Best domain name registrars

Most popular domain registrars in 2020

Looking to invest in powerful domain names to reinvent your brand? Or planning to launch a new business? We have 7 best recommendations for you. Before we introduce you to the best domain registries in the US and EU, let’s talk about how the IANA and domain registries work. Learning about global institutes will help you better understand how registrars work and your position in the value chain, as a domian name buyer or re-seller.

IANA and organization of domains in the world

The IANA stands for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. They are the internet’s oldest institution that stands for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources. IANA’s core role is to organize and ensure the worldwide internet network is running smoothly. They allocate and maintain unique codes and numebring systems that are used in protocols to operate the internet. Today, part of the IANA functions are run by the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI). The ICANN oversee how the PTI operate based on the policy for domain name operations and IP addressing determined by different stakeholders. In the ICANN’s policy framework, the development of Internet Protocols dictates how protocol assignments should be managed. This decision is arrived at within the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, and the Internet Architecture Board.

Three main functions in the IANA:
  1. Domain Names – management of the DNS root, .int, and .arpa domain and IDN Practices Resource
  2. Provide global IP and AS Number Pools to the Regional Internet Registries (RIPs).
  3. Manage Internet Numbering systems with standard bodies

Apart from driving policy decisions in the ICANN forums, The IANA plays an active role in outreach. They participate in discussions with TLD operators, Regional Internet Registries, and other relevant communities. The IANA provide manned helpdesks to interact with community users, such as protocol developers and operators of critical Internet infrastructure.

How do domain name registrars work?

A domain name registrar provides domain name registrations to the general public. A common misconception is registrar sell domain names when, in fact, they are actually leasing the domain names to users. Domain names are owned by registries and users can only be lessees of the domain names. All domain registrars are “de facto” domain names leasers.

Under the ICANN and registry law, users are allowed to locked-in at a constant renewal price for a maximum of 10 years. 1 year is the minimum duration to lease a domain.

Why are domain prices vary among registrars?

When domain prices are set very low, especially significantly lower than many other registrars, that’s typically what’s known as a “loss leader”. The price the customer pays to register the domain is often less than the price the registrar pays the registry for it. They aren’t making money on that registration.

This is a sales tactic to encourage registration of lots of domains of that type. However, the registration price is very rarely the permanent price for the domain. Domain registries can implement higher renewal charges in the subsequent years, so lessors can only benefit from low prices of domain names in the initial year.

Most common practice in the U.S. based domain name registrars tends to be jacking up all prices denominated in EUR, so they can earn a decent amount of conversion fees in proportion of how much users pay for their domains.

This is a good way for registries to price discriminate between users paying in EUR vs. those paying in USD. Individuals who are savvy enough to avoid these fees are generally Americans or Europeans who are entrepreneurs.

ccTLDs vs. gTLDs

A gTLD (generic top-level domain name) is generically associated with some domain class, such as .com (commercial), .net (originally created for Internet service providers), .org (for non-profit organizations and industry groups), .gov (U.S. government agencies), .mil (for the military), .edu for educational  institutions), .int (for international treaties or databases),  .biz (businesses), .info (open to anyone), .name (for personal registrations), .pro (for licensed professionals), .aero (for anything related to air transport), .museum (for museums); and .coop (for credit unions or other co-operative businesses).

For example, in the domain names, www.gmail.com and www.starbucks.com, .com is the chosen gTLD.

In addition to the gTLD, ccTLD is a country code top-level domain name. It is used to identify a specific national domicile for a site address, such as .au for Australia and .co for Columbia.

Top level domains types

The IANA defines the top-level domains into the following classifications:
  • infrastructure top-level domain (ARPA)
  • generic top-level domains (gTLD)
  • restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD)
  • sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
  • country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
  • test top-level domains (tTLD)

Domain Name Registries Recommendations

domaindiscount24

DomainDiscount24 Logo

Domaindiscount24 is a European domain registry, offering a range of extensions such as “.com” for U.S., “.at” for Austria, “.de” for Germany, “.ch” for Switzerland, “.es” for Spain, and “.cn” for China.  If you would like to lease a European domain name (including “.eu”), you must have a local registered agent and a valid local address in the EU country you wish to register your domain in.

If you intend to register a gTLD domain, we recommend you to go with other U.S. registries for lower pricing.

