Five Best Domain Name Registrars

A domain name is the magic that turns a raw IP address like 114.141.196.60 into a human-friendly chunk of text like Lifehacker.com.au. Here's a look at five of the most popular domain name registrars that help you register and manage your domains.

For the sake of establishing a baseline for comparison, we've noted the price of a one year .COM registration at each registrar beside their name. We'd urge you to read the fine print at each registrar, however, because saving $US3 on a registration isn't much of a bargain if you miss out on useful auxiliary features (like free domain parking, email forwarding, and the like) the slightly more expensive registrar offers. This list also doesn't cover the generally more expensive option of registering a .com.au domain; if you've got recommendations for good Australian registrars, we'd love to hear them in the comments.

Namecheap (1 Year Registration: $US9.98)

Domain registration at Namecheap is economical, as their name implies, but Namecheap hasn't built a name for itself just by offering the absolute cheapest deals in town. Namecheap's reputation rests on fantastic customer service and value-added packages. You get solid customer service, free email and URL forwarding, free and customisable domain parking, free domain transfers, dynamic DNS services if you want to redirect a domain to your home server, and more. You can jump right to their pricing schedule here or read more about their free features here.

1&1 (1 Year Registration: $US4.99)

All 1&1 domain registrations include a simple five-page starter website (consider it a "super" domain parking package), an email account with 2GB of storage, and free private domain registration to shield your personal information. 1&1 also offers free domain transfer. You can view their price schedule here or read more about their domain packages here.

GoDaddy (1 Year Registration: $US11.99)

Go Daddy has built a customer base by offering cheap package deals (combining domain registration and web hosting) as well as frequent specials on domain registration. Go Daddy registrations include what amounts to a free mini-hosting plan. You get a five-page web site based on one of their templates, a photo album, blogging tools, and an email account with 1GB of storage. Although Go Daddy doesn't offer free private registration if you register five or more domains, it's free for all of them. You can read more about their pricing schedule and extras here.

Name (1 Year Registration: $US9.99)

Name.com goes beyond simple domain name searches and offers alternative suggestions including domain names that are currently held but up for auction. While the majority of us are looking to register domains cheaply and quickly, it's good to know that the domain other services would simple flag as "Unavailable" is actually up for auction. Name.com also has a service called Domain Grabber. If you really want a domain but it's unavailable, you can pay Name.com (typically between $US20-50) to pounce on the domain should it become available. If simple domain registration is all you need, however, you can read more about their pricing schedule here.

Ghandi (1 Year Registration: €12/$16.85)

Ghandi's mission as a registrar and host is to offer clean, simple, no bullshit service. Every registration includes two free SiteMaker pages, one free DotClear2 blog, private domain registration, a free 1-year SSL certificate, and a personal email. If you manage a large number of domains, Ghandi also offers a user-friendly dashboard with tag-based organisation and search. You can read more about their price schedule here and free features here.

Want to give an extra shout out to your registrar of choice? Let's hear it in the comments below.


Comments

    Hostess.com.au are a cheap Aussie registry. Only $11 per year but you can only make 10 changes to your DNS settings which was barely enough to set up some google apps (gmail and blogger). Any mistakes would have cost me extra and I'll have to wait until next year to make any more changes.

    Dreamhost - for registration AND hosting, I cannot say enough good things about them. And no, not an employee, just over the moon coder happy to have found them.

    Godaddy is too hoop jumping for my taste.

      dreamhost are fantastic (domains and hosting). I'd have to agree!

      Another vote for Dreamhost here!

      Fantastic service in every way. I've been with them since 2005 and cannot possibly say enough good things about them.

      No idea why you'd use anyone else really.

      godaddy are terrible..

      i can't email 5 of my major clients

      terrible terrible terrible

      has gone on for 4 months

      would definitely suggest not to use

    I use and recommend http://onlinenic.com/ (OnlineNic) they have awesome pricing, and service.

    .com prices range from USD$8.09 to USD$9.39 depending on how many you are buying.

    I use Namescout for .au when needed.

    I'd reccomend 5wire.co.uk for hosting (their domains are a bit pricy)

    Great customer support and speed and incredible prices, I pay 1$ a month for my hosting and it's great :)

    I haven't used their services, but name.com.au look like a reasonable choice for .au sites.

    http://ventraip.com.au i use them for everything

      +1 for Ventraip.

      I haven't used them lately (when I used them they were Cove), but my brother uses them, and reckons they're still as good as they were when I used them.

      Great for domains and web hosting.

    joker.com - Great service. No fuss, no ads for other services, no strict rules for site content. They do not block your domain if someone else spams your domain. Other registrars will block your domain and assume that you are guilty.

    GoDaddy suck - their site is too noisy with ads and up-sells. dread going to their site to maintain some of my domains.

      Yup, bad experience with GoDaddy.

