Is Your DNS a Problem?
DNS hosting isn’t something that many small business owners or marketers give too much thought, but it could be causing you hidden problems for your business.
Almost every web host also provides DNS hosting, either as a service or as part of the cPanel hosting they provide. This makes it an easy and painless choice for you, essentially making it so that DNS isn’t even something you need to think about (if that’s you, and you are not sure what DNS hosting is… click here for a quick explanation).
Unfortunately, like anything to do with your online business, the small decisions can sometimes have big consequences.
Your DNS is Critical for Your Online Business
So what exactly is all the fuss, you’re wondering? Your DNS hosting is the key to everything your business does online related to your domain name, with the two key services being your website and of course email.
So if there is a problem with your DNS, then people are going to have problems accessing your website, or sending you emails. But DNS being down isn’t the only way DNS can cause problems. If your DNS hosting is slow to respond, someone might notice that as your website not loading straight away, or not notice an email they send you gets held up. No big deal on the grand scale of things.
But this is where we start running into why cheap, unreliable, poorly setup and insecure DNS hosting can start to hurt your business without you realising it.
The Problem with "cheap" DNS Hosting
When your DNS hosting is slow to respond, or worse sometimes doesn’t respond or gives outdated responses, the problems that this creates can be subtle and almost impossible to track if you don’t know to look.
Through SPF, DKIM and DMARC DNS records, your emails are authenticated to help improve your email inbox REACH. So if your DNS host doesn’t respond when an email provider goes to look up your records, it can default to treating the email as unauthenticated. This might cause your email to be delivered to the recipient’s spam or junk folder, or even rejected by the provider.
The Solution is Easy and Cost-Effective
And by cost-effective, I mean in most cases it can be free!
There are providers out there that specialise in DNS hosting. They do it better than any web host can, they are more robust and reliable, and much more secure.
Having your DNS hosting separate from your web hosting means that if your web hosting goes down, your email and all other online services under your domain name, will keep working (assuming you don’t have your email hosted with your website… another thing we don’t recommend).
By using a dedicated DNS hosting provider, you solve a bunch of problems for your online business:
Our Recommended DNS Host Providers
Far and away, the DNS hosting provider we recommend the most (because we use it for our own services and for all our clients) is Cloudflare.
They have hardware all around the world to handle their DNS hosting. It’s not just sitting on one server at one location. They also have tight security and are in the business of protecting companies from online DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Their DNS servers are extremely well optimised and give some of the fastest responses to requests, meaning no undue delays due to a DNS lookup when someone is loading your website.
You can also use their proxy service to hide your web server IP address from anyone who goes looking. An added level of security.
Best of all, for basic DNS hosting, their service is free and includes quite a lot of features even for free users.
If for some reason you don’t want to use Cloudflare, or you just want to have another good option as a backup or comparison, then I would recommend you look at DNS Made Easy. They don’t have all the bells and whistles of Cloudflare, but they also have a robust and fast service. Up until recently, we used DNS Made Easy for our own DNS services. They specialise in DNS, and are one of the top DNS service providers behind Cloudflare.
Update: In 2022 DNS Made Easy was purchased by DigiCert, so their prices have gone up. I still think they will be a solid DNS service provider, but the service may be changing. If we see anything negative about them we will modify this recommendation.
Why Trust Our Recommendations?
Before working in digital automation, I was an IT engineer and owned and operated an IT managed services business. I have been working with DNS servers and services for decades (since the early days of the Internet), racking up a lot of experience over that time. I went from basic setup all the way through to designing, building, maintaining and monitoring DNS (and other) server systems and hardware for larger businesses.
With my IT business we used to do web and DNS hosting on our own servers for our clients, but we quickly realised that we could never match the performance, security, reliability and scale that a dedicated service could. We made the decision to move all our clients over to DNS Made Easy, and then also Cloudflare in the late 2000s and early 2010s and have not looked back since.
We have also had a lot of experience troubleshooting and solving client Internet and web hosting issues, and also from our time doing email deliverability consulting for clients, we know very well how bad most web host DNS services are. Even the bigger web host providers do a terrible job.
Conclusion and Summary
In conclusion, due to the universally badly run DNS hosting by almost every web host and domain registrar, we recommend you move your DNS hosting to a tier 1 dedicated DNS service provider like Cloudflare or DNS Made Easy. This will ensure that hidden DNS issues are not hurting your email deliverability, and add extra security to your online presence.
Here are the main points…
Need Help Migrating Your DNS Hosting?
If you want to migrate your DNS hosting to Cloudflare, but are not comfortable doing this yourself. Please reach out to us, and we can do this for you for a fixed fee.