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About Domain Names

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Domain Name Importance

You need two things to have a successful website and professional email: a domain name and a hosting account.

  • Domain Name -Your domain name is what people type into their browser to find your website. A website's address is a unique string of identifying numbers called an IP address that is not easy for most people to remember. Your domain name functions as a memorable link or shortcut to the IP address, making it easier to get to your website without needing to remember its numeric address.

  • Hosting Services -Website hosts are companies that house, serve, and maintain files for many websites. A website hosting company is like a shopping center with space for many individual stores. A hosting account is like leasing a space in that shopping center where you can set up a shop. Website hosting companies let you lease space on their web servers to store your website files and make your website available for your visitors to view. Website hosting enables your website to be accessible via the internet.

Without a domain name, your website visitors will find it difficult to get to your website. Without a hosting account, there won't be a website to see or go to.

Bluehost offers both domain names and hosting so you can easily manage your email, website, and domains—all in one place. You can register new domain names and transfer domains you already own within your account.

You can do a domain search and check the domain names available and how much they cost. Also, check out the hosting packages we offer and their differences.

Please note: Once you have registered a domain name, it cannot be canceled for a refund. Domain name registrations are non-refundable.



Using a Domain You Already Own

If you already own a domain name registered elsewhere, you can still use it with your Bluehost account. You'll need to change your domain's settings to point to Bluehost. To do that, contact your registrar or log in to your account with your current registrar and change the name servers to:

Bluehost Nameservers
ns1.bluehost.com 162.88.60.37
ns2.bluehost.com 162.88.61.37

This tells your registrar that Bluehost is now the hosting provider. It does not move website content; that is something you'll do later in your control panel. Once that's been done, every host and internet service provider will take around 24-48 hours for the nameservers to associate with your domain. This is called DNS propagation.

To learn more about DNS propagation, please see DNS Propagation.

Once a domain has been pointed Bluehost servers, there are two ways you can use the domain on your account. You can transfer the domain's registration to your Bluehost account, or you can assign the domain name to your account without transferring the registration.

Domain names are typically renewed once a year and sometimes for multiple years at a time. It can be easy to lose track of where your domains are registered when it's time for renewal, especially if your domain and hosting are in separate places. Remember, you need both a hosting provider and a domain registrar to have an active website and a working email. For this reason, many of our customers like to transfer domains to their Bluehost account to keep things simple. Here, you can keep everything on one bill, buy domain names for multiple years, and set up your domains and hosting to renew automatically; there is no need to worry about a lapse in service or, worse -- losing your domain registration altogether.

Note:

Registering a New Domain Name

Your domain name is the name of your website and acts as your address on the web. Viewers will use your domain to find your website, which is why it's also a good idea to register your domain name along with common misspellings and various other domain extensions— just in case. If you own johnsphotography.com, see if johnsphotos.com and johns. Photos are available to catch users who misspell your domain name. We make it easy to see which domain names are available for registration.

Shorter domains are typically better since they are easier to type out and remember. If your business name is long, you might try registering one domain for your website and a shorter version of the domain name just for email. Email addresses should be simple enough to be written out and spoken aloud without too much effort.

Your domain should be unique so you won't be confused about another website or business, but simple so it's easy to remember. Avoid things like hyphens or unusual spelling so people can still find you online.

You can also set up redirects on your hosting account so that if someone visits a misspelled or short version of your domain, they can be redirected to the correct site.

Note: Customers who have a free domain included in their hosting package but chose the option "I'll create a domain name later" upon account creation can still claim their free domain name by contacting our support. Customers who haven't claimed their free domain usually have one temporary domain name in their account in this format: abc.xyz.mybluehost.me.

Domain Name Privacy

Every domain name has publicly available information about its owner associated with it. For instance, the WHOIS database makes the owner's contact information (name, contact number, email address, and home address) publicly accessible online.

The rules and laws surrounding domain names require every domain name owner to disclose their contact information. But most people wouldn't want their personal contact information available to the public where scammers, hackers, and anyone else can see it. This is what makes Domain Privacy so valuable.

Domain Privacy is a service Bluehost offers to hide your personal contact information from the public WHOIS database and replace it with generic Bluehost contact information instead. You are still the domain name owner, but your personal contact information can be kept safe.

Domain Privacy protects you from:

  • Spam and other unsolicited emails
  • Unwanted phone calls and postal mail
  • Identity theft
  • Fraudulent domain transfers

Summary

A domain name serves as a memorable link to your website's IP address, making it easier for people to find your site. If you own a domain registered elsewhere, you can still use it with Bluehost by updating its settings to point to Bluehost's nameservers. You can transfer your domain registration to Bluehost for simplified management or assign the domain to your Bluehost account without transferring registration. Keeping domain registrations and hosting under one account can help streamline renewals and reduce the risk of service lapses or losing domain registration. When registering a new domain name, consider its uniqueness, simplicity, and potential variations to capture misspellings or alternative extensions, enhancing your website's findability. Shorter domains are preferable to ensure ease of use and recall.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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