People often think that the best way of setting up a website for their business is to use one of the all-in-solutions available on the market, and while these can be easier to set up. They are often not the *best* way to do it.

The saying about a jack of all trades being a master of none, generally rings true.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to detract from your clients user-experience in order to build a site up using a mixture of suppliers.

You can separate every single part of your web hosting in order to gain the best of every world. You can host your actual website in one place, your email somewhere else, your client galleries in a third place and then tie it all together with some Customer Relationship Management software if needed.

The other advantage of this, is that if at any point you decide to change part of your site. Maybe you want the front end of your website to run faster, or maybe someone is offering some new functionality for their client galleries, you can do so, without impacting anything else.

Bringing It All Together

You tie all of the parts of your site together using your DNS servers, every site has one and even if you choose to use an all in one package, it will still exist, and it will still have the same entries. It acts as an address book, telling the rest of the internet where to find your site.

The entries that every site will have in order to manage a front end, and your email, are:

  • an A Record – This maps the logical name of your website, so in my instance, www.aperturedesign.co.uk, to the IP address of the server: 77.104.134.109
  • CName Record  – This is used to map any other possible domain name, to your main one. So I might map andydanewebdesign.co.uk to www.aperturedesign.co.uk because I always want the www. to appear
  • An MX Record – This maps any email hitting your server, to where your mailbox is. It could be mapped to your domain, so for example mail.andydanewebdesign.co.uk – or elsewhere. I use GSuite – Google Apps for Business, so mine is actually mapped to Google’s mail servers.

What Does it All Mean?

It means that you don’t need to take any compromises when building your website and tying your services together. You can choose to use the best option for each individual part, and then link it all together in a way that is seemless for your customers.

Most client image galleries, like Pixieset, Shootproof etc can also be set up with Custom Domain Names, and you simply point a CName record to the image gallery, mapping for example gallery.andydanephotography.co.uk to domain.pixieset.com gives my wedding clients a seamless experience when moving from my website to my client galleries.

Keeping my email separate to the rest of my hosting, by storing it directly on Google’s mail servers, also means that I can move my site to faster hosting if I want to, without any downtime to either my customers, or my email.

So if you want the *best* set-up for your site, don’t settle for an off the shelf package!