Understanding a split hosting architecture
A hosting account can host both your website and your email. However, it's sometimes useful to split these two functions between two hosting accounts, so that one hosting account hosts your website, and another hosts your email. This configuration is termed "split hosting" below.
Split hosting might be useful if your website is hosted by a third party, but email hosting is not available there. Or, in reverse, if your email is hosted by a third party, but website hosting is not available there. Split hosting might also be useful as a temporary measure, while you migrate your website and/or email to a new hosting account.
Split hosting costs extra, as two hosting accounts must be paid for. The extra expense can be worth it, for either business or technical reasons - however, if you don't have a business or technical reason to run a split architecture, we advise against it, due to the added complexity and management overhead.
Split hosting uses both a primary and secondary hosting account. The primary account is the hosting account that is pointed to by the nameserver settings of your domain name. The secondary account is the hosting account that is pointed to by the DNS settings of your primary hosting account.
Note: As the secondary account is dependent upon settings configured by the primary account, the primary account is needed if the secondary account is in use. It's not possible to operate a secondary hosting account without also operating a primary hosting account, even if the primary hosting account is not used for any other purpose. If you close your primary account, your secondary account will go offline.
Warning: Incorrectly setting your nameserver or DNS settings may cause your website and/or email to go offline, possibly for 48 hours or more. Website traffic may be lost, emails may bounce, and other services may also be affected. We recommend consulting a networking professional before making changes to your hosting environment.
- Whitepaper: changing your nameservers