A domain name is the address of any given website on the internet. The address that is entered into any browser is a website domain. It can be seen as the address listed in the address bar above any website’s homepage.
Domain hosts are the companies that provide that address. Also sometimes called registrars, they control the actual domain and the licenses that go along with it. When you sign up to get a domain, they also make sure that no other website is registered to that domain. You can purchase your domain name separate from your hosting, but you’ll have to pay a certain price every year that you want to continue ownership of that domain.
Web hosts can also offer domain names, but they don’t always and many experts recommend that you keep the two separate in case anything ever happens with your web host, such as wanting to make a change.
Web hosts are companies that have access to many web servers and they rent out space on those servers to people who want to create and manage a website. Web hosts rent out a certain amount of space on these servers meant for websites and website owners pay a certain amount every month or year for that space.
Web hosts offer many different packages including shared hosting, dedicated servers or VPS, which all refer to the type of server a website is stored on. Many also have other options including managed and unmanaged packages and, as mentioned, many of them offer additional services such as domain hosting.
Email is a service that you probably already have, but you can have it directly related to your website as well. While many web hosts and domain hosts offer email hosting as well, email uses an entirely different kind of software and protocol in order to send and receive it.
Many Internet providers offer email hosting by offering a certain number of email addresses when someone signs up for their Internet package; and it’s also offered by many web hosts and domain hosts. A web host should not be chosen based on whether or not they offer email hosting however, as there are a number of free services such as Outlook and Gmail that offer email hosting.
There are many different types of hosting that relate to a website, but it’s important to know what their different functions are and how they will ultimately affect your site. If you don’t, you could be talked into something you don’t need and paying for something you’re not even going to use.