It’s almost as important to choose the right domain extension as to find a meaningful and appropriate name for your website. As an alternative to classics such as .de , .org or .com , modern representatives such as .bio or .club have opened up entirely new opportunities for website operators to make the Internet address the perfect advertisement for their own project . The top-level domains – as these endings are also called – are thereby by registries ( registries ) with different registration regulations managed. In cooperation with so-called domain providers, they bring the various top-level domains to their customers.
What is a domain provider anyway?
Since 1998, monitored and managed by ICANN ( I nternet C orporation for A ssigned N ames and N Umbers ) on behalf of IANA ( I nternet A ssigned N Umbers A uthority ) the allocation of all available top level domains. To this end, however, they do not occur even as a contracting authority, but sells procurement law for each domain extensions to independent organizations that this position as procurement or registrar to take and therefore as registriesbe designated. Depending on whether it is a generic or a country-specific top-level domain , ICANN makes very strict or less strict specifications as to how the various agencies have to regulate the award. For this reason, the registration rules – as already briefly mentioned – can differ from registry to registry.
However, the registries do not take on the award themselves. Instead, they conclude contracts with the so-called registrars , who often refer to themselves as domain providers or domain providers. As an intermediary between the registry and the users looking for a top-level domain, they take on tasks such as registering the domain and billing the costs. In many cases, the domain providers are Internet providers who, in addition to the domain registration, have further offers that include, for example, e-mail inboxes or a hosting solution suitable for the domain.
How do domain providers differ from each other?
There are thousands of ICANN accredited domain name registrars worldwide, listed by the Internet organization in an official registrar directory . So if you want to check whether a registration service is a serious offer , you will find the necessary information on this page. The safest way leads however in each case over the already mentioned Internetprovider, which are active also in things domain registration.
Due to their experience and the established structures as contract partners, these are ideal for the tasks as a domain providerequipped. In terms of the services offered, however, they differ in some cases significantly from each other, with the following four points in particular:
A key point in finding the right provider is the arsenal of top-level domains that are provided for registration. The decisive factor is how many or with which registries the domain provider has concluded contracts. For example, while some representatives are trying to cover the widest possible range , other providers have specialized in selling particularly exclusive domain extensions .
Traditional TLDs such as .com are usually just as much a standard repertoire as the country-specific suffixfor the desired market (or the targeted markets) – so should a domain provider in Germany z. B. also support the allocation of .de domains regardless of the chosen concept.
For registries, selling domain extensions is a lucrative business. When ICANN awarded the new top-level domains, certain promising endings were fiercely contested accordingly. This tough competition is also reflected in the price of the TLDs , which sometimes cost only a few cents, but sometimes several euros a month.
Due to the negotiated contracts with the registries, however, the providers have some leeway to convince customers with discount campaigns and to outdo the competition as the cheapest domain provider . With the huge selection of endings and providers, a price check of various services before registration is therefore highly recommended.
One big advantage that professional domain providers have over smaller registrars is the ability to provide extensive and reliable service and support. In addition to the standard registration ofthe domain, this also includes services such as the extension or termination of the contractual relationship with the registration office.
In order to make it easier for the buyer to search for a suitable and above all free domain, most providers also provide a ” domain check “. Another possible service is to reserve domains with endings that have already been announced but not yet unlocked, For questions about the domain offers, a telephone hotline and / or e-mail support are usually available.
• Additional services
In addition to registering the Internet address , many domain providers also offer their customers the appropriate hosting environment. These combination packages not only secure the desired name for your own web project, but at the same time provide storage space and web server and database power for operating the website.
As a user, it is important to pay attention to what steps each domain provider takes to ensure the security of the data and the availability of the hosted web project. Further additional servicesThese include home page builders, SEO and marketing tools, e-mail inboxes, or domain change / relocation support.
The Best Domain Providers in Comparison
The criteria mentioned in the previous section show what is important for a domain provider: The optimal domain registration broker is inexpensive and has a large number of standard and exclusive top-level domains in the repertoire. Furthermore, it is characterized by a good service that accompanies the customer from the registration of an Internet address to the termination of the contractual relationship. The more additional services such. For example, developer tools, web hosting or personalized e-mail solutions he offers the better. Also important are seriousness and reliability .
