Personal SEO ~ Website Marketing and Content Writing: The Host, The Site, the Domain - THE DIFFERENCE

The Host, The Site, the Domain - THE DIFFERENCE

These three things all must work together in order to have a functioning website but most people don't know the difference and why you need all three.

We host dozens of websites for real estate agents and other businesses and usually charge annually for that service. March is the month we bill out and inevitably I get people calling saying, "what is this bill for? What am I paying for?" etc.. Literally it's the same people that called last year with the same question, regardless of how many times I've explained it. 

But I explain it like this in hopes that it will make it clear. domain

If you want to have a website you need to first buy the domain. That's the and most people buy this through or other similar domain registering sites. You have to purchase this through a domain register but make sure YOU are the owner. Don't go with a company that will do it all for you including buying and registering the domain. The domain is personal property and you should be the only one that owns that domain. Most of the time you can renew that domain each year, set it to auto-renew or buy it for an extended period of time, 5, 10 years, etc.. TIP: the longer you buy the domain, the more serious Google thinks your site is and will tend to trust it more.

I liken the domain to an ADDRESS, which it is; the address you would tell someone if you want them to find your website. But that's just the address. There has to be something there once someone types that in.

Related: Why URL Structure Matters

That's where your website comes in. 

This is the actual meat of the information. The website files, the content, images, information, and so forth that you want people to know and read. This can be a multitude of different platforms. Think of this as the HOUSE. The address is how to find it, now once they get there, they see a house. You can make it a speck house, out of the box, manufactured house, mobile home, log house, or beautiful custom luxury home. Each has different options and capabilities.

the websiteIf you build on another's platform you may not be able to move the house and all it's contents without somewhat starting over. This is why we love working with custom WordPress. It's all yours and when you move, it moves with you. Unlike going with Real Geeks, Point2, iHouse, Property Minder, etc.. and all the thousands of website platforms out there to use. Yes, they are all fine, but if you ever want to go away from them, you will need to painstakingly copy over every piece of information you want to keep into a new platform. Not the most ideal.


So we have the address, the house and now we need a piece of land on which to build or place our house. This is the HOST. Someone has to keep all these files, images, graphics, content on a computer (Server) somewhere so that when people type in the address, they can access all the files of the website. Most people don't host their own website. Servers used to host sites are larger, have more capacity and are dedicated for that purpose only. (and usually more protected) You wouldn't want anyone accessing your personal computer to get to your website. hostThis is where hiring a host is essential. You need a place for your website (house) to sit. Many places like godaddy, bluehost, and others can do this in addition to where you bought your domain and similarly, places that provide websites can also host the site, since it's their platform you're using. 

Most of the time, whatever monthly fee you pay for the website will usually include the hosting fee as well. When you own it all, domain and website, you'll need to find external hosting. Just like many of those companies, if we build your site and you have a regular monthly SEO service with us, hosting is included. Otherwise we charge $15 a month for hosting. We can host any site and this is a little more expensive than places like Godaddy etc... but we do a little extra. We call it "Concierge Hosting". This means that if you need us to update the site, add graphics, change this or that, add a plugin or update a theme, we do that all included in the price. You can call us anytime to ask about the site, changing things, moving things around or even get a customized video on how to manage your site yourself when needed. This is included in our hosting fee. It takes the stress off of knowing how to do everything yourself. 

So to recap - the address (the domain) - how people find your site; the house (website) what people see when they get to the address; and the land (host) that the house actually sits on - All working together to present your website and information to the world.

Want more information about what we do? Give us a call or shoot us an email and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have, help you "fix" your website or talk about options for optimizing what you already have.



ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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The information contained in this blog is believed to be true and correct and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy for any particular purpose. All information is copy written and the property of Tammy Emineth.  

Comment balloon 38 commentsTammy Emineth • March 11 2016 09:13AM


Tammy, another exceptional post filled with great information, well presented and explained.  Thank you

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Million Dollar Guild, Luxury, CLHMS, CNE, SRES (JOYCE MARSH REAL ESTATE COMPANY ) about 3 years ago

Great Information, Tammy. You'll be hearing from me soon. Have a Blessed Weekend!

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, about 3 years ago

Tammy this is really good information and a lot of agents I know ( here in AZ) don't understand how it really works. From now on you'll be part of my CE classes!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 3 years ago

great way to express this in words of the world so folks here in the rain 'get it'

Posted by Mark Loewenberg, KW 561-214-0370 (KW of the Palm Beaches) about 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth -- You wrote a great post that is filled with useful information. Your analogy of the address for the house and the land to put it on was a great one and you wrote a clear explanation for how it works.

Posted by John Mosier, Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142 (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) about 3 years ago

Thanks for the reminder Tammy Emineth it's been awhile since I've considered what part Melbourne and Microsoft 365 held in my website world.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) about 3 years ago

Love your blogs, Tammy--they always make me think!

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) about 3 years ago

Hi Tammy Emineth great explanation for the start of a new real estate website.

