Disclaimer: Any products/services mentioned or recommended below are suggestions based on our own experiences. We have no affiliation with any of the products or services mentioned and you should always thoroughly and independently research your options to decide what is best for you.
All websites and email services need 3 things to function:
- A domain registration
- Web hosting
- DNS hosting
A domain registration is the ownership/authority to control a specific website address, such as www.yourbusiness.com.au. It is the first thing you will usually sign up for, and acts as the human-friendly first point of the process in how a computer’s web browser looks up the server address of where to find your website.
The hosting account is essentially the storage space on a server where the files that make up your website, or the data that makes up your emails, is stored.
DNS hosting creates the link between your domain registration and your hosting account, and another other hosting accounts that may store something you want to direct traffic to. When someone types in your website’s domain into their computer’s browser, it will first query the domain to find out what DNS records are attached to it. These records store critical information, such as which server your website files can be found, and which server is set up to receive your emails.
So is it wise to keep them all with one company?
Many would argue that keeping these 3 critical elements of your website and/or email service with the same company is an unwise idea. The main reason for this is that should that one company have any issues or substantial outages, you are quite trapped in terms of recourse options.
Keeping your services separated means that you at least have some ability to take temporary measures to get yourself back online, should one company have an outage. In the unlikely event that multiple companies have outages at the same time – there’s probably a wider issue at play that a large volume of people are experiencing. These issues are usually rectified quite quickly however.
The ideal solution does exist!
It can be tricky to know what option is best in terms of where you should keep these 3 services, as there are a few different possible combinations. The ideal solution however is relatively simple!
Firstly, we’d recommend keeping your domain registration and your website/email hosting with the same company. The reason for this is it can be very beneficial to have your hosting company have access to your domain registration as well, as it can allow them to assist you with updating domain name servers, and ensuring your hosting is set up correctly for your domain and vice versa. It is also fairly uncommon for a service provider to experience issues with both domain registrations and web hosting at the same time, as they are different services using very different infrastructure.
We would then recommend you to keep your DNS hosting with another provider. A great option in this case is Cloudflare, who offer highly reputable and reliable DNS hosting for free. Having your DNS hosting with Cloudflare means that if your web hosting company does experience an outage, you will not be trapped, as you will be able to log into your Cloudflare account and simply re-route your website’s traffic to a backup hosting service to get you through any extended outages. For this to work however, you will need to ensure that you have a reliable, external backup system in place for your website (check out tip #1 in our 5 Tips Top To Protect Your WordPress Website blog post), so that you can quickly upload a copy of it to your temporary hosting account, without having to rely on being able to access your web host’s backups.
With this solution in place, being affected by extended outages can be a thing of the past for your website!
That’s it from us for this week. As always, if you have any questions about this post or our shared hosting, VPS, reseller or dedicated server plans, simply call us on 1300 MY HOST (694 678) during business hours, or submit a ticket through our Support Portal and one of the crew will be in touch!