In 2018, united-domains was awarded the Hosting & Service Provider Award in the Domains category – and third place went with InternetX to a member of the United Internet family. We present the two winners and three other domain providers from the United Internet family in a direct comparison.
GoDaddy is the world’s most popular domain registration company, and the biggest domain registrar in the world. They manage more than 76 million domain names for over 17.5 million customers.
They offer a wide variety of popular domain name extensions to choose from. Their prices are highly competitive, and you may even get a significant discount on the first year of your domain’s registration.
GoDaddy has a powerful easy to use domain management interface which allows you to transfer your domain name or change its settings.
If you only need to register a domain name without web hosting, then we highly recommend GoDaddy. However if you’re looking to start a blog or website, then option #2 might be better for you.
Namecheap is another top domain registrar on the market. They have a powerful domain search tool that helps you find the right domain name and makes suggestions when your preferred domain name is not available.
They also offer domain add-on services like domain privacy and premium DNS. Their domain management area is clean, but it’s not as user-friendly as GoDaddy’s new interface.
One nice thing about NameCheap is that they offer free domain privacy with all their domain names.
We used to use NameCheap but ended up transferring our main domains to GoDaddy and other providers because we simply had too many issues logging into their domain management panel.
Founded in 1998, InterNetX is one of the first domain providers. From the start, the Regensburg-based company focused on helping with domain registration and offering hosting solutions. Thanks to contracts with more than 200 registries, in addition to all available generic top-level domains , more than 350 country-specific endings are also part of the domain portfolio. For the registration and administration of the Internet addresses InterNetX provides the specially developed software AutoDNSwhich is available in the three versions “Standard” (for companies and agencies), “Personal” (for resellers and web hosts) and “Registrar” (for other domain registrars). Under the heading “Promos”, the domain provider regularly offers attractive savings offers with discounted address registration and free SSL certification.
According to its own data, InterNetX now manages more than 3.8 million domains . In addition, the company operates over 3,000 servers in its own data center in Munich , which sources 100 percent of the power supply for its infrastructure components from hydropower.
Daily backups, firewalls at all relevant network nodes and redundant IP connections ensure the high security and constant availability of the hosted data – any maintenance work is announced in the personal support area. In general, the domain provider offers weekday service via e-mail and telephone – in addition there is a fee-based domain emergency support, which is available around the clock all year round.
InterNetX has a huge selection of traditional and new top-level domains. The registration and administration of the Internet addresses works without any problems thanks to the award-winning domain management software.
Domain.com is another reliable domain name registrar offering all popular domain name extensions since 2000. They have a quick domain search tool that you can use for your domain name research.
They also offer private registration (domain privacy), bulk registration, easy transfers, and easy-to-use domain management tools. If you have any questions, then you can seek help via live chat or email.
Strato started its services as a domain provider back in 1997. The company offered customers domains ( .de ) including matching web hosting environment . In the meantime, the product range has been greatly expanded and also offers products such as e-mail mailboxes, servers, cloud storage or Hompage kits. The arsenal of address shipments has also been steadily increased – hundreds of generic and country-specific variants are available to customers today. Strato presents the individual top-level domains in various categories such as business, real estate, shopping or travel. Additionally, you can use a domain checker Search directly for the desired Internet address, which speeds up the process considerably.
Depending on the selected TLD, the domain provider offers various discount campaigns – with some endings, for example, the setup fee is waived. When a multi-month subscription is completed, the customer often pays the first months a cheaper price. It is also possible to rent the domain for a single month only. Each domain package also includes an e-mail inbox (2GB), up to ten subdomains, and a personal ” digital business card ” that can be published on the Web to provide personal contact information. In addition to the standard support via e-mail, telephone and social media, Strato also offers a chargeable, accessible at any time hotline. In theISO-27001 certified data centers in Berlin and Karlsruhe host the domain provider over four million domains.
Strato makes the search for the right domain through the domain checker and the thematic sorting of the TLDs child’s play. If required, the desired extension can also be booked only for a single month.
1 & 1 IONOS
When 1 & 1 IONOS was founded in Montabaur in 1988, the company initially operated as a service provider for marketing and advertising in electronic media. However, the company first became known as a DSL and fixed-network provider in 1996 – two years later, with the acquisition of Schlund + Partner GmbH, the company entered the hosting business. Today’s offering also includes wireless services, server and e-mail solutions, marketing tools, website builders, accounting and office packages, and domain registration, For the latter, around 600 different classic and new endings are available, broken down into categories such as trade, travel or shopping & e-commerce. The availability of the respective Internet address can also be checked via a domain checker – check your domain now!
