Domain vs. Hosting: what’s the difference?
1. Understanding the basics
→ What's the difference between a domain and hosting?
Think of a domain as your website's address, it’s just like the physical location of a store. It's the unique name that users type into their browser to find your website.
On the other hand, hosting is where your website's files and content are stored and made accessible to visitors. We're talking about the foundation and infrastructure of your website: images, html code, special files, and lots and lots of code, but that's none of your business. 😉
Just like a store needs a physical location to operate (its physical address), your website needs hosting to be visible on the internet.
Showit will take care of hosting for you, it's included in their membership - this is why they also setup the wordpress integration for you (if you need one). So with that taken care of, let's make sure you know how to set up you domain 🤪
2. Registering a domain for your Showit website
Can I purchase a domain directly through Showit?
Yes, you definitely can, but we recommend you get your domain from a ‘domain registrar’ — they help you see what domains are available and handle the registration process.
You’ll save money and can re-use the domain if you ever outgrow your Showit website.
You can easily purchase a domain through well-known registrars like GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Google Domains. These platforms provide a wide selection of domain names and ensure a smooth registration process. ;)
3. Choosing the right domain for your Showit website
When purchasing a domain for your Showit website, keep the following in mind:
- Hosting: Showit hosts your website files and content, remember? So, make sure that the platform you buy your domain from allows for easy integration with platforms like Showit. And please don’t buy any WordPress hosting plans — they’re expensive, and really useless!
- Pricing: Compare prices, and try to find the best value — while thinking about the future. Most domain registrars offer a big discount for first-timers, but increase prices once your subscription expires 🚨
- Customer Support: Opt for a domain platform with excellent customer support as they can assist you in case of any doubts or technical issues.
Register the domain for your Showit website in 3 easy steps 🚀
1️⃣ First, you need to find the perfect domain name. It needs to reflect your brand and your business, and that is easy to remember.
2️⃣ Then, choose a ‘domain registrar’. Domain registrars (like GoDaddy, Namecheap and Google Domains) are platforms that allow you to search for available domain names and that take care of the registration process.
Make sure that the domain registrar you go fore is compatible with Showit's hosting — and don’t go for any fancy packages - they’re expensive, and Showit already includes everything you need in their hosting plan.
You can also get your domain on Showit it, directly. But, we recommend you go for one of the suggestions above. It’ll save you money and if you ever outgrow your Showit website, you can easily re-use your domain for another platform ;)
3️⃣ Once you've registered your domain, you can easily connect it to your Showit website. Showit provides clear instructions and support to help you seamlessly integrate your domain and website.
‼️ Protect your visitors’ data
Showit understands the importance of website security and provides SSL certificates for all custom domains.
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates your website's identity and ensures your visitors' data remains protected, instilling trust in your brand.
Reach out to them once you are ready to go, and they will issue the SSL free of cost.
BONUS GLOSSARY 💥
→ What is a DNS?
Domain Name System (DNS) is like the internet's address book. It translates domain names into IP addresses, and allows users to access websites through human-readable URLs.
Don’t worry you don’t need to know all of that to set up your Showit website — but if you ever need to get involved with setting up your DNS, you’ll know what they are, and won’t feel overwhelmed.
→ Understanding DNS Records: CNAME, A, and MX Records
- CNAME Records: They link one domain to another. On Showit, you create a CNAME record to connect your purchased domain to your Showit website. That ensures browsers to look for the hosting in Showit when typing your domain that is registered somewhere else (Namecheap, GoDaddy, etc.).
- A Records: A Records connect your domain name to the specific IP address where your website is hosted. They ensure that users reach your website when they enter your domain in their browser. It is very similar to CNAME Records, but these ones point domains to IP addresses, whereas CNAME points domains to other domains.
- MX Records: If you want to set up email accounts using your Showit domain, MX records come into play. They specify the email server responsible for receiving your domain's email messages.