How To Choose The Best Domain Registrar

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

By: Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com

Updated: 4:47 PM ET Mon, May 24th 2021

finger pressing keyboard key that reads "Domain Name Registration"

There are many reasons you might be interested in buying a domain name and starting your own website. However, the one constant is that you’ll need to buy it through a domain registrar. While it sounds simple enough on the surface, there’s much that you should know about domain names before moving forward. Once you understand how these entities work, you’ll be able to select the best domain registrar for your needs.

The Best Domain Registrants, Registrars, and Registries

When an end-user accesses a website, they use a domain name to access the IP address where the website resides. Since an IP address is a long string of numbers, domain names provide a more straightforward, easy-to-remember way to reach a website. When someone purchases a domain name, they become the registrant that’s associated with their domain name.

Registries around the world maintain a total of over 370 million unique domain names. This is an incredible organizational achievement, one which domain registrars help make possible. Registries certify these companies to handle the commercial side of leasing domain names. Registrars are essentially middlemen that take on the expenses of marketing while profiting off of domain name leases and added value.

What Differentiates The Best Domain Registrars?

If you’ve already picked out your ideal domain name, it’s necessary to choose a registrar capable of selling it. Depending on the registrar, they may be able to sell top-level domains such as .com. Others are limited to regional domains, such as .en or .cze. Your choice of domain can have a powerful effect on how the public views your business, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Additionally, different registrars have unique pricing policies and purchasable add-ons. While some add-ons are superfluous, others can help build consumer trust and protect your information.

In short, choosing the best domain registrar comes down to understanding your needs and choosing the most suitable registrar.

What Is Cybersquatting?

It’s easy to define cybersquatting, as the United States government has formally defined it in law. In accordance with the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, cybersquatting is essentially using a domain name to profiteer from another brand. This can look like someone registering a domain name that’s highly close to the one that you use while offering similar products and services. Once you understand cybersquatting, it’s easy to make the step to understanding reverse cybersquatting.

Reverse Cybersquatting

Reverse domain hijacking, or reverse cybersquatting, is essentially the act of someone unfairly charging you with cybersquatting. In general, the victim first becomes aware when a party contacts you and tries to claim that you’re guilty of cybersquatting. If they’re unable to get you to cede ownership of your property, then they’ll threaten to file a complaint to ICAAN and attempt to have the organization transfer your domain name to them. Reverse cybersquatting is particularly complicated because of the fact that a wrongful accusation isn’t necessarily bad faith and extortion, and the person may sincerely believe you’re infringing on their trademark. Bad faith is an essential component of the ICAAN definition of reverse cybersquatting;

“Using the UDRP in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.”

UDRP case decisions are not legal decrees, but they do invoke the power that ICAAN holds to transfer domain names. In general, the greatest danger of reverse cybersquatting is that complacency may result in the other person winning the case. Even if you win, you still might end up spending a great deal of time and money on the case.

Choosing The Right Domain

Selecting the right domain is an important step in pursuing the success of your website. A few domains are restricted, such as the educational institution-exclusive .edu domain. However, most are available to any interested user, and their public perception has evolved in interesting ways.

For instance, .com and the similarly-named domain .co are the two most highly trusted choices according to a study by GrowthBadger. While .com is nominally a shorthand for commercial businesses, .co has no inherent relationship to business. It’s actually a country-specific domain for Colombia, but it’s become popular and reliable by association.

Using A Different Domain

When a person spurns these two choices, it’s often a deliberate choice to influence public perception or a sort of marketing gambit. One example is that .org is a favorite of nonprofits such as Wikipedia and Save The Children. Someone may choose to use .org based on the assumption that it will inspire a more benevolent, profit-averse impression in users. Since .org is one of the most highly trusted and memorable domains, this is a fine decision to make.

Other less common domains might be part of a strategy to make a website more memorable. Someone running a website named “Food Guru” might use the name “Food” and the obscure .guru domain. Such an approach is double-edged because the aforementioned study indicated that when people misremember a domain name, they typically assume that it uses .com. While websites have used unorthodox domains successfully, it’s not a decision to take lightly.

