There are lots of 'bits' to a web presence, and when you're not used to them it can get confusing which bits you need and what you're paying for with each one. Hopefully this will make it clearer.
There are 4 things here and a shop analogy should help.
- You have your domain name such as Example.com. This is your Shop name - not the physical sign over the door, but it's the name you register , pay taxes, ( possibly ) trade under, and keep registered on an ongoing basis. If you let it lapse you can lose it.
- You have your hosting. This is like the physical location of your store, it's at 21b Some Road, Some Town, Some Country. How many fittings & items you can get in there depends on how big it is. What you put inside it will affect how many people you can get through the door, how many items you can display etc. This hosting could, just like a building, contain almost anything, but some things will fit & work better on some hosts than others, and some wouldn't fit or work on some hosts at all. This is something you lease as having your own server is expensive & time consuming and requires specialist skills to maintain.
The landlord can add extra floors, some decking out front, sky lights, re-lay the carpark etc if you need them to. If the hosting stops working you complain to the landlord and it gets fixed. Or you move your shop to a better location.
- You have your website. This is the 'content' of the shop - the products, the sign above the door, the carpet, the shelves, the vacuum cleaner in the back. This and the domain name ( item 1 ) are the core of your business. #2 is very important, but it isn't 'what you do' as such.
- You have your email. This is like the mail that comes through your door each day, or used to in past years. You need a domain name for it to arrive at if you want to look professional, but you don't need web site hosting as you can use GMail or another service to receive it - just as your business may use a PO Box rather than a physical delivery point.
You can get the 4 items from different locations as there are many specialist services out there, all from one or mix and match as you wish.
We only offer websites & hosting directly to our clients - and we recommend that they use our hosting. Why? Because we know the software stack that your site will run on and, should something go wrong with your site at any point you know which number to call.
We do handle registration & management for client domain names through a third party provider - 1stdomains.co.nz However, we keep the ownership details very clear in the registration. We don't own your company name, and there's no reason you would want us to!
We don't offer email hosting, but we can set up email to come into your addresses ( eg email@example.com ) on GMail or another service provider.