Domain Hosting And Site Hosting

Domain Hosting And Site Hosting; they aren’t the same thing.

I’ve been doing a lot of coaching and helping bloggers in both the Mortgage and Real Estate industry get their blogs setup recently.

One of the most confusing aspects of the process is trying to understand that domain hosting and Site hosting are two different things.

GoDaddy Domain Hosting

I buy all my domain names through GoDaddy.   They are cheap and cheap to renew.   I find managing my domains through them to be a no brainer.

I also have two “Hosting Packages” through GoDaddy where I upload the files and point those domains to various sites.

You Don’t have to Host Your Site with Your Domain Host

The confusing part is using the word hosting for both a domain and a site.   They aren’t the same thing.   The domain is the Address, the site is the House.   (Putting this in RE Terms).   Let me say that again:

  • The Domain Name = The Address
  • Hosting Site = The House

Now here is the cool thing.   You don’t have to have the domain hosted where the Site is located.   You get to “Point” the domain name to where ever you build the house (Site).

Domain Nameserver

The way you point the address to where the site is built is by the Doman Nameserver.   (DNS) for short.   In Godaddy you log into your site and manage your domain names.   Once on the individual domain you select Nameserver.   There you can fill in the Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2 of where your hosting exists.

If it is on Godaddy it is taken care of through your hosting admin panel.   But for our example, the Site Hosting isn’t at Godaddy.   It is at Bluehost.

Bluehost Site Hosting

Last year when I was dabbling with WordPress MU I read about it being a nightmare to configure with Godaddy hosting.   It is possible but it isn’t cheap (And we in RE are all about cheap, especially in this economy).   So I went looking for a new Hosting company.   I’ve read about a bunch of them.   I won’t list them here.   I’ve also had some friends on Bluehost and I’ve done some blog setups for them. It was pretty straightforward and I like the Cpanel they use. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means)

I put out a few Tweets about seeking hosting and I got a response from Bluehost with a coupon for a discount on their hosting they were running (and still are as I write this post)   $3.95 a month for unlimited domains and MYSQL databases.   I bought the 3 year plan since they guarantee the price for the number of years you buy.

I’ve since set up a number of blogs on Bluehost and have to say I’m totally impressed with their hosting.   Yes, I love Bluehost for hosting my sites.   I also love GoDaddy for Domain hosting and their banned Superbowl commercials (with coupon codes I can renew my domains for $7.46 a year.   I still have 2 Deluxe hosting packages with Godaddy and all my main sites are on those packages.   I’ve never had an issue with Godaddy hosting.   (Well almost never).

Setting up Hosting on Bluehost with a Domain on GoDaddy.

Once at the Cpanel on Bluehost you see the domain nameservers for your hosting package. With that information in hand I begin the process of making it all come together.


Here is where you set the nameservers

  1. After getting the nameservers for Bluehost I log into GoDaddy
  2. I go to Nameservers for the domain I want to “point” to Bluehost
  3. I fill in the TWO nameservers from bluehost selecting “I’m hosting my domain some where else”
  4. I wait a few minutes and back at my Cpanel on Bluehost I set that domain to the folder I’ve put my WP file in.
  5. Since the Nameservers are already pointed to Bluehost they immediately accept the domain name.
  6. A few minutes later I can type in the domain name and it goes to my fresh install of WordPress.
  7. What Do You Want to Call Your Blog?

That’s the process.   I know it still sounds rather confusing.   That is why I take care of doing this for everyone that has me setup a new blog for them.

Moving Nameserver

If you are having trouble moving a DNS to a new site location. Email me or use the contact form here at the Lab.   It is one of those Techie Things that can drive you crazy.   Why, because if you don’t do the “Wait a few minutes”   step you will keep trying to do it over and over again and it won’t be working.   Why, because every time you make a change it starts the clock all over again.

