More often than we would like, we hear from clients who want to move away from other web developers, but dont have control of their domain.
If you have control of your domain, you have control of your email and website, because you can choose where you host them.
OK, so what is the difference between a domain, web hosting and email hosting?
Your domain name (eg www.cow-shed.com) is your address on the internet. You register your domain with a registrar and pay them a periodic cost for the domain. Owning a domain name does not enable you to host a website or utilise email services unless you set these up separately. You can purchase a domain name without purchasing hosting services. It is often a good idea to register your domain at a “neutral” registrar and choose your webhosting and email hosting separately.
Your website will need to be hosted on a server. The files, text, images etc which make up your website have to be stored on a powerful server which is constantly connected to the internet with high speed connections.
Email also has to be hosted on a server. It does not need to be hosted on the same server that your website is hosted on. The server will hold all your emails and also the software and protocols for sending and receiving emails.
So how do we set things up at Cow-shed?
Domains : At Cow-shed we recommend all clients keep control by holding their domains in their own account at a Domain Registrar like 123-reg. We can help you set this account up, buy your domains with you and then set up the DNS records for you. We recommend you change your Domain Registrar password regularly.
Website Hosting : We can work with any web hosting company you choose. If you don’t have a preference we recommend using our Virtual Private Server - a VM220 dedicated CPU Linux server with 24 hour monitoring and managed nighly backup backups. By isolating our websites on a private server we ensure excellent security.
Email Hosting : We recommend using a basic G Suite by Google account to host your emails. We can set your G Suite account up and update your domain’s DNS records to link your domain name to your G Suite account, and then at that point Cow-shed pass over control to you. You can have up to 30 alias emails associated with your domain, all for about £3/month. https://gsuite.google.co.uk/ This way you keep full control over the security and privacy of your email.
How easy is it for me to transfer my website hosting and email hosting?
If you have control of your domain, its very easy. If you have access to your domain registrar login, then the DNS records which point your domain to where the website and the email is hosted are very easy to update.
Its important to make sure you download all your emails from your old email server before it is switched, as once your domain is pointing to the new email server you wont be able to access your old email server.
What are the next steps?
Although this is all in a day’s work for us at Cow-shed, it often helps our clients to chat through this before we migrate anything. We are always happy to talk though the advantages of moving or staying where you are, and if you still would like to move we can discuss the next steps and the best timing for a move.