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Should You Buy Hosting With Domain Included or Buy a Separate Domain?

buy separate domain name

When it comes to buying a domain name you have two choices: you can purchase a web hosting plan with a domain included or purchase a name separately through a domain name registrar. Many web companies, such as BlueHost and Omnis, offer a free domain registration which sounds rather appealing when considering that you will only have to deal with a single company.

The Business of Domain Hosting

Purchasing a domain name from a web host is attractive for obvious reasons. This service makes perfect sense to the web hosting company. Domains are in demand, giving the web hosting provider another way to profit from their clients. It can also be ideal for the client, allowing them to kill two birds with one stone by managing both their website and domain from a single account.

A domain name can be viewed as your identification card for the web. After purchasing the domain, you own it for a given period of time according to the purchasing agreement. If the service provided by a web host is not up to your standards, you can then pack up your files, your domain and move to a new host. However, this may not be the case if your name was registered with a web hosting company, giving you limited control over your web presence.

Relocating

Moving your site to a new host is essentially a two step process. First, you must upload all of your files to the new server and then change your DNS (domain name servers) so they point to the DNS of the new web host. If you have backed up all of your files, the first step is simple and can be done without the involvement of your old provider. The second step can be a lot more complicated.

The Importance of DNS

DNS is what makes it possible for visitors to access your site via the domain name. When a visitor follows a link to that domain, their request is sent to your DNS, which then forwards the request to the server your site is located on. The server then does its job of your serving your web pages to the visitor. The DNS acts as the access point for the domain and your website. Having control of the domain name servers being utilized essentially gives you access control over the domain name and your website.

What Can Go Wrong

If you register a domain with your web hosting provider, you stand the chance of encountering one of the following scenarios:

1. You are forced to contact your former web host and ask them to change your DNS. This could take several hours or days depending on their response time.

2. You are forced to transfer your domain from the old host to a new registrar. This process must first be approved by the previous host and could take days or evens weeks to complete.

3. The web hosting company registered your domain within their name, meaning they legally own it. This is a worst case scenario where you may have to make an attempt to purchase the domain from them. You could also try to redirect traffic from the old domain to your new site, although such an emergency would probably result in the loss of clients and revenue.

The scenarios above can all cause you to experience a significant amount of downtime which spells bad news for your business. Purchasing your domain with a separate registrar is far less complicated. If you choose to change web hosts, all you’re required to do is log into the domain control panel and update your name servers to point to the new hosts. If you decide to purchase hosting with a domain name included, make sure it’s a service that encourages you to stick around for a while.

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    22nd August 2008
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Best Web Hosting Tips

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