This question is a little more complex than you might think. There’s no cut and dry answer and what works for one person may not work for another. This article aims to help you choose the best solution for your own needs.

When Should You Register Your Domain With Your Host?

I’ve always recommended registering your domain name with your host because it takes some of the responsibility off yourself. When you register your domain with your host you can allow them to control the domain, such as setting the DNS for you and making updates to the WHOIS for you by request. If you have a trustworthy host, it’s just much easier to have everything all in one place. This is the best option if you trust your host fully.

Another bonus to this is that many hosts offer discounts and free domains when you pay annually (like E-Starr), which could save you money in the long run.

When You Should Register Your Domain Somewhere Else..

There are a few instances where you’re probably better off registering your domain with a domain registrar rather than your web host. The biggest reason for this would be trust. If you’re not certain you trust your host (if you find yourself checking to see if they have a money-back guarantee), you may want to register your domain on your own.

If trust isn’t an issue, you’ll then want to look at whether or not your host offers some sort of WHOIS protection for your domain and how much it is. The WHOIS database displays the contact information of any domain, unless there’s some sort of protection in place. You’ll almost always incur an increased expense for this, but it’s definitely worth it. Without it you can be subject to spam, scams, and harassment.

The only two domain registrars I would recommend are NameNova and (for supported extensions) Google Domains. NameNova has been my #1 domain registration recommendation for over a decade because it’s run by a small business and backed by the same engine as GoDaddy.  However, Google Domains has now made it to my list because not only are their domains affordable, they come with WHOIS protection.

I always recommend a small business before a large corporation.

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