10 Best Domain Registrars & Web Hosting Services Of 2020
If you’re planning to create a website, you’ve probably spent a lot of time considering how exactly you want to build it, who to hire to build it if you don’t want to build it yourself, the features and/or apps you want to include, how to monetize your site, and so on. One thing to which you may not have devoted much deliberation, however, is which domain registrar to purchase your domain from and which web host to go with.
What is a domain registrar? For those new to the technical aspects of getting a website online, a domain registrar is the service through which you reserve your site’s domain for an annual fee. Want to create a website at www.catfoodart.com? You’ll need to reserve catfoodart.com with a domain registrar first. Common domain extensions are .com, .org, .gov, .edu, etc. Most businesses will use a .com extension, though some go other routes.
What is web hosting? And how web hosts related to domain name registrars?
Importantly, a domain name registrar service is not the same thing as a web hosting service. Web hosting is the practice of storing the actual files that comprise your website on a physical server. The difference between a domain registrar and a web host is obscured by the fact that many domain registrars also offer web hosting (and vice versa). For the sake of convenience, many website owners choose to reserve a domain with the same company they use for web hosting, though there are some in the field who advise against this. Just know that despite the fact that many companies offer both domain registration and web hosting, they are, nonetheless, separate services.
What is the best domain name registrar? Who offers the most comprehensive web hosting services? Good questions! In this article, we’ll explore some of the leading domain registrars and web hosting sites.
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BlueHost has become known as an easy-to-use domain registrar/web host and a solid choice for those seeking to get a site online for the first time. In fact, BlueHost is one of only three web hosts to receive an official recommendation from WordPress.
As BlueHost’s pricing currently stands, a .com domain will cost you $11.99 for the first year and $15.99 for all subsequent years. Unfortunately, if you want domain privacy protection so that your name, email address, phone number, and home address aren’t publicly available for doxxing, that will cost you an additional $14.88 per year.
If you decide to go with BlueHost as your web host as well as your domain registrar, you can get a domain with no extra cost. BlueHost’s hosting packages differ wildly in their pricing, as the company offers many different types of hosting, but in terms of shared hosting — the most common type of website hosting — BlueHost’s packages currently start at just $2.95/month, though this is subject to change. Furthermore, the $2.95/month Basic plan becomes more expensive if you buy your hosting package for less than a 36-month term and/or if you add on such things as domain privacy protection, SiteLock security, and BlueHost SEO tools.
Alternately, BlueHost offers WordPress-optimized hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting.
If you’re interested in BlueHost as a domain registrar and/or web host, check out its offerings at its website.
GoDaddy is more than just a widely recognized brand and controversy magnet. With over 75 million domains registered for over 17 million users worldwide, GoDaddy is the world’s biggest domain registrar. Let’s take a look at just what they have to offer.
GoDaddy is known for eye-popping first-year prices. To this end, they currently advertise an extraordinary deal: you can register a .com domain for just $0.99 for the first year, renewing at $14.99/yr. However, if you want domain privacy protection — and you probably do; it’s a really good idea! — your first-year price will jump by $7.99, the cost of privacy protection for the first year (it’s $9.99 each subsequent year).
On the hosting side, GoDaddy offers a host (haha) of options, with the cheapest hosting option being their Economy shared hosting package, which goes for $2.99/month and includes a free domain for the length of your subscription before renewal. However, as with BlueHost, the $2.99/month price only applies if you lock in your subscription for 36 months. Add-ons like SSL security and website backup will boost the price further.
GoDaddy also offers a website builder called GoCentral for those who want a domain, web host, and website builder all from the same source. Read my GoDaddy GoCentral review to learn more!
To get further details on GoDaddy’s products, visit GoDaddy’s website.
Unlike GoDaddy and BlueHost, BuyDomains is strictly a domain registrar. BuyDomains owns many in-demand domains, so if your desired domain is under the company’s ownership, you can simply purchase it and it will be yours. These are premium domains, however, and they typically run upwards of $500-$800 apiece.
BuyDomains also lets you register a new domain. You can buy a domain for anywhere from one year to 10 years, but the price will remain the same: $24.95 a year for a .com. Domain privacy will set you back another $9/yr. Other available add-ons include an SEO tool ($50/month), SiteLock security ($35-$120/yr), and listing your business URL at whoisbusinesslistings.com ($20/yr).
Visit BuyDomains’s site at the link below if you’re interested.
As the name would suggest, CloudWays specializes in cloud hosting. Cloud hosting differs from shared hosting in that your site is hosted on a cluster of servers, not just one single server. Unfortunately, CloudWays doesn’t offer domain registrar services.
CloudWays’s hosting packages currently start at $10/month and top off at $1,035/month. You’ll get escalating levels of RAM, processor speed, storage, and bandwidth with each subscription level.
With so many hosting options, it’s all the easier to select just the package you want with the features you need.
Visit the link below to find out more about CloudWays.
Domain.com is… wait for it… an internet domain registrar! As it happens, Domain.com offers hosting as well, so the name doesn’t tell the full story. In other words, Domain.com is about more than just…domain names.
A new .com domain from Domain.com costs $9.99/yr and comes with URL forwarding, email forwarding, DNS management, and transfer lock. Domain privacy will cost you an additional $8.99 per year.
