Best Place to Buy a Domain Name



Whether you’re making a business, blog, personal portfolio, or a repository for cat photos, step one is to purchase a domain name. The domain marketplace can be overwhelming so let’s compare some of the major players.

TLDR: I recommend Cloudflare over NameCheap, GoDaddy, Porkbun, and Google Domains for several reasons including lower costs and extra security benefits.

Pricing Transparency and No Markup Cost

One of the most compelling reasons to choose Cloudflare for purchasing a domain name is its transparent pricing model. Unlike many providers that lure customers with low introductory prices only to increase renewal fees significantly (NameCheap), Cloudflare adopts a no markup cost policy. This means you pay exactly what Cloudflare pays to the registry for your domain—no hidden fees, no sudden price hikes.

1st YearRenewals
Google Domains$12$12

I tried looking up GoDaddy’s pricing, but I had a tough time finding anything. I had to search individual .coms and they varied wildly in price. Interestingly, they are actually notorious for shady domain pricing behaviors.

For example, you might search for a domain name and it shows up for $10, then you go back to purchase it the next day and GoDaddy has marked it as ‘premium’ and it’s now $100. There’s widespread experiences of this happening and it’s why I avoid them and tell others to do the same.

DDOS Protection

I’ve read smarter people than me say this about DDOS attacks…”it’s not about ‘if’ they happen, it’s about ‘when’.

Basically, a DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack is when an attacker floods your site with millions of request distributed across thousands of devices to crash the site for an extended period of time.

Cloudflare is renowned for its advanced DDOS protection, safeguarding your site against the most sophisticated distributed denial-of-service attacks. This extra protection is free and requires no additional setup. No other domain registrars do this.

If you already bought a domain name elsewhere, you can still route traffic through Cloudflare as a proxy service to get extra security. There are simple tutorials online to show how to do this.

SSL Certificates

SSL certificates are important to show other internet users that your site isn’t trying to do anything nefarious. You’ve probably seen the screen below at some point, it’s because the site you visited didn’t have an SSL certificate.

The good thing is, they’re free…or should be. You can search ‘Free SSL Certificates’ and get tons of results. The best result being an organization called Let’s Encrypt which is sponsored by Meta, Google, IBM, and other tech giants.

Even though they’re free, sites like GoDaddy ($70/year) and NameCheap ($11/year) still charge their customers, which is pretty frustrating.

Cloudflare and Porkbun automatically install SSL for free and automatically renew them as well, so you don’t even have to think about it.


Two things are probably obvious at this point:

  1. I use Cloudflare
  2. I hate GoDaddy

Best of luck in your web journey and feel free to reach out if you need help!