Find The Add-Ons You Need

While your website might not need any add-ons, this depends on your purposes. A blog that doesn’t ask for any information from the viewer might be able to get away with going without any add-ons. On the other hand, eCommerce businesses and other websites that process financial information virtually require SSL certificates.

SSL Certificates

Google has formally begun rewarding websites that use SSL certificates by treating SSL as a positive factor in search engine ranking. This is because SSL certificates secure the connection between the user and the website. If the user needs to submit their email, phone number, or credit card information, SSL certification is essential to protect this information.

Private Registration

If someone leases a website and foregoes private registration, anyone can access their information via the ICANN database. In this case, the website owner might have to deal with junk mail, unwanted calls, and other undesired contacts.

Other Add-Ons

Countless add-ons offer to enhance the speed of your website, protect it from DDoS attacks, and much more. It’s worth perusing the add-ons a given domain registrar offers to see what interests you.

What To Watch Out For When Comparing The Best Domain Registrars

Domain registrars often try to sell services that the user may not be interested in. As a result, it’s essential to be attentive during the registration process.

Pricing Schemes

Many popular, reputable domain registrars employ slightly deceptive practices. You might see a registrar offer an extremely low price for your first year and require you to pay for two years up-front. Then the second year is much more expensive, and the user hasn’t saved any money by booking with them.

Another trick is including add-ons by default. Before paying for your domain name, make sure that you’ve un-checked any unwanted add-ons. If you stay alert, you can avoid spending money on services that don’t hold value for you.

Expiration Policy

It’s easy to miss a payment on renewing your domain name due to human error, even if you have the means to pay for it. Some registrars offer a grace period that will allow you to rectify the issue, while others will immediately terminate the lease. Familiarize yourself with the expiration policy of your registrar, and take due precaution if they don’t offer a grace period.

Find The Best Domain Registrar For You

Once you understand what you’re looking for, finding the best domain registrar is remarkably straightforward. No matter what you’re looking for, odds are you can find it with VPN.com’s premium domain brokerage team. Get in touch with us to learn more about how to secure and register and premium domain name for your business.

Worldwide Premium Domain Brokers

Helping you acquire premium domain names in any country you desire. Inquire today about our Global Brand Protection Program if you want to register your brand in EVERY country.

North America Domains

Country

Bermuda

Canada
Greenland
Mexico
Saint Pierre
United States

Domain
.bm
.ca
.gl
.com.mx, .mx
.pm
.us, .com
Language
English
French, English
Greenlandic
Spanish
French
English
Capital
Hamilton
Ottawa
Nuuk
Mexico City
Saint-Pierre
Washington D.C.
Pop.
62,278
37,742,154
56,770
128,932,753
5,794
331,002,651