Domain.com offers a broad range of hosting options. The cheapest packages come in the form of their Basic hosting packages, which cost $3.75/month for the Linux version and $4.75/month for the Windows version. Sadly, these hosting plans don’t include the cost of registering a domain. The Deluxe hosting package, by contrast, includes hosting, a free domain name, use of Domain.com’s drag-and-drop website builder, and personalized email for $6.75/month.
Additionally, Domain.com’s VPS hosting plans start at $29.70/month.
Click the link below to get more information on Domain.com’s domain registrar services and web hosting packages.
HostGator is another internet company offering domain registrar services, web hosting, and a drag-and-drop website builder — the web trifecta. HostGator’s shared web hosting is highly regarded in the industry.
If all you want is a domain, HostGator has you covered — .com domain names will cost you $12.95 a year, though domain privacy protection will set you back an additional $14.95/yr. If it’s a hosting package you’re after, HostGator’s Hatchling plan sells for $2.75/month and includes a domain for no additional cost. HostGator’s Baby plan and Business plan both offer unlimited free domains and cost $5.95/month as things stand.
If you want hosting, a domain, and a website builder, take a look at HostGator’s Starter plan for all-in-one hosting and site-building. For $2.75/month you get a domain, hosting, and a website builder. And for $9.23/month, you can get eCommerce on top of all that with HostGator’s eCommerce plan.
For more on what HostGator has to offer, check out the company’s website below.
DreamHost is akin to HostGator in that it offers the would-be webmaster the ability to get a domain, web hosting, and a website builder from the same source.
If you’re just looking for the cheapest domain registrar you can find, DreamHost offers up solid value. A .com domain will cost you $11.95 for the first year and $13.95 each subsequent year. What makes this a great deal is the fact that domain privacy protection is included at no additional charge.
On the hosting side, DreamHost’s shared hosting plans start at $7.95 a month and includes one free domain and privacy protection. DreamHost also offers VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and WooCommerce hosting.
DreamHost’s website builder hosting package starts at $4.95/month and includes hosting and a free domain for one year. However, when the domain comes up for renewal in a year, you’ll have to pay the regular domain rate for it.
Check out DreamHost’s site below to learn more.
1&1 is one of the older companies in the domain registrar/web host space. In fact, the German company dates back to 1988 — a time when SEO-friendliness was apparently not a factor in choosing a company name!
Like DreamHost and Host Gator, 1&1 offers the big three web services: domains, web hosting, and a website builder (read our 1&1 website builder review for more on that). 1&1’s domains are a pretty good deal — a .com domain will cost you $0.99 for the first year and $14.99 each subsequent year, and domain privacy is included at no extra charge. You’ll also get an SSL certificate and an email address included.
Hosting-wise, 1&1’s shared hosting subscription packages start at just $0.99/month for the first year and $7.99/month for any years beyond that. A domain, domain privacy, SSL, and website building are all included. 1&1 also offers managed hosting and WordPress hosting.
Click the link to get more details on 1&1’s services.
FatCow is another internet company offering the trifecta of domains, web hosting, and website building. FatCow’s website gives off something of a dated vibe, but let’s take a closer look at the company anyway!
On the domain side, you can register a new .com domain for $10.99/yr, though domain privacy will cost you another $9.99/yr. As for FatCow’s web hosting, the standard shared hosting package can be had for $4.08/month for the initial term and $12.95-$14.95/month subsequently, depending on the length of the term. A domain, a website builder, and an online store building tool are all included in the price, though domain privacy is not.
To learn more about FatCow and their web offerings, you know what to do.
Like the previous five companies I’ve mentioned, iPage offers domain registrar services and web hosting and throws in a website builder to boot. And like GoDaddy, the company offers an eye-catching introductory offer to would-be site owners.
If it’s just domain names you’re after, iPage offers .com domains at $10.99 per year, with domain privacy costing an additional $9.99 per year (renews at $12.99/yr). On the hosting side, iPage offers web hosting for just $1.99/month for the initial term. Tempting, eh? This hosting package includes unlimited domains (domain privacy is still extra though), a website builder, free email addresses and free marketing tools. However, when it renews, it will renew at the regular rate — $7.99 to $9.99 per month, depending on your chosen term length.
Check out iPage’s website if you’re intrigued.
WPEngine is a web host that, unsurprisingly, focuses on one thing: managed WordPress hosting. WPEngine is not a domain registrar, so you’ll have to get a domain somewhere else.
WPEngine’s WordPress hosting options are as follows:
WPEngine’s cheapest plan goes for $35 a month and includes all the features you see above. While $35/month is significantly more expensive than the cheapest/most basic hosting plans offered by the other web hosts I’ve mentioned, it’s actually pretty competitive in the world of WordPress hosting.
Looking to take a WordPress site to the next level? Check the link below and look into WPEngine.
A post like this can only scratch the surface of what’s available online in terms of domain name registration and web hosts, considering the countless such options in existence. However, by providing an overview of some of the better-rated and higher-profile companies operating in these spaces, I hope to give you an idea of what you should expect to pay for these services and what features to be on the lookout for.
The best domain registrar for your website will depend on a number of factors, including the domain extensions you want, whether you need SSL certificates, how long you intend to use your domain and whether you need to purchase an existing domain. The best web hosting service, on the other hand, will depend on your need for good customer support, whether you want eCommerce built-in, and your preference for shared servers vs VPS. Some businesses may want to find a web hosting company that offers packages for both domain registration and hosting.
Building a web presence isn’t rocket science. Just make sure to do your due diligence before signing up for a multi-year hosting/domain deal — you don’t want to be locked into an inadequate hosting arrangement!