quite a lot of people, including some of our clients, are rather confused by the difference between a domain name and a hosting account (be it web hosting or email hosting account).
it’s understandable, although words such as domain name, web site, hosting, DNS… are everywhere to see nowadays, every business, every boy next door, seems have a web site. however, they are still very new. most people did not learn the proper definition of them in school. i for one did not know anything about domain name or web site when i was in university.
many times, i have been asked by client: why i still can’t access my web site now, 3 days after i ordered hosting plan from you? when i check, i find the client has yet registered the domain name. so i reply saying so and point them to difinition of domain name and hosting account. some times, some clients reply: so? i still cannot see my web site?
so let me explain a bit here, in layman’s words. forgive me if the explanation here sounds not so accurate to tech savvy people, this is not technical guide.
domain name is an address on the web. for example, “yahoo.com” , “singaporewebhosting.com” . when you add “http://www.” before the domain name, it becomes a URL that you may visit via browser – the web site, for example “http://www.singaporewebhosting.com“.
however, please note, domain name is just ownership, it does NOT do anything by itself. after you buy a domain name for, say, 5 years, you own it for 5 year, nobody can get the same domain name in this 5 years, unless you sell it.
to have a web site at ” http://www.yourdomainname.com” you need to have a web hosting account as well. the web hosting account is a user’s account on a web server (just a computer that’s suitable to serve web pages with high speed Internet connection) where you store all web pages and emails.
hosting account itself does NOT do much by itself either without a domain name pointing to it. you can store web pages or files in the account, that’s about it, without domain name pointing to it, the hosting account is not accessable by visitors.
although domain name and hosting account are associated most of the time, but they ARE two different things. you may buy domain name and hosting account from different service poviders.
you can buy domain name only without hosting account, in this case, you will see “page not found” error or something similar when you go to “http:www.yourdomain.com”.
you can also buy a hosting account without registering domain name, in this case, the hosting account exists on a server, nobody can visit it though.
our hosting plans do not include domain name registration, unless you choose the “register the domain name for me” option, what you order from us is hosting account only. you have to own the domain already (this is very common) or register the domain seperately, from us or from any registrar.
now, next step is to link the domain with the hosting account, or say it more technically, change domain DNS to proper (our) nameservers.