Five Best Domain Name Registrars

We've looked at the best web-hosting companies, but you also need a domain name to make your website a reality. When it's time to register your domain name, which registrar do you choose? Here are five options that offer a good combination of affordability, features, customer service and reliability.

This list doesn't include Australian registrars, which we prefer for .com.au domain names. The ownership rules for those are slightly different and are usually more expensive, but the convenience of local support and customer service may well be worth the extra money, especially if you want to promote your "local" brand value. If you have your own recommendations for good Australian domain name registrars, let us know in the comments.

Hover

Hover may not have the cheapest registration prices on the market, but it makes up for it with abundant discount codes around the web, stellar customer support and hands-off domain migration. Hover offers a transfer "valet" service that does all of the work for you and makes switching over a painless process. Its control panel and management tools are notable for being clean and easy to use. You can see all of Hover's plans and pricing here.

Namecheap

Namecheap took the top spot last time we covered this topic for good reason. As its name implies, it has some of the most affordable prices in the business, but somehow manages to offer stellar customer support and free services, such as URL forwarding and email. If you have more money to burn, you can get advanced services at bargain prices, including Dynamic DNS and SSL certificates. You can see all of Namecheap's features here, and its plans and pricing here.

Gandi

Gandi is famous for its no-bullshit approach to domain name registration and renewal. It won't try to sell you a bunch of services you don't need or want, and the company is committed to being honest, open and upfront with its customers. Combined with the fact that Gandi has been around for longer than the others, it has earned itself a huge following. Every domain registration comes with two free hosted pages, a free Gandiblog, a one-year SSL cert for free, email services and more. You can see all of Gandi's features and pricing here.

Dreamhost

Dreamhost was included in our list of best web-hosting services, and it offers free domain name registration with most of its hosting plans. Not only does Dreamhost offer the convenience of having your hosting and registration in one place, it offers speedy customer service, and comprehensive dashboard and management tools. You can read more about Dreamhost's domain registration services here, with more details at its wiki here and here.

Name.com

Name.com isn't the cheapest domain registrar, but it does have aggressive pricing plans and excellent customer support. Name.com also offers "Domain Nabber" services to snag expired domains that may be relevant to your business or site. So if you want the .net to go with your .com, Name.com will give you the opportunity to grab it before someone else does. It also offers domain name suggestions if the one you want is taken or unavailable. You can read more about Name.com's pricing and available TLDs here.

Honourable mentions this week go to 1&1 Internet for its great prices, fantastic customer support and easy sign-up process.

Have anything to say about the five listed above? Can you recommend a good Australian registrar? Make your case in the comments below.


Comments

    This is a bit like web hosting providers. Most people have their favourites, with good and bad reviews about most of them. That being said, I have used Joker for domain registrations sincs Feb, 1999 and would [probably] never consider using an alternative.
    https://joker.com/

      HostGator http://bit.ly/HostGator-60PERCENTOFF is good, it's easy to setup and they have domain ID protection and free DNS. I always found their support very good.

      Last edited 14/07/16 2:45 pm

    I use VentraIP.net .au.
    Because. Unlike this article, they're Australian.

      Dick Smith would be proud of you.

        Meh, lack of competetive pricing and this inexplicpable aussie tax, has me happily and readily prepared to spend my cash indescriminately around the globe. Screw australia's finacial middle finger to it's people.

      Newsflash! The internet is global. It doesn't matter where your registrar's place of business is.

    I used crazy domains for a few years but now started to look for alternates. Started getting more telemarketers calling through post registration from web designers asking if I wanted sites for my new domains. Might not be related but I haven't seen that with net registry yet. Also DNS updates are painfully slow with the crazy console.

    NameSilo.com is the one I use. Can buy two domains for the same price as one from a few of those mentioned in your post.

    +1 for namecheap. namecheap also provide DNS hosting for free, regardless of whether you have the domain registered with them!
    hostinggang.com - can get for $9.95. There non-gtld domains are better priced too.
    enom.com - can get sub-$10 domains.

    I like to use Webcity, good price and I have a few different sites with them. so they have stuck with me.

    There are heaps more site's that offer domain registration. You can look at http://webhostingreviews.net.au/ for other providers that are all similarly priced. They also include Australian domain registers not just the US based providers.

    It's hard to really say who the best is though because their service is all the same. It's not like you are comparing a hosting plan where bandwidth, uptime, support etc all come into play.

    Panthur are better. Been very happy with the service, support and ease of use! Not to mention the price.. And they are in Oz.

    Beware name.com's DNS servers. When I last looked, you had the option to set a wildcard dns record or to not set one. If you did not set it, they redirect your domain to one of those domain parking spam sites.
    This means that rudeword.yourdomain.com works, and things that you expect to return NXDOMAIN do not. They were unable to turn this off when I requested that they stop this practice.

    Gandi is a Scam!!

