DOMAINS & HOSTING – You can’t have one without the other.

We have noticed lately that there seems to be confusion around domains & hosting. What’s the difference between owning a domain and having a host? What is the difference between the two and their separate but connecting functions? Now the answer to some of you may seem obvious, but we have been surprised that most people are misunderstanding the purpose for both. If you know anything about Brightside, you know how important educating or clients (without making them feel shame for not knowing) is a passion of ours. We don’t expect you to be experts in ALL fields, so we are here to help.

Let’s start with the definition of both matters.

Domain Names: “A domain name is your website name. A domain name is the address where Internet users can access your website…The domain name must be registered before you can use it. Every domain name is unique. No two websites can have the same domain name. If someone types in www.yourdomain.com, it will go to your website and no one else’s.”

(definition provided by website.com)

Website Hosting: “Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your web pages will be delivered to them through the browser. 

Most hosting companies require that you own your domain in order to host with them. If you do not have a domain, the hosting companies will help you purchase one.”

(definition provided by website.com)

What are some things you can do with multiple domains?

You may have a website that is live using (1) domain, and really you only need a single domain in order to have a website. But did you know you can benefit from multiple domains and still only have (1) website?

It may benefit your business if you purchase multiple website domain names that you may want in the future OR that you don’t want others to own in case they own a business similar to yours. So if you own a dental practice in your area that is called “Smile Brighter” and your website is using the domain smilebrighter.com you may want to purchase smilebrighter.org, brightersmiles.com, smilebrighteraz.com and any other domain similar that is available to purchase. This way if anyone looks for your business by typing the website address they believe is yours, they will be redirected to the correct address if you own all that are similar. It also benefits your SEO as you can saturate the internet with your business name so that when keywords are Googled, your website is more likely to be found accurately. 

What should you look for in hosting packages?

If you are getting a website built and need to purchase a package with a host to get everything up and running, consider a few things you may need beforehand. 

  • Customer Service: Before purchasing a hosting packaging with a new host (i.e. GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, etc.), inquire about the customer service they offer. How quickly will someone respond? Do you have to wait 24 hours until someone gets back to your inquiries?
  • Pricing and Inclusions: Not all hosts cost the same, so get at least two quotes from two seperate hosts and ask them what they include. These are all important questions you must ask and require when purchasing a hosting package.
    • Does the hosting package host WordPress websites? 
    • Does it come with an SSL certificate? 
    • What is their security packages like? 

Hopefully this is all starting to make sense. You need a domain for people to find you and your unique website. You need a hosting service for your website to live somewhere and for the domain/website to even be seen.  As always, if you ever have any technical questions that you still don’t quite understand, Brightside is always here to help! We have heard it all and nothing surprises us. We love to help and clear some of the confusing lingo that surrounds all things digital.