The Best Domain Registrar for Canada (2019)
If you have a website or are thinking of creating a website, you need a domain name. Domain names are purchased through domain registrars, which sounds simple enough—until you realize just how many options are out there.
Before we jump into this, I just want to clarify a point that often gets people confused. Domain registration isn’t the same thing as hosting. I can go out and register 1000 domains doesn’t mean you’ll be able to see them online.
That said, if you’re looking to buy a domain, you probably fall into one of these three groups:
- “Just looking” for a domain – > Namecheap is your answer.
- Looking for domain and hosting – > Bluehost will give you both (for cheap).
- Looking for foreign domain and hosting -> GoDaddy is what you need.
Hope that helps. Now, let’s take a look at the best of the rest…
Best Domain Registrar Options
Below, we’ve included our picks for the best domain registrars. Additionally, many of these companies offer other services and types of support. Prices vary, as does what’s included in each of the companies’ various plans.
Some of the best domain registrars out there today include:
1. Bluehost.com – Good for Domains, Great for Hosting Too
Bluehost has been in operation since 2003 and hosts more than two million websites. WordPress suggests Bluehost as its web host of choice. It is first a hosting company but does offer additional products and services.
Bluehost is another excellent choice for domain registration, hosting and any issues that come up. With Bluehost you’re paying for reliability and tons of online help.
Site owners working Bluehost enjoy a free hosting package with each domain and you can choose between shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated, or reseller hosting.
A complete package that includes hosting, security and one domain name cost just under $24 a year.
2. Namecheap.com – Hands Down Best for Domains, Not So Great for Hosting (Free Privacy Protection)
Namecheap entices website owners focused on budget, but they also offer a number of services with domain names. The company began in 2000 and today manage more than seven million domains. Lifehacker.com named them the Best Domain Name Registrar of 2010.
If pricey and cheap domain registration is what you want then Namecheap is good for you. They have the best support and pricing structure hands down. Only issue we found is that their servers can’t compete on the same level.
Namecheap offers transfers, SSL certificates, email, app integration, and web hosting. They also provide customer support via live chat or through an email ticket system. All of this comes with a price tag of less than $9 a year.
You can also opt for privacy protection which is free for the first year and then just under $3 a year after that.
3. GoDaddy.com – Most Domain Selection, Decent Hosting, Slightly Expensive
Arguably the most well-advertised domain registrar, GoDaddy is practically a household name, though many people might not understand exactly what they offer.
If you’re looking for a seamless and easy to navigate process for registering a new domain and also having it hosted than GoDaddy is a great choice.
GoDaddy has been around since 1997, so they’re one of the most experienced options on our list. More than 17 million have chosen GoDaddy for their websites, making them the biggest domain name registrar in the world.
GoDaddy offers registration of domains registration, transfer of domains, professional email options, web hosting, security, and a variety of marketing tools for your business website. Their customer support team provides global assistance and is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week or you can speak to someone via live chat.
GoDaddy prices begin at $.99 for the first year and rise to $14.99 per year after that for .com domains. Other domains including .net, .tech, and .co are slightly more expensive. Other services, including privacy protection, is available for a nominal fee.
Read our full GoDaddy review here.
4. Domain.com – OK All Around, Still Pricey
Domain.com, as the name suggests, specializes in providing domain names. Since 2000, they have offered domain names, hosting plans, email, VPS hosting, SSL certificates, online marketing, and web design. They’re essentially a one-stop-shop for those who want to launch a website.
Site owners can choose between VPS hosting, WordPress hosting, or shared hosting plans. They all come with one or more free domain names, as well as SSL certificate, unlimited disk space, and various marketing tools and e-commerce solutions.
Buying a domain with Domain.com is affordable—just under $10 per year for .com or .net websites—and comes with 24/7 phone support and access to an FAQ area.
5. Name.com – Another Quality Option
Name.com has been in operation since 2003 and controls two million domains. With Name.com, you get domain transfers, SSL certificates, app integration, a builder, email, and several different hosting options.
Free domains come with the purchase of a hosting plan. You can choose from the basic one website plan called the Startup Hosting Plan or the more comprehensive Name Builder Plan that supports 25 sites. The Unbelievable package offers an unlimited number of sites.
They offer what’s known as a “knowledge base,” as well as a contact form that allows you to submit a ticket for assistance. You can also access chat support every day between 10 am and 5 pm MST or phone support Monday-Friday from 8 am until 6 pm.
Pricing ranges from around $10 per year for a .com site up to $110 a year for a .host site. Privacy protection is available for an additional fee of $5 per year, but it’s not an option for all domain extensions.
6. HostGator.com – Great Host, Average Domain Register
HostGator has been around since 2002 and is another option that has been widely advertised. The company oversees more than nine million domains and is primarily a web hosting provider.
You can choose between web, cloud, WordPress, VPS, reseller, dedicated, application or Windows hosting. HostGator is known for its uptime and loading speeds, especially for those using the WordPress Cloud Hosting program. They also provide live chat and email ticketing customer support, as well as access to video tutorials and forums.
The cost of a .com website is $12.95 per year, which provides you with at least one domain. You can choose from several different plans, including the Business Cloud plan, the Baby Cloud plan, and the Hatchling Cloud plan. Existing HostGator customers can get a .com site for only $2.99 per year. Privacy protection is available for an additional $14.95 per year.
