You got to have that domain before someone grabs it.
You’re itching to get something started because you’ve found that perfect domain name. Then you realize you have a couple dozen domains and things are getting costly with the renewals.
Is this you? Because it sure is me!
The year rolls by and most of those domains you’ve still haven’t set up a site. You’re paying tons of money holding them because you keep telling yourself, “this is the year I start project X”.
This domain hoarding is the reason you should use cheap domain name registrars.
Note: This post includes some affiliate links. If you get a domain through them (at no extra cost to you) we’ll get a commission letting us continue creating guides and tutorials. Thanks!
Hey, Consider These Before You Go Off Buying Cheap Domain Names
There are two things to think about when buying a cheap domain:
- Do I want just the domain?
- Do I want the domain with hosting?
Companies like Bluehost offer free domains if you subscribe to 1-year of hosting. This is a great deal if you’re fully committed but doesn’t exactly fit our criteria of cheapest domain registrars.
Another two things to remember:
- Introductory pricing
- Renewal pricing
The introductory pricing is almost always attractive – like doorbusters.
You could get locked into a costly renewal with a company since many do not offer renewal coupons. The renewal pricing can quickly turn domain hoarding into a costly business expensive!
What are the Cheapest Places to Buy Domain Names? We Picked These
Our criteria when picking these cheap domain registrars included:
- Brand – How well they’re known and long they’ve been in business
- Price – How cheap they’ll go with new domain (.com) registration
- Service – How good they’re known for their customer service
Nothing too selective but still enough to condense the list so you’re not overloaded with choices. Plus, we had already done a big comparison roundup of the best domain registrars.
Anyway… here are our picks:
Namecheap tops our list for their unbeatable prices and superb customer support. Buying domains through Namecheap is a pleasant experience with few upsells. The company runs promotions all-the-time bringing the price of domains to about as low as they can go.
- .com price: $8.88 – $10.98 (1st year)
- $12.88 .com renewal price
- Free WhoisGuard (1st year)
Right now, they’re offering new domain registrations for $0.88 for the first year. The price jumps back to the normal $10.98/yr amount during renewal but this isn’t a bad option if you’re prone to domain hoarding. At lest you could hold it a year and decide within that time.
Try them: How to Buy and Register Domain Names with Namecheap
GoDaddy also comes to mind as a cheap domain registrar. We’ve used them for a dozen projects throughout the years. They’ve had their share of PR mishaps but GoDaddy isn’t bad if you’re only looking to register a domain name. You can find introductory rates for $2.99 for the 1st year.
- .com price: $11.99 (1st year)
- $14.99 .com renewal price
GoDaddy’s operation is so large you shouldn’t have issues with customer service. Plus, they’ve got a ton of upgrades if you wish to keep site building within a single account. This includes email, hosting, marketing services, and more. These upgrades aren’t a bad deal when combined.
Learn more: Should You Use GoDaddy for Domains (Review)?
We see 1and1 more as a web hosting company more than a domain registrar. You can buy only domain names through 1and1, though. Their intro rate ($0.99) is one of the best you’ll find. 1and1 has a long history of quality services and support which is why we can’t ignore them on our list.
- .com price: $8.99 (1st year)
- $14.99 .com renewal price
Unfortunately, the .com price is only for new customers. This isn’t bad if this is your first domain purchase. Their domain renewal fee is about industry average though. 1and1 has a great reputation and product catalog if you do choose them as your domain name provider.
A Few Things to Consider when Going Cheap
It probably won’t concern a lot of you but do keep these in mind:
- Transfers. Some cheap registrars make domain transfers difficult. You don’t want this as it causes too many troubles if you decide to sell the site or change registrars/hosting. The three on our list each have easy transfer procedures.
- Service. We suggest sending an inquiry or do a live chat to test their response rates. Don’t give them business if they’re slow to respond. You want a registrar quick in response if you have DNS-like problems (it happens).
- Email. You may want to set up an email through your domain registrar since they’re usually bundled cheap. A branded domain makes you look professional. This is always a bonus if you’re serious about a project.
- Privacy. People will spam the hell out of you if you don’t have domain privacy. Your email client usually sorts this but it’s still annoying. Factor the privacy upsell when comparing yearly pricing.
- SSL. You could get these from your web host or snag them while getting a domain. Compare the price with the hosting company and factor that into the yearly pricing.
- Extras. Ask yourself if you could use those extra services and if it makes sense to bundle. We usually like keeping services separate for flexibility. You may want it under one login.
Remember that cheap doesn’t always mean best. Do your comparison shopping and set a budget. Research the domain registrars seeing which is best for your needs.
Buying cheap domains here and there is fine if you plan on using them in your projects. Buying a ton because you’re chasing shiny objects… not so much. Online business and affiliate marketing are all about action – don’t get sidetracked, start while the fire and passion is hot.
With that said, try one of these registrars to keep the costs low if you plan to grab a couple domains.