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  • Writer's pictureShaun

Explain: hosting, domains & mailboxes

You've heard these terms a million times. What are they?


The three things you need for your website to be seen online are:


1. A website.

2. A domain name.

3. A hosting package.


You could also have a professional email address (sometimes called mailbox) but this is optional.


What are these in simple terms?


The Website: This is your new website design we've created or you. Once it's ready, it floats in space ready to be linked to a hosting package and your chosen web address (domain name).


Hosting: Your new website needs to be hosted on a server in order to be visible to your customers. You're essentially paying someone to give you space on the internet, like parking your car. This is called hosting. Otherwise, the website design would remain on our computers and wouldn't be usable. We pay for your hosting package on your behalf, so you don't need to worry about doing this.


Domain name: Your domain name is your www. address. You rent a domain name from a provider like GoDaddy, and while you're renting it no-one else can use it. These are usually rented on an annual basis and you renew each year.


Professional mailbox (email address): An email address which is @yourdomain.co.uk rather than a free one such as @gmail or @yahoo. For example, ours is hello@onlinedesigns.uk which looks more professional than the one we started with years ago, which was onlinedesignsuk@gmail.com.


Imagine it like this... imagine you want to do a car boot sale.


First, you load up the car with all your items (having your website designed).


You head to the car boot sale and you have to pay a fee to get in and park alongside the other cars (a hosting package).


You've now got a car full of stuff at the sale but no-one knows you've arrived and there's millions of other cars. You need some signage to point people in the right direction (a domain name).



Can I do my own hosting, domain and email address?


Hosting: no, we have to do it for you. Our website platform only allows the designer to sort the hosting.


Domain & emails: Yes you can do it yourself, but it's complicated and historically we have had to step in with technical support 99% of the time. It's also not cheaper or better to do it yourself as we are resellers of Google & Microsoft and charge you retail price.


I already have a domain name or an email address, can I move it to you?


Transferring your Domain to us: Yes. Having your domain name with us is FREE. So why wouldn't you?


Domains can be complicated if problems arise (which they often do) and can cause your website to go down - sometimes permanently. If it's in our control, that won't happen.


In companies it's very easy for one person to set up the domain name and then leave the company without providing suitable details to their replacement. This happens VERY often in our experience. If you have it with a trusted third party, you won't have this issue.


You may hear people advising against surrendering your domain to a third party. Some rogue or less experienced web designers register themselves as the legal owners as well as the managers. This is wrong. With us, you'll always be the legal owner. We are only the manager.


We can transfer your domain to us, as long as it's with a provider who allows the transfer and you don't already have other services (such as email services) connected.


Transferring your professional email address to us: Unfortunately we usually can't transfer existing email services to us as it's very complicated. If you're happy to surrender your current mail history and start again, we're happy to set you up from scratch. You can keep the same email address, you'll just lose your inbox and history.


If you haven't already set one up, please let us help and don't automatically use a cheap service like 123-reg or GoDaddy for your emails before you have spoken to us. They have many downsides.


Are there any extra costs?


We pay for your domain name for you included in your web management plan. This also includes your web hosting. The only extra is the email address, at a very low monthly cost. See your quote or ask for details.

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