There are several components that make up your website, similar to how a real business is created. The following explains each component from a hosting perspective to help you understand why they are separate things.
Your domain name is your address and identity on the internet. The domain host, also called a registrar, acts much like your local government and controls the license and ownership of this name and where to find the associated website.
Your domain has a periodic cost or license fee that is separate from any website or email service you use.
Several companies offer stand-alone domain name registration. This allows you to secure a domain name without purchasing hosting services. Some website hosting companies combine these services to allow you to more easily manage both your domain and your website, but it is important to understand that they are actually separate.
By keeping your domain registered at a "neutral" registrar, you can choose any webhost or email service anytime you want without the delays and costs associated with transferring that domain registration to different domain hosts. This also has the benefit of protecting your domain name from being taken by someone else, it will not allow you to host a website or utilize email services with your domain.
Neutral registrars we recommend which include email:
- Google domains
Website hosting provides a powerful server, constantly connected to the internet with several high-speed connections and which often offers a specific website software. The server is managed by the hosting company so you do not have to worry about server maintenance, upgrades and configuration. Envato Hosted is one such web host which specializes in WordPress websites.
By configuring your domain settings at your domain host, you can direct all traffic to your domain name to your website on Envato Hosted. Your domain is the signpost, Envato Hosted is then the destination.
In addition to WordPress, your web space is 5GB of file space you are free to use via a file manager or FTP client, just like any web host.
Your website itself is the software and files on your web host that make up the display and content people see when they visit your domain.
Email is another common service that is often offered both by domain registrars and web hosting companies, but is also separate. Email uses a different kind of software and protocol for being sent and received. Envato Hosted does not host the email inbox, so you will need to use your registrar's email service, or a 3rd party service like Google Gsuite if you would like an email address/inbox that uses your domain name. From there, Envato Hosted can easily configure WordPress so it knows where to find your inbox when accepting email through things like contact forms.
Learn more about domains, email and Envato Hosted here: