A domain is the “master” address of your internet name, for example nearsource.net is our domain. You purchase domains at registrar sites, for example we have our own registrar nearsourcehosting.com available for clients to register domains. There are many popular registrar sites like www.godaddy.com and register.com. These usually also offer web hosting as well (explained later in this article). Domains are normally purchased (registered) for 1 or more years and needs to be renewed yearly or when it expires. There is no one-time purchase option when registering a domain.
What is web hosting?
Websites run on web servers which are specially configured servers to show web pages. A web server can have one or more websites, even websites that are not yours. This is how you can pay low monthly rates to host a website without paying for an entire server (you can get hosting for $5/month at some web hosting providers). Web hosting refers to this service to host your website so that it works when people enter your domain name in a browser.
Why do I need to know where my website is hosted?
We have had clients in the past whose website is down and they have no idea how to get it back up. They depend on a web developer or a person that has access to everything. If that person is not available or doesn’t provide these services anymore then they are out of luck. It is possible to guesstimate where the website is hosted, but the process to contact the web hosting company and prove that you are the true owner of the website can be very difficult.