How to Find the Best UK Domain Registration Service
According to Nominet, there are, over 12 million UK domains currently registered. Based to my very rough calculations, that is around one domain name for every 6th person in the UK!
That is a lot of domains. Especially if you are looking to register a unique domain name for your website or business idea, this means that unique domain name could be taken at any minute — so how do you find the best service to register your domain name?
Compare Domain Name Prices
The good news is, we have done the hard work to help you find and compare the cheapest domain name registration services. To get started, select the domain name extension that you require and view a list of the companies that offer domain name registration services for that particular extension.
We continually compare hundreds of domain name providers, to bring you the cheapest domain registration prices in the UK. Along with all best offers and latest discounts providing you with the most comprehensive list of domain regisration prices in the UK.
The most popular domain extension in the world, boasting over 127 million domains registered.
The UK’s most popular domain name extension. Being the no.1 choice for business and individuals in the UK.
Shorter alternative to the co.uk domain name extension. Relatively new but fast becoming a popular choice.
What is a domain name & do I need one?
Getting your site online starts with a domain name. A domain name is the address for your website. Allowing your visitors to find your site easily, so every domain name has to be unique. To register a domain name, you need to go through a domain name registration provider.
As the name suggests domain name registration providers, register a domain on your behalf through the associated registry. In addition, they enable you to manage domain processes such as setting name-servers and DNS settings.
Can I register any domain name?
No, first you need to ensure that the domain name you require is available for registration in your required extension. So if you were to try and register hostfind.co.uk, you would find that this domain has already been registered. So would need to choose another domain name or domain name extension.
It is also worth noting that some ccTLDs require you to be a resident or conduct business within that country so these would restrict you from registering a domain from that country.
How Much Does It Cost To Register a Domain?
To give you an idea on what you should be paying for a domain name in the UK, we carried out some analysis on the average cost of registering the following domain extensions:
We looked at the cost for two years of registration. To take into account promotional pricing, this was across the providers that we compare.
- The average cost of a .com Domain Name (May 2020) – £11.54/year
- A .co.uk Domain Name (May 2020) Comes in at – £6.31/year
- Finally a .co.uk Domain Name (May 2020) costs on average – £6.70/year
It makes for interesting reading and provides a good baseline on what you should expect to pay for various domain names.
What are the most common TLDs (Top Level Domains)?
Most people know a few of them. In the UK the most common are .com, .org, .net, .info or ccTLDs (Country-code Top Level Domains) such a .uk. Since 2009 though the choice out there has swelled to over 1000 different domain name extensions. However the most popular in the UK hosting market are still .com or .co.uk.
Who Provides The Best Domain Registration Services?
When you start comparing domain registration services, you’ll often notice that there are significant differences, in both the features they offer and the prices they charge.
When recommending providers, we look at several factors.
#1. Competitive Fair Pricing : Who is the cheapest?
Many companies offer low introductory prices only to charge considerably more when it comes to renewals. I have no issues with promotional rates, and it is common practice with web hosting providers. However, I’m a bigger fan of consistency, knowing that prices are not going to increase year-on-year drastically.
Tip: Read our monthly round-up of the cheapest domain registration in the UK.
- Constantly low prices
- .co.uk and .UK Domains £5.55 (£6.12 Renewals)
- .com domains £7.17 (Renews at £10.53)
- Free WhoisGuard Privacy Protection – For Life!
#2. Additional Features: Who offers the best features?
Many providers offer additional extras when registering a domain name, such as Privacy Protection, eMail accounts and even website builders.
- First Year Free (There is no requirement to purchase additional years)
- Free Email – IMAP mailbox, 100MB storage and Anti Virus & Spam protection
- Free Site Builder – Drag & Drop Site Builder Included
- Free Stock Images – Gain access to hundreds of high quality stock images to help bring your website to life
Can I get a Domain Name For Free?
There are several ways you can get a domain name for free. There are services like Freenom which allow you to register free domain extensions such as.TK domains (dot TK is the ccTLD for Tokelau); however, services like Freenom don’t appear to have the highest reputation – check out these Trust Pilot reviews.
Tip: We have written a handy guide on how to get genuinely free domain name check it out.
If you plan on hosting your website straight away, then there are also web hosting provers that offer cheap hosting with free domain registration.
What makes a good domain name?
Choosing the right domain name can be extremely difficult. The obvious choice is the choose your company, brand or organisation as your name. But if this has been taken, then your options start to become limited.
If you are a business, we would always recommend choosing either a .com or .co.uk as this is still peoples first thought when typing in a URL.
If you were looking for Nike’s website, the first thing most people would choose type is .com or .co.uk. Keeping your domain name short and easy to remember works too. Having to spell out your URL to a prospective customer each time you want to tell them to visit your website can frustrating and quickly forgotten.
Before 1998 if you said Google to someone, you would probably have received a blank stare. Now, it is a common word in almost every person’s vocabulary. It signifies that a short and punchy name can go a long way.
Should I register a domain with my web hosting provider?
There is no reason why not to register a domain name with your web hosting provider. In fact, many offer intensives such as free domain name registration to encourage you to sign up with them.
Before you do, though, make sure that you read the terms and conditions as you may end up paying inflated renewal prices or paying a fee to transfer the domain away from them.
It is important to remember though you do not need to have your web hosting and domain name with the same provider.
What Do I Need To Look For When Registering a Domain Name?
The are plenty of domain name registrars to choose from when registering a domain name – each service offering different features and prices.
Some top tips to consider when registering a domain name.
Choose a provider with low renewal prices – Rather than the headline price. You will want a provider you are happy to stick with for years to come ideally.
Look at the additional features that come with your domain registration. Domain name privacy is always a good option, especially if you are an individual that wants to protect your privacy.
What is the difference between a registry, registrar and registrant?
A domain registry is an organisation that manages TLDs. They create the domain extensions and decide on the rules for registration and handle the WHOIS for those extensions. The UK’s ccTLD registry is Nominet, which handle any .uk, .cymru or .wales registrations. Generally, you cannot register a domain name directly with a domain name registry. This is where a domain registrar comes into place.
A domain registrar will register a domain name on your behalf with the associated registry. An excellent example of a domain name registrar is 123-reg who will register a domain for you for a yearly fee. Once you have registered a domain name, you will become the domain registrant.
A domain registrant is the owner of the domain name. A domain registrant can be a company or individual who owns and maintains the website. Anyone can register a domain name as long as you meet the domain name registry’s requirements to registering that particular extension.
Is Domain Hosting the Same As Domain Registration?
When people often talk of domain hosting, they are referring to website hosting. Generally, you will always want a domain name if you’re going to create a website. You can, however, own a domain name without having a website hosting in place.
You may want the domain name to provide you with a professional-looking email address. Alternatively, you may want to keep it for a future project.
You should now have a better understanding of the domain name registration process, what to look for in a domain name registration service. Additionally, what the best features are to look for in a domain registrar.
Remember feel free to ask any questiosn and comment on what you think makes the best domain registration service.