Most businesses need a website, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, a bigger enterprise, or an entrepreneur just starting out; a well-designed website and a good domain name are a must. Both go a long way to raising your profile, showcasing your products and branding, and building credibility with all-important customers. Finding all of this in a web hosting solution can be daunting and expensive if you don’t choose carefully. That’s why we’re taking a look at one such choice: Domain.com. There's lots to get through in this Domain.com review, so let’s dive in.
What is Domain.com?
This platform goes way back to 1998, just seven years after the internet came onto the scene. Today, its headquarters is in Vancouver, Canada, and is part of the Endurance International Group, which owns almost 100 web hosting and website building companies, including FastDomain and BlueHost.
But, back to Domain.com. Its focus is on individuals and small and medium-sized businesses worldwide. At the time of writing, it's one of the largest web hosting and domain name providers, powering over 1.2 million websites worldwide.
Broadly speaking, it provides the following services:
- Domain registration
- Web hosting services
- Web design
- Online marketing
Its aim is to offer customers an affordable solution, whatever sized business they operate.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's take a closer look at the main features Domain.com provides:
Your domain name is how the internet identifies your website. I.e., it’s an understandable form of your IP address.
An IP address might look like this:
…whereas the associated domain name might be exampleyoursite.com. This is much easier for visitors to remember and type into their browser’s address bar.
Choosing the right domain name is essential. It needs to be simple, memorable, and suitable for your brand.
It’s also worth noting that Domain.com recommends registering more than one domain to protect your brand from squatters or copycats. For example, registering different domain extensions and misspelled versions.
Domain.com has a search bar. Here you simply type in your desired domain, and it will tell you if it’s available or not. You can also find out who owns that domain if it’s already taken.
You can opt for the following:
- .com costs $9.99 and is the most popular choice because a .com can boost your SEO value. According to Domain.com, all Fortune 500 companies use a .com domain. In general, .com websites have a good reputation as they’re most commonly purchased by credible businesses instead of scammers. TLDs with reputations for spam, like .rest, .biz, and .tk, can affect your SEO negatively in comparison.
- .net costing $12.99
- .org costing $8.99
- .tech costing $4.99
- .me costing $3.99
- .co costing $27.99
However, these discounted prices only apply for the first year. After that, they go up significantly. So it’s worth checking how much you’ll pay going forward before leaping in.
If you already have a domain name with a different provider, you can transfer it.
Once you have a domain name, it’s time to pick the right web hosting package for you. Domain.com offers shared hosting plans, which typically serve small businesses best.
There are three hosting options available:
- Basic from $3.75 a month on annual billing
- Deluxe from $6.75 a month on annual billing
- Ultra from $13.75 a month on annual billing
All plans come with:
- Unlimited storage
- Scalable bandwidth
- A free domain for the first year
- A free SSL certificate
But, suppose you want to register more than one domain name. In that case, you’ll need to upgrade to the Deluxe, or Ultra plans, both of which entitle you to use unlimited domains. They also unlock more MySQL databases and FTP logins.
Hosting is on the affordable side of the scale. It's easy to use with an intuitive control panel (Cpanel) and one-click WordPress install. Domain.com also boasts a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
You can also get WordPress hosting with Domain.com, hosting with a WordPress install for your website. However, many other features remain the same.
WP Hosting is available as:
- Starter from $3.75 per month for a year
- WP Essential from $6.95 per month for a year
WordPress hosting makes it easy to install WordPress on your chosen web domain with a one-click install and comes with unlimited storage, scalable bandwidth, and a customized control panel. With both WP hosting plans, you’ll also benefit from pre-installed, curated themes and apps, like W3 Total Cache and Jetpack.
WP Essential offers extra security with Sitelock’s professional security (more on this later) and automatic malware removal. You also gain 24/7 phone support, whereas the only customer support standard customers have access to is live chat and the online self-help knowledge base.
There are three site builder plans, all of which come with web hosting, a free SSL certificate, and allow you to add a blog. All packages also come with an AI-fuelled website builder. All you need to do is answer a few questions, and Domain.com does most of the heavy lifting for you. It populates a draft site with placeholder text and relevant stock images so that you can hit the ground running – fast!
Alternatively, you can choose a theme and manually fill it with content from scratch. Finally, you can customize each aspect of your site with an easy-to-use editor that allows you to alter your website's typography, placement, and colors.
The following prices are billed per month – in this instance, there are no savings for annual billing.
- Starter for $1.99 per month
- Business for $6.99 per month
- eCommerce for $12.99 per month.
With the Starter plan, you can design up to six pages and choose from a library of over 550k stock images. You also access pre-built sections and page layouts to make the design process quicker and smoother.