Africa Domains

Country

Algeria

Angola
Antarctica
Benin
Botswana
Burkina
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Cote D'Ivoire
Dem. Congo
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Congo
Reunion Island
Rwanda
Sao Tome
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
St. Helena
Sudan
Tanzania
The Gambia
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
South Sudan
Domain Extension
.dz
.co.ao
.aq
.bj
.bw
.bf
.bi
.cm
.cv
.cf
.td
.ci
.cd
.dj
.com.eg, .eg
.gq
.ga
.com.gh
.com.gn
.gw
.ke
.co.ls, .ls
.com.lr
.ly
.mg
.mw
.ml
.mr
.mu
.yt
.co.ma, .ma
.co.mz
.na
.ne
.ng
.cg
.re
.rw
.st
.sn
.sc
.sl
.so
.co.za
.sh
.sd
.co.tz
.gm
.tg
.com.tn, .tn
.com.ug, .ug
.com.zm
.co.zw
.com.ss
Language
Arabic
Portuguese
Russian, English
French
English
French
French, English, Kirundi
French, English
Portuguese, Creole
Sango, French
French, Arabic
French
French
Arabic, French
Arabic
Spanish, French, Portuguese
French
English
French
Portuguese
Swahili, English
Southern Sotho, English
English
Arabic
Malagasy, French
English
French
Arabic
Mauritian Creole
French
Arabic
Portuguese
English
French
English
French
Reunion French Creole
Kinyarwanda, English, French
Portuguese
French
English, Seselwa, French
English
Somali
Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English
English
Arabic, English
Swahili, English
English
French
Arabic
Swahili, English
English
Shona, Ndebele, English
English
Capital
Algiers
Luanda
N/A
Porto-Novo
Gaborone
Ouagadougou
Gitega
Yaoundé
Praia
Bangui
N'Djamena
Yamoussoukro
Kinshasa
Djibouti
Cairo
Malabo
Libreville
Accra
Conakry
Bissau
Nairobi
Maseru
Monrovia
Tripoli
Antananarivo
Lilongwe
Bamako
Nouakchott
Port Louis
Mamoudzou
Rabat
Maputo
Windhoek
Niamey
Abuja
Brazzaville
Saint-Denis
Kigali
São Tomé
Dakar
Victoria
Freetown
Mogadishu
Cape Town
Jamestown
Khartoum
Dodoma
Banjul
Lomé
Tunis
Kampala
Lusaka
Harare
Juba
Pop.
43,851,044
32,866,272
4,490
12,123,200
2,351,627
20,903,273
11,890,784
26,545,863
561,198
4,829,767
16,425,864
26,378,274
89,561,403
988,000
102,334,404
1,402,985
2,225,734
31,072,940
13,132,795
1,968,001
53,771,296
2,142,249
5,057,681
6,871,292
27,691,018
19,129,952
20,250,833
4,649,658
1,271,768
272,815
36,910,560
31,255,435
2,540,905
24,206,644
206,139,589
5,518,087
895,312
12,952,218
219,159
16,743,927
98,347
7,976,983
15,893,222
59,308,690
6,077
43,849,260
59,734,218
2,416,668
8,278,724
11,818,619
45,741,007
18,383,955
14,862,924
11,193,725

Asia Domains

Country

Afghanistan

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Christmas Island
Georgia
Guam
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Niue
Pakistan
Palestine
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor Leste
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Domain
.af
.am
.az
.com.bd
.bt
.io
.com.bn
.com.kh
.cn, .com.cn
.cx
.com.ge, .ge
.com.gu
.com.hk, .hk
.co.in, .in
.co.id, .id
.jp
.kz
.kg
.la
.mo
.com.my, .my
.mv
.mn
.com.mm
.com.np
.nu
.pk
.com.ps, .ps
.ph
.com.sg, .sg
.com.kr, .kr
.lk
.com.tw, .tw
.com.tj, .tj
.co.th
.tl
.tm
.uz
.com.vn
Language
Pashto, Dari
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Bengali
Dzongkha
English
Malay
Khmer
Mandarin
English
Georgian
Chamorro, English
Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Hindi, English
Indonesian
Japanese
Kazakh, Russian
Kyrgyz, Russian
Lao
Cantonese, Portuguese
Malay
Dhivehi
Mongolian
Burmese
Nepali
Niue, English
Urdu, English
Arabic
Filipino, English
Malay, Tamil, English, Mandarin
Korean
Sinhala, Tamil
Mandarin
Tajiki
Thai
Portuguese, Tetun
Turkmen
Uzbek
Vietnamese
Capital
Kabul
Yerevan
Baku
Dhaka
Thimphu
Camp Justice
Bandar Seri Begawan
Phnom Penh
Beijing
Flying Fish Cove
Tbilisi
Hagåtña
City of Victoria
New Delhi
Jakarta
Tokyo
Nur-Sultan
Bishkek
Vientiane
Macao
Kuala Lumpur
Malé
Ulaanbaatar
Naypyitaw
Kathmandu
Alofi
Islamabad
Ramallah, East Jerusalem
Manila
Pulau Ujong
Seoul
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Taipei
Dushanbe
Bangkok
Dili
Ashgabat
Tashkent
Hanoi
Pop.
38,928,346
2,963,243
10,139,177
164,689,383
771,608
3,000
437,479
16,718,965
1,439,323,776
1,843
3,989,167
168,775
7,496,981
1,380,004,385
273,523,615
126,476,461
18,776,707
6,524,195
7,275,560
649,335
32,365,999
540,544
3,278,290
54,409,800
29,136,808
1,626
220,892,340
5,101,414
109,581,078
5,850,342
51,269,185
21,413,249
23,816,775
9,537,645
69,799,978
1,318,445
6,031,200
33,469,203
97,338,579