NameSilo

NameSilo Logo

 

NameSilo Registry

NameSilo includes the ICANN registration fees and WHOIS Privacy is free of charge. You can choose up to 10 years to commit to lease a domain. It’s a pretty awesome deal. They are charging at a reasonable rate in one year.

Dynadot

Dynadot Logo

Dynadot Domain Registry Pricing

Dynadot uses the discount tactic to draw users into paying for more domain names. Some domains are premium names where they give you renewal discount in the second year. For example moviesdb.co is $688 for the first year. They are offering this domain for $23 in the second year.

namecheap

namecheap

NameCheap Domain Price Grid

 

NameCheap Price Grid II

NameCheap includes an annual free subscription for the Whois Privacy feature, so you can hide your personal info from the public Whois database. The only additional charge is the 18-cent ICANN registration fee for each domain every year. If you register two domains at the same time and you chose a 2-year registration option for one of your domains, here’s the breakdown on your invoice:

Cost of Domain #1 + (Cost of Domain #2 x 2 years) 

($8.88 + $0.18) + ($8.88 + $0.18) x2 = $27.18

NameCheap Total For Two Domains

 

Porkbun

porkbun domain registry logo

Porkbun is having its first year sale on “.com”, “.net” and many more domain names for first time customers! And yes! They are a legit domain registrar accredited by the ICANN. Portbun’s one of the most amazing registrars based on Portland, Oregon. They take all sorts of payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Discovery, Diners Club, Paypal, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and USDCoin.

Sign up now to take advantage of this opportunity. If you happened to find a better price in another registrar the following year, you can always migrate your site before the next subscription cycle starts. Porkbun includes privacy whois and ICANN fees on the price tag. It’s a great U.S. domain registrar with many discount offers.

Porkbun Payment Method

Here’s an example for cogeniusDB’s pricing:

Porkbun Domain Registry Price List

Porkbun Registrar Price List 2
Porkbun Price List 3
internetbs

Internetbs.net is a domain registrar based in Bahamas. The pricing for domain names are very affordable with Whois privacy and ICANN fees included. Optional add-ons: SSL Certificate, Web hosting, and Email hosting.

Internetbs.net’s Web Hosting and Email Hosting Plans

Internetbs offers a discounted price at $50.26/year for users who’d like to keep their subscriptions for at least two years or more and up to ten years. Alternatively, users can also choose to subscribe the one-year hosting plan and select the hosting tier they wish to have based on their business needs.

internetbs.net web and email hosting prices

Internetbs SSL Certificates Pricing

SSL Certificate - internetbs.net

internetbs pricing

internetbs pricing #2

Internetbs.net Pricing Summary

internetbs.net cart

The standard pricing for the domain name ($8.99/year), SSL Certificate ($8.40/year), and Web Hosting ($50.26/year) will be amounted to $67.65 USD.

 

BlueHost

BlueHost

 

BlueHost is specializes in Web Hosting. If you are considering BlueHost, it’s better think about their web hosting plans. Their shared hosting plan starts from $3.95/month with free domain in the first year, 50 GB SSD Storage, and 24/7 support.

Domain names Pricing

bluehost domain name pricing

Getting the domain name alone cost more than the web hosting plan, even for the highest tier Pro Plan starting at $13.95/month. Ultimately, if you wanted to stick with BlueHost, it’d make sense to buy the share hosting plan along with the website for your company.

GoDaddy Pricing

GoDaddy Logo

GoDaddy sells domains in a bundle. They also offer $1 first year and $19.99 inclusive if user is committed to staying on for the second year and beyond. The $11.99 price for cogeniusDB.com does not include whois privacy protection.

GoDaddy Pricing Scheme

The privacy protection cost for GoDaddy is $9.99/domain for a basic annual plan or $14.99/domain per year for a business plan.

GoDaddy Privacy protection

Customize your email address with your new domain name

If you’d also like to include email hosting, GoDaddy has three tiers:

GoDaddy Emails Pricing

So who’s the winner?

The answer is, Porkbun!

Hosting Cost Summary

 

So far, Porkbun.com is charging the lowest price for cogeniusdb.com. We use the domain cogeniusdb.com for illustrative purpose. Any other domain names require the same level of effort to do price comparisons. By looking up prices across all registries, you can get the best values for your domains.