It can be easy to get lost in “internet speak” if you are new to the world of websites, and in our years of experience, one of the first points of confusion is the difference between Domains and Hosting, if you need both, and what they really are. To help you better understand, here are some basic definitions of website domains and website hosting:
Website Domain (aka. URL, Website Address)
A domain is the online address of your website. For example, www.oso-web.com would be our domain. This “address” can be used from any computer, smart phone or internet device to visit the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The domain name does not require the use of search engines, like Google, to locate or access the site.
Website Domains are rented on a first-come-first-served basis, so often people are disappointed to learn that their business’ name is already taken by someone else on the other side of the country. They can be purchased for one-year timespans, renewed indefinitely, and allow you to pre-pay up to 10 years’ ownership at a time.
If a Website Domain is the address of your website, website hosting is the lot on which your website content and email is parked. It is common knowledge that computer files and images take up space, and this is no exception online. The only question is who owns the space you park your website on and how reliable they are with potential web-issues. When you see that a website is not accessible (or has gone down), it is usually a website hosting issue. We have seen sites go down for 2 weeks at a time through the ‘cheap’ hosting companies, with no concern for the effects on the website owners.
Website Hosting is charged on an affordable monthly basis, just like rent. The key is to ensure that you don’t rent from an fly-by-night absentee landlord, but instead focus on the reliability and maintenance of the hosted platform through a reliable source.
The most important thing for you to worry about is that you have the right partner by your side navigating your domains and hosting. Your online partner should be able to help you find the best Website Domain for your business; one that is easily recognizable and associated with your business. You will also want to use your trusted partner and programming company as your website host, as they have a vested interest in ensuring your website is up and running to its optimum capacity, day and night.
If you would like to learn more about Website Domains and Website Hosting, or hear about the added protections Optimum Services Online can offer your business, contact us today.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also enjoy reading, “On the Web, Content is King”