What is a Domain? What is Hosting?

what is hosting

What is My Domain? And What is Hosting?

It’s literally impossible to have a website without a domain & hosting. We can explain this in super simplified terms using a car as a comparison.  Your car is like your domain. Without gas (hosting), your car won’t run. 

That is to say, no one will be able to see your website unless you have hosting.

Make sense?  Great!  Let’s cover a few frequently asked questions.

Does My Domain Choice Make a Difference?

It can definitely impact your website’s performance because it’s the first thing that’s taken into consideration in SEO terms but not only that, from an ease-of-use perspective it should be memorable & easy to type in on a mobile device. The boom in smartphones means that more & more internet traffic is mobile-based browsing and if you have a really long URL that has to be thumb-typed or swiped in, it can be pretty frustrating for your visitors.

From an SEO perspective, though, if your URL includes clues for search engines on the purpose of the website, that’s a bonus! As a perfect example of what not to do, our own business morphed a bit from what it was when it began. When Autumn Lane Paperie was founded, it was a stationery design business, hence paperie. We’ve grown light years beyond what we were at first & we literally have nothing in our services that’s even closely related to a paperie so our URL autumnlanepaperie.com doesn’t give any clues to search engines as to what we’re all about and it would have put us further ahead in the game if we used a URL like autumnlanedesign.com!

If you need to purchase your domain, we do offer domain registration!

What About Hosting? Does It Matter What Host I Use?

YES! All hosting is definitely not created equally and we’ve had repeated talks internally about not even working with website projects that use a certain popular host because of all of the delays & timeouts that occur from normal tasks because they restrict resources so much on their hosting with “great prices” that no serious website owner can rely on them. We won’t name any names but it’s probably the one that most people in the US think of first when they think they need website hosting. Also, a great many hosting companies are all owned by a company called EIG & the focus in EIG-based hosting seems to not be on the client – you can read more on that here (link) and no, the example we mentioned earlier isn’t in the list on that article.

It’s important to know that your hosting account will have the space & resources available for your website’s needs. For the vast majority of new websites, a plan similar to our Standard hosting plan will be more than sufficient & the reason for this is because most new websites are started as an exploratory venture – somebody has an idea & they decide to try it while they’re still working full-time, so the website isn’t as active initially as with an established website that’s paying the bills. This kind of a website won’t have as many files uploaded (think images) and won’t have as many entries in its blog(s) so a hosting plan with 1.5GB storage is usually more than enough for the first 3 years or so.

If, however, a new website will be image-heavy (I’m looking at you, photographers) then it’s probably better to begin with a larger hosting plan and optimize the images offline prior to uploading them to your website. I understand that you’ve got a bunch of images taken at 5,000 MP resolution which will let you zoom in to see the gnat sneezing 3 miles away but there’s just no need to bog down a website with files that large. Here’s a website with a fun comparison on different image qualities on the web (link).

72 DPI is fine for website image quality – save your web server from overworking… save your visitors’ browsers & devices from struggling to load multiple 20+MB images at once. </rant>

There are, of course, multiple variables that go into selecting hosting for a website & if your website has atypical requirements such as with a medical website that requires HIPAA-certified hosting, then you would need to look at packages that are tailored just for that and yes, they exist.

What About Email? I Heard I Can Get Free Email with Some Hosting Plans.

That’s true, you can. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t perform nearly as well as one would like it to for email service. We used to offer free email with our website clients but it proved too problematic over the years, so we discontinued support for it in favor of a much more reliable business email service.
Some common problems that were experienced by our web clients with the free email included running out of space on their hosting account (free email shares disk space with your website files & fills your hosting account more quickly), getting locked out of the server by the firewall after they changed their email password but didn’t update every device it was on, and potential security issues related to email accessed on a shared hosting account. Overall, if you’re using email, it should be a standalone email service, not something that’s included with your hosting account.

Have additional questions about domain registration, hosting, or premium business email?  We’d be thrilled to hear from you.  Click the “contact us” button below, and we’ll get you set up with the right info!

let's chat - contact Autumn Lane Paperie

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart

Storewide Sale! Everything is 10% off until: