Lately we’ve had several clients ask whether they should use separate companies for hosting and domain registration for their websites, so I decided to add my opinion to the mix for readers.
In a nutshell, I don’t believe that the reasons for buying separate domain registration and web hosting are valid if you use a reputable, well-known service. And it’s far easier for you to have your website hosted with the same company that you registered your domain with.
This is why I believe that it’s important to register and host with the same company if you choose a reputable service.
And if you think it’s a good idea to let your developer do you the “favor” of registering your domain on your behalf, then please read about how to save your hijacked website. You may need this. NEVER let someone else register your domain name for you unless you trust them with your life.
The main reason to use separate companies is the fear that your registrar might register your domain in their own name, and they could then hold your website hostage if they also host your site. But if you register and host with a larger, established company, that’s not going to happen, and if you allow your web developer or SEO service to register your domain, that may be the kiss of death for your online business.
As a web developer, I can assure you that it’s a whole lot faster and easier to set your website up if your domain and host are one and the same. If you buy hosting where you bought your domain name, the process to set up your DNS (Domain Name Servers) is usually a one-button click.
But when you host with a provider other than your registrar, you will need to manually set your DNS servers through your registrar, and then wait up to three days for the transfer to complete. It normally does not take more than one day, but there is no guarantee. And you or your developer cannot begin work on your site until the process is finalized.
Then there is the matter of troubleshooting. If your site suddenly disappears from the Internet, who do you call? When your host and registrar are one and the same, you call that company and there’s no passing the buck. They have to fix it.
My Recommendation for Domain Registration and Hosting
We have worked with many registrars and hosts since 2002, and these recommendations are based directly on that experience.
- Register and host your domain(s) through a single, reputable company, and do your homework to determine who that company should be.
- Don’t try to save $5 by buying a super-cheap domain name through some random company that you found by Googling “cheap domain names.” Time is money, right? You could spend two-three hours on your DNS settings if your registrar’s instructions for forwarding don’t match what your web host wants to see. I learned that first-hand.
- Be an informed consumer. Don’t just take my word for it; research your top picks for hosting/domain companies, because today’s gem may be tomorrow’s disaster. Case in point: Hostgator was recently bought out, and the takeover company cracked down seemingly at random on existing customers, creating some real hardships for people who never saw it coming. Google this issue if you’re considering HostGator. Many of the postive reviews you’ll see are either obsolete or obviously posted by HostGator affiliates.
- Search for a promo code online before buying your domain name. Retailmenot.com also has reliable codes for large hosting/registration companies.
We use the same company (GoDaddy) for both our registration and hosting. Not that everything has always been perfect there, because any shared server is bound to run into some problems, but usually they fix issues promptly, and the one time they didn’t, they made it up to us.
Last year, our GoDaddy shared server bogged down so much, and they failed to resolve the problem for so long, that we had planned to switch to BlueHost. We even bought a year’s worth of hosting there. But if you have ever tried–or even thought about–moving numerous websites to a new host, you would understand our hesitation to move our sites.
Then just before the move, we discovered that Bluehost monitors the files on its customers’ servers, and will order them to remove anything that it deems not “relevant” to their sites. Ugh.
So I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org with a final plea for help before moving our sites. This time, they responded quickly and effectively by moving the sites to an upgraded GoDaddy server and offering us a refund for the months that we had experienced the problems, and life has been good since then.
Notice: While we sometimes show paid ads for GoDaddy and our Google Adsense ads may display related ads on our site, this post is not sponsored by any company, and its contents are not motivated by any form of compensation. Nor are we associated with GoDaddy other than as client/vendor. When we do post GoDaddy ads, it’s because that’s the company we use and prefer to work with.
GoDaddy Pros and Cons
Here is a brief table outlining the pros and cons of GoDaddy as we’ve experienced them. In short, the best thing about GoDaddy is their excellent tech support, and the worst thing is their sometimes clunky (but improving) interface.
[table id=6 /]
And one more bonus point for GoDaddy: They’ve been around since 1997. That’s forever in Internet years.
So there you have my informed opinion, but it’s still just an opinion. The bottom line is that you should entrust your website only to people and companies who you know for sure you can trust, and register and host your domain with the same company.
Please comment (below) or contact us whether you agree or not–Savage Sites is always up for a lively discussion!
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