Where To Buy The Cheapest Domain Names Without A Million Upsells (and not get raped on renewal pricing the following year!)

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Whether you’re looking for the best place to register your first domain name, or your 50th, I can help you avoid getting into situations that will make you want to pull your hair out. Over the last 6 years, I’ve used just about every domain registrar on the planet. My annual renewal fees have regularly been several thousand dollars, so no one cares more about price than me. I don’t tell you that to brag, I tell you that to so you know how many times I’ve been in frustrating situations with domain registration companies over the years, which I hope to help you avoid. At one time my portfolio consisted of a little over 2,200 domains, and was typically spread out over a handful of the best registrars. I got to experience and ultimately compare, what it was like to be a customer of all the top domain registrars simultaneously.

[pullquote]Disclaimer – I figured I’d better add a special disclaimer to this post once I read it after publishing… It kind of reads like an ad, or the ravings of a lunatic, depending on how you wanna look at it. (hah) I’m an affiliate for Namesilo, but I’d be an evangelist for their company whether I made any money with them or not. And believe me, I’m not going to get rich off of earning $.90 cents a domain. ;)[/pullquote]

Nowadays however, I only use and recommend one or two registrars, as market competition has created price wars on renewals and shady upsells in a lot of the control panels inside the most popular registrars in the world. For a while, there weren’t enough medium sized registrars to give the big boys a run for their money. Fortunately that has changed, and there are two registrars that have very affordable pricing, AND excellent backend interfaces for easy account management. (this is one of the most important things, even over price that most people or reviewers don’t mention… if a company’s domain management interface is cumbersome to use, it’s all over with before you even begin if you’re a beginner. You’ll waste HOURS watching youtube video tutorials JUST to setup your damn account. Craziness)

I know a lot of people have strong opinions and reviews that buying a domain is the same anywhere you can register it, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth when you get knee deep in a checkout process! Anyone that tells you there is no difference between domain registrars, is out of their mind!

Namesilo Affordable Domain Registration

Quick Summary

If you don’t have a lot of time, and are looking for a quick review and recommendation on where to buy your domain names inexpensively, here are my two most recommended companies depending on what you want to do with it:

  • Namesilo: Secure a name fast, separate web hosting – If you just have an idea for a brand or business name, and want to secure the domain name but might not get around to building (or having one built) in the near future, Namesilo is the cheapest, most reliable, and has the easiest to use interface on the face of the earth. I buy all my domains at Namesilo, and the pricing is the best you’ll find anywhere. ($8.99/yr for new registrations & renewals)
  • Bluehost: Domain included, cheap web hosting / domain package for cheap quick website setup – If you want to put together an inexpensive website, or setup a blog quckly with no experience, Bluehost has a deal where you buy 6 months of web hosting for something like $5/mo, and they throw in the domain name. The main reason I recommend this for people on a budget, is that anyone with no experience can setup a blog or website following my step by step guide here, and be live online in 20 minutes. (because bluehost will sync the domain automatically with the hosting account for you if you buy both through them, whereas buying a domain from a secondary company and getting separate hosting, you will have to do it yourself which takes a few more steps to learn, and it will have to propagate before you can see it live on the web. With Bluehost, it’s automatically configured right when you buy it.)

What’s The Cheapest Domain Registration Company With The Best Interface?

Hands down Namesilo is the best domain registration company on the planet. They beat out GoDaddy, Namecheap, InernetBS, and definitely Network Solutions and 1&1! I despise 1&1 for their awful cancellation policy, should you decide not to renew a domain name… What a headache.

HoDaddy (Sorry ahem, GoDaddy) whores out their shopping cart and checkout process like there’s no tomorrow… But at the expense of their customers (YOU & ME)! They make it hard to buy just a simple domain without a million things attached to it, half of which you don’t even know what they are, or if you need them or not. For most people, even small businesses, you don’t need anything other than domain privacy. They try to sell you bookkeeping software, search engine visibility, and all this other crap that’s usually a rip off for most people’s needs. Personally I wouldn’t buy web hosting from them anyway, so I’d rather not have to say no thank you to a million and one add on services, just to checkout! Super frustrating…

My Namesilo Review: Why I Like & Recommend Namesilo So Much

They’ve saved me money, but more importantly, they save me time every single time I go to register or renew a domain name. They’re available domain search is simple to use and very straightforward, and adding whatever domain extensions I want to register is as easy as one click. They show me a screen right before I buy the domain, and can easily preconfigure all my settings like no auto renewal, nameserver settings, private whois, all prior to checkout. There’s no logging in after purchasing to change domain settings in some complicated domain manager, and I’m not forced to setup separate buyer profiles to apply different settings upon checkout like a lot of other registrars. (Take my money!!!)

