Domain Registration and Hosting Ripoff Alerts: Read Before You Buy!

Oftentimes, new clients reach out to us for website design after they have already purchased their domain name and signed up for a web hosting account. While these services are indeed a requirement for a new website, we have seen many clients fall into recurring traps that cost them money they don’t need to spend.

If you haven’t already registered a domain or signed up for web unmanaged vps hosting, we hope these tips will save you money right off the bat. But even if you’ve already got a domain name and hosting, review these tips – you may be able to cancel some services that you don’t need.

Please note, there are many domain registrars and web hosting providers out there. While the actual offerings may vary, the up-sell tactics detailed below are used by every domain registrar and shared hosting provider we’ve encountered. Our examples below are based on offers made by our recommended providers: Go Daddy (registrar) and Bluehost (shared web hosting).

Domain registration:

The purpose of your domain registrar is to provide you with a domain name – period. When you register for your domain name, there are no additional add-ons that you need. Some of the common up-sells offered are:

Additional domain extensions: .net, .org, .us, .info and so on. While there is an argument to be made that in some cases, you may want to register additional domains, it’s not necessary in most cases to do that at the time of initial registration. You can always go back and register them later.

Web Hosting: GoDaddy is a domain registrar that offers web hosting. They have made a big name for themselves as a web hosting company because they trap so many people into hosting at the time they register a domain. It sounds so convenient – but don’t do it. First, GoDaddy is notorious for not being a good web host for WordPress websites (or a good host at all). Second, you should never host your site with your domain registrar, or register your domain with your web host. Keep those eggs in separate baskets!

Email: This is the big trap that we’ve seen so many prospective clients have fallen for. It sounds logical – you are purchasing your business’s domain, and you want e-mail at that domain, so you must need to get it at your registrar, right? Wrong. Your e-mail accounts should be set up through your hosting company — and most hosting companies give you unlimited email accounts for free. GoDaddy charges $4.99 a month for email. So now your $12.99 domain is costing you an additional $60 per year!

Domain Privacy: When you register your domain, you have to provide personal information in what’s called a WHOIS directory. This universal public directory allows people to look up who owns any domain name in the world. That information includes name, address, email address, and phone number. By having that information out there publicly, it opens you up to receiving spam e-mail and mail solicitations. GoDaddy offers to “mask” that with their own information for $7.99