Domain.com (opens in new tab) offers relatively affordable shared and managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) plans, and ranks among the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services available on the market for certain use cases.
Domain.com review: Snapshot
Domain.com offers relatively affordable shared and managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) plans. The company’s sites had excellent uptime and speed during our testing, and it was easy to get in touch with the customer support team by phone or live chat.
However, our Domain.com review found that this hosting service is missing a lot of things that we expected it to have. Managed WordPress (opens in new tab) sites don’t include an SSL certificate, for example, and email is an expensive add-on for every shared hosting plan. In addition, the company uses its own ad-filled hosting software instead of providing users with cPanel.
Another issue is that Domain.com isn’t very flexible. You have to sign up for hosting one year at a time and there are no VPS (opens in new tab) or dedicated hosting (opens in new tab) options if you want to upgrade your site. Domain.com might make sense for some basic websites, but we don’t think it’s the best web hosting service for most sites.
Read on for the full Domain.com review.
|Pros||- Excellent website speeds - Inexpensive hosting plans - Easy-to-use website builder||- Includes cPanel - Very cheap pricing - Offers VPS plans||- Linux and Windows hosting - Excellent website builder|
|Cons||- No VPS or dedicated hosting - Annual plans only - No cPanel||- Poor shared hosting performance - Very few advanced features||- Expensive plans - Poor performance with basic plans|
|Verdict||Domain.com is cheap and effective for basic sites, but it’s not flexible if you need to upgrade later.||Namecheap is one of the most affordable hosting services, but it compromises somewhat on performance.||GoDaddy is a top-tier hosting service with tons of plans, but it’s expensive if you’re just starting out.|
|View deals||Visit site (opens in new tab)||Visit site (opens in new tab)||Visit site (opens in new tab)|
Domain.com: Key features
Domain.com is a budget-friendly hosting provider that offers both shared and managed WordPress plans. The company doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does stand out in a few key ways.
One important feature to Domain.com is that all shared hosting plans include 24/7 customer support. You can get in touch by phone or live chat, and in our experience the wait was never more than a few minutes.
It also has dozens of video tutorials designed to help you set up your new website with WordPres (opens in new tab)s or Domain.com’s website builder. We also found tons of guides for more advanced management tasks, like creating and archiving MySQL databases.
The web host offers managed WordPress hosting plans that are competitively priced and fairly simple to use. All managed WordPress sites come with unlimited storage and pre-installed plugins and themes.
Domain.com’s more advanced WP Essential plan also comes with a built-in security suite called SiteLock. SiteLock includes daily website scans, automated malware removal, and DDoS protection. Just note that Domain.com doesn’t offer site backups with any of its WordPress plans.
Domain.com: key features and highlights
While most shared hosting providers use cPanel as their back-end management software, Domain.com has developed its own custom control panel.
We have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s pretty simple to get started with since there aren’t as many options as you’d find in cPanel. On the other hand, the lack of options makes it harder to manage your website. There are no one-click installers, and there’s no built-in system for running site backups.
Domain.com hosting plans don’t include email, but you can purchase email hosting as an add-on. The site offers both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace integrations, which is nice since most businesses already use these productivity suites in some capacity.
You can set up email through Domain.com’s control panel, but after that you’re free to use the much more user-friendly Gmail and Outlook platforms. The Domain.com control panel lets you add and remove email addresses from your domain, but not much else.
Domain.com: What’s new in 2022?
Not much has changed since we last reviewed Domain.com’s service. In fact, the company’s plan offerings, pricing, and add-ons have been the same for several years now. We had hoped to see some more tools added to Domain.com’s custom control panel, but the support options there are still the same.
The biggest changes to Domain.com are in its email services, but that’s primarily because Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace have been undergoing changes. Managing your active addresses with Domain.com remains as simplistic as ever, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking to get online quickly.
Domain.com offers shared hosting plans (opens in new tab) and managed WordPress plans (opens in new tab), all of which are fairly cheap. The company also offers website builder plans (opens in new tab), which include Basic shared hosting plus access to Domain.com’s website builder.
One thing that we found unusual about Domain.com is that you have to sign up for a full year at a time. You also won’t get a discount for signing up for multiple years at once—the annual price is the same whether you subscribe for one year or three. In addition, none of Domain.com’s hosting plans include email, an add-on which starts at $2.99 per user a month.
|Plan type/feature||Shared Hosting - Basic||Shared Hosting - Deluxe||Shared Hosting - Ultra||WP Starter||WP Essential|
|Cost per month*||$3.75||$6.75||$13.75||$3.75||$6.95|
|Cost per year||$45||$81||$165||$45||$83.40|
*Cost per month based on the annual price.
In order to comprehensively compare Domain.com to the competition, we analyzed a series of its features and tools to see how it performed. This included creating a website with its built-in website builder, and checking its server response times.
How do you create a website with Domain.com?
