When you’re getting ready to pull the trigger on picking your domain name you have to find a place to actually register it.
There are a lot of options out there to choose from. Lots of services offer you the ability to register a domain name when you sign up. Squarespace does. Rainmaker does. WordPress.com does.
But you may not want to actually register your domain name through the service you use and here’s why.
When you sign up for an all-inclusive service like those mentioned above, you’ve got all your proverbial eggs in one basket.
If something happens, or you want to do something that doesn’t quite fit with that system you’re out of luck.
It’s a practical application of the “single point of failure” concept. Generally speaking, the concept means that if any single part of a system fails then the entire system goes down.
In this case it’s not so much about failure as it is being locked into their system. It’s not a deal-breaker, and it’s not entirely a bad thing. But it can cause headaches further down the road if you need to do something that isn’t part of their system.
Each service has its own requirements and making the kind of change you want to make may not be possible when you’re using an all-inclusive service.
Here is what I do with virtually all of my domains.
I purchase the domain from one of the companies with which I’ve registered domains previously. In my case, most of my domains are with Godaddy.
Then, as I’m developing the site I get the site set up in my CloudFlare account. CloudFlare has a lot of benefits, but one of them is the ability to manage your DNS records from one central place, so you can point your different records in your DNS zone file to various different places as needed.
That way if I need to point a CNAME record at G Suite (Google Apps for Business), it’s as easy as getting the records from Google for what I need and creating the record to point there. Same goes for other mail services too, like those we offer through WPLaunch.
I’ve also had clients that needed to point records at different services like Thinkific, Hubspot, and more.
When you’ve registered your domain with a service that allows you to point your DNS wherever you like this stuff is super easy to do. In this case, all I have to do is change the default DNS settings at Godaddy when I register the domain and point them to CloudFlare, and CloudFlare takes care of the rest.
It’s a great solution that’s pretty straight-forward and easy to do, and gives you the most flexibility when it comes to managing your domain names.