Posted by Joy Bender, #1 San Diego Luxury Real Estate Digital Marketer (Pacific Sotheby's) about 3 years ago

I agree, a great explaination. Now when people ask you can send them the link to your blog. Some people like me remember better when they see it in writing.

Posted by Julie A. Black, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker (KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist) about 3 years ago

You do such a great job of educating us Tammy! Thank you!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Fantastic post! And easy to understand!

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 3 years ago

Tammy, you gave us a very clear picture of what domain and hosting are about.

It is much clearer to me now and helps me see the importance of consistency.

Great job.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) about 3 years ago

Tammy, great information and one of the best tips (and they are all very good) is that when paying for your domain, to pay for several years - google loves that & knows you are in it for the long haul! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Susan Laxson CRS, Local Knowledge & Global Network (HomeSmart Professionals) about 3 years ago

Great explanation, Tammy. As my site has grown, I have upgraded the hosting a bit.

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) about 3 years ago

what a great post, really I learn something on all your posts. Thanks


Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 3 years ago

Tammy,  Reading this reminds me of clients who call about their "supplemental property tax bill" ... it was explained many times yet when the bill comes ... they just don't remember.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 3 years ago

What a thorough explanation and I now understand! I just needed someone to explanation it to me like you just did. I own a GoDaddy domain but have suspended everything else since it was not and I was not working it correctly. I may have to take a second look.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 3 years ago

Great explaination of  putting it all together.

Posted by Melissa Jackson, Helping You Make The Right Move (Citiwide Alliance Realty) about 3 years ago

Oh I've made a few mistakes on this front in the past, but I've figured it out. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 3 years ago

Great post, with lots of information to consider. 

Posted by J.R. Schloemer, CRS (Kentucky Select Properties) about 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth - interesting! I want to keep the domain name smaller so people remember and can type in address bar!  Did not know Google does not like that!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 3 years ago


Your post is very clear and easily understandable 

.  Thanks for making it easy to understand.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 3 years ago

Tammy, you are obviously a well qualified expert in the service you provide and anyone who does not understand what you have presented should definitely be using your service.

Posted by Craig Cooper, Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate (Chase International Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Great information.

The domain is personal property and you should be the only one that owns that domain. The website files, the content, images, information Now we need a piece of land on which to build or place our house. This is the HOST

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) about 3 years ago

Hi Tammy,

I bookmarked your blog from 3 years ago. Thank you for the explaining the differences.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) about 3 years ago

This is such a thorough and easy to understand explanation of hosting, domains and website. I love the analogy of the the house, the address and the land. Thanks as always on excellent information you share!

Posted by Carolyn Crispin, Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial (Keller Williams Tri-Lakes) about 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth for ACTIVERAIN welcome wagon President and Adviser

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth  Thank you Tammy for the simplest explanation of a really scary topic.

Posted by Pete Baranowsky Jr, Selling Good Homes, Priced Right, Quickly (The Castle Team at Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanata) about 3 years ago

Tammy- I love that you wrote this because while I love all things techie, when I first started with a website, I had the hardest time trying to understand what you just so easily explained above!!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Great thoughts.   I worked on my own for a couple of years.  Decided to rejoin a firm, and after a year--they closed.  Then the next one did a year later.  Both national firms.  I truly think it was more cumbersome because I have a site by a company similar to those names. 

Thanks for good info  for those who are thinking about developing a new site.


Posted by Joy Jones, find joy in home ownership (Bluecoast Realty, Real Estate, your Regional Broker) about 3 years ago

I like your simple explanation. The domain is the address, the website is the house and the host is the land.

Posted by Mike Baltierra, Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA (Rise Realty ) about 3 years ago

Tammy, thank you for your detailed explanation. and as always you do not disappoint.

I had no idea of this great tip:

TIP: the longer you buy the domain, the more serious Google thinks your site is and will tend to trust it more.

An easy peasy way to increase trust with Google?  Even when I think I know about the topic you are writing about, it seems you always add a "golden nugget" that I did not know. I appreciate your insight and advice. You are one of my favorite "follows" on AR!

Posted by Greg Large, A Tradition of Trust (ERA Real Solutions) about 3 years ago

Thank you everyone for the comments! Glad this made this topic a little clearer.

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) about 3 years ago

Thanks Tammy Emineth  for a well written and easy to read post about the importance of owning your domain, the advantages of using Wordpress as the website "platform", and the options for hosting - including your "Concierge Hosting".   Looking forward to reading more excellent posts from you - so am now “following” you!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

Hi Tammie - having been the fist one to have a web site for our human resources  organization I was able get the ideal names.  I keep them and still make the  switches when we change hosts.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 3 years ago

I second Richie Alan Naggar 's motion Tammy Emineth !

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 2 years ago

Tammy Emineth "If you build on another's platform you may not be able to move the house and all it's contents without somewhat starting over. This is why we love working with custom WordPress. It's all yours and when you move, it moves with you."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 2 years ago

Hi Tammy Emineth I also host wordpress sites (but I'm not competing with you). I enjoy "learning" from you.

Thank you.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) about 2 years ago

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