The Host, The Site, the Domain - THE DIFFERENCE

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

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.


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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.  


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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

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

Mar 11, 2016 11:05 AM #19
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Great post, with lots of information to consider. 

Mar 11, 2016 12:08 PM #20
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

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!

Mar 11, 2016 01:13 PM #21
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Your post is very clear and easily understandable 

.  Thanks for making it easy to understand.

Mar 11, 2016 01:58 PM #22
Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate

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.

Mar 11, 2016 05:45 PM #23
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

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

Mar 11, 2016 08:07 PM #24
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hi Tammy,

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

Mar 11, 2016 08:10 PM #25
Carolyn Crispin
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes - Branson, MO
Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial

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!

Mar 11, 2016 09:45 PM #26
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Tammy Emineth for ACTIVERAIN welcome wagon President and Adviser

Mar 11, 2016 11:15 PM #27
Pete Baranowsky Jr
The Castle Team at Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanata - Dallas, GA
Selling Good Homes, Priced Right, Quickly

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

Mar 12, 2016 12:04 AM #28
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

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!!

Mar 12, 2016 12:29 AM #29
Joy Jones
Bluecoast Realty, Real Estate, your Regional Broker - Jacksonville, NC
find joy in home ownership

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.


Mar 12, 2016 01:20 AM #30
Mike Baltierra
20/20 Realty Inc. - Corona, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Corona CA

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

Mar 12, 2016 03:22 AM #31
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

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!

Mar 13, 2016 10:20 PM #32
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

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

Mar 14, 2016 12:13 AM #33
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

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!

May 03, 2016 03:42 AM #34
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

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.

May 23, 2016 10:24 AM #35
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

I second Richie Alan Naggar 's motion Tammy Emineth !

Nov 15, 2016 08:12 PM #36
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

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!

Jan 18, 2017 05:32 AM #37
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

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

Thank you.

Bill Roberts

Jan 18, 2017 08:24 AM #38
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