Web Hosting Guide
Best Domain Registrar

Domain registrars are accredited to register certain domains only. Therefore, the best domain registrar for your purposes will legitimately be able to offer the domain or domains you're interested in, as well as meeting other criteria. Read on for more.

Types of Domains

Domains are categorized by their top-level domain (TLD), the extension that appears after the final period. Top-level domains are divided into two main categories: generic TLD's—an element of the Domain Name System (DNS), used both to identify the type of registrant (.edu is registered only by educational institutions, for example) and to provide a general base of domain names. Generic top-level domains are abbreviated as gTLDs. Country code TLDS, abbreviated ccTLD, identify the territory or country from which the domain was acquired, with a few notable exceptions.

These exceptions include uses that are called domain hacks as well as licensed use by some small countries. For example, having been assigned .tv and .fm respectively, Tuvalu and Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific island states, decided to register their domains to television stations and radio stations.

What Is a Domain Name Registrar?

A domain name registrar is an organization responsible for maintaining the database for the registry. A domain registrar is accredited by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register gTLDs, and by the country in question to register ccTLDs. Some domain registrars are able to register both types of TLDs. There are also domain name resellers who work with a wholesale registrar.

Finding the Best Domain Registrars

The best domain registrar for you may simply be the web host with whom you are going to have a hosting plan. This will keep all of your hosting activities in one place. On the other hand, if you need a domain name that your web hosting supplier doesn't register, if you already have other domains registered with another domain  registrar, or if another domain registrar offers better pricing, has the aftermarket domain you want, or has a better renewal policy, you may wish to split your domain name and web hosting business. It's usually best to look for a domain registrar that's been in business for awhile, and seek out reviews by customers before making your choice.

If you are seeking a specialized TLD and/or you want to check the authenticity of a business's claim to be an accredited domain regitrar, the best place to check is the ICANN website here: http://www.icann.org/registrars/accredited-list.html for gTLDS. As you will see from the list, different registrars are accredited to handle different top-level domains. The identity of the ccTLDs can be found on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) website here http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/# and the registrar found by clicking the ccTLD itself. Scroll down to find the URL for registration services.

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