This is a great article from someone who KNOWS EXACTLY what he is talking about. Might I add after my personal encounter with an insidious snake...never allow someone to register and control your domain name and offer to build you a website as a 'gift' because their intentions may have ulterior motives. Lessons learned...moving on.
Thank you to an attorney / friend for his advice. I appreciate your advice and your humor.
In my last post I told you about a great web hosting deal and it reminded me of Rick’s first rule of domain name registration and web hosting: Never, ever register your domain name and host your website with the same company!
I have been building websites for a number of years, and I learned early
on the hard way that it is never a good idea to mix your hosting
accounts with your domain registrations. Everything is just fine until
you decide to move your site to a different hosting company, at which
time all types of snakes tend to begin rearing their ugly heads.
All too often you’ll have a heap of trouble trying to change the DNS
server settings to point to the new server because the registrar/host is
upset that you’re moving the most profitable part of your business
elsewhere. In other words, don’t be surprised if “glitches” arise during
the transfer process, and don’t count on getting much help from the
registrar to resolve them!
A similar and usually even more insidious problem often occurs when you
allow the person or company who builds and hosts your website to also
register and control your domain name. By now you should be able to
guess what often happens when you decide to take your site’s hosting and
maintenance business elsewhere. Yep, your domain name is held hostage,
causing you to have to go to great trouble and expense trying to gain
control over it.
I know of many instances where the rightful owner of a good domain name
ended up having to simply abandon it (along with its inbound links and
search engine rankings) and register a new one that was nowhere near as
good as the original. As a matter of fact, I have a good friend whose
Celtic Music group just went through that very scenario.
Now I’m not saying that every domain registrar, hosting company and web
designer out there is up to no good – quite to the contrary. But I can
tell you from personal experience that there are plenty enough bad ones
to absolutely ruin your day if you choose to break the rule explained in
the first paragraph.
If you wish to hire someone to build a website for you, the first thing
you should do is register your own domain name, by yourself, listing
yourself as the owner AND the “Administrative Contact”. I also recommend
opening your own web hosting account, and then setting up a limited FTP
account that the designer can use to upload and manage the various
Then once a week or so, use your own FTP program (I use an outstanding free one called FTP Commander)
to download the latest files from the server to your local computer.
Also, if you have a blog or some other site that uses a database, make
sure you periodically download a backup copy of it as well. That way,
should you ever decide to move your website to a different web hosting
provider and/or switch web designers, you’ll already have everything you
need in order to successfully complete the move.
Registering a new domain name is cheap and simple. I have used Godaddy,
the largest (and in my opinion the best) registrar out there
exclusively for many years with nary a problem. There are many good web
hosting companies to choose from, but I think it would be a bit
difficult to beat the deal currently being offered by Webhostingpad . Just my two cents worth…