Domain Name Buying Guide 2022

. Mostafa Lotfy

If you want to create a website and you want people to take it seriously, you need a custom domain name.

What is a domain Name? domain name

It’s the address that people will type in the browser to visit your website. This site’s domain name is

How to get a domain Name?

domain name registrar's landing page with a search bar to search for price and availability of domain names

You buy it. 

Domain names are sold by websites called registrars.

When you go to a domain name registrar website’s main page, you’ll probably find a search bar, and you can search to see if the domain name you want is available.

You can buy a domain name for one or more years. Then you have to renew.

If you don’t renew, it enters a grace period, where the domain name will stop working. But the registrar gives you time to renew your domain name before they remove it.

What to look for when buying a domain name?

some add-ons offered by a domain name registrar

Each domain name registrar offers different add-ons. Here are some extras you should look for:

Whois guard

Whois guard is a service that hides your personal info (name, address, phone number, email), which is required from you when you register a domain name. This info is being made available publicly in the WHOIS directory! Spammers can then collect your info!

To prevent this, a Whois guard hides your info from being available to the public.

So Whois guard is an essential add-on that protects you from spammers and cyber criminals.

Domain registrars will offer Whois guard as an add-on, some ask you to pay an extra fee for it, but you should look for a registrar that offers it for free.

Here are some registrars that offer whois guard for free

P.S. There are many other domain name registrars out there. I am not affiliated with any service mentioned here. I gain nothing from the links in this article. I am just sharing my experience. Also, you might decide to do more research and find more options out there that better suit your needs.

Domain Name Price

discounts offered by Namecheap domain name registrar for the first year

Some domain name registrars offer low prices for your first year, like Namecheap and GoDadday, and probably others. However, those initial prices last only for the first year, and the renewal prices will rise.

Choose a domain name registrar with reasonable renewable prices.

Registrars with Good renewal prices

SSL certificate

image or the ssl lock in the search bar

What is an SSL certificate

The little lock in the browser, next to your website’s address.

It means that transactions on this website are secure. An SSL certificate encrypts data visitors send to your website and then decrypts it once it is received.

Why should you care about SSL

It makes your website trusted by customers and by search engines.

Even if it’s just a blog where no transaction happens. A “not secure” sign in the browser address bar next to your website’s address might hurt your brand and could negatively affect your website’s SEO.

So an SSL certificate is a must.

However, most website hosting services already provide one. I host my website on GitHub pages, and it provides an SSL certificate. I was using Namecheap and it doesn’t provide one for free, but I didn’t need to pay extra for it.

If your host doesn’t provide a free SSL certificate then you might want to choose a registrar that provides a free SSL certificate.

Domain Name Registrars offering free SSL certificates

  • porkbun
  • Cloudflare

Email forwarding

Email forwarding is not an essential feature, but it’s really nice to have.

Email forwarding allows you to set a custom email address that forwards to your current email. For example, I can set up an email: [email protected] that I can give to people and when they send emails to it they will be forwarded to my free email service, saving me the cost of an email host.

However, when you send emails to people they will see that it’s coming from your Gmail, for example.

Domain name registrars offering free email forwarding

Which domain name registrar to choose

Depends on what you need.

When I was first buying my website’s domain name ( I found the best deal with Namecheap; one of the cheapest prices available at that time, and with free Whois guard, free email forwarding, doesn’t provide a free SSL but I’m hosting my website at GitHub pages and it provides a free SSL.

Then each year the price of renewal kept rising. So I found a better deal at porkbun and transferred to it; reasonable renewal prices, free whois guard, free SSL (if needed), and free email forwarding.

Cloudflare also has the best prices, free whois, free SSL, free email forwarding, and more. But they do try to lock you into using their other services. If you want to use Cloudflare’s CDN anyways it’s fine. But if you choose Cloudflare as your registrar you can’t change your nameservers.

The best deal I found is at porkbun and Cloudflare registrar. Namesilo is another option.

There are so many domain name registrars out there.

If the price is very critical to you, you can buy a domain name somewhere with a good initial year price (NameCheap for example) and then transfer before the end of the year to a registrar with reasonable renewal prices. (like porkbun or Cloudflare registrar)

Also, some sites offer bulk discounts like NameSilo.

Does it need to end in .com

different TLDs (top level domains) or domain name extensions


A domain name can be available in many different extensions (TLDs); .com, .net, .dev, …

It doesn’t matter. However, if .com is available, buy it, just because people are most familiar with it. If not, just don’t buy an extension that is too unfamiliar as your visitors might think your website is untrustworthy.

How to transfer your domain name

Your current domain name registrar should have a docs page to show you the steps you need to take to transfer out of it. Here are the official docs to move from Namecheap

Also, the registrar you want to go to should have documentation to transfer from other popular registrars. Here’s the one from porkbun to move to them from Namecheap

Here’s how I transferred my domain name from Namecheap to porkbun.

Domain Lock with a button to unlock and a button to ask for an Auth code

First, I followed these official docs by Namecheap.

Basically, the domain name transfer is locked by default. So I unlocked it, then I asked for an auth code (required by the other registrars to be able to transfer to them).

Then I received an email with the Auth code immediately.

I took it, went to pork bun, found the transfer page, added my domain name and Auth, registered, and paid for a one-year extension. The process was then stopped–awaiting for Namecheap to release my domain.

a domain name registrar's transfer page. There are 2 input fields one for the domain name the user wants to transfer and the other for the Auth code of the user's current registrar.

The above triggered an email from Namecheap, telling me that if I don’t respond to this email, my domain will be transferred in 5 days automatically. But if I want to cancel it, I’m given a link, and if I want to make the process immediate, I’m given another link to do so.

an email received from name cheap to confirm the transfer process

I clicked on the SPEED UP link and confirmed my transfer. In a couple of minutes, it was done.

Final confirmation to speed up domain name transfer from Namecheap

The remaining time for your domain name will be transferred, and one year will be added. Check the registrar’s rules. If you transfer a couple of days before your current domain name expires, you should have no problems.

It’s generally the same process transferring from and to other registrars.