How they’re able to do all of that AND still be able to offer one of the cheapest prices in the industry, I will never know!

But I can tell you one thing… You’d be hard pressed to get me to switch after all the bad experiences I’ve had at other companies over the years.

And I haven’t even touched on support! Have you ever tried to call or use the live chat at GoDaddy? If you have, I’m sure you know a thing or two about 90 minute wait times, or getting a non native english speaking support tech on the line before escalating to a supervisor or teir 2 support tech… Point being, I got faster support repsonse times from Namesilo without even calling VIA EMAIL! Practically unheard of in our industry. Not to mention I’ve only ever had to contact them twice, and it was a question about their bulk purchase discount syste, and their affiliate program. The actual domain registration and management control panel is so drop dead simple you’ll be in heaven. (with no upsells upon checkout either!)

GoDaddy Awful Support Response Time

P.S.- can you tell I’m a little bit of Namesilo fanboy these days?  (good, and I’m proud of it! Simply because they’ve won me over as a loyal customer through good old fashioned on point service at great pricing… exactly how business should be done.)

They just make it so easy… there’s literally two steps to registering a domain with Namesilo:

Easy Search And Select Available Domains

Pick Your Settings All On One Screen And You're Done!


>> Click here to search for your own domain at Namesilo for $8.99

Who’s The Best Domain Registrar in 2016 And Beyond?

Out of the 11 domain registrars I’ve used over the last 6 years, Namesilo is by far the best in several ways. In fact, they’re pricing is so cheap and flat rate on renewals, that I never even look anywhere else for my domains now. The only reason I even have any domains left at other registrars, is because I’m too lazy to transfer them and they pay for themselves.

What makes Namsilo the best you ask?

  • $8.99/yr for domains
  • Amazeballs control panel that’s so drop dead simple, any other registrar will make your head spin
  • The fastest registration process in the industry (to hell with my Ubot NoDaddy script!)
  • No BS renewal pricing
  • No price gouging whois privacy rates
  • And my favorite, NO upsells in the checkout process. Super streamlined A+++++
  • Simple. Fast. Easy To Use.

Why Not Just Buy Cheap Domains From HoDaddy? (Ahem! GoDaddy)

There’s several reasons I’ve stopped renewing most all of my domains away from GoDaddy, but the most prevalent is simply because their control panel is awful… And keeps getting worse every time they update it. It’s like learning a new system each time this happens too! I know why they do it though: conversions. By constantly tweaking their panel, they’re able to increase upsells, addon services you don’t catch upon renewal, and many more things I consider shady.

Some of their marketing automatically signs you up for bullshit add on services you don’t need, which drives me insane. I have to click an extra 6 times to say no to things before I can just buy what I want. Ridiculous. They’re making it harder and harder to make changes to your account, and the renewal pricing rates for .com domain names is borderline insane! ($12-15 dollars WITHOUT private whois! Nuts if you have 100’s or 1000’s of domains with them.) There’s also no more coupon codes for bulk power users, and buying in (yes you have to “buy” access to their domain discount club. LOL GTFO) simply gets you down to the same rates as other registrars, so what’s the point!

Can you tell they’ve rubbed me wrong? (raw maybe? hah)

My GoDaddy Review: Why They’re No Longer My Go To Company

When I had about 300 domains left at GoDaddy, I called them up and talked to a supervisor twice. I was like hey guys, I have stopped registering fresh regs with you guys and have been thinking of starting to transfer the remainder of my portfolio to another registrar because you keep raising your prices. Is there anything you can do for me? “No, that’s our price. We don’t have any other coupon codes, but you could re-signup for our Domain Discount Club again, which would bring you’re per domain price to $8.29.”

Seems attractive right? Well here’s how they get you…


See that “new registrations, first year only bullshit”?

Oh yeah, you gon’ get raped pal.

This was my response… So let me get this straight. I have to pay $9.99 PER month to have “access” to your domain discount club pricing again, even though I’ve been a customer for over 8 years and have spent 10’s of thousands of dollars with you?

Oh and there’s more…

Not only that, the deal you’re trying to sell me on doesn’t even factor in the cost to add domain privacy to each domain. So by the time it’s all said and done, I pay $120/yr to have access to “special pricing” that is MORE EXPENSIVE than your competitors on any given day?

“That’s our current pricing, I’m sorry sir.”

Me – Um, okay thank you, it’s been great doing business with you. (not really? lol)

Enter hours and hours of useless time wasted initiating mass transfers… (cough, I mean hiring a ubot coder to build an automation tool right quick)

Why I Stopped Using Godaddy

But What About $.99 Cent Domain Names?

