When we build a new website for a client, we insist that they register the domain - that's the 'www' bit - themselves; that way not only do they retain control over the domain for as long as they continue to renew it, but it's also their responsibility to make sure it's renewed in a timely fashion.
We do offer hosting and support however, using fast SSD-based servers located in the US that include the increasingly important (and Google-friendly) SSL certificate as standard, as well as the latest compression techniques to ensure that your site performs snappily when visitors come calling.
That's why our heart sinks when a client tells us that they've purchased hosting along with their domain name "because it was a good deal." Often, these "good deals" are based on using the domain registration company's own website builder - a glass half-full way of building a website yourself in a browser using a limited palette of templates and design tools. This kind of hosting is useless for the kind of website that we build - where we require full access to all the nuts and bolts in order the get the site humming along nicely; which means you've wasted your money.
There are good, inexpensive hosts out there and we're always happy to work with them. Just bear in mind that whatever hosting you choose, the chances are you'll need support of some description over the 12 months that follow, so take some time to make sure that the good deal you think you're getting is actually a good deal.
And if in doubt, always check with us first. We have a list of hosts we've worked with before that meet the minimum requirements for hosting a professional website - better to be safe than sorry.
Quite often when we build a website for a client, they'll already be locked into using another service. Some might have a Facebook page, others are in love with Instagram, a few are Twitter addicts, while some have their entire photo library stored on Flickr. (Note the absence of Pinterest - this is because none of our clients are 16 year old girls. Yet.)
We love services like Flickr and YouTube and Vimeo because they take the heavy lifting away from our own websites - handling both the storage of stuff that takes up a lot of space and the bandwidth required to serve it up to visitors.
But you can come a cropper when titans like Twitter or even mini-behemoths like Tumblr change the way they allow third parties like us to access their information. This is why Twitter widgets suddenly stop working, or blogs hosted on Tumblr refuse to show up without warning.
Putting your precious eggs into someone else's basket has advantages - usually in terms of cost because you save on hosting - but there are disadvantages too, mainly because you're no longer in charge of looking after your own data. And whether that data is pixels in a photo, frames in a video, words on a blog or zeroes and ones on an MP3 track, you may want to think about balancing the cost savings against retaining control over the content that you've created so lovingly.