    I'd personally recommend against name.com. They automatically setup a wildcard DNS to point to advertising servers instead of returning a not found result.
    This means that e.g. sucks-to-be.yourname.com is a valid domain, full of advertising.
    name.com are able to point the wildcard at a server of your choosing, but are not able to remove the wildcard altogether.
    http://http://we-dont-resolve-dns-properly.name.com/

    I've had some real bad experiences with VentraIP very recently, I've moved all my sites away from them, and today I'm beginning moving domain names. I must say that swapping hosting for 2 of my AU sites to AUHost4u has massively increased page load times.

    But still trying to find the best independent registrar for my domain names. Seems I will need to take a shot in the dark, not a lot of reviews for AU registrars around

    Ive had some bad experiences with GoDaddy and NameCheap for transferring domains and registering new ones. Found this site to be exceptional service and also cheap. www.ryansniche.com

    Does hosting, domain name registration and web design too..

    I've used netregistry.com.au for years. They have a terrible interface and occasionally badger me to use their irrelevant hosting. They work OK though. I'm always looking for a better company and have used MelbIT (overpriced), VentraIP (meh), GoDaddy (bleeding eyes), Dreamhost (probably the best of the bunch), Instra (rubbish).

    I have an overriding problem with all the Aussie Registrars. I inevitably pick up clients who have accounts all over the place and would like to consolidate them onto one provider. I have not found a functional interface that inspires confidence while not trying to up-sell their other products.

    As long these businesses treat domain registration is a loss leader I guess we'll have to continue to suffer. It's a business opportunity waiting for someone to get it.

    http://www.panthur.com.au

    Australian Based,
    Cheap Hosting & Domains,
    if you need help call them they are located in melbourne.

    Nuff said.

    @Ruben - I use Netregistry too, but have never had a problem with their domain names.

    The process of registration is quick and simple, and with 24/7 support you are in fairly safe hands. Plus, for an aussie company, keeping things local I think is a big bonus.

    What ever you do, DO NOT USE ENOM!!! Enom charges 39.95 for a renewal, when godaddy and others charge 9.95.

    Do not use enom!!!!!!

    1 & 1 is bad. The Better Business Bureau has refused to accredit them. There are hundreds of official complaints against them including some pending with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

    To see the BBB review you can check it here: http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/internet-services/1-and-1-internet-inc-in-chesterbrook-pa-1040770/.

    I am very happy with NetRegistry too! MelbIT was way to expensive and didn't offer much - I actually LIKE the net registry web site User Interface and their support has been exemplary on the few occasions I have required it.

    Nice article for getting domain name registration. Here is the webpage where you can compare the cheap domain names prices http://www.websecretsninja.com/cheapest-domain-names-at-best-price

    I have used GoDaddy.com for 9 years. No problems until recently, when I received notice of a Complaint about on of my domains. Not GoDaddy's fault, but:

    They promptly charged a $50.00 "administration fee" for their trouble to be advised. The Domain Registration Agreement provides for indemnifying them against losses but not for an upfront fee, and certainly not for charging such upfront fee to a credit card (for automatic domain name registration renewals).

    My bank told me that GoDaddy.com is a "fraudulent company" and that my credit card was compromised by them. Charged back ok, but needed to issued with a new card causing significant inconvenience.

    This has turned into a major dispute. Now I am in the process of transferring my domain names.

    I have used GoDaddy.com for 9 years. No problems until recently, when I received notice of a Complaint about one of my domains. Not GoDaddy’s fault, but:

    They promptly charged a $50.00 “administration fee” for their trouble to be advised. The Domain Registration Agreement provides for indemnity against losses but not for an upfront fee, and certainly not for charging such upfront fee to a credit card (on file for automatic domain name registration renewals).

    My bank told me that GoDaddy.com is a “fraudulent company” and that my credit card was compromised by them. Charged back ok, but needed to be issued with a new card causing significant inconvenience.

    This has turned into a major dispute. Now I want to transfer all my domains.

    I never know why it took so lengthy to put into action
    this kind of a simple feature, nevertheless it is excellent to possess.

    CrazyDomains are crooks. I've had them charge me for domain renewals, not do the renewal, then refuse to refund me, despite having to pay an entirely separate provider to get the domain renewed.

    I just had the misfortune of having to deal with Enetica. These guys are charging $69 for a two year renewal of a .com.au domain name. I have all my other domain names with Net Registry and forgot I had this one. It lapsed as the email reminders where going to an old email address. Therefore I could not change details until it was renewed. In the meantime I had tried to transfer it over to NetRegistry but obviously with the wrong email on the domain name that didn't work. The woman in accounts at Enetica said 'But that is what we have been charging for ten years'. I rest my case.

    Crazy Domains is Cheap & Nasty. Terrible customer service. Called them up, they start talking nonsense.
    NetRegistry is Ok .
    Ventraip is value for money. Good customer support .

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