    This happened last week when i tried to buy a dedicated pop email hosting service from Gandi.net through the Mozilla Thunderbird email platform. What happened is they charged me around 3.97 Euros (excluding Vat. Around 6 Dollars were deducted from my Visa card and the order was put on hold. Now 6 days have passed and the order is still not processed. I sent them an email and now they r saying they have not received the money although it was long gone from my card and never been returned. Anyone else experienced such scamming from Gandi or is it just me??

    Not only is Melb IT service probably the most expensive in Australia (perhaps the world), but it is also the worst. My business website has been down for 5 days now for simply changing dns. This is unheard of with other hosts which ensure seamless dns transition with absolutely no website interruption. Now waiting for transfer to another host which gives me great domain hosting and service for 18.95 for 2 years instead of terrible hosting and service with MelbIT while being robbed $157 for 2 years!! Their indian support team were both unwilling and unknowledgeable.

    I also cancelled the way overpriced shared hosting 3 times in their system and it's still trying to charge credit card 6 weeks later. Their system still hasn't cancelled the service as per the 3 cancellation orders even though it expired long ago. Their system would not let me remove my credit card therefore cornering me into paying the astronomical amount. Luckily I had the brains to mess with the CC expiry date so the fraudulent transactions couldn't go through.

    I've been working with servers and websites for 10 years now and have never seen anything like this. I will be informing and warning the online communities of MelbIT's service and the damage they have caused to my business in hope to save some businesses from have to go through this.

      A little late to the party I know - but Yes, Melb IT are the worst. When I have to do work on a website and it involves Melbourne IT, I add a Melbourne IT tax.

        I agree completely with both posts. I've used Melbourne IT since the start of the public internet, and in my current job for a few dozen domains over many years now (a lot are just to stop cybersquatters, some are in real use). They are really poor to deal with and their web site is the pits. It constantly tries to upsell, trick you into add-ons you don't want and (sneakily) get you to set the default for renewal to automatic payment. When I have a handful of domains to renew it takes ages to complete the task as I have to carefully check everything I click on to avoid all these subterfuges. Otherwise I find I have inadvertently bought something I didn't want, when all I was trying to do was renew.

        I have complained several times but of course have been ignored. The only people who make contact are trying to sell me more. If anything the web site and general level of deception have got worse over the last few years. The one good thing I can say is that I've never had any issues with the actual domain registrations. Then again I have hardly ever had to move hosting (none of it is done by MelbIT thank goodness) or move names between registrars. I am about to find out about that as a combination of the above plus their ridiculously high prices have finally prodded me to move those names that are expiring soon.

        A really flawed business model. Trick your clients into paying more and make it hard for them to use your services - it means your business will eventually wind down. I gather that is what is happening.

    After a few years of having one with domainnames.com.au i would run for the hills before i dealt with their customer service again. I basically got told to go tell fair trading about it .

    I use hover for email. It's actually pretty nice how they share the domain name so people can have personalized email addresses. I use http://cheapdomainseller.com for all my domain registrations.

    I've found that the support staff at holyhost.com.au are really effective at troubleshooting all my issues. They don't have phone support, but they quickly got me setup with squarespace by helping with my domain name! and they're an aussie company too!

    I have a recommendation against MelbourneIT, who have shamefully not solved a minor problem of mine which means I can't use the site, for now almost 3 months. Endless emails, tried phone, complaint email, and lastly twitter which shamed a few responses to effect that they would not fix it, but still haven't. To detrimentally effect somebody's business like this is Just shoddy at best.

    Crazy Domains have annoyed me again and again.
    IMO their marketing and sales policies are just immoral and unethical.
    Recently their mixing of Backorder and Available domains has tricked me into quickly purchasing a domain (I thought was available) and it was not. Can you believe that they would not give me a refund even within a few minutes of the purchase ?:-O
    I do not even see how this is legal within Australia. We have laws for this type of stuff.
    After calling support, and many emails, they just don't seem to care. I received a bunch of seemingly robotic responses (scripted emails)
    Is it worth going to Small Claims Tribunal and registering the complaint?

    Any recommendations for good Domain Name Registrars? Looking to move away form MelbourneIT.

    I feel like I've been scammed by the one I just registered through. Is there a list of ones that might be scammers?

    Beware domainnames.com.au, they advertise a free website builder and don't advise you that it is set on auto renew and then charge your credit card. They make it very difficult to remove auto renew and somehow managed to continue to charge my credit card after I had removed the card details from my account. Customer Service couldn't care less about any complaints & used some very offensive language in their responses.

    Nothing but trouble from Namecheap, who basically gave me spin until I caught them out when their stories didn't match and they finally admitted they couldn't solve my technical problem. Also sent me emails that couldn't even get my name right. Wouldn't recommend them to my worst enemy.

    Watch out for Cheap domains. They are the worst! I have been trying for weeks to simply move a domain to my client. They respond fairly quick but offer no solutions only excuses. How hard can it be to simply move a domain? The registry keys they sent me several times do not work (checked them all with several people). And still more apologies arrive with no solutions. Crap service.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now