With creating an online store with Shopify you’re going to need a domain name. Should you get your domain name through Shopify domains or should you use a domain name registrar like GoDaddy? Let’s cover the specific pros and cons of each option.
If you’re looking for ease of use and no configuration then go with Shopify domains. If you instead want to keep your services separate as well as get the best price on domain name registration, you should not get your domain name through Shopify and instead use a domain name registrar like Namecheap. Namecheap has lower prices that Shopify domains, lower renewal rates and free WHOIS protection.
Shopify domains or a domain name registrar?
With Shopify, you get a free trial where you’re able to create a store using a sub-domain of Shopify. This is excellent because you can sign up and design your store. When you’re ready to properly launch your brand, you’ll need to setup a custom domain.
Shopify makes it easy for you to setup a domain name through them and it’s the main selling point of Shopify domains. It’s easy for you the end user and Shopify gets to make a small profit on domain name registration and renewals.
In general through, I suggest you use Namecheap specifically because:
- Keep your services separate
- Lower cost on renewals and better service
- Professional domain name
Keep your services separate
It’s never a good idea to have all your services with one company. With Shopify you would end up using them for every aspect of your online store. From your domain name, hosting, CMS and the online store website builder. All with one company.
While the upside of this is ease of use, what happens if you ever want to move your store away from Shopify? Then it becomes a bit complicated and even more so if your domain name is registered through them. You can move a domain name from Shopify domain to a domain registrar, which is called a domain name transfer, but that process is costly in terms of time and price.
So why not save money and keep your portfolio of domains at a domain name registrar? On top of that, Shopify is registering your domain name on your behalf through a domain name registrar anyways and adding a small fee to make a profit. Instead, why not cut out Shopify from the equation and just register directly yourself?
The lowest prices for domain name registration.
By having your services separate, if you ever decided to move away from Shopify it’s an easy process as you don’t have to worry about transferring the domain to a domain name registrar like Namecheap or GoDaddy.
Lower costs on renewals and better service
Namecheap simply has the lowest prices for domain name registration and renewals. As you can’t own a domain name forever, you can only register it for a year at a time, this becomes a yearly cost that can add up if you’re not using a domain name registrar.
Also get free WHOIS protection for life with your registration. WHOIS protection is not included with Shopify and to add it would add tot he cost of registering through Shopify. What WHOIS protection does is that it hides your personal information that you submitted when registering your domain name. Most web hosts charge extra for this but with Namecheap you get it for free.
Professional domain name
Lastly, you’re going to want a professional domain for your store. With Shopify you start off with a sub domain on MyShopify.com, like MyNewStore.MyShopify.com. No one will trust this sort of sub domain so you do need to use a custom domain if you’re serious about building an e-commerce store.
If you’re just getting started online, professionals trust Namecheap and other domain name registrars for all their domain name related services. It’s where online professional keep and manage their domain name portfolio. If however, it’s going to only be a single domain and a single store and you’re fine with paying a small premium for ease of use, go with Shopify domains.
How to use Namecheap with Shopify
Namcheap has a helpful guide on how to point your domain name to Shopify. All you have to do is that once you’ve registered your domain name, simply go to “manage” in your Namecheap portal and then under “custom DNS” select Shopify.
It’s that simple then in your Shopify account you’ll need to do the following:
- From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Domains.
- Click Connect existing domain.
- Enter the domain that you want to connect (the domain you registered at Namecheap).
- Click Next.
- Click Connect automatically:
For a detailed guide from Shopify go here.
Should I get my domain name at Shopify Conclusion
The process for pointing your domain name from a domain name registrar like Namecheap to Shopify is fairly simple and it’s better to keep your services separate. In all our tutorials we strongly suggest keeping your domains and your hosting provider (in this instance Shopify is your web host) separate.
But if you’re looking for ease of use and no configuration then go ahead and register your domain with Shopify.