If you’ve ever bought a website address, the likelihood is that you’ve heard the terms ‘domain’ and ‘hosting’. They’re similar, but slightly different things, and you’ll need both if you want to run a website.
A domain is your web address, usually ending in .com or co.uk (although others such as .co or even .design are now available). This is usually sold for a pretty low rate, around £10-£20 a year, with lots of providers offering deals on the first year from as low as £1.
Hosting is how you manage that domain, for example when you log into GoDaddy or one.com you’ll see options for installing WordPress or setting up redirects to other domains or managing your custom email address. (If you use Squarespace or Shopify, then this is your hosting provider). Hosting is more expensive, around £10 per month, but it really depends what features you add to it (for example, I pay more so that I can host multiple sub-domains to build client sites on).
Once you have one domain with hosting, you can buy more domains that redirect to your site. For example, I could have chloeford.com redirect to chloeford.co.uk (my main site) to ensure people always find it.
It’s also a very good idea to buy more domains with addresses you might want to use in the future to ensure no one else nabs them. Might be a good idea if you’ve got a future business name in mind!