Skip to main content

Domain.com review 2021

Affordable, reliable hosting for basic websites

Domain.com's homepage
(Image: © Domain.com)

Our Verdict

Domain.com offers high-performance shared hosting at a very affordable price. However, this hosting provider doesn’t have VPS or dedicated hosting plans, and you won’t have access to cPanel to manage your site.

Pros

  • Affordable shared hosting plans
  • Excellent performance
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No VPS or dedicated hosting options
  • Doesn’t offer cPanel software

Domain.com offers relatively affordable shared and managed WordPress hosting plans, and ranks among the best web hosting services available on the market for certain use cases.

Domain.com review: Snapshot

Domain.com offers relatively affordable shared and managed WordPress hosting 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 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 or dedicated hosting 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.

Score: 3/5

Read on for the full review.


Domain.com's competitors

How does Domain.com compare to its main competitors?
Domain.comNamecheapGoDaddy
Score3/54/54/5
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
VerdictDomain.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 dealsVisit siteVisit siteVisit site

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.

Domain.com also has dozens of video tutorials designed to help you set up your new website with WordPress or Domain.com’s website builder. We also found tons of guides for more advanced management tasks, like creating and archiving MySQL databases.

Domain.com 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

Image 1 of 4
Domain.com offers dozens of tutorial videos (Image credit: Domain.com)
Image 2 of 4

Domain.com's webpage discussing the features of its WordPress hosting packages

Managed WordPress plans include pre-installed themes and plugins (Image credit: Domain.com)
Image 3 of 4

Domain.com's control panel in use

Domain.com has its own control panel (Image credit: Domain.com)
Image 4 of 4

Domain.com's webpage for email synchronization

Manage your email through Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace (Image credit: Domain.com)

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.

What’s new?

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.

Pricing

Domain.com offers shared hosting plans and managed WordPress plans, all of which are fairly cheap. The company also offers website builder plans, 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.

Domain.com's pricing plans
Plan type/featureShared Hosting - BasicShared Hosting - DeluxeShared Hosting - UltraWP StarterWP Essential
Cost per month*$3.75$6.75$13.75$3.75$6.95
Cost per year$45$81$165$45$83.40
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited11
StorageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Databases1025Unlimited11
24/7 supportX

*Cost per month based on the annual price.


Testing Domain.com

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's website builder in use

Domain.com’s website builder lets you choose from several customization options rather than offering premade templates  (Image credit: 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 like you might get with Weebly or Wix. 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?

Domain.com's performance shown in graphs, for response time and uptime

Domain.com had an average response time of 215ms during our week of testing (Image credit: Uptime.com)

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.

The competition

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 are more expensive.

However, Namecheap 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. Read our Namecheap review to find out more.

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. To find out more, make sure to read our GoDaddy web hosting review.

Domain.com's features compared to the competition
Domain.comNamecheapGoDaddy
Control panelCustomcPanelcPanel
Automatic backupsNoneCustomizableCustomizable
Support24/7 live chat and phone24/7 live chat and ticketing24/7 live chat and phone
Basic planFrom $45 a yearFrom $33.88 a yearFrom $107.88 a year

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.

The Verdict
3

out of 5

Domain.com review 2021

Domain.com offers high-performance shared hosting at a very affordable price. However, this hosting provider doesn’t have VPS or dedicated hosting plans, and you won’t have access to cPanel to manage your site.

Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review.