Transferring vs. pointing a domain at web hosting, which should I do?

There's a lot of confusing jargon when it comes to connecting your domain to a 3rd-party web host. "Pointing," "assigning nameservers," and "transferring." All of these will do the job, but which is best? The answer can vary, but:

In 99% of cases, you do not need to transfer your domain to a web host, you only need to point the domain or assign nameservers.

Transferring to a web host

Let's start with transferring. Transferring means moving the registration of your domain (the annual fee you pay to keep the domain in your name) to another registrar, leaving Porkbun as a customer. Keep in mind that if you transfer your domain away, you will no longer receive Porkbun's industry-low renewal rates.

At the time of writing this article, Porkbun enjoys the lowest renewal rate on 61% of the extensions it carries— that's compared to every other registrar out there!

If you're considering transferring a domain away from Porkbun, be sure to ask your new registrar what your new renewal price will be— you may be shocked at how much more you'd pay elsewhere.

Sometimes, web hosts will prompt you to transfer your domain away from Porkbun, even implying that it's necessary in order to use their web hosting service. Watch out for deceptive language! Usually, all you need to do is point your domain at your web host or assign nameservers, while keeping the registration here at Porkbun. This ensures you'll retain access to Porkbun's legendary prices, interface, and support.

Pointing your domain at a web host or assigning nameservers

There are two main ways you can connect your domain to a hosting provider without transferring out:

  1. Hosting companies either provide a numerical IP address you can use to point your domain at a web host
  2. Change your nameservers to point at your web host

This info is usually emailed to you upon purchase, or shown on your web hosting control panel. You may need to contact support at your hosting company if it's not apparent.

IP addresses look like this:

Nameservers usually look like this: ns1.myhostingcompany.example and ns2.myhostingcompany.example

⚠️️  Note

If you have an email hosted with Porkbun, you'll probably want to point rather than assign nameservers.

Here are two articles that show you how to point your domain or assign nameservers:

How to point your domain at a web host

How to assign nameservers

Naah, I still want to transfer away

We're sad to see you go, but no problem! We're so confident we're the best registrar out there, we make it super-simple to leave. Here's how to transfer away: How to transfer a domain from Porkbun to another registrar.

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