Domains and Hosting: All Together Now
When you set up a new website, you need both a domain (your site address) and hosting (where your content will live). But which company do you choose for these services?
Some people still believe you should keep these two services separate, using a different company for each.
However, we’ll explain why it’s actually better to choose a single company for both your domain and website hosting and why we think Namecheap, as a full-service provider, is the best option for your needs.
The Myth of Keeping Hosting and Domains Separate
If you ask your friends for advice or search online forums, you’ll likely hear that you need to keep your domain registrar and hosting separate by using two different companies. The fact is, there’s no need to use a hosting company that’s different from your domain registrar.
Consider just a few of the advantages of keeping the two products under the same roof:
- One point of contact
- Manage domain and hosting through the same account
- Customer support can help you with both products at once
- Easier DNS management
- No back and forth between providers
So why do people recommend keeping these services separate?
This myth originated in the days when domain registrars focused mainly on the domains themselves. Twenty years ago, most providers were new companies trying to balance demand and services with their bottom line. Lots of small companies were entering the ring and had to cut corners just to compete, often over-promising and under-delivering. So it was difficult to find a company you could trust.
Complicating matters, most registrars that did offer hosting treated it as an afterthought, neglecting key investments in the hardware, security, and support needed for reliable hosting. If a customer found the hosting inadequate, they may have had difficulty moving to a better provider.
With today’s more robust and stable tech market, however, these problems are a thing of the past (much like the <blink> tag has vanished from nearly all websites). Web professionals now recognize that there is no danger in registering your domains with the same company that provides your hosting.
Choosing a Trustworthy and Reliable Provider
Instead of trying to find two companies for your domain and your hosting, why not use your time researching the single best company to host your website?
A quick search will show that most of the larger hosting providers also offer domain registration services. But with so many options, choosing the right one can be a daunting task.
Below, we’ll look at four important things to consider before choosing a hosting provider.
1. How Does the Provider Manage Its Servers?
Every website, email, online game, and mobile app sits on a server somewhere in the world.
When considering your hosting provider, you should find out how they manage their servers, especially for shared hosting – the most common option for smaller websites.
Does the company overload servers with too many separate accounts, causing downtime and outages, or does it treat all hosting with respect, ensuring that even the most inexpensive options get the same great service?
At Namecheap, our shared, reseller, VPS, and cloud servers all utilize the same enterprise grade hardware: a mix of Dell, Supermicro, rackmount servers with true enterprise components. These components are fully monitored by the iDRAC/IPMI/iLO card within the server, with multiple hot and cold spares onsite and same-day/next-day replacement from our vendors.
We also host many accounts, providing real-time data for optimal server-loading policies, and we stay away from common cost-cutting strategies used by many hosting providers, such as overloading their physical hardware to maximize profit margins. Instead, we load servers with half the accounts our competitors do on similar hardware. And as we grow, we add new servers as existing servers hit their optimal load. We also use CloudLinux as a safeguard on all of the servers.
The result is that our customers constantly tell us that Namecheap hosting is the fastest they’ve ever tried. We invite you to test out our speeds for yourself.
2. Does the Hosting Provider Use a Datacenter?
All servers a hosting provider uses should be located in at least one datacenter. These include registry interaction services, DNS servers, email servers, database servers, and hosting servers.
Namecheap only utilizes datacenters at Tier 3 or above. These datacenters include fully-redundant power, cooling/environmental controls, physical security, and must be located in an area with low to no risks from natural disasters.
Namecheap runs redundant power to all of our shared hosting servers. Touch wood, we’ve never experienced a power issue with either our primary or redundant power feeds, but don’t compromise on redundancy so each server has two power supplies, connected to two separate power distribution systems, battery backups, and generators.
We also consider several other criteria when choosing our datacenters:
- Redundant fiber paths into the building with multiple bandwidth carriers on-site
- Ample fuel to power the onsite generators should the main power go out, in addition to the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and ready-to-go gensets
- Cold water storage onsite for cooling the environmental systems in the event water supply is cut off
- Proven redelivery contracts for any consumable substance to power the operation
At Namecheap, we are extremely stringent in our datacenter selection so that we can ensure all of our customers’ data is protected.
3. Consider the Hosting Provider’s Network
In order to deliver content from its servers to a global audience, a good hosting provider needs a fast and reliable network that connects all of the datacenters. This network must have sufficient capacity for natural usage growth and traffic spurts, as well as sufficient protection against DDOS or other attacks on services.
A high-quality network involves a number of different providers, ensuring constant service even if part of the network is disrupted. The network must also employ top-rated network hardware—routers, switches, and firewalls.
To save money and resources, some hosting providers rent network capacity as bandwidth or data-transfer from their server provider. Namecheap doesn’t cut corners here. Instead, we’ve built our own 100G Juniper powered network with true failover/redundant capability.
This means multiple routers, each with multiple routing engines, power supplies, network meshes and more. We’ve enjoyed 100% network for a long time.
Further, we have also built our own advanced in-house DDoS mitigation capabilities.
4. How’s the Customer Support?
Some hosting providers outsource their tech support. This leads to support personnel who are unfamiliar with the products and have little motivation to provide excellent service. As a result, bugs, errors, and other user difficulties aren’t properly communicated to the provider for resolution.
Namecheap support couldn’t be more different. We manage our own 24/7 support team and hire top-notch people to assist customers at every stage of their journey. Our CS team is committed to providing excellent support and not resting until a problem is fully resolved.
We have separate support teams for domains, hosted services, and SSL, and each team knows their products inside and out. The teams are also categorized into three levels. Levels 1 and 2 are customer-facing and handle sales, technical, and general questions. Our Level 3 team focuses on operations as well as research and development.
The way our support training works, you’re much more likely to speak to an expert who can help you across multiple issues than you are to be transferred from one department to another.
The result? Our team delivers the best customer support in the world.
As we’ve discussed, at Namecheap we take all of our systems seriously, investing in top of the line equipment and staff to make sure your websites are fast, experience 99.9% uptime, and are easy to manage with up-to-date cPanel access. We integrate domain registration and hosting so you can get up and running super fast. And even with all of that, we still crush our competitors in terms of our excellent pricing and support.
Our size and our buying power allows us to leverage economies of scale at the datacenter level, at the server level and more. We pass these savings onto you, our customers, and in return offer some of the best value shared hosting around.
So now that we’ve cleared up old myths and misconceptions, we invite you to register your next domain with Namecheap. And be sure to check out EasyWP, our new fast and reliable managed WordPress hosting solution.