Should you Separate Domain Registration from Hosting or Not?

Domain name registration and website hosting are two essential parts of web hosting. Any website requires both a domain and a web hosting at the same time. Although most web hosting service providers offer both services. They can be separated as well. Should you separate domain registration from hosting or not? In this article, I will share with you my own experience whether to keep domain and hosting separate or with the same company.

If you are new to hosting a web site you may find different websites or forumns give totally different advices on domain registration and site hosting. Some users recommend you to register a domain with a registrar separate from the hosting provider. For example, you can register a domain with GoDaddy, then host the domain and your website with Bluehost budget web hosting. Alternatively you can register domain and host website both with GoDaddy or Bluehost. There are both advantages and disadvantages of each choice you make.
domain registration and hosting separated

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Benefits of Keeping Domain Registration and Hosting Together

This seems to be quite the normal way many people choose to keep domain and hosting at the same place. First of all, you do not need to separate accounts to manage domain and hosting. You can manage everything under the same account, your web host is also your domain registrar. You avoid the hassle and save the time directing your domain to your web server. For example, if your want to buy domain with GoDaddy and host it with Bluehost, you need to follow this guide to change domain name servers with GoDaddy. When your hosting account or domain registration expires, you can renew both domain and hosting together. When you have trouble fixing DNS issues, your web host can be more efficient to help. As they have access to both your domain and hosting. Best of all, to build customer loyalty, many web hosting services offer free domain registration. That’s to say, you save all the money buying a domain, you pay only web hosting and get free domain registration.

From my own experience, I have some website hosting and domain registration with WebHost4Life web hosting since 2009. This is a popular cheap Linux and Windows hosting service provider for individuals and small businesses. They resell domains from TUCOWS through OpenSRS. Several years later WebHost4Life was acquired by EIG group and everyting changed with them. I decided to move out both my websites and domains to another web host and another domain registrar. Many people may guess it would be difficult to transfer away domain names. However from my experience, it turned out to be much easier than your migrate websites. I selected GoDaddy as my registrar, and you can see how easy it was to transfer domain name to GoDaddy from my previous registrar. The website migration need more work. You are lucky if your new web host can do it for you. Most of the site migration are paid service. Very few can offer it for free. Check out this free website migration service. If you have the basic computer skills or web hosting experience, you can actually move websites all by yourself. See this guide to migrate websites to new hosting manually. If you have a WordPress site and cPanel hosting, you can refer to this tutorial to move WordPress sites to cPanel hosting.

Benefits of Keeping Domain Registration and Hosting Separate

Still there are many website owners prefer to keep domain registration and hosting separated. Most of them hold the same opinion as Addison’s “separation-of-powers” argument. They think the system of checks and balances can keep power restricted, otherwise any single government agency may be overly powerful and abuse the rights of the people.

I do believe most hosting companies, especially those notable ones, would never hold a domain hostage. Although the possibility is there. If you trust a web hosting, you should not be bothered by this issue. For example, I bought domain from my web hosting Webhost4Life who is a reseller of Tucows. Tucows offers OpenSRS as the wholesale unit along with many easy-to-use management tools. When you decide to transfer away domain from them, you can get EPP code for domain transfer within the hosting control panel without the approval of current registrar, you can unlock domain for transfer all by yourself. From my own experience, domain transfer from one registrar to another or from a web host to domain registrar is not as difficult as many people assume.

Tucows OpenSRS

OpenSRS is the wholesale unit of Tucows, exclusively focused on the needs of resellers. Through a network of over 13,000 web hosts, Internet service providers and Web companies, OpenSRS manages domain names, email addresses, digital security products and web publishing tools for millions of end users worldwide.

One commonly seen reason you should go to buy domain separately is that you have many domains or you do not want to take the risk by hosting all websites on the same server. You should then separate domain registration and hosting. The benefits of keep domain and hosting separate can keep all domain well organized. You can edit, manage, renew all of them in one place. You can get the best domain service with world-class domain registrar while host your websites with the top web hosting service providers. The best registrars are usually not the best web hosts, vice versa.


  1. Is it possible to register a domain without creating a website with it that when entered transfers you to a website with a different domain?

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