Buying a Domain From Your Hosting Provider ( pros + cons)
There is a discussion if it is better to register a domain from your hosting provider. Some people suggest to keep the domain and hosting separately.
We will present in detail the pros and cons:
Free Domain For the First Year
Most of the hosting providers include a free domain name for the first year of registration if you buy a hosting plan from them. This is an approach that helps them to get more clients for their hosting services.
It is a good marketing tactic because if you will have a site for a long time with them, they will earn much more than what a domain costs to them. From your perspective, it is a good solution for you otherwise you would pay around $8-$14 for this domain name.
One Account For Domain and Hosting
It is much more convenient to log in to one site since you need to remember one username and password. If you need to make any technical change you don’t need to switch from one site to another. All the payment receipts are in one place and more easily trackable.
You have provided your personal information only to one side so that is good for better management of your data and your privacy. You get familiar faster with the interface and you can easily find what you need after a while.
Support in hosting providers tends to be faster (but not always) and more helpful compared to domain registrars. That happens because you are a very valuable customer.
You tend to spend more money on hosting comparing with domains. Especially when you run a website with a lot of traffic you will need to purchase a more expensive plan. In that case, you will pay a big amount of money to keep your site alive and with good performance.
From hosting provider’s perspective a client with recurring big payments worth a lot. It is their best interest to serve you with the best customer support possible.
More Expensive Domain Renewals
The domain would be free for the first year but for sure you will pay for all the years after that. It is a good practice to check your hosting’s pricing page to find out what they charge for the domain names renewals based on the extension (.com, .net, etc).
It is normal that they charge you after the first year since a domain is a cost for them annually too. For example .com costs them around $8 per year. This is the total fee they pay to the Registry (Verisign) and ICANN that oversees the whole system with the domain registrations. A Registry is something like a wholesaler for domains.
Actually, I have a post of how domain registration works in detail. Take a look if you want here.
Possible Security Issues
Having the domain name and hosting with the same provider can be risky. If a hacker compromises your account, he will have access to both of your assets. Of course, all reputable hosting providers have many security mechanisms to avoid this kind of situations but you can’t be sure.
In most cases especially for your domain is hard to transfer it since they need your email login details too and the transfer takes days. The downside is that they can immediately redirect your domain to some spammy site. So, this can hurt your site’s reputation and affect your website visitors.
A good hosting provider is not always a good domain registrar too and vice versa. It seems that companies specialize in one or the other. For example, a domain registrar has devoted more of its resources on handling domains effectively. The support has been trained for this part and the site’s interface is optimized for the domain names management.
In contrast, hosting providers have spent resources on getting quality servers to host sites. They have optimized the interface for clients that manage websites. They trained their support to deal mostly with questions about website hosting.
Less Domain Name Extensions Available
There are more than 1500+ domain extensions (or tlds). Most of the domain name registrars offer at least 400-500 of them as a viable option. In contrast, most web hosting providers offer only the popular ones such as .com, .net, etc.
Nowadays most of the good keywords domains for these extensions are taken or expensive. So, if you decide to choose some alternative domain name extension that contains good keywords you don’t really have that option.
Possible Problems With Transition to a New Provider
If you have all your assets in a company that makes them have some control over them. Things are smooth as long as you continue to spend money on their services but what happens if you decide to leave? Having both a domain and hosting in the same provider can slow down things a bit.
You will receive emails and questionnaires for the reasons you leave. They will also insist if you are sure about your decision. They can delay the domain transfer up to 5 days even if they can do it in some minutes. It is also good practice to download all your sites before you transfer your domain or cancel any services you have with them. Don’t forget to download all your emails too.
The really reputable hosting providers will not stop you from leaving but you need to be prepared just in case.
How to Decide if You Will Register a Domain With Your Hosting Provider
The answer here depends on your situation and your long term goals. We will examine each situation:
1.)If you are going to build just one site then you will need just one domain. In that case, registering a domain with your current hosting provider sounds like a good idea.
2.)If your hosting is already a reputable domain name registrar such as Godaddy or Namecheap then it is a good option to register a domain and buy hosting from them too.
3.)If your budget is not tight and convenience is your first priority then buying a domain from your hosting provider is the way to go.
4.)If you will have a lot of domain names then you should register your domain with a reputable registrar and not with your current hosting provider. Take into consideration that domain name registrars provide decent discounts for clients who have a lot of domain names.
If you are seeking a good hosting provider that offers a free domain please check my review of what hosting provider I use and why!