October 12, 2019

HostGator Domain: What You Need to Know

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Looking to buy or transfer a domain name? Read on to learn what it costs on HostGator, how you can get a free domain, and who owns the domain after buying.

You can get a .com for $12.95/year, although other options are available. It varies depending on which TLD you pick. Take note that not all TLDs are available with HostGator.

Here's everything you need to know about registering a domain with HostGator.

How It Works

When you set up a new site, you'll need to first register a domain name. This includes coming up with a name, submitting your contact details, and paying a registration fee.

Your registration will be handled by a registrar, who will then submit your registration to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)—but more on that later.

You might know these registrars as domain name providers, like HostGator, GoDaddy, and Namecheap.

However, HostGator is actually a hosting provider—for domains, they use two registrars.

HostGator uses registrars eNom and LaunchPad. LaunchPad is HostGator's in-house registrar, but HostGator also works with eNom for other TLDs. You can find popular TLDs, like .com and .org, but also a few rare ones like .ninja and .beer.

What Are Top-Level Domains (TLDs)?

TLDs refers to the last segment of the domain name. Specifically, it's the part that follows right after the "dot" symbol, also known as the domain suffix. Examples of popular TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .gov, .biz, and .edu.

Getting A Domain Name with Hostgator

There are several ways of registering a domain name with HostGator:

  1. With a hosting package
    Sign up for any hosting plan. HostGator will then ask you to register a new domain name for a fee. However, you can skip this step if you already have one.

  2. By itself
    Go directly to HostGator's Domain page and register a new domain name.

  3. While subscribing to the Gator Web Builder plan
    You get a free domain name if you sign up for one or two years. However, the domain name is only free for the first year. For the free domain, if you decide to get a refund, HostGator will deduct a $16.00 fee.

When registering a new domain, simply type in your intended domain name. HostGator automatically lets you know if it's available (and for which suffixes). They'll also suggest other options if your original idea is taken.

You can sign up the same name for different suffixes or TLDs. The yearly fees vary according to the suffix.

How Do I Manage The Domain Name I Bought From Hostgator?

To manage your HostGator domain, go to the Billing portal at HostGator. Then choose Domains from the menu.

This will show you any domains attached to your account. You'll also see details like:

  • The domain's expiration date

  • Whether the domain is set to automatically renew

  • The lock status of the domain

  • The privacy status of the domain

When you click on the domain name, a Domain Overview window will pop up. You can do things like enable domain privacy and edit your contact info here.

However, the most important thing you can do here is to "point" your domain name to HostGator's name servers.

Pointing Your Domain Name To Hostgator

What does it mean to point your domain name to HostGator? Basically, it means associating your domain name to your host server (in this case, HostGator).

Think of it as buying a house—you'll have to first place your house (domain) on a lot (server) for it to be visible. In other words, before you point your domain name to a host server, it won't be accessible.

To point your domain name to HostGator, the first thing you'll need to know is your "Name server" or "DNS server." HostGator provides this information in your welcome email when you sign up with their services.

Once you have this information, simply edit the name server that the domain will point to. You can do this in the Domains section of the Billing/Customer portal.

Bear in mind that name server changes can take 24 to 48 hours to propagate—which basically means the time it takes for those changes to fully take effect.

You can read HostGator's guide on how to point your domain name here.

Which Top-Level Domains Does Hostgator Offer?

These are the available TLDs with HostGator and their prices:

CostDomain
$0.95/year.site
$1.95/year.online
$3.95/year.tech
$5.95/year.us
$9.95/year.club, .space, .website
$12.95/year.biz, .co, .com, .info, .net, .org
$15.00/year.me
$39.95/year.host

HostGator also partners with Domain.com for other extensions like .ninja and .beer.

Can I Transfer Existing Domains To Hostgator?

Yes, you can. However, just like domain registration, they don't accept all TLDs. You'll need to first check which TLDs are compatible before making the transfer.

Here's a list of how much it costs to transfer a domain name to HostGator:

CostDomain Type
$7.06/year.biz
$7.95/year.com, .net, .org, .info
$9.95/year.club, .online, .site
$12.95/year.website, .space
$19.95/year.tech
$34.95/year.host

HostGator offers a nice bonus for transferring an existing domain to them. For your transfer fee, they add an extra year on top of the existing registration for your domain name.

That means you won't have to worry about renewing your domain name anytime soon.

Hostgator Domain Name Privacy

When registering for a new domain, you'll have to provide your contact information. This includes your email, mailing address, and contact number.

This information gets passed along to ICANN WHOIS directory, which lists this information publicly.

What is the ICANN WHOIS directory?

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the nonprofit organization that runs the domain system of the larger internet, as well as the WHOIS directory. The WHOIS directory keeps a record of every active website domain and who runs it.

Each domain name entry in the WHOIS directory has a registered mailing address, phone number, and email address.

Large companies like Amazon have company addresses and can provide this information risk-free. But if you're just a person trying to start your own site, this means putting your personal details out in public.

Having your personal details exposed makes you open to attacks. You might get unwanted calls, spam email, or worse, have your identity stolen.

HostGator offers a Domain Privacy service, which hides this information from the WHOIS directory. They charge an annual fee for this service. You could also get a discounted rate for a 2-year or 3-year billing cycle.

If you have plenty of domain names, however, the costs for these can quickly add up. A cheaper alternative would be to simply set up a P.O. box and use a dedicated business number for all your WHOIS addresses.

Other Alternatives

If you don't fancy signing up for a new domain name with HostGator, you could also purchase the domain name from other registrars like GoDaddy.

GoDaddy and Namecheap are popular registrars. If HostGator doesn't have the suffix you want, it's worth having a look at these providers.

Whichever registrar you choose, the process is the same. Once you've purchased the domain name and hosting, simply login to your hosting cPanel and click the Redirect icon under the Domain tab.

From there, you can redirect traffic from your GoDaddy domain to your HostGator hosted site.

For a more detailed walkthrough on how to do this, refer to HostGator's URL Redirect page.

Bottom Line

You can register new domains with HostGator for different TLDs. The most popular ones—.com, .org, and .net—are all available with HostGator. They even offer unusual TLDs like .ninja and .guru.

However, if you want a more original domain name or suffix, it's a good idea to visit other registrars like GoDaddy and Namecheap. They may have a better offer for you.

After all, you can still connect your domain name to your host, even from different providers. It's simply a matter of redirecting traffic from your domain to your site.

Still, if you'd rather not deal with the hassle, it may be easier to sign a new domain name with HostGator. That way you'll only need to pay one bill and deal with the same provider in case of any problems.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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