Every website starts with 1 simple question. Where should I buy my domain name?
The question is simple, but the answer can be difficult and confusing for a lot of people. Let’s remedy that.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the most important part of your website name. If you look at my website address, it is webactive.io. That is my domain name. Google’s domain name is google.com.
So simply put, your domain name is the address people will type into their browser to get to your site.
Why registering your domain with the right company is important.
The company you use to register your domain name just might be one of the most important decisions you make. Your registrar (the company you buy your domain from) is the only authority of your domain. That means everything about your domain relies on this company. More specifically, how much you pay, what kind of security and privacy you have related to your domain, how often it renews, and most importantly the final say-so of your DNS (Domain Name Service) records.
Because your registrar is the single point of authority for your website it is important to choose a good one.
What company is the best registrar?
In my opinion, the best registrar is currently Cloudflare.
When you buy a domain name with them, privacy is included. That means your name and email are not out in the public for anyone to harass you about all kinds of services that you may not be interested in. Most registrars charge for that kind of privacy. Including popular registrars such as GoDaddy and NameCheap.
They are very cheap, only charging cost to register the domain every year. That means you will pay $8.57 for a .com domain name. A .net will run you $9.95. Other companies may offer a cheaper price up front, but then they raise the cost of renewal after the initial period, making it more expensive. Other registrars also do not include privacy, and charge extra, which often means their initial price is higher than Cloudflare.
Cloudflare has the best DNS available. Not only is it the fastest, but you can create all kinds of rules to handle things like security, caching, and DDoS attacks. All for free. They have paid plans as well, but the free version is all most people need.
The only downside to Cloudflare is that they do not support all top level domains currently. But they are adding more all the time.
What if Cloudflare does not have my top level domain?
That is when I recommend Google Domains. Google Domains has every top level domain available. They cost more than Cloudflare, but they also have privacy built in. So you do not have to worry about anyone seeing your name or email associated with the domain. They also have a pretty decent DNS system, but I prefer using Cloudflare for DNS, even if the domain is registered with Google Domains, as there are just far more features to help handle site security.
Can I buy my domain name somewhere else?
Yes, you most certainly can. However, I do not recommend it. I believe you should buy your domain name at Cloudflare if they sell that type of domain, and at Google Domains if they do not. It will save you money in the long run, and give you the best services available for DNS.