Where should I buy my Domain Names
This might seen a pretty straight forward thing. You would assume, the easiest option would be to buy Domain names through your Hosting company.
Well yes and no.
There are arguments for and against.
Most Hosting companies primary business is to supply website hosting.
The ability to offer Domain names for purchase, became an addon service that complimented their business.
They are able to sign you up for hosting, secure a domain name, and get you online with less delay.
Now there are companies that started the other way round.
Their primary business is to register Domain names, and broker the transfer of domain names between 3rd parties.
For them Hosting and other services were added later as complimentary services.
You can register a Domain name with them without hosting.
Changing your Hosting provider
I actually have all my Domain names registered at a dedicated Domain Name registrar.
I have access directly to the DNS records, and can point each Domain to whichever hosting company I choose to use.
If i feel the need to change hosting companies through service or suitability issues, I can easily do so.
All I need is:-
- a current backup of my website
- to install wordpress on the new host,
- then point the DNS records to it.
(The files on the old host should be deleted but if you closed your hosting with them they should wipe it anyway)
So that’s one option.
What if I were to have all my domain names registered through my hosting company
So Now need to change to a new Host?
Some companies allow you to do so easily and give you access to do it in your hosting control panel.
It requires accessing a transfer authorization code usually generated in the control panel.
That code is then entered into your new hosts Hosting control panel to effect the move.
(It then usually transfers to the new host within a few hours up to 24 hours.
The reason for the time delay is that cached information of your site address exists on servers and directories all across the globe.
It takes time for all those caches to update to the new address.)
Your domain names may be Locked with your Host.
Now some hosting companies place a lock on domains.
To get the transfer authorization code you need to make an official request for them to release it.
This can take time for them to process.
Early on I had my first hosting with a particular company. I purchased two domain names through them.
Later I added a number of other domains that i bought directly from Namecheap (a dedicated domain name seller-registrar).
Particularly because they were better priced.
Namecheap remained the registrar, and the DNS records pointed to my hosting company.
When I changed to a newer more modern Hosting company I needed to direct my domains to the new host.
The sites that had *Namecheap as my registrar moved and were up and running within hours.
All i had to do was go into my Namecheap account and change the DNS redirect from host1 to host2.
The two domains purchased with the original hosting company took 5 and 7 days as I was also transferring them to a new registrar.
Maybe they were in no rush to help a customer leave their fold.
This can also happen.
Particularly if they are a third party seller of domain names, rather than a dedicated authorized seller.
- This was the case for me.
- They received my request to transfer –
- They then contacted their parent company to process the transfer and issue the authorization code –
- waiting, waiting, days go by
- They then received the code, goes on their to do list,
- Eventually they forwarded it to me.
- I used the code to initiate transfer to my new host,
- then waited 24 hour to be fully operational again.
Now Where it can get tricky moving your Domain Names
If you are in dispute with your existing hosting company.
You may have trouble getting anything released from them while that dispute remains active and unresolved.
Your sites can remained locked to their servers. They may remain live, they may not, depending the seriousness of the dispute.
Even if you have a full backup of your site (which you should) you could create a new instance of it on a new hosting company.
But you could not send traffic to it till you get the DNS records released by the previous host.
You are stuck. You have lost control of your Domain and website.
For me, this is an unnecessary situation to be in.
It meant nothing to me, till I experienced the delays first hand.
- I suddenly realised how much I was reliant on my host doing the right thing.
- Ideally with the same urgency that I felt.
- It was then that I changed how I was registering my domains.
- Does it happen often? Who knows, people don’t openly advertise the fact.
The internet is generally about freedom.
Would you willingly let someone else take control of that Freedom?
Choose your Poison. Most people never have a problem. Don’t be the one that does, it can be frustrating.
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