Why I keep my domains and webhosting separate

I’ve been creating and publishing website ever since I was in high school, albeit with the help of a good friend at that time and a large amount of floppy disks. “Wilko’s Home Page” it was called, and it featured multiple frames, colorful backgrounds and even a MIDI background song, which in today’s world would have very much sounded like this (don’t judge – we all started somewhere).

My online adventures started without me paying anything for hosting – all my sites were based on free hosting accounts. I quickly learned that when it comes to doing anything online, the adage “What you pay is what you get” applies even more so than in the real, offline world. But I didn’t have a dollar (or euro, at the time) to spend, so I decided to find webhosting sponsors for my growing online business. In exchange for advertisement space they’d provide me with domain registration and online space. It sounded great on electronic paper, but once the relationship went sour or they all of a sudden started charging me for services rendered, I’ve lost a domain or two that was held hostage by the webhosting provider, bringing my online venture to a grinding halt. I learned my lesson, as per usual, the hard way, and vouched to keep my domain registrations and web hosting space separated going forward.

Most webhosting providers will provide you with a “free” domain, included with your hosting package. I respectfully decline every time, which gets me a lot of advantages:

  • Full control over the companies I do business with – I can pick separate providers for webhosting and domains, ensuring I get the most value for both
  • Ability to move providers while eliminating downtime – if needed I have the freedom to move webhosting OR domains to another provider without my sites being unavailable
  • No chance of a domain held “hostage” – I have full control over my online properties

I’ve written about webhosting companies before and even made some recommendations if you’re looking for a place to get started with your online presence (yes, readers of my blog get a special deal).

But what if you wanted to be smart (like me) and maintain a separate home for your domain name(s)? I’ve moved around a bit, but found a good permanent home for the many domains I maintain for my various online projects at NameCheap. The name says it all – but I found they own up to the promise and the philosophy behind their brand aligns well with my ideas about Freedom. They claim to be a “safe place for entrepreneurs to bring their business online”. I would have to agree – and have since moved over all my domains into their safe haven, supported by a very responsive customer support team who always are available to help me out when needed (even in case of one uncooperative previous domain farm).

Have a look for yourself – click the button below to claim your domain and get started.

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