Resetting a DNS, takes time.   A domain DNS is something that is stored in a file, not read live every time some one navigates to your domain.   When you point it to a new site, it can take as little as 2 minutes to show up, and as long as 24 hours before that changes makes it way around the world.   If you change it and it doesn’t come up in a few minutes you are tempted to “Change it again”

Admit it.   I’ve done it.   The first time I changed a DNS I had no idea what I was doing for sure.   I made the change at least a dozen times and finally went to bed (after midnight).   When I got up the next morning thinking I had get this figured out, it was done.   I finally had stopped messing up the process by changing it again and again.


DNS Moves like Capsule Re-entry

Remember the early days of the space program.   (Ok, I just dated myself with that one)   Well, in those early days as the capsule would re-enter the atmosphere there would be 3 minutes of radio silence.   It was literally a time to hold your breath.   It was one of the most dangerous times for the capsule.   It could easily burn up during re-entry.   When the astronauts would establish radio communication again a huge cheer would break out.   But during “Radio Silence” all that could be done was wait.

Changing a DNS is like Radio Silence.   When you know how to do it and you know you did it right the only thing to do is wait.   Soon you will be able to type in your domain name and it will appear in your browser.   And Yes I cheer when it happens, just like when the astronauts would say “Houston we are clear . . .”


  1. Timely post as I’m looking at a total revamp of my website using wordpress. I already have my domain hosted at GoDaddy and I’m using their website tonight (yeah, it’s so embarrassing that I didn’t include a link above). I’m kinda worried about the switchover and what that means to my existing web presence. If I use BlueHost and get everything set up over there, can I wait until it’s all worked out and working before I redirect my nameservers to the new site at BlueHost?

  2. Julia,

    Since you already have hosting at GoDaddy and a WP blog as a subdomain. You can develop your site right at GoDaddy and when you are ready move the WP files to the root.

    Here is what to do:

    1. Log into GoDaddy and go to your Hosting
    2. Select Applications
    3. Select Blogs
    4. Select WordPress
    5. Follow the steps to installing WordPress
    6. Chose a directory name for the install Ex. julianewsite
    7. Fill in the rest of the fields
    8. Godaddy will upload the files, create the database and send you an email when it is ready.
    9 This is important. When you log in the first time go to “Setting” Privacy, and Select “Keep my site Private” This way you can develop and move content without Search engines indexing your new dev site.
    10 when you like what you have developed you will need to move the WP files to the root. And change the domain in Setting General.

    When you get to this point. Let me know. I can help you.

    If you want me to get the dev site setup for you. Contact me through the contact us form and I’ll send you my email with instructions on what I need to do this.


  3. To add something to your recommendation for Julia, just make sure someone checks on that database info (host name, login/password, etc). I’ve never worked on either BluHost or Godaddy and I didn’t see it mentioned in your post, but sometimes one host will have different db settings that would need to be changed when moving a site. In particular, the database host name and, on shared hosting accounts, the username and database names might be different.
    .-= WordPress Mortgage Calculator´s last blog ..Free Mortgage Calculator – Version 1.2 Released =-.

  4. I’ve worked with Both Bluehost and GoDaddy installs of WP. It isn’t an issue, which is why I didn’t mention it.


  5. Thanks for the step by step. I’ll let you know when I get far enough into it to need more help. ‘preciate cha!

  6. Mike Harrison says

    I have read a lot of your posts and I was a little surprised that you don’t host your own websites.
    I have played around with some non-business sites that I have hosted on my own and I figured the gurus always hosted them on their own site on local computers.

    Is it really a lot less hassle to have bluehost host rather then set something up yourself? The price isn’t bad with bluehost so if you had to buy another machine to host I could see Blue host being cost effective.
    .-= Mike Harrison´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  7. Mike,

    You’re kidding right? Let’s see, Bluehost $3.95 a month. vs. Buy a server, server software, install a T1 line for bandwidth, monthly charges for the T1.

    Nope, I’m pretty sure the bluehost $3.95 wins.