Ha! I’m a person that has bought thousands (yes, with three zeros) of $.99 cent .info domain names on a rolling schedule back in the haydays of churn and burn db sites. I can tell you firsthand, if you’re looking to buy a domain name for a project you want to keep around for a while, and you’re thinking it’s going to be cheaper going with GoDaddy for a $.99 promotion… You’re in for a rude awakening in the following years.

No more coupon codes for renewals.

No more free Domain Discount Club for bulk power users.

Terrible process for removing domain privacy upon renewal… you actually have to PAY for it, and then they’ll refund you after you cancel it. Fucking ridiculous.

If you value your time at all, this is a good way to squander it away.

What About Namecheap, Are They Any Good?

Namecheap is great service wise, and I still have some domains there to this day… Simply because I’m too lazy to transfer them out. Their pricing is not the cheapest, and Namesilo beats them on just about every point possible… But not by a huge gap like with GoDaddy and 1&1.

I don’t care for their domain control panel now that I’ve used Namesilo’s. It’s much better for both experienced users and newbies. Domains cost about $1-$2 more per year with Namecheap, but that’s not bad and a lot of people love them. The one thing that kept me from using them about a year ago or more, is their control panel would hang during checkout if their backend was getting hammered. Anytime they ran a sale, it was pretty much game over before it began. You’d be sitting there hitting refresh trying to buy or renew a bunch of shit, and it’s like man why don’t you guys spool up a couple more load balancers or something. Jesus.

Once I found out how easy Namesilo’s control panel was to use, it’s hard to go back to anything else. I recommend Namesilo to friends and family all the time, and everyone that’s used them has been super happy and said it was easy.

My Namecheap Review

Namecheap has been good to me, and I still have some domains with them to this day. I would not, I repeat, WOULD NOT recommend their web hosting. Their shared environment isn’t very secure, and I had sites hacked and taken offline that were unrecoverable. I would not use their hosting again, but for domains, they’re pretty good.

They have competitive pricing, without a bunch of bullshit upsells. Their checkout process is fairly straightforward, but the UI could use a little streamlining in my opinion. Not bad, but not the best in my opinion.

Namecheap VS GoDaddy: Read This First

I don’t recommend either one of these companies as my first choice anymore. I used to recommend GoDaddy to small business owners and whatnot. But nowadays most customers get roped into hosting with them, search engine services they don’t need, and on and on which isn’t favorable, and not something I can stand behind. Namecheap isn’t bad, you may as well go with Namesilo instead.

That said, I know people who are still customers of both companies to this day. Their sites are online, and they’re happy, so this is definitely personal preference right? Well yes and no.

Have you ever been in a situation where “you don’t know, what you don’t know”? hehe

For Domains With Hosting Which Is The Least Expensive And Most Reliable: Namecheap, Godaddy, 1And1, Or?

Don’t you dare do it!  I’m not kidding, you’ll hate yourself for it later! Don’t get roped into these $1/month nonsense promotions where you think it’s soooo cheap to get online you can’t say no.

Seriously. The service sucks, and before you know it your website will load so slow, you won’t even know if you have one anymore or not. (yes I’ve tried it, and no it wasn’t good)

When I think of a domain registrar, I think of all things domaining. Not web hosting. I would buy a domain from a web hosting company since they’re usually just a reseller anyway, but I would not buy web hosting from a domain registration company, because they’re normally oversold and not specialized in that area. I’ve had bad hosting experiences with both Namecheap and NoDaddy (sorry, I meant GoDaddy), and 1&1 was just atrocious.

If you want good cheap website hosting, and want a free domain with it for $3.95/mo, try Bluehost. That’s the company I recommend to all beginners who want to get a domain and site live on the web in 20 minutes.

Should I Buy My Domain And Hosting From The Same Company?

Normally I would say no, but I have changed my tune on this a bit. For experienced users, you normally never want to buy your hosting from the same company you buy your domain from, and here’s why: Control.

You don’t want your registrar to be able to control your hosting account and domain name, because then if you forget to pay your bill, or something malicious happens, they can much more easily throw up a parked page of their own, put your domain up for sale, transfer it out, etc… When this is all under one control panel that millions of people use, phishing and hacking attempts are frequent.

So how have I changed me tune on this?

Well security and technology has improved quite a bit in the last few years, and lot of beginners want to get online quickly and easily. Some of the web hosting companies I’ve used, have made this super easy to where almost anyone, with no computer experience, can get a website up and live on the web the same day.

