Does domain registrar matter?

Originally published: 29 January 2024

Does it speed up performance? Or is it purely cost?

Domain Registrars

Here is the blog post rewritten using Markdown formatting:

Does the Domain Registrar Matter?

Choosing the right domain name registrar is an important decision when starting a website or online business. Your domain name is your online identity and address, so you want to make sure you pick a reliable registrar that offers the features you need at a fair price.


Domain registration and renewal prices can vary widely between different registrars. While some offer cheap introductory pricing, they often jack up renewal fees substantially. Make sure to compare the total first year registration fee as well as ongoing renewal rates.

Here are typical price ranges for common TLDs: $8.99 - $14.99 first year, renewals around $10 - $20 $9 - $12 first year, renewals around $10 - $18 $9 - $12 first year, renewals around $10 - $20 $9 - $12 first year, renewals around $10 - $20 $20 - $50+ first year, renewals around $20 - $50 $30 - $60+ first year, renewals around $30 - $60 $9 - $15 first year, renewals around $10 - $20 $9 - $15 first year, renewals around $10 - $20 $6.99 - $20 first year, renewals around $8.99 - $30

Some registrars are known for offering cheap introductory pricing that skyrockets upon renewal, like GoDaddy and Network Solutions. Others like Namecheap, Namesilo, and Porkbun offer more transparent and competitive pricing year after year.

When comparing pricing, calculate the total cost over a few years to get the real picture. Renewal fees are where the major differences emerge.


The features and extra tools offered by registrars can add significant value. Here are some of the most useful features to look for:

Companies like Cloudflare, Namecheap, and Namesilo tend to offer robust feature sets compared to basic registrars. Consider which additional tools would be useful for managing your domains seamlessly.

Domain Privacy

One essential feature offered by many registrars is WHOIS privacy protection. When you register a domain name, your personal contact details are publicly listed in the WHOIS database by default. This can lead to spam and identity theft.

Registrars like Namecheap, Porkbun, and Cloudflare allow you to hide your info behind their own proxy contact details for complete WHOIS privacy. This key feature is typically free or very affordable (around $2-$10 per domain annually).

Without WHOIS privacy, you risk exposing your personal info. Make sure your chosen registrar offers domain privacy as a standard feature.

Domain Squatting

Some registrars have gained notoriety for scooping up expiring domains and then reselling them at vastly inflated prices. This practice is known as domain squatting or sniping. GoDaddy in particular has faced scrutiny for this behavior.

To avoid losing your domains to unethical registrars, opt for companies like Porkbun, Namesilo, or Hover who promise never to squat on domains. Make sure to enable auto-renewals as well.


The technical performance and speed of the registrar impacts important processes like new domain propagations and DNS record updates. Delays can negatively affect your launch timelines.

Quality registrars like Cloudflare, Namecheap, and Google Domains invest heavily in infrastructure and technology to ensure speedy performance. This allows near real-time domain setup and edits. Slow or clunky systems lead to frustrating customer experiences.


Renewal policies also differ between registrars. Some registrars intentionally let domains expire, so they can hold them for ransom. Others proactively remind customers ahead of renewals and make the process effortless.

Opt for a registrar that sends ample expiration warnings and offers auto-renewal options. This prevents any unpleasant surprises or scrambles to renew expiring domains.

Based on factors like pricing, features, ethics, and performance, these registrars stand out:

Avoid registrars with opaque renewal pricing, poor reputations, or lack of valued features. The right domain provider can be a long-term partner, while the wrong choice could lead to unnecessary costs and headaches. Do some research to pick the best registrar for your specific needs.

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