Who chooses 1 & 1 IONOS as a domain provider, benefits from numerous additional features: Among other things, there is an e-mail mailbox with two gigabytes of storage space , free subdomains and an SSL certificate for each web address . Furthermore, 1 & 1 IONOS offers the possibility of private WHOIS data registration , in which the internet service provider transmits their own contact data to the registry, while the customer data remains hidden. The contract period for the domains is either 12 or 24 monthsThe first contract year usually costs less because of discount campaigns – .de domains are available in the first year, for example, for free. If you have questions or problems, 1 & 1 IONOS support is available around the clock.
With more than 12 million registered domains, 1 & 1 IONOS is one of the largest domain providers in Germany. Products such as mobile phone and DSL contracts or web hosting solutions are also part of the portfolio and can therefore be booked at any time without any problems.
Sedo , founded in 1999 , not only acts as a partner for registries, but also specializes in trading in already registered Internet addresses in its function as a domain provider. Anyone who has created a profile for the Sedo marketplace can not only register a new web address, but also buy or sell existing domains. Over 18 million existing domains are available through Sedo, according to the company. Since 2002, it has also been possible to operate Sedo Domain Parking and earn money in this way. In addition to the headquarters in Cologne, the company also has a branch in Boston.
The search for a domain also takes place on the Sedo platform via a search engine. In these you simply enter the desired domain name and select from the offered TLD listing, which contains various country-specific and hundreds of generic top-level domains , the desired extension. Several solutions can also be marked if the user has not yet decided on a specific extension. The tool of the domain provider then presents a result that informs about the status of the requested web address . Free domains can be registered at any time. On the other hand, if the address is for sale, you can either place a bid or buy it immediately at the set price.
Sedo has specialized as a domain provider in comparison to most competitors entirely on web addresses . Customers can use the platform to register new domains, to buy or sell existing addresses, or to earn money with domain parking.
Founded in August 2000 in Starnberg, united-domains AG is today one of the leading domain providers in Germany. The ISP is accredited to numerous registries (including DENIC, Donuts, Verisign, EURid and dotASIA) and therefore has a vast assortment of over 700 country-specific and generic top-level domains. On his website united-domains lists the different endings both alphabetically on and after various categories sorted as “Community”, “sport / hobby” or “Shops / trade”.
For each TLD, the annual costs (the duration of the contract is always at least 12 months) are presented at the same time. The availability of an address can be checked by the customer using the in-house search tool. Not yet unlocked new domain extensions can be – partly binding, partly free – pre-order .
For each domain registered with united-domains, the company automatically takes over the necessary name server and DNS records . In addition, the Internet service provider takes care of forwarding to an existing website and provides the customer with free support . Also included and with no additional costs is a domain-specific e-mail inbox with 500 MB of storage space. The domain provider, which since 2003 also operates a platform for the purchase and sale of domains, has in addition to the Internet addresses also webspace and e-mail packages for companiesin the portfolio. Customers can either add these offers to a domain or rent them for an existing address. If possible, united-domains also offers anonymous domain registration (Whois Domain Privacy).
united-domains has been convincing as a reputable domain provider for years. Domain registrations with no set-up fee are just as much a part of the product range as domain trading and moving or web and e-mail hosting.
BuyDomains allow you to search for premium domain names matching your search terms. Premium domain names are domain names that are already registered but are available for sale from third-party. These domains are often more memorable, shorter, and brandable which is why they are more expensive.
If you cannot find a suitable domain name, and you have the budget, then you can use BuyDomains to search for a premium domain name.
We hope this article helped you learn how to choose the best domain registrar for your business. You may also want to see our guide on how to get a free business email address for your website.
HostGator is another popular company offering website owners a one-stop shop for domain names and shared website hosting. They offer a nice selection of extensions, domain privacy, and easy to use DNS management tools.
They have an easy to use domain search tool that helps you quickly find a suitable domain name for your business. Their domain management area is beginner friendly and well documented which makes it easy to transfer domains if you need to.