Ever done research on where and how to host a domain? What does hosting a domain even mean? I had some experience learning the ropes with my snafu with WordPress. Number one lesson with WordPress? WordPress.com and WordPress.org are NOT the same. Registering your domain through wordpress.com does not give you access to the files underneath if you wish to modify and customize at all.
If you are starting to research where to build a website, one of the first steps to consider is where to register your domain, along with who will develop the website, and where the site will be hosted. Think of the domain as your house address, the web developer as the contractor hired to build the house inside and out, and the host to be the underlying ground your house is standing on.
The most common domain registrars include GoDaddy, WordPress, Google, Amazon, etc. Wait, Google?? I had no idea Google registered domains. Seems like the service started out as invite only, then transitioned to open up to everyone in the US. **Google domains is still in beta mode**
But which one to go with? Why should I choose WordPress over GoDaddy, or Amazon over Google? Where do I even start to think about the considerations needed?
Here are some thoughts to consider when choosing where to register a domain:
- Do you need access to the underlying files for tweaking later on? For example, do you want to change one file to include the Facebook “Like” button on your page?
- Do you care to have your registration information public or private?
- Obviously, what’s your budget?
The main factor that pushed me to choose to register my domain at Google was the cost factor and ease of use to sign up. An apples to apples comparison puts a domain registration with Google at $12 with anonymous registration, while the same domain would cost $20 at GoDaddy. If you don’t choose anonymous registration, then anyone who knows your domain name can find out personal information about you, such as your address, phone, name, etc. No bueno.
Here’s a quick breakdown to show you- I ran a sample domain search (using scarfgeeky ;)) on GoDaddy:
So introductory price with GoDaddy is only $3, right? Let’s select that and move on.
WOAH! To get privacy on your domain registrant information, you need to pay an extra $8/year. So total, we are at ~$20, including the privacy protection from GoDaddy. That’s a far cry from their initial advertised price of $3 for the domain.
Contrast GoDaddy’s checkout page to Google’s sleek checkout-
Also no spammy upsells with Google domains! Talk about a pretty UI and easy to follow thought process.
Take note GoDaddy!
I chose my domain and checked out (using Google wallet). Simple and easy peezy.
Here’s an Infograph on how to choose between Godaddy and Google. Maybe I should have looked this up before registering my domain…