Caribbean Domains

Country

Anguilla

Antigua
Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Curacao
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Haiti
Jamaica
Martinique
Montserrat
Puerto Rico
Saint Lucia
Sint Maarten
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos
U.S. Virgin Islands
Domain Extension
.ai
.ag
.aw
.bs
.bb
.vg
.com.ky, .ky
.com.cw, .cw
.dm
.do
.gd
.gp
.ht
.com.jm
.mq
.ms
.com.pr, .pr
.lc
.sx
.kn
.com.vc, .vc
.tt
.tc
.com.vi, .vi
Language
English
English
Dutch, Papiamento
English
English
English
English
Dutch, English, Papiamento
English
Spanish
English
French
Haitian Creole, French
English
French
English
Spanish, English
English
Dutch, English
English
English
English
English
English
Capital
The Valley
Saint John's
Oranjestad
Nassau
Bridgetown
Road Town
George Town
Willemstad
Roseau
Santo Domingo
Saint George's
Basse-Terre
Port-au-Prince
Kingston
Fort-de-France
Plymouth, Brades
San Juan
Castries
Philipsburg
Basseterre, Charlestown
Kingstown
Port of Spain
Cockburn Town
Charlotte Amalie
Pop.
15,003
97,929
106,766
393,244
287,375
30,231
65,722
164,093
71,986
10,847,910
112,523
400,124
11,402,528
2,961,167
375,265
4,992
2,860,853
183,627
42,876
53,199
110,940
1,399,488
38,717
104,425

Central America Domains

Country

Belize

Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama
Domain
.bz
.cr
.com.sv, .sv
.com.gt, .gt
.hn
.com.ni, .ni
.pa
Language
English
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Belmopan
San José
San Salvador
Guatemala City
Tegucigalpa
Managua
Panama City
Pop.
397,628
5,094,118
6,486,205
17,915,568
9,904,607
6,624,554
4,314,767

Europe Domains

Country

Aland Islands

Albania
Ascension Island
Austria
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Faroe Island
Finland
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Guernsey
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Isle of Man
Italy
Jersey
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malta
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Domain Extension
.ax
.al
.ac
.at
.by
.be
.ba
.bg
.hr
.cy
.co.cz, .cz
.dk
.ee
.fo
.fi
.fr
.de
.gi
.com.gr, .gr
.gg
.hu
.is
.ie
.im
.it
.je
.lv
.li
.lt
.lu
.mk
.com.mt, .mt
.md
.mc
.me
.nl
.no
.com.pl, .pl
.pt
.ro
.com.ru, .ru
.sm
.co.rs, .rs
.sk
.si
.com.es, .es
.se
.ch
.com.ua, .ua
.co.uk, .uk
Language
Swedish
Albanian
English
German
Belarusian, Russian
Dutch, German, French
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Greek, Turkish
Czech
Danish
Estonian
Faroese, Danish
Finnish, Swedish
French
German
English
Greek
English
Hungarian
Icelandic
Irish, English
Manx, English
Italian
French, English
Latvian
German
Lithuanian
Luxembourgish, German, French
Macedonian, Albanian
Maltese, English
Romanian
French
Montenegrin
Dutch
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Italian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swedish
German, Romansh, French, Italian
Ukrainian
English
Capital
Mariehamn
Tirana
Georgetown
Vienna
Minsk
Brussels
Sarajevo
Sofia
Zagreb
Nicosia
Prague
Copenhagen
Tallinn
Tórshavn
Helsinki
Paris
Berlin
Gibraltar
Athens
Saint Peter Port
Budapest
Reykjavík
Dublin
Douglas
Rome
Saint Hellier
Riga
Vaduz
Vilnius
Luxembourg
Skopje
Valletta
Chișinău
Monaco
Podgorica
Amsterdam
Oslo
Warsaw
Lisbon
Bucharest
Moscow
San Marino
Belgrade
Bratislava
Ljubljana
Madrid
Stockholm
Bern
Kyiv
London
Pop.
29,900
2,877,797
7,915
9,006,398
9,449,323
11,589,623
3,280,819
6,948,445
4,105,267
1,207,359
10,708,981
5,792,202
1,326,535
52,934
5,540,720
65,273,511
83,783,942
33,691
10,423,054
63,000
9,660,351
341,243
4,937,786
85,033
60,461,826
173,863
1,886,198
38,128
2,722,289
625,978
2,083,374
441,543
4,033,963
39,242
628,066
17,134,872
5,421,241
37,846,611
10,196,709
19,237,691
145,934,462
33,931
8,737,371
5,459,642
2,078,938
46,754,778
10,099,265
8,654,622
43,733,762
67,886,011

