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Email Hosting vs. Web Hosting

In a nutshell, the web host serves up webpages when someone types yourdomain.com into a web browser, whereas an email host owns the server from which content is fetched when an email is sent to yourname@yourdomain.com. The line between email and web hosting has become blurred in recent years, as more providers offer combo packages that include free hosting for your email accounts with the purchase of a web hosting plan. Fortunately, the roles and responsibilities happening behind the scenes are actually pretty straightforward. Your website, domain, and related email accounts are three separate entities that can live in different places.

  • Web hosting is a service that enables your website to live on the internet and be accessible to web browsers. Your web content is hosted on a server.
  • Email hosting is a service wherein your email content is stored on a server. It can be the same server that’s hosting your website content, a server managed by another host, or two different servers managed by the same hosting company.
  • Domain hosting is a tangentially related service worth noting for the sake of clarity. Your domain is the memorable name given to your website, e.g., HostingAdvice.com. You register that name with a domain registrar, but for that domain to be online, you need domain hosting. More often than not, you’ll get domain and web hosting in one fell swoop — and many folks knock out domain, email, and web hosting needs with one plan/provider.