You are starting your new business or have decided to take the plunge into web presence for your already established business. Where do you start? There is a lot of confusion between Domain and Hosting and why you need either or both.  I am going to explain in simple terms what you need to know to get started. Let’s Begin!

What is a Domain?

A Domain is a name that your visitor types into a browser address bar to easily access your website.

For example:  www.MyCompany.com

A domain is simply that, a name, nothing more.  It does not have any space to store your website files.  Your domain name can live anywhere and it is a separate entity from your Hosting.

How Do I Choose a Domain Name?

First, you want to start with your business name.  Is it available as  a .com?  As a .net?  Do you want to consider other extensions such as .us or .info or .biz?   Our recommendation is to always use a .com.  It may take a little time to come up with the perfect .com but it is worth the time spent.  This is how people will find you and it is most common to search for .com.  You want to be found and have quick and easy brand recognition.  Keep the domain as short and simple as you can.  Again, this is a challenge because many believe “the best domain names are gone”.  This is not always true.

how do I get a website domain name?

Many domains come back up for sale after the owner doesn’t renew and there are also domain brokers who can help you purchase a domain name if it is already owned.  Waiting for a domain to be released when it expires is possible but time-consuming.  And working with a broker can become expensive.  Want to see if the domain you want is available?  Use our tool.

What is Hosting?

There are two kinds of hosting.  Domain Hosting and Web Hosting.  Domain Hosting means you are storing Domains only.  Web Hosting means you can store Domains and Websites.  In this article, we are referring to Web Hosting.

Web Hosting is the allocated space on a server you will use for your website.  From a high-level view, it is a folder that your files live in, the files that make up your website.  Generally speaking, the folder is given the same name as your Domain Name.   In a Shared Server Cloud Hosting plan, the structure would look something like this:
Folder – Server Name >
Folder – www (client websites) >
Folders – (all clients on the server has a separate folder) –  YourCompany.com, AnotherCompany.com, AnotherCompany2.com, etc.

Shared Servers are the most popular and cheapest option for small business and web hosting for personal website.  A Shared Server could have individual folders for 100 or 1000 website clients depending on the site of the server.  Each client has 1 folder in this example unless you have more than 1 website and then you would have more than 1 folder on this server (one per website).

Do I Need Both Domain and Hosting?

Yes, in order to have a functioning website, you have to have your Domain name that points to your Web Hosting where your website files are stored.

What If I Already Have a Website But Want a New Domain?

If you already have a website built somewhere that isn’t using your custom Domain, you have a few options.  You can change the DNS record for your Domain Name so that it points to the Web Hosting Server  (the best method), or, you can Forward your Domain so that it “points” to the website.

What is the Difference?

The main difference you will notice is if you change the DNS of your Domain Name to point to the website when you visit your Domain Name in the future the Domain Name will stay in the address bar as you click each page of your website.  If you Forward your Domain Name to the website, when you visit the Domain Name in the future the Domain Name will not carry-over to the address bar.  It simply redirects you and then as you click through the website the old URL will still appear as it did prior to the Forward being created.

Visual Summary

A flower.  Your domain is the flower pot.  Your ideas are the seed.  To grow this idea you need soil which is hosting.

If you have a pot and a seed, you can never grow the plant without the soil.  You must have all three.  We start with our ideas (the seed), some buy their Domain name first just to have it ready (the pot), and when we are ready we provide the space to grow (the soil).

Resources

To learn about our Shared Hosting packages with Unlimited Space visit – http://hipglosspro.com/web-hosting-services/
(We offer cheap hosting with free domain name and the best shared unlimited web hosting with domain for small business)

General information about our Shared Hosting Servers – http://hipglosspro.com/web-hosting-articles/low-cost-shared-hosting-services/

To register your Domain Name without Hosting visit – http://hipglosspro.com/domain-registration/
(get your domain name and register your site domain now)