Middle East Domains

Country

Arab Emirates

Bahrain
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Yemen
Turkey
Domain
.ae
.bh
.iq
.co.il
.jo
.com.kw
.com.lb
.com.com, .om
.qa
.com.sa, .sa
.com.ye
.com.tr
Language
Arabic
Arabic
Kurdish, Arabic
Hebrew
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Turkish
Capital
Abu Dhabi
Manama
Baghdad
Jerusalem
Amman
Kuwait City
Beirut
Muscat
Doha
Riyadh
Sana'a
Ankara
Pop.
9,890,402
1,701,575
40,222,493
8,655,535
10,203,134
4,270,571
6,825,445
5,106,626
2,881,053
34,813,871
29,825,964
84,339,067

Oceania Domains

Country

American Samoa

Australia
Cocos Islands
Cook Islands
Fiji
French Polynesia
Heard and McDonald Islands
Kiribati
Mariana
Micronesia
Nauru
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norfolk
Palau
Pitcairn
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Wallis and Futuna
Domain Extension
.as
.com.au
.cc
.co.ck
.com.fj
.com.pf, pf
.hm
.com.ki
.mp
.fm
.nr
.nc
.co.nz, .nz
.nf
.pw
.pn
.ws
.sb
.tk
.to
.tv
.vu
.wf
Language
Samoan, English
English
English
Rarotongan, English
Fijian, English, Fiji Hindi
French
English
Kiribati, English
Chamorro, Carolinian, English
English
Nauruan, English
French
Maori, English
English, Norfuk
Palauan, English
English
Samoan, English
English
Tokelauan, English
Tongan, English
Tuvaluan, English
French, English, Bislama
French
Capital
Pago Pago
Canberra
West Island
Avarua District
Suva
Pape'ete
N/A
Tarawa
Saipan
Palikir
Nauru
Nouméa
Wellington
Kingston
Ngerulmud
Adamstown
Apia
Honiara
Nukunonu
Nuku'alofa
Funafuti
Port Vila
Matā'utu
Pop.
55,191
25,499,884
544
17,564
896,445
280,908
0
119,449
57,559
548,914
10,824
285,498
4,822,233
1,748
18,094
50
198,414
686,884
1,357
105,695
11,792
307,145
11,239

South America Domains

Country

Argentina

Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Falkland Islands
French Guiana
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
S.Georgia and S.Sandwich Islands
Suriname
Uruguay
Venezuela
Domain Extension
.ar, .com.ar
.bo
.com.br
.cl
.com.br
.ec
.co.fk
.gf
.gy
.com.py
.pe
.gs
.sr
.com.uy, .uy
.com.ve
Language
Spanish
Spanish
Portuguese
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
English
French
English
Paraguayan Guarani, Spanish
Spanish, Aymara
English
Dutch
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Buenos Aires
La Paz, Sucre
Brasilia
Santiago
Bogotá
Quito
Stanley
Cayenne
Georgetown
Asunción
Lima
King Edward Point
Paramaribo
Montevideo
Caracas
Pop.
45,195,774
11,673,021
212,559,417
19,116,201
50,882,891
17,643,054
3,480
298,682
786,552
7,132,538
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