Buying A Domain - Why We Recommend Namecheap
The very first step in getting your business or personal brand online is purchasing a web domain. There are a variety of websites offering the chance to buy a web domain, and while they may seem to offer similar services at first glance, many of these sites come with hidden fees. Below, we’ll discuss how to check if your desired domain is available as well as analyze the pros and cons of three different domain purchasing sites: GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Squarespace. Our recommendation is to use Namecheap, and below you’ll see why.
The first thing you need to do when looking to purchase a domain is to check that the domain name and related social media accounts you want are available. We recommend using Namechk. Namechk allows you to input your desired domain and check the domain availability as well as the related social media profiles. This ensures that when you go to purchase your domain and create social media accounts for your brand and business, no one will already have taken your desired names.
While GoDaddy may be one of the most recognizable domain buying websites, thanks to their Superbowl ads featuring Danica Patrick, they’re probably not your best option due to aggressive upsells and high pricing.
When you find your available domain on GoDaddy, they will initially give you what appears to be a low price. They prominently display the price for the first year of a 2-year plan and hide the price for the entire 2-year registration until after you move the domain to your cart.
Once you add your domain to the cart, the hidden pricing and upsells become evident. One of the items GoDaddy will ask to purchase is privacy protection. We recommend privacy protection for anyone who does not want to give out their personal information. If you’re buying a domain for a personal brand, purchasing privacy protection is usually a good idea, but if you’re buying a domain for a business that already has a public business address and information available, privacy protection is not normally needed.
Another way GoDaddy will try to upsell you is by asking if you’d like to create an email address that matches your domain. While having a professional business account with your domain is crucial, creating an email address with GoDaddy is not. Other platforms such as G Suite offer better pricing and are more user-friendly. We’ve created a short video to help learn to setup your business email address with your new domain here.
It is normally during check out that most GoDaddy customers realize the extremely low price displayed to them before adding the domain to their cart is the price for the first year of a 2-year plan. The second year of the plan will then cost sometimes 10x more than first year price. If you try to opt-out of the 2-year plan and only purchase the domain for one year, the 1-year price then significantly increases. Below, you can see that when only adding the 2-year plan to the cart and privacy protection, the price soared from the originally quoted $0.99.
It’s also important to note that GoDaddy prices change constantly. When searching for your domain on GoDaddy it’s not uncommon to find a certain price quoted one day and then when you search again the next day, the price will have been altered. If you’re looking for clear fixed pricing, GoDaddy is not recommended.
Bottom Line: While GoDaddy likes to spend on marketing, they also like you spend. If you’re looking for a budget friendly domain purchasing website, there are more inexpensive options to GoDaddy.
Squarespace is an incredible platform that allows you to build beautiful web pages with zero programming or design knowledge needed. We used Squarespace to create our website and we love it so much that we’ve even created a free Squarespace course to help you get your website up. However, when looking to purchase a domain, Squarespace is probably not your best option.
A benefit of buying a domain on Squarespace is that privacy protection comes free. Additionally, if you decide to build your website with the Squarespace and pay for an annual plan, you will get your domain free for the first year. This is a good option if your funds are currently limited and you need to save a little money right now. However, it’s important to keep in mind that yearly renewals for Squarespace are $20 per year.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to buy purchase protection with your domain, Squarespace is more affordable than GoDaddy. However Squarespace is still not the cheapest option when looking for a long-term domain.
As their name implies, Namecheap offers cheap domains. We recommend anyone looking to purchase a domain use this platform.
Unlike GoDaddy, Namecheap offers straightforward pricing. They show their pricing for the first year and show the pricing of yearly renewals. Renewals for Namecheap are cheaper than both GoDaddy and Squarespace. Additionally, WhoisGuard comes free--forever.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an inexpensive domain that you can use for years to come, we recommend Namecheap.
After purchasing your domain name, your next steps are to create a business email and website using your new domain.
When creating email accounts, we recommend making addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. These accounts will give you a professional way to communicate with potential business partners, customers, or followers. As we mentioned above, G Suite from Google is one of the most user-friendly and cost efficient email service providers. If you’re looking to learn how to set up your business email account, check out our free video tutorial How to Set Up a Business Email with Google’s G Suite.
With your new domain, you can now also start creating your website. We recommend using Squarespace to create your website as it allows you to create attractive, professional, and user-friendly websites with no design or programming knowledge necessary. If you’re looking for a little help creating your Squarespace website, check out our free course on getting started with Squarespace.
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