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Should you keep your DNS management and domain registration together?

Joseph Caudle's profile picture Joseph Caudle

Updated: January 2020

It can be difficult to decide if you should separate your domain registrar from your DNS provider, or keep your domain registration and DNS hosting together. There are some benefits and drawbacks related to both.

In this post, we'll go over the pros and cons of keeping your domain registration and DNS together, so you can decide which is best for you. At DNSimple, we like to make things as easy as possible - with us, you can choose either option. We'll talk more about that in a bit.

Should you keep domain registration and DNS together?

A domain registrar allows you to register domains and maintain an ownership record for them. A registrar also keeps track of important technical information, such as the name servers to which a domain is delegated.

A DNS provider runs the name servers that are used by registrars. The name servers then indicate the machines that run your website.

So, what happens when you get all of these services in one place? The primary benefit of keeping your domain registration and DNS together is ease of management. You get streamlined domain and DNS management, with a set of tools that are easier to use. If you need to make a configuration change, you likely only need to make a single change for actions that in reality require multiple steps.

Our launch of secondary DNS is a perfect example of this. If your domain is registered with us, we will automatically change the delegation to include the secondary name servers you have chosen rather than requiring you to make the change yourself. This can make this complicated procedure much easier and less error prone.

Another case where keeping domain registration and DNS management together could simplify things is the configuration of DNSSEC for a domain. This would have been advantageous for HBO's launch of HBO Now in which the DS record on their domain got out of sync with their DNSKEY. If their DNS provider were also their registrar, there would have been no need for manual steps, and the DS record could have been updated with the DNSKEY.

What are the drawbacks of keeping domain registration and DNS together?

The primary drawback of this option is the risk of outages. If you keep your domain and DNS together and your provider experiences some kind of problem causing outage, you may not be able to make changes to your configuration, and may even experience downtime.

Many registrars that also offer DNS service do not focus primarily on providing the most advanced DNS technologies available. An Anycast Network is one way of improving your DNS infrastructure and allowing more resilience.

Sometimes Anycast isn't enough though and backup measures such as allowing the configuration of Secondary DNS providers in the case that your primary name servers fail. While this won't provide perfect resolution, it does prevent a full outage if any other part of your infrastructure fails.

If you want to keep your domain registration and DNS together, you should choose the right company. This would be a company that is primarily a DNS provider and additionally offers domain registration as a secondary service. This way, you can be sure that you will get the latest DNS technology at your disposal.

How can you do it with DNSimple?

With DNSimple, the choice is yours. You can use us as your DNS provider and domain registrar, or register your domains elsewhere and use us just for your DNS.

DNSimple is both a domain registrar and DNS hosting provider. We offer several domain management services to make domain and DNS management as simple as possible - including domain registration and managed DNS. We're constantly making improvements using the latest technologies.

Our primary focus is domain management services. This is also reflected in our subscription model. Registration of domains has always been a separate purchase and is secondary to providing the best domain service available. This model allows us to perform certain actions on behalf of our customers if they have their domains registered with us, but it also allows the freedom for the customer to choose another domain registrar.

What are the benefits of choosing DNSimple?

When you choose DNSimple, you can be absolutely sure that you won't get complicated, confusing domain and DNS management – or complex pricing and up-selling. What you will get is excellent DNS and domain management with minimal effort.

We're all developers, and we care deeply about supporting our customers. When you ask for help, we'll be hard at work to solve your issues as quickly as possible.

Another major focus is providing the best hosted DNS service we can. Choosing DNSimple provides you with access to great Anycast domain name service with globally distributed name servers. Having DNS services distributed throughout the world means that you'll get faster responses globally and increased reliability.

Aside from the powerful DNS hosting, DNSimple provides access to innovative records such as ALIAS, URL, and POOL records. These records provide customers with easier domain management, and simplified integration with many services.

DNSimple offers domain services with monthly and yearly plans. Sign up for a free trial to explore the opportunities for simplified DNS and domain management. Have more questions? Get in touch - we'd love to help.

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Joseph Caudle's profile picture

Joseph Caudle

Teacher of people and computers. Fond of subtle distinctions.