Domains, Hosting, FTP… What do These Terms Mean?

Whether you have a website or you’re looking to purchase one, you’re going to have questions about what steps you need to take to get a gorgeous finished product. You’ll probably ask questions such as: “What do I buy to get my website live?”, “Should I own my domain name?”, “How many domain names should I buy?”, and many other questions… so many it can make your head spin.

At InTouch Practice Communications, we create custom websites for our clients, and when we get started we ask all of our clients to have certain pieces of information ready for us. The three most important things you will need to have to create a great website are:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting
  • FTP

Confused? Don’t worry, we’re here to help guide you so you can have a custom website anyone would be proud to own. Read on to get more information about these website necessities.

Answers to Important Domain Name Questions:

What is a domain name? Your domain name, also commonly known as your URL, is basically the unique address given to your website so it can be searched for and found on the Internet; i.e. You can purchase a domain name from an Internet domain registrar such as Go Daddy, Gandi, 1&1, etc.

Should I own my domain name? Yes. If another company owns your domain name, they can keep it for themselves if you stop using their services. It is VERY important and advantageous for you to own your domain name.

How many domain names should I have? Typically, most practices only have one domain name, but some practices have a few variations, such as, or This allows practices to protect themselves against threats and Internet traffic diversion, it allows them to protect their reputation, and avoid improper spelling when a user searches for their website.

How do I pay for my domain name? When you register your domain name with an Internet domain registrar, you’ll pay an annual fee. If an annual fee doesn’t work for you, most domain registrars also offer two, three, five, or ten-year terms as well. It’s best to setup auto-renewal with your domain registrar, and purchase your domain name for a longer term so you don’t have any lapsing service. If you don’t pay for your domain name on time, your website will go down, and no one will be able to find it on the Internet.

Answers to Important Hosting Questions:

What is hosting? Hosting – or web hosting more specifically – is a service that gives a practice space to exist and become visible to users on the Internet. This space is on a server, and you’re able to store all your website files here. Without this space, no one can access your website. You’re able to obtain web hosting services through a web hosting service provider.

Should I own it? Most web hosting service providers offer inexpensive hosting rates that you can purchase yourself. Many providers require that you own your domain name before purchasing web hosting services.

Here at InTouch Practice Communications, we offer premium hosting services for our clients. That means minimal downtime, protection from website attacks, and nightly backups to secure your website.

Should I have more than one hosting account? One hosting account per website is all you need, no matter how many domain names you have.

How do I pay for web hosting? Most often, this is a month-to-month renewal. If your web hosting service provider allows for it, you can oftentimes purchase outright for the year and save money on your web hosting service. It’s often required to take part in auto-renewal or a contract term so there won’t be a lapse in payment. If the web hosting goes down, your website will go down because the files on the server won’t be able to connect to your domain name.

Worried about how your web hosting stacks up? Give us a call at 1-800-493-9003, and request a free digital marketing analysis

Answers to Important FTP Questions:

What is FTP? File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is used to download or upload your website’s files to your web hosting account, thus allowing it to be visible on the Internet.

Should I own it? FTP isn’t a service. FTP is a tool that’s used by web developers, and it’s accessed by using a username and password which are both created by your web hosting provider.

How many FTP accounts should I have? You can have more than one FTP login, which includes a username and password. You might have one FTP account, but your web hosting company and Internet domain registrar might have their own accounts to keep your files secure. The username and password for your FTP account stay active as long as your web hosting service stays active. This is also how web developers access your files to make updates to your website.

Are you looking to create a custom website? If your current website is less than impressive, let our talented team create a custom website for you that will take you from “ho-hum…” to “holy moly!” Call us today at 1-800-493-9003!