There are many options when it comes deciding where to buy a new domain name. You could go with a web host, broker, reseller or registrar. Trying to decide which one to use can be overwhelming, and it may seem natural to use your web host to keep everything in one place. However, registering a domain name with your host can be a horrible idea, for reasons I’ll outline below.
Domain Names and Web Hosts
Owning a blog or website involves two separate pieces, a domain name, and a web host.
The domain name is the URL that visitors use to get to your site. For example, bloggingonabudget.com is the domain name for this site. When you decide to buy a domain name you pay an annual fee to use that particular web address. If you stop paying, someone else can scoop up and use the domain instead.
Web hosts provide the technical infrastructure needed to store your website’s content and make it accessible to visitors. If you have a free blog through WordPress.com, then your host is WordPress, but if you decide to self-host your website, then you need to find a web host to get your site up and running.
The Domain Registration Dilemma
Whether you decide to get a free blog through WordPress.com or to self-host your site on a web host such as Bluehost, you will be given the opportunity to register a new domain name with them. For many people, keeping their web stuff in one place will sound like a great idea.
However, you also have the option to register your domain name with a domain name registrar, who is specialized in the management of domain names. I have been using NameCheap for years and I strongly recommend using a domain name registrar such as them for the following two reasons.
Have all of your domain names in one place. You might be thinking, But I only have one website! That may be true, but for many of us, websites are addicting. For example, I currently own 15 domains. Having to only go to one place to manage my domain names is a lifesaver.
No need to worry about domain name transfers. If you ever become unhappy with your web host and decide to move your site, you’ll also want to transfer your domain name if it’s registered with the old host. Domain transfers can be confusing, but if you have registered your domain name with a domain name registrar, you only have to update your DNS settings to point your domain name to the new web host.
As always, I recommend Namecheap if you are looking to buy a new domain name. They are awesome and have excellent customer service and I have been using them for many years.
If you are ready to dive in and buy a new domain name, then check out my step-by-step guide on how to purchase one through NameCheap.