One of the first steps in discussing a web design or development project is establishing the status of your domain name or if you have a new one in mind. With almost 15 years of experience, I do have some recommendations when it comes to domain name registration.
It is very common to find out that a previous employee, web designer or IT firm has registered a companies domain name in their name. Because the domain name address is responsible for routing traffic to your online properties and email services, it is critical that you maintain control of it. Relationships change and people come and go. Don't wait for an emergency to find out you do not have the authority to make changes. If you don't know the ownership status of your domain name, I can help you find the status.
Never register your domain name with your web hosting company. Service qualities can change quickly and often. It is much easier to move your services if you register your domain name with a top tier company and keep your web hosting, DNS, email and other services with a seperate company. It will make things much quicker and easier to move if there is an emergency or you encounter a lack of service.
There are plenty more to chose from, but these are the ones we deal with the most and that our clients have good relationships with.
Our overall favorite. They offer reasonable pricing and free who-is guard anonymization and have one of the best domain finding tools. Bundled services are offered during the checkout process, but do not sell them as hard as other companies. (link)
For people that are already used to working in the Google ecosystem, they find it to be a very easy to service. Pricing is excellent and interface is simple. (link)
GoDaddy has been around for a long time. They do tend to try and sell bundled services harder than we would like, but in our experience their customer support staff are excellent at solving problems when you need help. (link)
Domain registration is a relatively new service, so we are still evaluating there performance in this area. However, it appears to be an excellent service so far and they have the best renewal prices that we have found. (link)