From the Business plan onwards, you can build unlimited website pages and unlock additional integrations and analytics features.
The eCommerce plan enables you to start selling online and comes with features like inventory management and tracking. This plan also integrates with PayPal and permits you to use customer discount codes, set up store-wide sales, and offer free shipping.
The online store builder with the eCommerce plan makes it easy to set up an online store with various layouts. Each theme is optimized for mobile to offer a good viewing experience on all devices. The online store editor works as a sidebar where you can toggle elements on and off and make adjustments. In addition, you can display layouts with multiple products to shoppers and offer digital product downloads. Domain.com eCommerce also comes with integrated shipping, a PayPal integration, coupons and discounts, and inventory and order management.
Aside from that, you can optimize your website’s SEO. However, Domain.com’s SEO features are reasonably basic. For example, you can only add title tags, meta descriptions, and insert Google Analytics code into your site. You can also add social media accounts to your website to help fuel your content marketing strategy.
That said, if you want extra help with your marketing efforts, you can rely on Domain.com’s professional service. This includes six-month minimum plans for SEO, local management, and social media management. Domain.com’s experts will help develop your audience, create opportunities for improved visibility, and optimize your site and content to improve your search engine rankings. Similarly, Domain.com offers professional web design and consultation services for an extra fee. Here, they'll build a five-page website, including a blog page, contact form, and photo gallery.
For prices, you’ll need to get in touch with their support team to discuss your requirements.
There’s much that goes into web security. Many of Domain.com’s security features are already included in their hosting plans.
However, if you want to arrange your own SSL certificate, you can purchase one through Domain.com, for:
- $3.33 per month (billed annually) for a domain validated SSL that adds basic protection and improves your Google rankings
- $10.00 per month (billed annually) for a Wildcard SSL that protects multiple subdomains
- $25.00 per month (billed annually) for an eCommerce SSL with enhanced payment protection.
You can shave a little extra cost off your SSL certificate if you pay for three years at once.
Every SSL is backed with a warranty and a seal of trust graphic that confirms your site is secure to visitors.
Domain.com also allows you to purchase Sitelock Cybersecurity. This add-on protects your website from malware, viruses, hackers, and spam. In addition, it performs frequent website scans and helps prevent your site from getting blacklisted.
Sitelock Cybersecurity will set you back:
- Essentials for $3.99 per month (billed annually)
- Prevent for $14.99 per month (billed annually)
- Prevent Plus for $24.99 per month (billed annually)
The more expensive plans unlock DDos protection, database scanning, and web application firewall. Prevent Plus also performs continuous malware scans, so you’re never left without protection.
Domain.com’s Pros and Cons
Before wrapping up this Domain.com review, here’s a quick recap of the service’s main benefits and downsides:
- You can find plenty of helpful guides on Domain.com’s website.
- It's pretty user-friendly, making it a good option for beginners
- Access to affordable prices (especially for the first year)
- It’s a pretty holistic website hosting platform.
- You benefit from unlimited storage on all hosting plans.
- An SSL certificate is included in all hosting plans.
- Domain prices really go up after the first year.
- The website and online store builder are fairly basic.
- There are very few marketing features included. For example, it lacks email marketing, pop-ups, landing pages, affiliate programs, etc.
- SEO features are similarly limited. You only have the basic ability to add tags and meta descriptions to your content.
- You have to pay extra for website backups
Domain.com Review: Our Final Verdict
First and foremost, Domain.com has established its place as a reputable web hosting and domain name provider. In this aspect, Domain.com has lots of value to offer. You can find affordable hosting plans with good web security and purchase a domain name of your choosing.
But, its value becomes a little more questionable when it comes to Domain.com's other features. While it offers an all-in-one solution for web domains, hosting, website design, and eCommerce, many of the latter features only touch the surface. For instance, while even its eCommerce plan is affordable, there are very few tools in your kit when it comes to SEO, marketing, and web design.
If you’re serious about selling online and designing the best possible website, you might be better off learning how to customize WordPress with its free WooCommerce plugin. In this instance, you’ll only need to purchase hosting and a domain name from Domain.com.
Alternatively, for a similar price to Domain.com, other website builders offer eCommerce functionality and other more advanced features. For example, Wix's eCommerce features are unlocked at $23 a month, and Squarespace for $25 per month.
That’s why the verdict of our Domain.com review is simple: Use Domain.com if you need a web domain or hosting. However, if you’re looking to create a sophisticated website or online store, we recommend looking elsewhere, especially if your budget allows for a little extra.
Whatever you decide, tell us all about it in the comments box below. Or, are you considering competing domain registrars and hosting companies like GoDaddy or Namecheap? Either way, let us know!
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