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I think the cheapest right now is 1and1.com. It's $8.99 and that includes private registration for free. (I highly recommend that you go with private registration so that your name, address and contact information isn't made public.)
GoDaddy is the largest, but has been recently sold and their customer service doesn't seem as helpful as it used to be.
There are hundreds of options, but I would look at price and customer service.
1and1 raised their price to 14.99. They still charge 8.99 for the first year, but its 14.99 after that. Just want to clarify that since several posters are quoting the 8.99 price. I used to be a big fan of them until they raised their prices. There are cheaper options.
I have used several domain registrars in the past. Once thing I have learnt along the way, over the years, is that THAT is not handy. So choose one registrar that's proven to be good and has been around for some time and stick to that.
I decided on Godaddy. Hosting can also be done through Godaddy. But I chose to do that elsewhere.
On blogger, go to list of blogs and go to the blog you want to have the domain name and click the drop-down next to it and go to 'settings'; you'll be taken to Basic and on there there is Publishing>Blog Address>add a custom domain>>>>>click on that and put in the domain address [mydomainname(dot)com].
You also have to point your domain to the host which you do at namecheap. Can't remember if there's a special way to do this at Blogger, I think there is but I haven't used Blogger like this in awhile. On a paid webhost you have to put in info you get from the web host which I think is a couple IP addresses. I tend to re-learn this process every time I do it.
Thanks Barabara, for asking this, i am also on the lookout for this, i want to start a blog and want to buy a domain for that, i am also unaware about the total cost which will be required for buying domain and then hosting it, anyone any idea please let me know.
You could do it for about $20 dollars. About $10 for the domain name, which is the registration fee for a whole year; and then about $10 to pay for hosting monthly. If you want to buy a theme, you can get a decent one for about $35.
My advice to newbies is never, ever buy a theme. You're almost bound to buy the wrong one first time around (and even second and third time around...). time enough to buy a paid theme once you've learned the ropes and know exactly what your needs are.
There are thousands of free themes on Wordpress.org and many of them are just as good, or better, than paid themes.
I'm a big fan of the Encounter theme right now (the free version).
I think you're right about that, Marisa. I almost hesitated to include the theme thing, though I feel satisfied with the first one I bought; though I'm certain I got lucky, because I bought some others that were not so good. Better to start off without spending too much too; just on the bare essentials, domain name and webhost.
Edit: Though I will say, the one I bought that I'm not sure about was a package deal, a good one, and I haven't gone through all the themes yet.
For registering domains, I use prouddomains.com because I have got caught out before, buying at a discount from godaddy, only to find that when renewal time comes around it is more expensive (though it is worth contacting them as I did negotiate a discount after pointing out that their renewal rate was way more expensive!). For hosting, I use hostgator, their support is brilliant - I actually have a reseller account there and offer hosting to clients for whom I have built websites. For a theme, I recommend the free wordpress theme, Weaver - you can upgrade to pro with more features (paid theme) if or when you need to. If you are building for a site for a local 'offline' business, I would recommend buying a theme with embedded schema markup to tell the search engines exactly what your business is, where it is and more details about it. You could also add this information by means of the LOCAL SEO plugin from Yoast.
This is why I suggested a theme, although I backpedaled but now I'm seeing one of the reasons a theme can be good; they are often SEO optimized, which means they're set up to help you get traffic. Many themes feature SEO optimization, they sell and promote them that way and if you get the right one it does work. With your own site, domain name at a good webhost, you are independent too.
I recently got one domain name from GoDaddy for very cheap, I believe something around $6 and that was for co.uk but they had $2.99 offers for .com.
I usually get my domain name with the hosting to save time setting up the blog, but this time I got on the phone with an adviser at GoDaddy and they done everything for me including my name servers. Based on my experience with them (just once) I would recommend them.
psycheskinner, I had a website that was about 7 years old that was a free one. When I switched to the new domain name, first pages on Google all went way down. I still have links out there with the old address. I think Google frowns on it. At least that is my experience with that site.
Most of those links can't be changed,because I can't contact the sites. I don't think Google is counting any of them. My site age has also been taken away. It now says the site is only 3 years old. That is how long I've had it since.
The moment your URL/domain changes your site age will vanish (which can be a good thing or a bad thing). Effectively you have started with a brand new site. Equally your de-indexed articles have to start again too if you have them on the new site, so they too will lose any place they previously held in the rankings because they are now considered to be brand new articles. When you start on a new site/domain name of any kind you are beginning again and need to forget rankings, search engine results etc that were previously the case.
Barbara, did you go through the process of doing a redirect from the old domain to your new one? You can do this if you still own the old domain or even repurchase the domain name. Google also has the facility to let you specify that you have changed your domain name and that you now want website x to be known as website y - someone with some seo experience can recover the situation for you - although I have to say that three years is quite a long time so you would need to speak to someone better qualified than me! There is no need to lose all the 'juice' to your site if you change domain names.
There are two Wordpresses - Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com.
Wordpress.com works the same as Blogger - it's free, and you can attach a domain name. However you can't put ANY advertising on your site, unless you upgrade to the Premium platform, which costs around $99 a year.
Wordpress.org is software you use on a host like Hostgator, and you can do anything with it you like - the annual cost is slightly cheaper than Wordpress.com, but you need more technical knowledge to get it going and keep it running.
As most comments are showing, the "price" factor isn't very important when it comes to "the best" place to buy a domain name. After all, you are only talking about $1 - $5 PER YEAR difference.
So the real answer for the best place is first - someplace other than where you buy your hosting - and be very careful about package deals that include domain name AND hosting, because most of the time the fine print reveals you can't take the domain name with you if you want to change hosts. Not always, but frequently.
Second, stay with a recognized name that has been around a while. (more chance they will be around awhile longer) There are several, but Namecheap and Godaddy come to mind.
If you are not buying 100+ domain names at a time - it would be foolish to make a decision based on a $1 or $5 PER YEAR difference.
But with all that being said - I get mine from Namecheap.com because they offer privacy listing, (Yes, you want this!), FREE for the first year, and then for $3.99 p/year, whereas Godaddy is $9.99 p/year
I used to register my domains with GoDaddy, but they charge $10 a year for hiding your information from WhoIs. I moved all my domains to Namecheap, where virtually the same protection is offered for free the first year, and under $3 a year after that.
I use HostGator for hosting. They're excellent and very helpful.
One other thing to be aware of..most domain registrars like GoDaddy and Namecheap with offer you a good deal for a new domain, but likely increase the price a little or a lot after the first year (or however long you chose, initially). I'd go with Namecheap, since I've also found them very reliable and not pushy with endless upsells, like GoDaddy.
All these companies make their services cheap initially to hook you in..then raise the prices when the term expires, whether it's a domain name or hosting. Beware, and don't go too cheap.
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