The ideal setup for your domain name, hosting and email services

You’re working with a developer for the first time to set up a new website for your business. (Yay!) Beyond design and copy, you have some decisions to make. Here’s my take on the ideal setup for your domain name, hosting and email along with reasons for each.


Your domain name is your URL; mine is

There are lots of great places to purchase your domain name, including Namecheap and Hover. (Both also include Whois privacy protection for free which cuts down on spam.)

In my opinion, the account should be in your name and the bill should go directly to you.

Why: It’s your domain for your business. If the domain name is under another person’s account, you’ll rely on this person for any changes and updates. If needed, give access to your developer so that they can make changes on your behalf.


Hosting refers to where your website files live in the world. Mine currently live at SiteGround, but there are lots of other reputable hosts like Flywheel and WPEngine.

Managed hosting is specifically for WordPress sites. The host handles basic tasks like installing WordPress, updating WordPress core, uptime, security and speed. Many packages include free SSL certificates, too.

Managed hosting can be a bit more expensive than traditional shared hosting, but you’re not only paying for the additional features described above, but for a higher level of customer service, support and knowledge specifically about WordPress.

I think it’s ideal to have hosting in your name, too.

Why: If you decide to have another developer work on your site at some point, they will most likely need access to your hosting account. This can be a tricky situation if your previous developer is hosting your site.


It may come as a surprise to some, but email doesn’t actually have anything to do with your website.

You can have a domain name + email but no website.

You can have a domain name + a website but no email.

Many businesses have all three.

I recommend that your email be cloud-based and not tied to your hosting. GSuite, Office 365 and Zoho are three great places to get an email address like [email protected].

Why: If at some point you want to host your website elsewhere, you won’t have to worry about moving your email, too. (Moving email is a HUGE pain.)

Lastly, just a note that many customers purchase their domain name and hosting (and even email) from the same place, like GoDaddy. This is perfectly fine — I used the examples above to illustrate that these are three separate and independent services, and that you should be the account owner of each.

If you have any questions on setting up your account(s), please reach out!

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