How to correctly set up your site to prevent it being taken down, de-platformed or censored.
(All links below open in a new tab apart from step 3 at the bottom of the page)
At the behest of Rachel Celler, R.N., I have put these pages together for those in the truth movement and alternative news arena. I will be giving examples or proof, where possible, when I strongly recommend that something needs to be done.
Step 1 and 2 - Registration of your domain(1) and purchase of hosting space(2).
I have given this section the sub-heading it has because most people buy these items together.
I purchased my first domain (redstorm7.com) and hosting plan in 2002 together through Jodohost.com, a company in India. This is where I learnt the importance of separating out the two. After 2 years or so I decided to move my domain registration to another company (I think it was 1 & 1 out of Germany but with a big presence in the UK) after they tried to hike my domain renewal fee by quite a large amount. When I tried to transfer my domain I was rung up by the company pleading with me not to do so. It took about 2 months to get both my domains and hosting out of the clutches of this company (I decided to move my hosting from them after they gave me problems when I tried transferring out the domain).
I still hadn't learnt my lesson enough though because I had similar problems with 1 & 1 after getting hosting and domain registration with them too. When they did the same thing (hiking my fees for renewal of the domain) I had to contact the CEO of the company in Germany to tell him what was going on to get my domain released, which happened rapidly after I talked to him (you can't do this anymore as the CEOs of companies have become very well insulated from phone calls like mine).
From that point on I made it a point of having a separate company for each - one company for registration of domains and one company for hosting. There are many advantages to this set up and very few disadvantages, if any, apart from keeping track of everything. Most hosting companies give you an introductory price either on your first month, first 6 months, or a deal on a yearly plan, then hike the prices, sometimes by quite a lot, after your initial introductory period has expired.
In the case of a company called Hostwinds.com, they hiked their prices up by more than double because they were switching over to Solid State Drives (SSD - basically a circuit board with chips for storing the data) instead of physically spinning hard drives. They were forcing all their customers over to the new servers, ones which I did not want to go to.
Because I had my domains registered with a different company I was able to find a new hosting company, upload all my sites to the new service and change the domain name server settings at my domain registrar.
By separating out the two you have full control over what you want to pay for hosting. Nowadays, it is made very easy to transfer your domains to another company if you want to do that too although there are still companies, like Godaddy, that make it more difficult than it should be by hiding that step in the user panel.
You also prevent something like this from happening to your sites: Mexican Protest Site Censored. This link shows how Godaddy, working together with ICE, took down a site without prior written notice to the site's owners. This is illegal but you would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to prove that in court. Godaddy is one of the worst hosting companies to host with and to register your domains with. This is not the only instance of Godaddy doing this. They have done this recently in late 2020 but I can't find that info, though I remember reading about it. There are other issues with Godaddy here.
One other issue with Godaddy that I will mention.... they price their products according to your geographic location. Their prices are the cheapest if you are in the US. If you are in another country, like the UK for example, they will charge you more. For example, in the US for a .com domain they charge $17.99 (or $11.99 as an intro offer), whereas in the UK they charge £0.99 for the first year and £16.12 for the second year onwards. For the second year that's $20.15 approximately @ an exchange rate of $1.25 to the £. You can't circumvent them by using a VPN because if you pay by credit card they will know where you are located and will change the pricing accordingly. It may work if you use Paypal but I wouldn't bet on it. Onlydomains charge $8.99 and that is from the moment you register and for all subsequent years. So Godaddy are a ripoff merchant and those like Danneka Patrick who advertised for them should be ashamed of themselves.
For registration I use Onlydomains to register domains. They are based in New Zealand and have a 24hr help desk/live chat/phone availability with numbers being local to you.
For hosting I use two companies - Contabos.com which is based in Germany, and Interserver.net, a very affordable hosting company which is again based in the US. You will find that most of the best prices for hosting are to be found in the States. Most other countries have companies that have nowhere near the features, bandwidth and capabilities as the companies in the US have. The downside is that there is more censorship going on now in the US than elsewhere.
Which takes us to Step 3 - protecting your domain and online presence from being destroyed.