Aside from web hosting, finding the right domain registrar is one of the most important foundational aspects to building a website. One thing I will tell you right off that bat is NOT to purchasing your domain through GoDaddy. While yes, they have cool Super Bowl commercials and they’re the first result that appears when you search buy a domain, as soon as you purchase your domain with GoDaddy, you will receive a torrent of spam from them trying to upsell you on more of their products.
There are many better alternatives. The best of which I’m going to discuss in this post. Here’s a break down of the best domain registrars:
|Purchase a domain with Namecheap
|Also Very Good
|Purchase a domain with Google Domains
Namecheap is the best domain registrar of 2021 with Google Domains coming in close second. Both domain registrars are highly renowned within the web development industry. Both have a great UI and have a straight forward process to purchasing a domain.
I recommend Namecheap over Google Domains simply because Namecheap is cheaper.
.com cost for Google domains – $12/yr
.com cost for Namecheap domain – $8.88/yr
It’s a nominal difference, but if you’re a money saver Namecheap is differently the way to go.
Namecheap – Top Recommended
Namecheap is what I use for the vast majority of my domain purchases, and of course what I recommend to friends, family, and colleagues who need to buy a domain. Purchasing a domain with Namecheap is ridiculously easy. Whether you’re looking to purchase a .com, .org, .net, .io or something like, .creative, .travel, .photos, Namecheap has you covered.
Once you’ve purchased your domain, in order to actually get a live website, you need to point the DNS towards your web hosting provider.
If you haven’t considered a web host, I have an in-depth tutorial on how to set up NameCheap with one of the best web hosting providers, Siteground. I also cover how to properly install WordPress. Be sure to check it out! (See below)
Google Domains – Great Alternative
If for whatever reason you don’t like Namecheap, Google Domains is a great alternative. This webvsite hostingadmiral.com was purchased with Google Domains! While yes, I purchase 99% of my domains through Namecheap, I purchased this one through Google Domains in order to review set-up process and see if it’s on par with Namecheap.
Can confirm, Google Domains also has a ridiculously easy process for purchasing and managing your domains. Again, in order to get a live website up and running, you’ll need to point the DNS servers towards your hosting provider. For an in-depth explanation on how to do that, click here to read my tutorial on how to purchase a domain with Google Domains.
Understanding Top-Level Domains (TLDs)
Top-Levels Domains are essentially the extension you see after the domain name.
There are different types of TLDs. The most common TLD is of course .com which is a gTLD or generic top-level domain.
Generic Top-Level Domains
Generic top-level domains are the domain extensions you are most familiar with. These include:
gTLDs aren’t just limited to these three extensions, these are just the ones we are most familiar with. Other gTLDs include:
The list goes on… To see a full list of available gTLDs check out namestat.org.
Domain extensions that contain a city name.
To see a full list of the top 20 city gTLDs click here.
Domain extensions that you must be pre-approved to use. In order to fully utilize these domains, you must submit paper work to the correct institution for approval.
Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLDs)
These are domains that have a sponsor. In order to be approved for a sTLDs you must meet the specific requirements of the sponsor.
To see a fill list of sponsored top-level domains click here.
Country Code Top-Level Domain
Domain extensions that represent a country.
.uk (United Kingdom)
Click here for a full list.