You have a list of blog names ready, and now you want to know where to buy a domain name for your blog. This decision can be confusing because there are so many options. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered!
In this post, I will go over what you should look for in a quality domain name registrar, and what to avoid.
I have personally used Namecheap for all of my domain purchases, but that is certainly not your only option. There are several reputable domain registrars out there that I would feel comfortable using.
But I am going to recommend that you try to stick with something mainstream (I will explain why later in this post).
By the time you are done reading this post, you will have all the information you need to know which company you want to use for buying your domain name. And you will be ready to make that important purchase needed in order to start a blog.
This post is all about where to buy a domain name for your blog.
Let’s dive in!
Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Name Registrars
What is a Domain Name Registrar?
In order to have a blog, you have to purchase a domain name, and domain names are purchased from a domain name registrar.
Without domain names, we would have to enter a string of numbers known as IP addresses, which would be difficult for us humans to remember.
The domain name registrars don’t own the domains. They are owned by an organization in charge of managing all domains called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.
Companies are allowed to apply to sell and register domain names on behalf of others. These companies become domain registrars.
Since they all pretty much do the same thing, we want to figure out what makes one domain name registrar better than another.
What Makes a Good Domain Name Registrar?
There are some qualifications you will want to look for in a good domain registrar:
What Domain Extensions Does it Offer?
Not all domain registrars sell the same domain extensions. Domain extensions are those letters that come after the “dot.” And there are more now than ever: .com, .net, .info, .blog, .beer, etc. (Yes, “.beer” really is a domain extension.)
Some extensions are only for certain uses. For example, .gov is for a government agency, .edu is for an educational entity, and .org is for a non-profit organization.
I recommend choosing a registrar that sells “.com” extensions as it is the most common and gives you the most flexibility in terms of the content.
That being said, if you want to know which domain extension is best for Search Engine Optimization, Google has made it very clear that: “Using a new domain ending won’t hurt your search presence or SEO.”
So if you really want to get creative with your domain name, don’t hold back.
When you’re first getting started blogging, you want to keep your costs as low as possible. You will want to look at which domain registrars offer the best prices for the initial purchase and for renewal.
Pay close attention to this. In the course of my research, I noticed that some domain name registrars appear to offer amazing prices for the first year, but they make up for it in year two.
Another thing I noticed is that sometimes what appears to be a super awesome introductory rate for the first year only applies if you purchase the domain for two years, which I don’t recommend when you’re first getting started.
You will have to spend some time working in the user panel of the platform when you are setting up your blog or in other situations when you need to prove you own the domain.
The good thing is that in 2022 most domain registrars seem to have this figured out. I didn’t find a single domain registrar that didn’t have an easy-to-use platform.
FREE Domain Owner Privacy Options
One of the things you will want to look for is a domain registrar that will protect your personal information from the public at no additional cost. This is known as WHOIS privacy.
Simply put: don’t use a domain registrar that doesn’t include this feature.
But pay attention, because there are some domain registrars that include this in the cost of the domain and there are some that make you pay extra for this.
There are enough domain registrars that offer this service for free, so I wouldn’t go with one that doesn’t.
Because security is so important, you also want to make sure that your domain registrar has two-factor authentication (2FA).
You may have noticed more and more online retailers requiring you to enter a code that they send via text message or some other means such as an authenticator app in order to access your account.
This is additional security that makes it harder for would-be hackers to log into your account.
Do not use any domain name registrar that does not include this additional layer of security.
What to Avoid in a Domain Registrar?
Combining Domain Registration With Web Hosting Plans
Some domain registrars also give you the option of purchasing hosting services. I recommend that you avoid combining your domain registrar with your hosting company.
While this may be tempting because it means fewer companies to keep track of, it can complicate things if you end up being unhappy with the quality of the hosting service or the domain service.
Also, the hosting services offered by these domain registrars are not rated very well. For these reasons, I am only going to look at domain registrars that do not require you to also purchase hosting through them.
Stick With Something Mainstream
Unless you are super techy, I highly recommend that you stick with a domain registrar that is more mainstream.
Here’s why: throughout the course of your blogging business, you will have to go through the process of verifying your domain or integrating your domain with another platform. This will happen in the following circumstances:
- When you set up hosting services
- When you purchase a professional branded email address
- When you set up an email marketing platform
- If you use a third-party landing page or funnel-building platform such as ClickFunnels or Leadpages
- And Others
These platforms will typically provide step-by-step instructions about how to perform these necessary tasks, BUT they typically only include instructions for the most commonly used domain registrars.
And if they don’t have tutorials for your domain registrar, it will be easy to find tutorials elsewhere on the internet.
Where to Buy a Domain Name For Your Blog?
Below I give you the details of five mainstream domain name registrars.
BUT after doing my research there are only two that I recommend using: Namecheap and Google Domains.
It came down to two factors: price and transparency.
What I noticed is that some registrars will dangle what appears to be an amazing price in front of you, but when you get into the details, it’s not what it appears.
1. Namecheap [TOP PICK]
Why I like Namecheap:
- Namecheap has been in business for 20 years and has a solid reputation.
- The prices are very reasonable for both the first year and renewal.
- Namecheap is very transparent about all the costs and services.
- Namecheap has several privacy options to protect your domain including FREE domain privacy and two-factor authentication.
- Namecheap is also very easy to use and has a great domain search tool.
2. Google Domains [TOP PICK]
Why I like Google Domains:
- Google has a ton of domain extensions to choose from.
- If you already have a Gmail account and you like the Google ecosystem, this might be the easiest to use as it connects with your existing Google account. (You will not need a separate login.)
- You will be able to set up your professional email address through the same system.
- Even though Google doesn’t offer a discounted rate for the first year, I appreciate knowing that it will always be $12 per year.
- All of the information about its domains is very transparent, which I really appreciate.
3. Ionos by 1&1
Additional Details About IONOS:
- IONOS has a ton of domain extensions. This might be a good choice for you if you are looking for something unique. See a full list HERE.
- IONOS comes with a free email branded email address.
- IONOS has managed domains for more than 30 years. It manages approximately 12 million domains.
- If you need to start-up costs to be as low as possible, this might be a good choice.
- One downside is that they charge extra for two-factor authentication, which should be standard for any online business these days, in my opinion.
More Information About GoDaddy
- GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world. It manages more than 77 million domains.
- GoDaddy has great first-year prices. So if you’re trying to keep start-up costs as low as possible, this might be a good choice.
- GoDaddy also offers email services (at an additional cost).
- The reason why GoDaddy isn't a Top Pick is because of the renewal prices. These might be some of the highest renewal prices on the market.
- I also think the $0.01 price is a bit deceiving because you only get that price if you pay for two years.
Additional Information About Domain.com:
- Domain.com gives the option of purchasing a Google Workspace account as an add-on.
- Domain.com displays the first year pricing front and center, but to find out the renewal rate, I had to go digging until I found it. I do not like when there is a lack of transparency like this. This type of information should be more prominently displayed.
- Domain has a very low rating on Trustpilot, which I see as a red-flag.
- For the reasons stated above, Domain.com is not a Top Pick for me.
Go Purchase that Domain!
Now that you know what to look for in a domain name registrar and how the top domain registrars compare to each other, it's time to go purchase that domain.
Which domain registrar are you going to use? Is there another domain registrar you would like me to review?
Tell me in the comments below!