Domain Name Alternatives

Do you need your own domain in the first place? Some hosting firms will offer you a hosting package that includes a URL like the following:

http://www.hosting-firm-domain.com/your-subdirectory/

Or sometimes they offer a subdomain like the following:

http://your-subdomain.hosting-firm-domain.com/

The examples use a subdirectory or a subdomain of an existing domain, owned by the hosting company. No new domain has to be registered and paid for; that is why these URLs are offered with the very cheapest hosting packages!

However, we strongly suggest that you register a domain name of your own instead of trying to save (literally) a few dollars per year.

Advantages of Having Your Own Domain Name

Having your own domain name means that you can simply move your site to a new hosting firm if you are not satisfied with your existing host (or if they go out of business), yet keep the existing URL.

(How this works from a technical point of view is explained in the section about IP addresses and "domain name servers".)

Using a domain name owned by somebody else means that you would have to start promoting the new URL from scratch —the old URL, that may have been bookmarked by many people and indexed by several search engines, would no longer work...