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What’s the difference between a domain name and an email address?

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If you’ve been looking at choosing a website builder, you’ll probably have noticed that many of them offer personalised domains and email addresses. But what is the difference between the two terms, and do you need them?

Domain name

A domain name forms part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and is the address for a webpage. They often end in .com, but can end in any one of the 1500 valid domain extensions, such as .net, .org or .co. 

www.exampledomainname.com 

If a user types your domain name into an internet browser’s search bar, it will take them to your website. It is unique and only refers to your specific site. 

Email address

An email address has a domain name within it, but it is formatted differently. Instead of the www it has a username, and an @ sign instead of the full stop. 

username@exampledomainname.com 

Instead of typing this into a search bar, to contact you, a user will have to use an email server (such as gmail or outlook) and use this address to identify the recipient, just as you would write an address on a letter. 

The confusion

It can be easy to get confused when email accounts and domain names start to look similar. Site’s owners can create subdomains, which use a word instead of the www and are designed to organise and navigate through your site: 

store.exampledomainname.com

You can also place dots in the username of an email, so it would be possible to have an email address that looked like this: 

firstname.lastname@exampledomainname.com

The way to tell the difference is to look for the @ sign, which is the flag for an email address. You will never find a domain name with the @, and you will never find an email address without it. 

So, what does it mean when a website builder offers you a personalised domain as well as personalised emails? Let’s say you own a coffee shop called Caffeine Dreams. If it is available, you could have the domain name:

www.caffeinedreams.com

You would also have email addresses that use the same name:

hello@caffeinedreams.com
support@caffeinedreams.com
careers@caffeinedreams.com

These email addresses will be handled by an email server, not your domain itself, but it looks much more professional for a company to have personalised emails. It raises your credibility as well as making the email address easily recognisable and memorable. 

Go Sitebuilder offers personalised domains with up to five personalised emails, as well as a wide selection of designs to make creating your website hassle-free. Why not try out our 14-day trial today?

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