Sepreating host and domain provider

Holly Nicole

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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 dont 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 yourhijacked 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.
Dont 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 dont match what your web host wants to see. I learned that first-hand.
Be an informed consumer. Dont 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. Personally, I use this Squidoo page most of the time for GoDaddy promo codes, because it’s never let me down at checkout. 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 didnt, 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 [email protected] 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.

Cons Pros
GoDaddy is not perfect, and their dashboard is so NOT user friendly at times that it might make you cry until you learn to navigate it. They are steadily improving that. (But they don't warn you when they move things.) If you don't understand something or can't find what you need in your dashboard, just call GoDaddy. Hold times are short, and support techs will walk you through whatever you need help with, and they will stay on the phone until you have what you need.
Intermittent troubles like slow loading, server errors, etc. can be challenging to get fixed because the call center techs can't always see or replicate the problem. But that's true with any host unless you're paying thousands per year for dedicated hosting. If you run into a problem like this and GoDaddy techs aren't helping you, contact me (Kimberly) and I'll do my best to help you at no charge. That's how much I believe in their quality of service.
Tricky shopping cart upsells. Watch your cart, remove or edit unneeded items as you see them, and don't buy private registration unless you have a good reason to do so. Look carefully at your final total before paying. GoDaddy will usually refund your money promptly and cheerfully if you buy something you don't need or didn't intend to buy. Just call them.
English speaking Tech Support available 24/7/365.
AMAZING support for WordPress issues. Most hosting companies offer very limited or no support for WordPress, but GoDaddy's is the best I've found.
FREE history turn-backs if you crash your site. This feature is in your FTP File Manager dashboard under the History tab >> Restore. It will save your sanity. Other companies charge $150 or more when you crash your site and need it restored to a previous version.
Offers month-to-month hosting payment plan, and no other reputable, reliable host we know of does that. Most require paying for a full year of hosting in advance.
When you buy a 'Deluxe' hosting account you can host up to 20 WordPress websites under the same plan for no additional cost (about $8.99). An 'Ultimate' plan at about $15 a month will allow you host unlimited domains on the same server for no extra cost, at the time of this posting.
That I am aware of, GoDaddy has never monitored my servers to determine whether they approve of the files hosted there, and they have never asked me to remove files from my servers, as other companies (such as BlueHost) are reported to do.

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–Crunchy Data is always up for a lively discussion!
 
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