As a consultant working on the web-design and hosting I’m often asked a few simple questions. Chief among those is, “Where should I purchase my domain(s)?” Usually followed by the question, “Where should I get my hosting?”
The answer is simple enough but must be answered in reverse order. First, wherever you find the best deal/features you’re looking for in a host (we recommend BlueHost for their excellent service, uptime and their Free WordPress SSL is tough to beat). Second, from the SAME place you purchased your hosting.
It might sound silly, or may seem obvious, but it is very important that it is done this way for a few reasons. Sometimes you might find hosting from one company that is running a promo, or you’ll find that many hosts also throw in a “first-one-free” for the domain registration. With that in mind you set up your hosting, and they give you a domain with that plan. Sometimes they’ll knock the first year down to $0.99 for the domains and its already equipped and setup on your hosting plan. It saves you, us, and everybody time and ultimately money! At the time of this article BlueHost, for example is running a promotion that runs $3.95/month to host effectively unlimited sites from that one hosting plan.
Remember the following important things. WordPress (what we design most of our sites on) is and should always be FREE. The cost will be anywhere up from $3.95/month for the hosting, and then an annual fee on top of that for the domain registration. The reason I don’t give pricing for domains is that some are “cheap” and cost a few dollars, but some other so-called “premium” domains can run well into the thousands of dollars for registration. One way to think of it is like having a storage locker and a P.O. Box. The storage locker being your hosting account, and the P.O. Box is your domain registrations. (Picture a UPS Store, some have storage facilities you can rent as well as the P.O. Box, one-stop-shop is always nice!)
Now having your hosting and domains in the same spot helps with many other factors. Getting a Google Analytics account setup? You’ll need to verify your domain ownership, adding that into the system is a snap with integrated hosting/domains. While not impossible, it is slower if you have to hunt around for where the domain was registered.
Want to renew or change your billing preference? Getting domains and hosting at the same time will collapse those renewal times into the same billing cycles. No more paying out for domains in September and hosting in April of the following year. Also, while it might seem like it’s more money to invest, you’ll find that you’re getting a discount if you purchase hosting/domain registration in longer blocks of time. $400 is a lot of money to drop on hosting and your domain, but not having to pay for it again for 3 or 4 years (depending on your host/registrar) is pretty sweet.
That is potential money saved in the renewal discounts and no additional taxes/fees on top of that until renewal time. (you’ll get hit with ICANN fees on top of taxes for EACH domain registered and renewed, but if you do that once every four years the taxes/fees are discounted).
The remaining reasons you might want to bundle things together is simply out of sheer convenience and ease of integration.
Having a single place to purchase your domain and hosting means that down the road if you want to re-brand, update branding, or even something as simple as adding a targeted domain to your list of domains/sites, you just have to purchase the domain. We can redirect a domain from anywhere, but having everything in one place makes it so easy to point newproduct.com to your originalproduct.com domain.
So where should you get your domains? Again, wherever you find your hosting is generally going to be your best bet. Simplicity of DNS/NameServers and having hosting all integrated will ALWAYS make your life easier and save you time on our side getting, and keeping you up and running.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic but aren’t sure where to begin- reach out to us! Projects Made Simple, LLC is here to help you succeed.