Before you can build a website, you’ll need to buy a domain name. So for example if you’re thinking of starting a business that sells dog beds, you might want a catchy domain name like dogdreams.com.
While there are hundreds of domain name sellers to choose from, the best place you can buy a domain name is at an ICANN accredited domain name registrar.
Some registrars concentrate on selling solely on selling domain names while others also provide hosting. If you’ve already decided to host with say Hostgator or GoDaddy (I’ll recommend who I think are the best WordPress hosts in the next tutorial), you may be tempted to buy your domain names from them too. However this is not a good idea.
Why I Never Buy A Domain Name From A Hosting Company
Many hosting companies are not domain registers, but instead process the domain sale through a registrar, behind the scenes while giving the appearance of having sold it to you directly. This can cloud your view of the domain and make it harder to control so my advice is not to do that.
Some hosting companies are domain name registrars – but it is still best in my opinion to buy your hosting and domain names from different organisations.
- A dishonest hosting company can make it difficult for you to switch your hosting to another host if they also control your access to your domain.
- Some hosts advertise a free domain, but it is typically only free for the first year and then the price you the following year may be more expensive than if you paid for the domain at a regular price.
- The host may keep the domain if you cancel in the first year while you are still in the free period.
- You may not have full control over your domains with a limited domain user interface.
- Moving a domain can be really tedious. If your domain and host are together and you lose trust in your host, you will probably want to move the domain as well.
- You’ll benefit from tighter security if your domain and site are held separately. Successful hackers won’t access to your domain and your site.
- Web hosts do not often have the same range of domain name TLDs(top level domains) as do registrars, so if you are interested in some ogf the more unusual TLDs (.horse, .today etc) your choice might be limited.
- If you have a lot of domains it’s much easier to manage them all in one place and host each site where it is best suited.
It’s Normal To Change Your Host
The quality of hosting is always changing, and you’ll almost certainly change your web host at some point. If your host has nothing to do with your domain name registration, then the process of moving your hosting is a lot easier.
Which Domain Name Registrar Do I Recommend?
I choose to use Namecheap. They have always provided an excellent service and with a friendly and easy to use, user interface. But Namecheap is one of many domain name registrars that you could choose. Namecheap is of course, an ICANN accredited registrar, which is a good thing.
So What’s ICANN?
Domain name registrars provide a service to allow you to officially register a domain name. ICANN is the defining body that oversees the eassignment of that domain to you for the designated period.
ICANN is the organisation that controls the naming systems – domain names – used on the internet. ICANN runs an accreditation for companies who sell domain names (i.e. registrars) and draws up contracts with each registrar. These contracts provide a stable and environment forth domain name system and hence the internet.