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Do I need hosting?

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Do I need hosting?


Postby James » August 28th, 2020, 5:04 pm

I have my own domain name that I use primarily for email. In the past I've had a website mainly for photos, but google etc have taken over and the website now lies fallow.
Sometime back in the distant past I was able to direct my email to google, which I use as my email client ( directs to Gmail)
But I've just had another bill in for the hosting that I no longer use and was wondering if I actually need it. I think the mail redirection was done through the hosting firm [eukhost] and I'm wondering whether if I drop the hosting, I'll lose the email?
The domain name is registered through a separate registrar and is not related to the hosting company.
Can anyone who knows about these things tell me if I still need to pay for the hosting I no longer use before I do anything silly?

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Re: Do I need hosting?


Postby gryffron » August 28th, 2020, 5:38 pm

1) Website. If you stop paying, your website will be removed. There are many free options (usually with ads) if you want it to stay up for free. If you don't care, it will simply be removed.

2) Email. A bit harder. Depends how it is setup

It matters where your mail is actually stored.

It could be:
Domain name ->(redirects to)-> gmail mailbox
Domain name >(redirects to)-> Host mailbox -> read via gmail client app

Obviously, you want the former if you want to remove the hosting from the equation. Check on the domain providers control panel. You should be able to setup redirection to your gmail account from there (if it isn't already), and thus remove any need for the hosting.
WARNING: Changing from host mailbox to gmail mailbox might lose everything in it. Make sure you backup/save any important emails before switching over.


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Re: Do I need hosting?


Postby Mike4 » August 28th, 2020, 6:24 pm

James wrote:The domain name is registered through a separate registrar and is not related to the hosting company.

Not a lot of people realise (although you appear to have perhaps twigged), but domain name hosting and website hosting are two different services generally rolled together into one service provider, but can be obtained separately from different firms.

The domain name registration is a separate thing again from name hosting. The name host is the company who bills you for the domain registration and renewal with Nominet (for .uk domains), and enters your domain name on their name servers which tell the world where the web server is where your website files live.

So provided you mean you have separate name hosting from web hosting, you can cancel the web hosting and need to keep the name hosting going.

IANAE but the bones of this I think are broadly correct.

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Re: Do I need hosting?


Postby James » August 28th, 2020, 10:44 pm

Thanks Gryffon and Mike4
I've had a dig around with my domain provider (123Reg) and found there are some cryptic (to me) connections to Google mail under the Advanced DNS tab. I think this is what I used to direct the email to Gmail 10+ years ago (hence why I've forgotten what I did at the time).
So I *think* I'm safe in just dropping the web hosting I'm paying for (and no longer using) at eUKHost, without affecting email to, which should still show up on Gmail.

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Re: Do I need hosting?


Postby nicster » September 3rd, 2020, 9:41 am

Just to provide a bit more info and detail on this sort of setup.

Yes registering a domain name and hosting services are separate, but can be done by the same company. In your case its separate, which is generally a better idea (might want to move hosting).

When you have separate domain reg and hosting, you use DNS settings (at the domain company) to change the nameserver to point to the hosting company. So your website/email can be found. As by default, you will probably getting a mailbox with your hosting.

Now gmail gives a bit more flexibility with email. You can use it as a client to look at that mailbox at your hosting company, or you can have it be the mailbox.

Now setting up gmail to be your mailbox, can be done in a couple of ways. The typical way would be to not have mailboxes with your hosting company, and add DNS entries to point email to gmail. These are MX records and will look like ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

Now if you don't need website hosting, you would remove the nameservers pointing to the hosting company with your domain company (resetting them to default domain namesservers). Then add the google MX records with the domain company in their DNS settings.



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