When starting a website, you’ll need to register a domain name and set up web hosting.
While many web hosts allow you to purchase a domain name through them, you can opt to register your domain through a separate domain registrar instead.
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely register your domain name with one company, like GoDaddy or Namecheap, and then host your site files and email with a separate web hosting provider, like Bluehost or SiteGround.
This gives you flexibility in choosing the best registrar and best web host for your needs.
Below are some key points on managing your domain and hosting separately:
- Domain registrars handle purchasing and managing domain name registrations. Popular registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google Domains.
- Web hosting providers host your website files and databases on their servers. Common hosts are Bluehost, SiteGround, HostGator.
- You’ll point your domain to use your web host’s servers through changing your domain’s nameserver records at your registrar.
- This allows you to switch web hosts separately from your domain if needed. Your domain name remains unchanged.
- You can also easily transfer your domain name between registrars without affecting your site hosting.
Benefits of Separate Domain and Hosting
Here are some of the benefits of having your domain registration separate from your web hosting:
- Freedom to choose the best companies for each. You can select your preferred domain registrar and preferred web host based on features, reliability, pricing, and support. No being locked in to one company for both.
- Easy transfers. You can move your domain to a new registrar or your hosting to a new provider without impacting the other service. Makes switching for better deals or performance simpler.
- Own your domain identity. With your domain in your own account, you maintain full ownership. If you cancel web hosting service, you keep your domain name.
- Flexible management. You can easily make DNS record changes for things like email or subdomains in your registrar account. You don’t have to log in to your host’s portal.
- Email portability. You can point your email to any email host, not just your web hosting company. Allows using a separate professional email service.
- Cost savings. Domain registrars often have lower renewal fees for domains than web hosting companies charge.
Pointing Your Domain to Your Host
If you register your domain separately from your hosting, you’ll need to point your domain name to use your hosting provider’s servers.
This is done by updating your domain’s nameserver records in your domain registrar’s account control panel.
Nameservers are basically DNS directories that tell your domain where to find the information it needs to load your website when someone types your URL.
Your web host provides special nameserver values you’ll copy to your registrar account.
For example, common web hosting nameservers might be:
This process will link your registered domain with your hosting service that has your site.
Traffic gets routed appropriately so when people visit yourdomain.com they’ll reach your web host servers and see your site.
It may take up to 24-48 hours for the nameserver changes to fully propagate worldwide after updating your registrar’s settings.
Then your domain will function as it should.
Your web host should provide instructions on where to find and how to update your nameservers when signing up. If not, chat with their support.
Answers to FAQs
Can I have 2 domains on one hosting account?
Yes, most shared web hosting accounts allow you to host multiple domains on a single account.
For example, you could have example1.com and example2.org pointed to the same Bluehost account.
This works because the web host can associate multiple nameservers with a single account. You’d just register the domains separately but point them to the same account’s nameservers.
Having multiple domains on one account is a popular way to save money instead of paying for separate hosting for each domain. It works well for small websites with minimal traffic.
Can you share a domain between two different web hosting companies?
It’s technically possible but not recommended to point your domain name registration to use nameservers from two different web hosting providers.
Your domain can only resolve to one set of nameservers at a time.
If you change the nameserver records to alternate between two web hosts, only one of the hosts will be active at a time.
This could lead to unpredictable downtime where your site works sometimes but not others. Visitors will see errors if your domain points to inactive hosting.
It’s better to associate each domain name with only one web host to avoid conflicts. Use separate accounts for different providers.
Can a domain work without hosting?
A domain name registration will not work properly on its own without also having web hosting configured.
If you only registered a domain but do not have hosting set up and pointed to with nameservers, your domain will not load a website. Visitors will get an error that the site cannot be reached.
The domain registration just maintains your ownership of the domain name. But web hosting is required to store and display your actual website files when users type your domain.
The hosting also provides the server infrastructure to serve pages and content.
So while you can register a domain without yet having hosting, you’ll need to add hosting and update your nameservers before your domain will work as desired.
Can I change my hosting provider?
Absolutely! Changing your hosting provider is a relatively straightforward process and can be done with minimal hassle.
With so many hosting providers available in the Philippines, you have the freedom to choose one that better suits your needs, offers more features, or provides better customer support.
To begin the process of changing your hosting provider, start by researching and comparing different options.
Look for providers that offer the specific features and resources you require for your website or online project.
Once you’ve found a new hosting provider that meets your criteria, sign up for their services and set up your account.
Next, transfer your website files and databases from your current hosting provider to the new one.
Most hosting providers offer tools and tutorials to assist you in this process.
It’s essential to ensure that all files are transferred correctly to avoid any disruptions to your website’s functionality.
Finally, once everything has been successfully transferred, update your domain’s DNS settings to point towards the new hosting provider.
This will allow visitors to access your website through its new host.
Remember to double-check everything before making the switch!
Changing hosting providers can be an exciting opportunity to enhance your website’s performance and take advantage of new features.
Don’t be afraid to explore different options and find a provider that best aligns with your goals.
What happens to my domain if registrar goes out of business?
If your registrar goes out of business, don’t worry! Your domain is not lost forever.
The good news is that there are processes in place to ensure the safety and transferability of your domain.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has regulations to protect domain owners in such situations.
When a registrar goes out of business, ICANN will step in and facilitate the transfer of domains to another accredited registrar.
This ensures that you retain ownership and control over your domain.
It may require some paperwork and verification, but rest assured that your beloved domain will find a new home.
So, no need to panic if your registrar shuts down unexpectedly.
Trust the system, follow the necessary steps, and soon enough your domain will be back up and running with a new registrar.
Does my domain name have to match my company name?
No, your domain name does not have to match your company name!
While it can be helpful for branding purposes, it is not a requirement.
In fact, many successful companies have domain names that are completely different from their company names.
Having a unique and memorable domain name can actually help you stand out and make a lasting impression on potential customers.
It allows you to get creative and choose a domain name that reflects your brand’s personality or the products/services you offer.
So don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to choosing your domain name.
Get creative, be unique, and let your domain name become an exciting extension of your brand identity!
Registering your domain name separately from your web hosting provider is a flexible approach that gives you freedom and control. You can choose different companies for domains and hosting.
Point your domain to your host with nameservers. This connects the two services so your site is accessible online. It’s simple to transfer domains or switch hosting separately as needed.
Separating your domain and hosting allows you to pick the best specialized companies.
And you retain full ownership of your domain identity for your brand. Just be sure to always keep your domain’s nameserver records updated to point to active hosting.