Domain.com offers a custom website builder that you can use to create simple websites in minutes. To be sure, this isn’t a comprehensive site builder from among the best website builders (opens in new tab), like those offered by Weebly (opens in new tab) or Wix (opens in new tab). However, we found that it was extremely simple to use, and enabled us to get a basic site online in under an hour.
One thing that we found unusual about Domain.com’s website builder is that you don’t get to choose from a set of themes. Instead, you simply choose among a few site colors, fonts, and layouts. The lack of themes means there’s more layout work to do later, although this isn’t a huge issue.
Once we got the basic layout of our site down, we were pleasantly surprised by how customizable the builder was. You can add page sections and content blocks freely, so it’s simple to fill your site with text, images, and more. Some of the content blocks available include contact forms, testimonials, videos, and social buttons.
Depending on your chosen plan, you can also set up blog and ecommerce pages. The blog post editor is very simplistic, and doesn’t offer many formatting options. It would be nice if you could create a blog post using the same tools and content blocks that the site builder offers, but that isn’t the case.
The ecommerce tool is also simplistic, but we found that it gets the job done if you only have a few products. You can set up shipping and payment options, as well as a calendar for booking appointments. However, don’t expect more advanced features like integrated inventory management.
How does Domain.com perform?
The most impressive thing about Domain.com is the performance of its shared hosting plans. For the price, we think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hosting provider that offers similar speeds and consistency.
To test our Basic shared hosting site, we pinged it every five minutes for a week. Over that time, the site had an average response time of just 215ms—far better than the 300ms response times that we typically see from shared hosting providers. Even more impressive, response times never exceeded 365 ms. That level of consistency gives us a lot of confidence in Domain.com’s servers.
Alternatives to Domain.com
• Bluehost vs HostGator (opens in new tab)
• Dedicated servers vs VPS (opens in new tab)
• Bluehost vs GoDaddy (opens in new tab)
• Managed vs unmanaged hosting (opens in new tab)
• Bluehost vs DreamHost (opens in new tab)
• Bare metal vs dedicated servers (opens in new tab)
• Bluehost vs SiteGround (opens in new tab)
• Web hosting vs WordPress hosting (opens in new tab)
Domain.com is in a crowded field of budget-friendly shared and managed WordPress hosting providers. The platform doesn’t offer more substantial VPS or dedicated hosting plans, so you’ll want to look elsewhere if you need to host a large site or expect a lot of traffic.
Compared to other budget hosting services, Domain.com’s pricing is competitive. Namecheap offers slightly more affordable shared hosting plans, while well-known providers like GoDaddy (opens in new tab) are more expensive.
However, Namecheap (opens in new tab) offers a much better value for your money in our opinion. A basic shared hosting plan gives you access to cPanel as well as a customizable website backup tool. You can also host three websites instead of just one. Another nice thing about Namecheap is that if you sign up for a multi-year plan, you’re rewarded with a discount.
While GoDaddy is more expensive than Domain.com, you also get some benefits for the added cost. Most important, GoDaddy has an enormous range of hosting options, including dedicated Linux and Windows servers. So, it’s easy to upgrade your hosting plan in the future as needed.
|Support||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 live chat and ticketing||24/7 live chat and phone|
|Basic plan||From $45 a year||From $33.88 a year||From $107.88 a year|
Domain.com: The verdict
Domain.com excels in two key ways. The first is that it’s very affordable. While you can find cheaper shared hosting plans (for example, from Namecheap), Domain.com offers pretty good value for your money. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay extra for things like email and the website builder.
The second way in which Domain.com stands out is that it’s reliable. Our testing found that Domain.com’s shared hosting plans offer better than average response times, and were extremely consistent over a week of testing.
Beyond those two strengths, though, we found ourselves wishing for a lot more from Domain.com. One major issue is that the company doesn’t offer VPS or dedicated hosting plans, so you’ll be forced to migrate to another provider if you want to grow your site in the future. On top of that, annual plans lock you into the service, and there are no discounts for signing up for a multi-year subscription.
We also aren’t huge fans of Domain.com’s custom control panel. It’s easy to use, but it severely limits your control over your website relative to cPanel. Likewise, if you set up email through Domain.com, you don’t have very much control over it.
With all that in mind, Domain.com can be a good choice for some basic websites. However, if your goal is to grow your website over time, or you want the ability to develop the back end of your site, you’ll be better served by another hosting provider.
Further reading on web hosting
Whether you're wondering what web hosting is (opens in new tab), how web hosting impacts security (opens in new tab), or what the most common mistakes are to avoid when choosing a web hosting provider (opens in new tab), we've got it covered. Find out the top providers for your hosting type in our guides to the best cloud hosting (opens in new tab), the best unlimited hosting (opens in new tab), and the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab), the best free web hosting (opens in new tab) and the best cheap web hosting (opens in new tab).