But, there are a couple of tricks that make this easier and way faster for non techies:

  • Usually, you buy a domain from a registrar, then buy web hosting from a hosting company. The trouble is, you have to know how to setup your nameservers (DNS) to point the domain name to the hosting account, and it normally takes a little time to propagate (sync up). So you can’t tell if you’ve done it correctly right away, and each time you make changes to the dns the propagation period starts all over again before you can see your domain or website live at your url address.
  • When you buy a domain from a hosting company included with your hosting package, they automatically assign these settings to sync the two together, and all you have to do is wait a few minutes, log in, and start setting up your site. There’s nothing for your to learn how to do or to mess up, so propagation is instant since it was done right the first time. You can literally go from not having a domain name, to having a domain registered, website setup, and be viewing it online in 15 minutes.

So yeah, I’ve changed my recommendation on that, depending on what you’re looking to do. It makes is so simple for inexperienced beginners to get their domain and website or blog online the same day, that it’s the best choice for a lot of people. The company I recommend you use to do that is Bluehost.

Who Has The Cheapest Domain Renewal Price?

Namesilo and InernetBS as far as I know. You’re talking less than a dollar or two between the top registrars, but like I’ve said all along, Namesilo has the best use interface of any company on the planet. Even if they change their pricing, I’ll gladly pay $.20 cents more per domain, for a service that’s easier to use and saves me a ton of time and hassles.

There are frequently flash sales and coupons with all companies, but these days a lot of the time it’s just a ploy to for them to get your business… And then they hammer you on renewal pricing the following year. However, Namesilo just had a $2.99 .net domain sale, and I bought 3 of them, which will renew at their regular rate which was a nice bonus. (I’m going to use them for a couple niche sites, so if they don’t produce no biggie, I saved about $25 bucks over buying them somewhere else)

The Worst Domain Registrar On The Planet! (And which companies to avoid like the plague!!!)

I don’t get angry and really roast a company too often, but in this case it’s warranted. DO NOT, under any circumstance, use a company called Ezot for anything. Absolutely awful customer service.

  • They won’t answer the phone
  • They make you email them for customer support, and responses are not quick
  • Turns out they’re a reseller for Enom, and if you get into a situation where you can’t get ahold of Ezot, Enom will extort you for $200 ($50/yr registration fee, X 4yr min.) in order to take back control of the domain
  • You can’t renew and change settings from the same control panel/url/user login which is insane (I think they do this to make it impossible for small business owners to leave them)
  • Their pricing is crazy at $25/yr per domain

How do I know all this?

Well I can tell you it wasn’t because I signed up with them, that’s for sure. You can take one look at their website and see it hasn’t been updated since 1999. I had a lead gen client that ended up in a situation where their domain was locked, and couldn’t get a hold of anyone to get it resolved. When they did get an email from support, they didn’t know the right questions to ask, and they (Ezot) basically let them suffer. I took over, and it took 2 weeks for me to get the domain transferred out, and it was THE MOST FRUSTRATING experience I have EVER encountered with any registrar. Absolutely terrible service, and unacceptable for customers. (at the same time, kind of brilliant in a way… I bet they have tons of SMB’s they make 50% margins on year after year because it’s too much of a pain in the ass to leave)

I’m really surprised at some of the shit these companies pull, and get away with it. That fact of the matter is, there are a lot of old school business owners that aren’t savvy to the online world just yet. Sadly they’re being taken advantage of in many cases, but it’s not on a large enough individual scale where anything monumental has changed. I even had one registrar try and sell me toll free ecommerce phone services for Pete’s sake! Can you imagine?

Other companies I would avoid at all costs:

  • 1&1
  • Aplus
  • Network Solutions

Top 7 Domain Registrars (in order of best to worst)

  1. Namesilo
  2. Namecheap
  3. InternetBS
  4. GoDaddy
  5. Name.com
  6. Network Solutions
  7. 1&1

Conclusion: (And How I Choose) Who The Best Domain Registration Companies Are?

In short, from years of first hand experience, and going through a lot of hassles.

A lot of people write reviews based on research, and not entirely on actual experiences. But I think you can tell from my writing, especially the parts that left a bruise, I wrote all of this off the top of my head. You’re getting raw, unfiltered advice here, from a guy that’s been through the ringer with a lot of domain registrars. And let’s be honest, this isn’t like buying a camera or bike, this is your business we’re talking about here!

So Matt, why do your opinions on registrars and reviews seem so much different than what I find from the big review aggregators? Because those guys can be influenced by the almighty dollar, and the large conglomerates have too much pull that prevent them from butchering any single company. I on the other hand, have probably spent countless months (not hours, MONTHS… cumulatively of course) cussing at the computer because of some of the situations I’ve found myself in with some of the aforementioned companies. That said, I want to do everything in my power to steer you in the right direction, so you don’t have to struggle and want to throw your computer out the window like I did.

The two best companies I recommend to friends and family for getting their domains are:

  • Namesilo – for securing a name or if you already have web hosting
  • Bluehost – for getting a domain with web hosting that will let you get online the same day


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