You have a great idea for a website, blog or online store and you want to get it up as quickly as possible using Wix. Should you buy your domain name through Wix or through a domain name registrar like Namecheap or Godaddy?
There are pros and cons of using both of these options. Registering your domain name directly through Wix allows your website to have a custom domain name and an SSL setup quickly and easily. Going with a domain name registrar is a bit more technical when using Wix, but you’ll save a significant amount of money long term.
So it’s up to you and what you’re comfortable with. Ease of use and convenience vs being cost efficient with your money.
How much does a domain name on Wix?
Wix does a poor job of clearly laying out their price points for domain name registrations. They also have a few hidden fees implemented as well.
Here are the prices of registering a domain name through Wix:
- If you purchase a Wix plan and pay annually you’ll get the domain fee waived the first year but will have to pay for subsequent years after.
- For a 1 year registration of a .com domain name it costs $15.95 at Wix.
- If you register your domain for 2 years in advanced the fee is $14.95 per year.
- For three years in advance, the rate drops to $13.95 per year.
Wix, unlike Squarespace does not provide domain name privacy for free. Instead they charge $9.90 a year. So, if you purchase your Wix account and register a domain name for 1 year, you’ll get the first year free then you’ll be paying $14.95. You’ll also need domain privacy so expect to pay $25.85 a year for a .com domain name.
The same exact domain name at Namecheap with domain privacy costs $8.88 a year.
What are the benefits of registering a domain name through Wix?
First, Wix provides free domain registration for the first year when you register a new website through their platform, but after the first year your domain will renew at $15 a year. If you’re not sure if creating a website is for you, this is a helpful way to save some money on your initial startup costs.
Long term however, “free” is not free. It’s free for the first year, but the renewal rate at Wix is quite expensive and is almost double what a domain registrar like Namecheap charges.
The next benefit to registering through Wix is that your custom domain and SSL will be setup correctly and immediately. Unlike using a domain registrar where you have to wait a few hours for everything to propagate, getting your domain at Wix will have your website with it’s custom domain ready to go in minutes.
This technical setup may be a bit techy for beginners with you needing to create an A-record and a CNAME record in order to point your domain to Wix and have an active SSL.
Last, you can also transfer an existing domain to your Wix account if you already have one registered elsewhere, but this is costly and time consuming so I don’t recommend it. Please note that the cost to transfer a domain is a separate fee from the registration and renewal costs.
It’s not possible to get the domain for free at Wix for the first year and then transfer it to Namecheap in order to avoid the more expensive renewal fee at Wix.
Why you should not get your domain names through Wix
There are three main reasons to avoid using Wix as your domain name registrar. First is the cost. While again Wix gives you a domain for free for the first year, it will cost you $14.95 upon renewal depending on your registration period. Not an unreasonable price, but you can get a lower rate using Namecheap.
The second reason to not register through Wix is that they do not provide WHOIS protection for free and in fact, they have WHOIS protection as a nearly $10 upsell, resulting in your domain name cost being roughly $25 per year for a .com compared to $8.88 a year with Namecheap.
You will want and need WHOIS protection because it keeps your personal information private. As per ICANN rules, you need to provide accurate contact information including your address, email and phone number. WHOIS protection simply keeps this private from companies and spammers.
The benefits of using a domain name registrar
So, it’s clear here that we suggest you use a proper domain name registrar because company who specializes in domains like Namecheap or Dynadot. These companies provide domain registration services at an affordable price with excellent customer support (see the best domain name registrars for more).
While it is a bit more technical to setup properly, in the long run you’ll save a lot of money by using a domain name registrar like Namecheap who provides low renewal rates and free WHOIS protection.
Separate your services
While a massive benefit of using a website builder is how everything is centralized in that you have one company and one support channel. I personally like to keep my services separate when possible in order to keep operations costs low when developing a website.
That means using a domain name registrar for domains, a dedicated web host for hosting and an open source content management system like WordPress. Wix is an excellent, professional website builder but their costs do add up.
When possible, it’s best to keep costs as low as possible when using Wix (a challenge for sure). If you can reduce your domain expense from $25 a year to 8.88 by using Namecheap, it only make financial sense even if it is a bit more techy to setup.
Have the flexibility to move away from Wix to a new service
One added benefit of using a domain registrar is that it makes moving your domain between different services simple, fast and easy. What if you decide to move away from Wix and instead build a blog with Bluehost and WordPress?
You’re now stuck using Wix as your domain name registrar which is a bit more clunky to work with than a domain registrar would be. With Namecheap, you simply jump into your account and update the DNS settings and update the nameservers to point to whatever web host or website builder you decide to use.
I’ve created tutorials using the same domain for Google Sites, Bluehost, SiteGround, Wix and Carrd.co all with Namecheap as the domain name registrar.
How to set a custom domain with Wix and Namecheap
To setup a custom domain name with Wix using Namecheap or any domain name registrar for that matter requires you to create a CNAME record and an A record.
- A record / Host @ / 126.96.36.199
- CNAME Record / Host www / ww231.wixdns.net
In your Namecheap account simply select the domain you want to update. Under the domain tab make sure it is set to Namecheap DNS. Then navigate to “Advanced DNS” and create two records listed above by clicking the “add record” button. Simply save and wait a few hours to propagation.
Yes, you can “point” your domain to Wix by changing Namecheap DNS to “custom DNS” and inputing the nameservers Wix gives you. However, your SSL certificate won’t work. You get a free SSL and you’re going to want your website to be secure.
If you have any issues you can always contact Wix support and they will work with you to get your website, custom domain and your SSL certificate setup properly.
Domain name registration through Wix Conclusion
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to register your domain name for your Wix website, getting your domain through Wix may be tempting. However, we strongly recommend that you don’t use Wix as your registrar and instead go through Namecheap. You get lower prices on renewal rates and free WHOIS protection.
My domain name registrar of choice. Low prices for top level domain names, low renewal rates, good support and free WHOIS protection.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 20k+ YouTube subscribers!
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