Hosting Versus Domain Names

What’s the Difference Between Hosting and Domain Registration?

Putting up your first real website will require that you understand the difference between hosting and domain registration. This article will explain what they are and how they relate to each other, helping you to build your business website, or better manage the person who is building it for you.

Why Understanding Hosting and Domain Registration Matters

As a business owner, marketing manager, blogger, or bootstrapping entrepreneur, you’re going to have to deal with terms like “hosting” and “domain names” (also known as website addresses or URLs) as you build your website.

If you’re setting up a website without using a “website platform” like Wix, Squarespace, or GoDaddy Website Builder (bleh), you need to know some basic technical terms, otherwise you may miss steps, forget to renew essential services, or fail to set up a website altogether.

If you’re hiring someone to do it for you, you will still need to understand hosting to avoid being coerced into a bad business relationship with a website developer/designer.

I’ve heard too many cases of “I don’t own my domain” or “I don’t have access to my hosting” from unaware business owners who then have to deal with the consequences, those being lost websites, rising monthly rates, and lost time and effort fixing problems.

At MegaMad, we believe that your primary website is a core business asset, and if you don’t fully own and control it, you can’t grow, nurture, and potentially sell it in the future.

What is Hosting?

Every piece of data on the internet has to “live” somewhere. There is a machine somewhere that contains every piece of data, just like a safe in your house holds your important documents. That is your hosting.

Think of your hosting like you think of your house. Your house contains everything you own, from furniture to clothes to TVs and computers.

Your hosting contains everything that comprises your website. Every picture, word, graphic, plugin, theme, application, and component resides as a piece of information on your hosting account.

What is a Domain Name?

If your hosting is your house, then your domain name is your home address.

It tells people where your house is, but it is just a piece of information. It contains no other information and can’t physically or digitally “be” anything other than that.

How Hosting and Domain Names Relate to Each Other

You’ve probably seen a million commercials from GoDaddy and Blue Host regarding both domains and website hosting, but you might not know how the two relate. To put it simply, you need both hosting and a domain to create a website.

When we set up websites for our clients, we first set up hosting in there name, then we register a domain and point it at the new hosting account.

If a client already has a domain name, we’ll simply update the nameservers from their existing account to direct to the new hosting, or just update their A Records to their new IP address if they want to maintain their existing email set up.

How Does This Work with Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify?

If you’re using a platform like Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify, they technically “own” the hosting account, and you’re simply renting space from them. Click Here to learn the benefits and drawbacks of owning versus renting your hosting.

Need Some Help?

If this kind of stuff intimidates you, we’ll take care of all of it for you! We specialize in making our clients independent of both hosted solutions AND tyrannical “website guy/gals.” We’ll set everything up in your name and you’ll have complete control of everything without having to set it up yourself. Click Here to learn more about our website build options.

domain names, hosting

Mark de Grasse

Mark de Grasse is the owner of MegaMad Industries. Family man, entrepreneur, and teacher. His goal is to help you find out what's possible. LEARN MORE ABOUT MARK.

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