If you’re setting up your own website, you will likely be after the simplest solution possible (especially if you’re not too tech-savvy). While this is completely understandable, be warned that some of these simple solutions can cause problems for you further down the line.
One of the ‘simple’ solutions we find lots of people go for are services that tie together your hosting and your DNS records (*cough* GoDaddy *cough*).
What’s the difference between website hosting and DNS records?
The website host is where all of the files for your website (including code) are stored – this storage system is identified by an IP address. The DNS records tell your publicly used website URL which IP address to get the files from.
So while the 2 are linked, there is no need for your hosting and DNS to be managed by the same provider.
Why should you keep your web hosting and DNS records separate?
The biggest reason here is portability.
Your hosting provider controls where you are storing all of your website files. Now, let’s say you want to move those files to a new hosting provider – you’ll need to change your DNS records to direct your website URL to the new IP address.
This process in itself is simple enough.
But not if your joint provider has taken everything offline once you end your relationship with them.
In all fairness, most companies should be pretty understanding at this point. But for the sake of an extra password to remember, it’s a good idea to not put full control of your website in one place.
If you’re moving your hosting, it’s often down to an issue with the service or the support so you’re not likely to want to keep using a DNS service with that provider. You can move your DNS records- but this can be a complicated process if you don’t know what you’re doing and can result in bigger problems for your website.
By having your DNS records separate from your hosting services you can also manage where you’re sending your audience during any temporary issues like deteriorating relationships with the team, shoddy tech support or server attacks.
You don’t know what the future holds for your website or your relationships with other businesses so we always recommend doing as much as you can to protect yourself in a worst-case scenario. We recommend Guru for hosting services and 123 Reg for managing your DNS records.