  8. Mike Harrison says

    LOL I see your point! 🙂
    .-= Mike Harrison´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  9. For bluehost do you get shell access? I have tried a few registers. I used to like namecheap but they dont have autobilling (you have to remember to renew domains.
    .-= Ki´s last blog ..Austin Real Estate Statistics for December =-.

  10. Ki,

    Not sure what you mean by shell access. Cpanel, yes; FTP, yes, and lots more. As for autobilling, every hosting company I’ve used has auto billing or manual, it is up to the user.


  11. Hi, thanks for the great information. Will have to look through more of the things you write here. Will learn a thing or two for sure
    .-= Deon Swiggs´s last blog ..Buying A Section =-.

  12. Awesome post. I’ll have to print this out and use it to explain websites to my friends the next time they want a website but don’t know where to start.
    .-= RAI´s last blog ..100192 – 699 Reynolds Street Augusta GA 30901 – February 16th thru March 2nd =-.

  13. This is great information and really helps clear up some of the aspects I couldn’t understand. I have worked with godaddy previously and never fully used my site to is potential power I believe and I have looked around to find some information. Thanks for the useful tools!

  14. This is an extremely beneficial article and I wish I could have found something like it awhile back. I work as a Realtor in Miami, FL and when I first made my own individual website I was totally confused and backwards as to what a domain and hosting were. I feel this is probably a common trend to many newcomers on the internet. Thank you for the valuable information. Great post!

  15. Cool! My domains and my new site (eventually) are at GoDaddy. It’s good to know there is a recommendation from you for GoDaddy. I guess it give me some peace of mind. 🙂
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..Kennewick Real Estate =-.

  16. Joe,

    Great to hear from you, Hope you and Colleen are doing great.

    I’ve got several hosting packages on Godaddy and several clients who have their hosting there as well. It might be a little harder to navigate than hosting using the familiar CPanel approach. But I find it very powerful and easy to navigate since it is what I first encountered in hosting.

    Just today I was able to create a backup of MYSQL 4.0 database, make a new 5.0 database and restore the 4.0 to the 5.0 without a hitch. It took less than 5 minutes.

    There are a lot who detract from GoDaddy, but I still use it and probably will for some time to come. That said, I’m liking some of the features I find on the CPanel at Bluehost.


  17. Hi there,

    Just wanted to thank you for putting this all down in writing. I wanted to chime in and say that the thing that really makes me angry is when hosting companies register a domain for you but don’t use your contact information. So in fact, *they* are the ones who own your domain, not you! This leads to so many problems because years pass and the hosting company might shut down or become unreachable for some reason, and then customers have no way to manage their domain name because they are not technically the contact person for the domain. I’m sure this would not be a problem with a large, well established company such as godaddy, but I have seen it many times with various smaller companies. Anyhow, I just wish it were policy for domains always to be registered using the information of the actual owner, rather than that of the hosting company.
    .-= Jane Michaels´s last blog ..Because You’re Going to Want to Be Here the Next Time Something Happens Here For the First Time =-.

  18. Jane,

    I’ve heard of that practice. I think it is one of those black hole areas for many knowledge wise. It is possible to login to most hosting companies and change the contact information but most don’t do it. Once the domain works and their site is up it is forgotten, till as you say, they have to move the domain and they don’t have access.

    Anyone reading this should check their domain hosting, to make sure their contact information is up to date. This is actually a yearly ICANN requirement. Email addresses do change as well as contact address. It is good to login and make sure this is up to date. Because when you need it, you need it now.

    Thanks Jane for chiming in on this.


  19. Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to incorporate your service with my small business. Can you send me the full details to my email address?
    .-= Jake Hamilton´s last blog ..Things to Consider in Choosing a Modern Builder Home =-.

  20. Jake,

    I’d love to work with you on your small business site. But I don’t have any details to send you without knowing what you are looking for. It is a bit like saying “I want to buy a car from you, tell me what it costs?”

    It depends on what kind of site work you are looking for as to the details.

    1. Custom site design
    2. Blog theme tweaking
    3. SEO
    4. Site review

    What are you looking for? Than I’ll be glad to shoot you details.