A well-structured website built on Divi holds immense value in today’s digital landscape. Divi, a popular WordPress page builder, empowers users to craft stunning websites with ease. However, when setting up a website, it’s common for individuals to opt for a bundled package that includes both domain name and hosting services.
While this combo might seem convenient at first glance, there’s an often overlooked practice that could significantly benefit website owners: separating domain name and hosting services. This article explores why this separation is crucial for optimising your Divi website’s performance, flexibility, security, and SEO.
By understanding the rationale behind segregating these fundamental aspects of website management, you can take better control of your online presence and create a more robust foundation for your Divi-powered website. Let’s delve into why it’s imperative to decouple domain name and hosting services for an enhanced website experience.
Table of contents
Understanding Domain Names and Hosting
A domain name serves as your website’s unique address on the internet, acting as a digital signpost for users to find and access your site. It’s akin to your home’s physical address, directing visitors to your online space. For instance, “www.yourwebsite.com” is a domain name. It consists of two parts: the actual name (yourwebsite) and the domain extension (.com, .org, .net, etc.).
Hosting is where your website’s data, files, and content are stored and made accessible to internet users. Think of hosting as the plot of land where you construct your website (built using Divi or any other platform). This service allows your website to be ‘live’ and accessible online. When someone visits your domain name, the hosting server delivers the website’s content to their browser.
Roles in Website Functioning
- Domain Name: It’s the user-friendly address visitors type into their browsers to access your website. It helps establish your online brand identity.
- Hosting: This is the storage space and technology that keeps your website’s content, images, videos, and code. Hosting ensures your site is accessible and performs well for visitors.
Both components work in tandem: the domain name helps people find your website, while hosting ensures the content of your site is available for viewing once users arrive. Understanding the roles of domain names and hosting is crucial as they form the backbone of your website’s functionality and accessibility on the internet.
Reasons to Separate Domain Name and Hosting
Flexibility and Control
Separating your domain name and hosting grants you greater flexibility and control over your website’s technical aspects. By keeping them separate, you can easily switch hosting providers without altering your domain settings. This means you’re not tied down to a specific hosting service and can choose the best option for your needs without affecting your website’s address.
Maintaining control over each element independently ensures that changes made to your hosting, such as server configurations or upgrades, won’t impact your domain settings. This autonomy is invaluable for website owners seeking customization and scalability.
When domain and hosting services are separated, it can significantly impact your website’s performance. Hosting quality directly influences site loading speed and overall user experience. Opting for a high-quality hosting service can enhance your website’s speed, making it load faster and providing visitors with a smoother browsing experience. Faster-loading websites often lead to higher user engagement and satisfaction.
Conversely, poor hosting can slow down your site, causing frustration for visitors and potentially impacting your website’s credibility and search engine rankings.
Separating the two allows for less resources to be loaded on your server and thus your site can start loading faster.
Having both your domain and hosting with the same provider poses certain risks. If an issue arises with the hosting service, such as server downtime or technical glitches, it could affect your domain’s accessibility. This interconnectedness might result in your website becoming temporarily unavailable to users, potentially leading to loss of traffic and business opportunities.
By setting up a contingency plan by having your website backed up, you can easily spin up a new server and point your domain name there allowing your users to continue accessing your website.
Separating domain and hosting services adds an additional layer of security to your website. In scenarios where hosting is compromised due to security breaches or malware, keeping your domain separate can prevent total disruption to your online presence. Similarly, if your domain experiences security issues, having independent hosting ensures your website’s data remains secure.
This separation minimises the chances of a complete outage and shields your website from being entirely compromised in the event of a security breach.
The separation of domain and hosting indirectly contributes to improved SEO performance. Better site performance, achieved through quality hosting and faster loading speeds, positively impacts user experience. A seamless user experience, in turn, can lead to higher visitor retention and engagement, factors that search engines like Google consider when ranking websites.
Furthermore, the ability to control and manage hosting independently allows for better optimization of technical SEO aspects, contributing to improved search engine visibility and rankings.
Practical Steps to Separate Domain and Hosting
- Identify Your Domain Registrar and Hosting Provider:
- Log in to your domain registrar account where your domain is registered (e.g., GoDaddy, Namecheap).
- Access your hosting provider’s dashboard (e.g., Bluehost, SiteGround) where your website is hosted.
- Domain Management:
- Locate the domain settings or management section within your registrar account.
- Find and access the domain settings related to nameservers.
- Copy Nameserver Information:
- Note down or copy the nameserver details provided by your hosting provider.
- Usually, there are two nameservers indicated (e.g., ns1.hostingprovider.com, ns2.hostingprovider.com).
- Update Nameservers:
- Within your domain settings, replace the existing nameservers with the new ones provided by your hosting service.
- Save the changes made to the nameservers.
- Wait for Propagation:
- DNS propagation may take time (typically a few hours to 48 hours) for the changes to take effect globally.
- During this time, your website might experience temporary unavailability as the changes propagate across the internet.
- Verify Changes:
- Use online tools or check your hosting dashboard to ensure the nameserver update was successful.
- Verify the domain is now linked to the separate hosting service.
- Upload Website Files (if necessary):
- If your hosting service doesn’t automatically sync website files, use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or a file manager in your hosting dashboard to upload your website files.
- Test Your Website:
- Visit your domain in a web browser to ensure your website is now correctly hosted on the new hosting service.
