Web Hosting and Domain Hosting are two different, often confusing, and completely essential digital ingredients, that you need to build your website. Just like a house needs land to build on and an address for visitors to find it, your website needs web hosting and a domain name for you to build your business a perfect online home, in the big, wide, digital world.
Whether you work from home or a swanky premises that ‘place’ is where your business is based in the ‘real world’, but your business also needs a base in the online world, and that is where your website and your web-hosting comes in. Think about your website being the online home for your business with all its storage space and fancy features where online-guests can visit. Well, your web hosting is the digital-land on which that business-home (your website) is built, and you rent this space each year from your web-hosting company – your digital landlord – for a set fee. And much like in real life, if you decide to increase the size of your ‘land’ and your (business) ‘home’ to fit in even more fabulous features and content, you go ahead and rent more space.
The space available to your website depends on the type or level of web hosting you need for your website and your business. The most common, and usually the more affordable level of hosting, is called Shared Hosting. This type of hosting is a digital equivalent of a street or housing estate where multiple homes – or in this case websites – are built and live in glorious digital harmony. This type of hosting is perfect for most small websites and e-commerce stores and is the go-to for most bloggers, small businesses and start-ups. You can find hosting on sites like Siteground and Bluehost.
For larger websites that need more room and storage, you may opt for Dedicated Hosting. This is your website-mansion on a few acres of land, all to yourself and is great if you need that space for your website features and to make room for more visitors to come and stay all at the same time – anyone for a website party?!
This option is usually more expensive than shared hosting but if you need the space and your website is busy with web traffic it could be a great upgrade for your digital home and your growing business.
So you’ve sorted your ‘host-land’ for your ‘website-home’ of your business but how are your potential visitors going to find you? That’s where a Domain (or Domain Hosting) comes in. Your website domain is the unique web address which directs your visitors to the place where your website lives on the internet, much like a house or business address in the real world.
Just like with your web hosting, you can purchase your Domain name from a Domain Host for an annual fee, such as GoDaddy or Namecheap. You can also own multiple domain names for your website and if you want, all of them can be used to direct visitors to your website; MYWEBSITE.COM; MYWEBSITE.CO.UK; MYWEBSITE.ORG to name just a few. Each domain name you have will need to be purchased individually but then they’re yours to use (or to just keep to yourself) as you wish.
Picking a domain can take time and research to ensure that your digital address represents your business; is easy for your visitors to remember and tell you apart from similar websites and web addresses; and of course, whether it is actually available to buy. So don’t press that buy button too quickly before you’ve doubled checked everything.
As usual with the technical world, it can be a lot to get your head around but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may first seem. Many web-hosting services offer domain names too so you can often sort everything with one service provider; AND if you’ve got an awesome, tech-loving website developer working on your site they can often sort your domain and hosting for you.
So let’s go find your business baby its new digital home! Contact us if you need more help with your domain and website hosting!