Image Alt

How Do I Know Where My Website Domain Is Hosted and When I Should Move It

Your domain and hosting are the two most important things when it comes to your website. Without a domain name to point potential customers to your website, they won’t be able to find you. Without hosting, your website doesn’t have a home and your domain name is just that – a name. A domain and hosting are what keeps your website, and therefore business, discoverable and available for your customers.

There are many domain registrars and hosting providers on the web, so if you are unhappy with your current providers, there are always other options. We will go over the pros and cons of different registrars as well as hosting providers and what the process is like when you are switching.

When should I transfer my domain?

First off, what is a registrar? A registrar is an entity that offers the purchase and sales of domain names. There are many options out there and you may have heard of a few, such as GoDaddy, Google Domains, Register.com, among others. What makes them different and why would you want to transfer your domain to a new registrar? There are two main reasons: consolidation and price.

Sometimes domains that you own are registered with multiple registrars, and it can get annoying to manage billing and remembering which domain is with which company. The more important factor is price. While registrars all offer the same relative service, pricing can differ drastically, along with support. Here are a few of the most popular registrars along with their typical domain name pricing and their amount of support:

GoDaddy: $11.99 for the first year, $18.99 a year after

  • Domain privacy not included
  • 24/7 support via phone

Google Domains: $12 a year

  • Domain privacy included
  • Live chat

Register.com: $5 for the first year, $20+ a year after

  • Domain privacy not included
  • Live chat, phone support

Name Cheap: $8.88 a year

  • Domain privacy included
  • Live chat

Evolve Domains: $11.95 a year – price does not increase year over year

  • Domain privacy included
  • 24/7 support via phone
  • Evolve Systems support

One of the other most overlooked features to consider when thinking about switching to a new registrar is the user experience. Many of the aforementioned websites have difficult user interfaces that are not as easy for someone with a limited technical ability to navigate.

How to Prepare for a Domain Name Transfer

Transferring a domain is pretty straightforward but depending on your current register it may be easier than others. The main tasks to prepare for a domain transfer are the following:

  1. Unlock your domain (meaning it is open to being transferred)
  2. Ensure contact information on the domain is current
    1. This will be used in the transfer progress to be certain that you (the owner) want to transfer the domain
    2. Disable domain name privacy – when the new registrar sends you emails to confirm the transfer, they will send the confirmation emails to the email address on record. If domain name privacy is still enabled, it will send it to the wrong email address
  3. Domain Authorization Code
    1. When transferring a domain, an authorization code is necessary as this is how the new register will confirm that you have the authority to transfer the domain

When should I transfer my hosting?

Transferring your website’s hosting is not as straightforward as transferring your domain name. There are many reasons as to why you would want to switch to a new hosting provider including missing out on performance, features, paying too much, or potentially all three. Hosting is a give and take when you’re looking to transfer – you have to weigh which features are most important to you. The more features you have or the performance level of your server, the price will increase. Finding a good balance for your needs is always key.

What to Look For When Searching for a New Hosting Provider:

  • Backups: Surprisingly, on a lot of hosting providers automatic backups are not included in the default price. This happens on the majority of cheaper hosting plans such as BlueHost or Host Gator.
  • Complementary SSL certificates: Having an SSL certificate on your website is a necessity because it shows that your website is secure and protects your visitors’ information. Make sure your hosting provider includes a free SSL certificate for your website. This could save you up to $100 a year, depending on where you purchase your certificate from.
  • Performance: Nothing is worse than landing on a slow website. Ensure that your hosting provider is providing a performance level you are okay with. Many hosting providers will provide their own caching, which reduces server load and can increase website speed.
  • Support: One of the most important things when selecting a hosting provider is how good their support is. Nothing is worse than having an issue on your website and you have no idea how to fix it. You and your hosting provider are a team, so it is imperative that you find one that is there to support you when you need it.
  • Price: As mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for with hosting and it is a give and take. Choosing what is important to you and your business will determine the price of your hosting. Make sure to weigh the options of each hosting provider and what they provide.

How to Prepare for a Hosting Switch

One of the most important things to consider when switching hosting providers is to not cancel your existing hosting until you have completely moved to your new host. This means that the domain is resolving from the new hosting provider and your old server is not being accessed. This minimizes the amount of downtime, if at all. On top of that, it provides a safety net in case there are issues with the website transfer.

Another good measure when preparing for a hosting move is to download all of your website files to store locally. If you are unable to do so, your hosting provider should be able to provide you with a full download. While this step is not necessary, it is always best to go the “better safe than sorry” route when it comes to items stored on the web.

Why Use Evolve for Hosting and Domain Services

Evolve has been hosting websites for nearly two decades, so you could say we know a thing or two. We are always striving to provide the best hosting experience for our customers, so we have recently partnered with WP Engine. Our WordPress servers are top-of-the-line Google Cloud servers, meaning that they are some of the fastest servers on the web. Not only that but they are specifically tailored to work optimally with WordPress. Lastly, all of our servers come with a complimentary SSL certificate, so there are no extra fees or worrying about whether your customers’ web data is secure or not.

With Evolve Domains, you get the best of both worlds – we are a reseller for GoDaddy, so you get GoDaddy’s level of support, user interface, and features with more reasonable pricing.

If you’re interested in switching your hosting, domain name, or both over to Evolve Systems, please reach out to our team! We look forward to connecting.