You have an excellent 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 a domain names registrar like Namecheap or Godaddy?
There are pros and cons to using both of these options. Registering your domain name directly through Wix lets your website have a custom domain name and an SSL setup quickly and easily. Going with a domain name registrar like Namecheap is a bit more technical when using Wix, but you’ll save a significant amount of long-term money.
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 cost with Wix?
Wix needs to do a better 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 that has a .com extension (the most popular domain extension) 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 $17.35 at Wix.
- If you register your domain for 2 years in advanced the fee is $16.35 per year.
- For three years in advance, the rate drops to $15.35 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 one year, you’ll get the first year free then you’ll be paying $17.35.
You’ll also need domain privacy, so expect to pay nearly $30 a year for a .com domain name. The same exact domain name at Namecheap with domain privacy costs under $10 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 unsure if creating a website is for you, this is a helpful way to savemoney 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 set up 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 its custom domain ready to go in minutes.
This technical setup may be techy for beginners, with you needing to create an A-record and a CNAME record to point your domain to Wix and have an active SSL.
Last, you can 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. So that you know, transferring 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 two 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 not to register through Wix is that they do not provide WHOIS protection for free. They have WHOIS protection as a nearly $10 upsell, resulting in your domain name cost roughly $25 per year for a .com compared to $8.88 a year with Namecheap.
You will need WHOIS protection because it keeps your personal information private. According to ICANN rules, you must provide accurate contact information, including your address, email, and phone number. WHOIS protection 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 a company 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 set up correctly, you’ll save a lot of money using a domain name registrar like Namecheap, which provides l, ow renewal rates and free WHOIS protection in the long run.
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 like to keep my services separate when possible 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 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 makes financial sense, even if it is a bit more techy to set up.
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 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 jump into your account, 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 Card. Co all with Namecheap as the domain name registrar.
How to set a custom domain with Wix and Namecheap
To setup up 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 @ / 22.214.171.124
- CNAME Record / Host www / ww231.wixdns.net
In your Namecheap account, select the domain you want to update. Under the occupation 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. Save and wait a few hours for propagation.
You can “point” your domain to Wix by changing Namecheap DNS to “custom DNS” and inputting the nameservers Wix gives you. However, your SSL certificate won’t work. You get a free SSL, and you will want your website to be secure.
If you have any issues, you can always contact Wix support. They will work with you to properly set up your website, custom domain, and SSL certificate-Wix support and WixWix support. They will also work with you to properly set up your website, custom domain, and SSL certificate.
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, I firmly recommend not using Wix as your registrar but instead going 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 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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