12-24||1996-07-12||2002-11-23||1998-04-27|
|2FA / Account security||Sms,|
|Sms, OTP, Security Key||None||Mobile App||Mobile App||Mobile App||Mobile App, Security Key||SMS, Mobile App, Recovery Codes||Mobile App||SMS, Recovery Codes|
|Customer support||Chat, Ticket/Email||Chat, Phone||Chat, Phone||Chat, Ticket/Email||Chat, Phone||Chat, Phone||Chat, Ticket/Email, Phone||Chat, Ticket/Email, Phone||Chat||Chat, Phone|
|Knowledgebase / Blog / Guides||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Mobile page speed, seconds||4.5||6.3||9.6||5.9||3.9||9.4||8.9||7.7||3.6||12.2|
|Domain / URL forwarding on the registrar's default nameservers||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||❌||✔️|
Thanks for reading our report on accredited registrars Domain.com, IONOS, Name.com, GoDaddy, Porkbun, Hover, Network Solutions, and Namecheap. We’d love to hear what you think about our article, so be sure to tag us and leave your comments on our social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.