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Avoid Confusion: Domain Name v. Web Hosting

'Domain name' and 'web hosting' are two phrases you've most certainly heard before, but what is the difference?

Is there a difference?

Yes, there is.

Many people are under the impression that their domain and their hosting registration are one in the same. A common assumption is since the hosting is taken care of so is the domain, and visa versa. This is a misconception that can be extremely costly to your business.

Below are a couple analogies to help clear up the confusion.

A domain name tells users how to get to your website. It is similar to a postal address. When you write an address on an envelope it tells the mail carrier where to deliver it. This is the same with a domain name. When you type the domain name into your browser your are telling your computer where you would like to go. An example of a domain name is

Domain names are purchased through a registrar. The registrar allows you to search for domain names and purchase ones that are available. Keeping with the postal address theme. The registar would be similar to the post office. The post office allows you to purchase a PO box from them for a set price. This is the same for a domain name.

Website hosting refers to the services and resources associated with the physical location of your website. That's right, your website has a physical location. Just as the domain name is your address, the web host is your house. Websites are hosted on powerful computers called servers. In most cases these are housed in a location dedicated to keeping these computers running 24/7.

There are some real costs associated with hosting a website. The size and functionality of the website affects these costs. For example, a 2,000 square foot home will cost less to heat in the winter than a 5,000 square foot home. This works the same for websites. A larger website will use more resources like bandwidth, disc space and power.

Many people make the mistake of using one company for their domain and then selecting another company for hosting. With all of the potential for miscommunication and confusion, it is our recommendation that clients enlist one company to handle both their domain, as well as hosting. By doing so, you can ensure that your site will stay up and running as it should. You don't have to worry about which fee you need to pay because your service will be interconnected.


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