When it comes to domain brokers, registrars and resellers, there is no shortage of options. The decision of which to use can sometimes be overwhelming, and it is may seem convenient (and even natural) to register your domain with your web host. The idea behind this being that you want to keep everything in one place. However, it may not be as convenient as it looks. In fact, registering your domain with your host may turn out to be a terrible idea for reasons that will be discussed below.
A few Basics of Domain and Hosting
There are two separate and distinct pieces to consider when you own a website or blog, your domain (sometimes referred to as domain name, website address, URL) and your host. People sometimes confuse the two. However, for effective management of your website, it is vital to understand these elements and how they work.
The address people enter on their device to get to your website is the domain. For example, Discount Domain’s domain . You acquire or register this domain from registrars or providers for which you are charged annually. It continues to be yours as long as you keep paying for it and can only become someone else’ if you stop paying for it.
Website hosting on the other hand is the service that provides storage for your website’s files. If you own a free blog through WordPress.com or Blogger, then your host is WordPress and Google respectively. For self-hosted websites, they rent server space from a firm that agrees to store their files.
So what this means basically is that the files of your websites are stored or kept in host’s servers, and when someone enters your domain name they are pointed, or taken to those files. Here is an analogy to explain it. Consider the whole packaged as a functional basic phone. The phone has a sim card. With a particular sim card in the phone, it is like saying to the phone, “You work with this phone number now”. The sim is the domain while the phone is the host. Just as you can switch phones and make the sim work with different phones, you can set your domain to work with a different web hosting service.
The Domain Registration Quandary
Most times, you can register your domain via your host when at the time of setting up hosting for your website. Most people do this on the premise that keeping everything in the same place is a good idea. They find it convenient that way as they do not have to keep up with many login details. They also see it as an opportunity to hand over the whole technicality process to their hosting provider technical support staff to ensure everything is correctly configured.
However, it may be better to have your domain registered somewhere else and simply point it to your host. Here are reasons why this option may be better.
Stable domain Location
If you were to have a fallout with your hosting provider and you decide to move your site, you will likely want to move your domain you registered with them as well. This is a problem because domain transfers can be tedious, confusing and time-consuming. However, if you have registered your domain somewhere else, in such a situation, all you have to do is simply update the settings of your DNS to point to the new host.
Have all your domains registered together
Well, this point is not actually for everyone. It is for those who have many websites and not for those with only one. Yes, there are websites junkies, people addicted to owning websites. If you are one of those, and have registered all your domains in the same place, then all you have to do when managing your websites (like when you move to a new server) is simply go to your registrar and update the DNS settings en masse.
In a case where your website is hacked, the hacker will also have access to your domain. There was a case where a hacker not only destroyed the website but also transferred the domain away from the web host and took it over. The process of getting everything back is long and tiring. If your domain and hosting are separate however, there is an improved security as the hacker will not have access to your domain. Therefore, your domain will be safe, except if you are using the same password and login.
Domains and Hosting Recommendation
For domain registration, do not let the price be your only determining factor. Always strive to go for the best possible. One thing to look out for when choosing a domain registrar is their customer service. Look for registrars that provide great customer service. They should have actual humans that answer the phones and emails, not BOTs. Do your research; find out what people are saying about them.
When it comes to hosting, the top names that pop to mind are HostGator, Bluehost,Hostinger, GoDaddy etc. These are trusted names in the hosting niche. They offer great service and many people use them. However, be aware that you may be required to have a bit of technical know-how to correctly configure your server.
However, if you do not care for the tech aspect that much and will prefer that someone take care of them for you, a managed WordPress hosting is what you want. You can take a look at SiteGround or WPEngine.
Irrespective of the hosting service or domain registrar you go for, make sure that you understand the service that they provide, the cost and what will happen to your website in case you move. Yes, always consider the possibility of moving. Things may be fine and smooth now, but you never know, so always be prepared. As they say, hope for the best but always assume the worst. That way, you are never caught off-guard.
When you register your hosting and domains, you are making sure of a stress-free switch if you ever want to take your money elsewhere.