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some people suggest getting hosting and domain names separate as hosts that bundle domain names with hosting make it difficult to switch hosts. how true is that?

i am considering host gator. i see a .com is $15. and at godaddy, its $11.44. should i get a domain name @ go daddy and use hosting from host gator? i see bad reviews for godaddy about their hosting. hows their domain name? or where would recommend for hosting and domain name?

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Getting them together or separate is really a personal preference. I've used many hosting companies in the past, including the two you have mentioned. Both provide good services, but with hostgator their control panel is more streamlined since they use Cpanel, while GoDaddy uses some custom stuff. I personally didn't like GoDaddy, but that's like someone saying they don't like toast or mushrooms. It's a personal preference. I really like HostGator and their technical support has done very well by me. I have contacted them numerous times throughout the day (11:00 am, 2:00 am, 3:00 pm, etc) and have always gotten a speedy response from them and they have always solved my issue. They also have SSH, which was a key thing for me when I pick out hosting. Again, this is more of a subjective question, but all-in-all, I would recommend HostGator over GoDaddy every time someone asked me.

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I use DreamHost for registration and hosting. They are hands down the best shared hosting company (in terms of customer service, industry experience, and value/features), and they're also within $1 of the best prices of any major registrars, and each time you sign up you get a year's free domain registration (e.g. I had a 2-year-old old account that I recently reactivated—another free domain registration).

Aside from how awesome DreamHost is, I just don't like most major domain registrars. DreamHost is a registrar in their own right, but they don't act like domain squatters or work with domain squatters/speculators. You will never click on a Google search result and see a big "Buy this domain from DreamHost for Only $16.99" or "Related Searches: Car Insurance, Pain Medication, Cheap Software..." page in place of the website that it's supposed to be.

I don't need a registrar to snatch up my domain name, that I've taken the time to build the reputation of and generate traffic to, and exploit it as their personal billboard and make my site look like it's owned by spammers or typo-squatters. It's just a very scummy practice that I'd rather not support.

Unless you're looking for a rare TLD that isn't offered by your web host, I would just go with the web host. They're typically more honest/less sleazy, even if they do charge an extra $0.50 a year. Plus, the convenience of being able to manage everything in one place (and the free registration thrown in at most places) more than makes up for the extra $5 you spend over 10 years.

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I have used dreamhost.com for a couple of years and I agree they are a great hosting company. Their registration costs very little more than a bargain registrar, I'd probably use it for future registrations (I've only used them for one free one I got with my hosting subscription). –  Jeremy Nov 1 '10 at 21:19
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Getting your domain and hosting from different companies is always a good idea. If something goes wrong with your host and they also own the domain, they can hold your domain hostage until you work things out. This can't happen if two separate companies are used.

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I use Godaddy for my domain purchases and management and Hostgator for my hosting. I chose Godaddy for my domains because their price is low, they make it easy to manage including transferring, and the only real downside is their copious up-selling. I chose Hostgator for my hosting because they're rock solid, their support is great, and the price is right.

The bundling you mentioned is out there and a terrible business practice IMHO. But neither Hostgator or Godaddy do that so if you chose one of them or both services you can always transfer your domain or site away without issue.

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Ditto--I have hosting at GoDaddy and HostGator. I HATE GoDaddy because they charge extra for EVERYTHING. Want multiple domains on your hosting? Extra. Complicated Email hosting? Extra. Hostgator is just so simple and easy to work with. One plus for GoDaddy--their formerly impossible to navigate site is getting progressively better...kudos to them on that. Reliability for GoDaddy has been great too. If money doesn't matter, I'd personally go over to aiso.net--they have an amazing virualized solution. –  bpeterson76 Sep 10 '10 at 16:27
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