It is where you keep your domain and it does not have to be the same place as your website or email. In fact, in my opinion it should never be.
The key to your website and possibly your email is your domain. At the risk of being patronising that is the name followed by .co.uk, .com, or a wide selection of other endings which generally should reflect the nature of your website. Just quickly if there is a .co or .com involved then you would normally be a business. If a .org then something non-profit making, but there are loads of these now, some more specific than others. You could have .london or .build, there is a long list of them here with my favourite domain service 123-reg.
Before we can build a website for you we will need a domain name to work with. If you don't already have one then we can arrange that for you. We will ensure it is registered in your name and address so that it is 'your' domain name. This seems obvious but so many companies don't work that way.
The domain name needs to be 'Parked'. This is where the domain will be hosted online. We use 123-reg as this company have proved reliable and always provide free access to the domain settings. Watch out as many domain hosting services charge a fee to allow you access to the DNS settings.
We would also suggest you set up your own account with whichever service you elected to use. This ensures that ultimately you have control over your domain name. Why is this important?
Back a couple of steps. The domain name can be set to 'point' to another server with possibly a completely different website hosting company. It can be switched to point where ever you like so you'll be able to move your website to another website company for instance, maybe I shouldn't be telling you that, but it is important that you have control.
It is all too frequent that a client comes to me to sort out their website because they can't access it and they can't get hold of their web developer, they have vanished. So the next thing I ask is where is the domain name, "I don't know, they sorted that out for us". This generally means they don't have access to their domain name and now they can't get in touch with the person who can.
You domain name becomes your online business identity so it is essential that no matter what happens you have complete access to it. If the above scenario sounds familiar you are not alone. Assuming the domain was registered in your name then you can provide proof of your identity and ownership to the domain service (we can look that up) involved you will probably be ok. If it wasn't registered in your name you could have a problem getting it back.
The lesson, keep your domain separate from everything else and keep it in your control. If you are having this problem we can probably help.