1&1 is the most veteran in this bunch and has been in existence for more than 30 years. They are still one of the most consistent options. More than 7000 employees are located around the world for this German-based company.
With 1&1, you can get domain transfer, a website builder, web hosting, an online store builder, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, SSL certificates, managed cloud hosting, business email management, business email accounts, and more. They also offer a variety of email and online marketing tools.
Customer support is available around the clock via phone, live chat, email, or social media.
They are also one of the most value-oriented domain registrar options with web hosting prices beginning at less than $1 a year for .com sites. A .biz site will cost less than $15 a year. They also offer privacy protection free of charge for private registration domains.
For more than 20 years, Register.com has offered transfers for domains, website, and e-commerce site building, hosting and SSL options, email services, and several different online marketing tools. They work with more than 2.5 million domains. The company also gives you access to a variety of useful marketing tools, including SEO, PPC, Facebook Boost, and more.
Customer support is available by phone or email from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 10 pm.
They are one of the most affordable hosting options at $5 per month for a website. The price is the same for .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .us sites. Privacy protection is available for an additional $11 per year.
9. InMotion Hosting – Great Hosting and Domain Registry
This company has been in operation since 2001 and offers everything you could want in a web hosting company. You get faster servers and above average uptime, as well as access to business, VPS, reseller, and WordPress hosting. You also get access to web design services and enterprise hosting solutions. Some plans come with a free domain.
Customer service is available via live chat, phone, Skype, or email 24/7.
The cost for a .com, .net, .org, .info, or .us domain is just under $15 per year. Privacy protection is available for an additional $10 per year.
InMotion also offers a 90-day, money-back guarantee, which allows you to try their services risk-free and switch to another company if you find out they aren’t for you.
Domains.Google has been around since 2015 but is still at the beta stage.
Domains come with free private registration, custom email with G Suite, easy integration with the most popular website builders, customized sub-domains, new domain name endings, email forwarding, and simple management tools.
Customer service is offered by the Google Domains US Support Team 24 hours a day, every day of the week via email, phone, or live chat.
Google offers a .com website for $12 per year which can be renewed automatically. Domains can also be purchased for up to 10 years so there’s no need for annual renewal. Privacy protection is available at no extra charge, as long as the site is eligible for private registration.
What Is a Domain Name?
If you want to operate a website, you need to choose a domain name. They are considered the gateway to the Internet and without them, we’d need to navigate the Internet by entering long, difficult-to-remember IP addresses all the time. It’s hard enough to remember many web addresses as it is, right?
Therefore, only having an idea for a blog or website isn’t enough—you’ll need an easy-to-remember domain name for people to be able to find you. In order to get top-level domains (TLDs), you’ll need to work with a domain name registrar. These companies manage domain names and allow you to do many of the things you need to do with your website.
Every domain registrar is different, though many offer some of the same basic features when you register a domain, such as a basic free domain, a website builder, domain privacy, or two-factor authentication. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so knowing what you need can make it much easier to choose the right one for you to find the perfect TLDs for your needs.
Choosing the Best Domain Registrar
Finding the best domain registrar and hosting services for your site can be tricky, but understanding a few important things can make the process easier. First, you need to have goals for your site, set a budget, and know what you need to operate your site. Evaluating these factors will help you whittle down the list of potential domain registrars and make the best decision based on your circumstances.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular domain name registrars in existence today. They offer everything from basic registration to comprehensive packages that allow you to fully operate your personal, business, or e-commerce website.
Prices vary a great deal for TLDs, so it’s important to have a budget in mind before you make a decision. At first glance, registering a domain might seem a little too cheap (some as low as $.99 per year) but when you consider the various features, you’ll need to accomplish your goals, the cheapest option might not remain that way in the long run.
It’s also important to consider customer service. All of the options on our list offer some type of customer service, but some feature more comprehensive plans than others. If you are operating a traditional or e-commerce business it’s essential you have access to the best possible support. Fixing problems with your site as quickly as possible prevents you from losing income and without easily accessed customer service this can be impossible.
You’ll also want to think about the overall ability of the domain registrar to provide adequate hosting and keep your website up and running and visitor-friendly. This means you want to work with a company that offers fast load times and as little downtime as possible. All of the companies on our list offer at least adequate load times and uptime, but this varies from company to company, so do your research before finalizing your choice.
In some cases, security is also a concern. Though not everyone will want to protect their identity and contact information, if you do, you’ll want to make sure your domain registrar and hosting company offers privacy protection. All of the choices on our list below do offer access to privacy protection when available, though some charge a fee while others do not. Weigh the cost of paying for privacy against the other features available in order to determine if it’s worth paying for privacy protection.
Finally, you’ll want to work with a company that is established, so we’ve included information about how long each of these domain registrars has been in business. The oldest company might not be the best option for you, but you be skeptical of companies that appear to be “fly by night” or that have just recently launched. You need a track record by which to judge them.
Making Your Final Choice
Creating and setting up a website is easier than ever. This is especially true when you use a website builder or Content Management System (CMS). The process begins with registering a domain name with one of the top-level domains and handling the backend of the process before launching the site. The information above can help you narrow down your choices and make the best selection based on your needs.
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