- Check different pages and functionalities to confirm everything is functioning as expected.
Using our recommended Domain Providers:
Remember, the steps might vary slightly based on different domain registrars and hosting providers. However, this general guideline should assist in separating your domain and hosting for your Divi website. Always refer to the specific instructions provided by your domain registrar and hosting service for accurate and detailed guidance.
Tips for Choosing Separate Domain and Hosting Services
Selecting the Right Domain Registrar:
- Reputation and Reliability:
- Look for well-established domain registrars known for their reliability and trustworthiness.
- Check user reviews and ratings to gauge the registrar’s reputation in the industry.
- Pricing and Renewal Rates:
- Compare prices and renewal rates for domain registration to ensure you get the best value.
- Be aware of any hidden fees or additional costs associated with domain registration.
- Domain Management Tools:
- Opt for a registrar that offers user-friendly domain management tools.
- Ensure they provide essential features like DNS management, domain locking, and easy transfer options.
- Customer Support:
- Consider the quality and availability of customer support.
- Reliable customer service can be crucial for assistance in case of technical issues or domain-related queries.
Choosing the Right Hosting Provider:
- Types of Hosting Offered:
- Understand the types of hosting services available (e.g., shared, VPS, dedicated) and choose one that suits your website’s needs.
- Consider the scalability options offered for future growth.
- Performance and Speed:
- Prioritise hosting providers known for reliable server performance and fast loading speeds.
- Check if they offer SSD storage, CDN integration, and caching mechanisms for improved performance.
- Security Measures:
- Evaluate the security features provided, such as SSL certificates, regular backups, and malware protection.
- Ensure the hosting service implements robust security measures to safeguard your website.
- Technical Support and Uptime Guarantee:
- Assess the technical support availability and responsiveness, especially during emergencies.
- Look for hosting providers offering a high uptime guarantee (99.9% uptime or higher).
- Scalability and Additional Features:
- Consider future growth and scalability options provided by the hosting service.
- Look for additional features like one-click WordPress installation, site builders, or email hosting, depending on your requirements.
- Price vs. Value:
- While pricing is important, focus on the value offered for the price paid.
- Compare the features and services included in different hosting plans to make an informed decision
Our hosting recommendations:
- Shared Hosting Options (for those on a tight budget)
- Managed Hosting Options (for those serious about their website)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do you need hosting if you have a domain name?
Yes, you need hosting to have a live website accessible on the internet. A domain name serves as your website’s address, but hosting is the space where your website’s files and data reside, allowing visitors to access your site online.
Should I register my domain name with my hosting company?
It’s not necessary to register your domain name with your hosting company. While some providers offer domain registration services, you can register your domain separately with a specialised domain registrar for more flexibility and control.
What happens to my domain if I cancel hosting?
If you cancel your hosting service, it doesn’t affect your domain ownership. Your domain remains yours as long as you continue to renew it with your domain registrar. However, without hosting, your website files won’t be accessible online.
What is the difference between owning a domain and hosting?
Owning a domain means having the rights to a specific website address (URL). Hosting, on the other hand, refers to the service that stores your website’s content and makes it accessible to visitors online. Domain ownership determines your website’s address, while hosting provides the space and technology for your website to function.
Can I use my domain name with any host?
Yes, you can use your domain name with any hosting provider. After purchasing a domain name, you can link it to any hosting service by configuring the domain’s DNS settings to point to the hosting provider’s servers.
When you buy a domain name, is it yours forever?
When you buy a domain name, you’re actually leasing it for a specified period, typically one year or more. You need to renew the domain registration periodically (usually annually) to maintain ownership. Failure to renew may result in losing ownership, and the domain could become available for others to register.
Can I keep my domain but change host?
Absolutely. You can keep your domain name and switch to a different hosting provider without losing ownership of your domain. Simply update the domain’s nameservers or DNS settings to point to the new hosting provider, allowing your website to be hosted elsewhere while maintaining the same domain address.
Separating your domain name and hosting services for your Divi website offers a multitude of benefits that can significantly elevate your website’s performance, security, and overall management.
Advantages of Separating Domain and Hosting:
- Flexibility and Control: Decoupling domain and hosting grants you the freedom to choose and switch services without impacting your website’s address, allowing for greater customization and scalability.
- Performance Optimization: High-quality hosting directly influences your website’s speed and user experience, ensuring faster loading times and improved visitor satisfaction.
- Risk Mitigation: By keeping domain and hosting separate, you safeguard against potential issues in one service affecting the other, reducing the risk of complete website unavailability.
- Enhanced Security: Maintaining independent domain and hosting services adds an extra layer of security, protecting your website from potential breaches and ensuring continuous online presence.
- SEO Benefits: Better performance, control, and security indirectly contribute to improved search engine rankings, enhancing your website’s visibility and reach.
As you manage your Divi website, it’s crucial to make informed decisions regarding your domain and hosting services. Take the time to evaluate your options, considering factors like reliability, performance, security, customer support, and scalability.
By separating your domain and hosting services and choosing providers that align with your website’s specific needs, you pave the way for a more stable, efficient, and secure online presence. This strategic decision-making not only benefits your website but also contributes to a better experience for your visitors.
Empower yourself with the knowledge gained from this exploration and take action to ensure your Divi website operates at its fullest potential. Make informed choices that bolster your website’s performance and management, ultimately leading to a more successful online presence.