Web 101: The Difference Between Domain and Hosting

on the Online World

We are often asked to explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting.  Most people don’t know that these are actually two different things. In this blog, we will explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

So, let’s get started.

What is a Web Hosting?

I will give you an example. Let’s say your Web Hosting is like your storage room. But instead of storing your furniture or personal things in there, you store computer files like HTML, CSS, PHP, documents, galleries, copy, etc.

The term web hosting refers to a company that rents a memory space in their servers to store your website data and provides you with Internet connectivity so that other users can access those files and view the live site.

Here are some examples of Web Hosting Companies:

www.godaddy.com

www.siteground.com

www.hostgator.com

What’s A Domain?

A domain is the name given to the address of your website. This is a string of characters that give your website an identity. Examples of domain name: www.google.com, www.hitedigital.com

All domain names are unique. This means there can be only one www.hitedigital.com in the world. You cannot register a name once it’s registered by others.

To own a domain name, you need to register it with a domain registrar such as GoDaddy or Namecheap.

Domain Name vs. Web Hosting

To simplify it: A domain name, is the name of the address of your warehouse. Hosting on the other hand, is the actual space at the storage room where you keep  your furniture.

The number one reason why a person gets confused is because most domain registrars nowadays also offer web hosting services. Some hosting companies offer a free domain with the purchase of a hosting. Most hosting companies can register a domain name for their users. This makes the process easier for everyone.

Should you buy domain name and hosting from the same company?

In my case, I usually register my domains with the same hosting provider because this way you will be able to have access to both on the same place. This will allow you to be more organized with your website information.

Conclusion

It is important that you understand how hosting and domain relate to each other.  Registering a domain and hosting a website are two key steps that can be separate, but can also be performed using a single platform.

Let’s recap what those two concepts mean and how they are related:

  • Registering a domain only means you’re claiming ownership of an URL, which is something you can do without a working website.
  • Once you have a functional website, you can link it to any domain you own (or vice versa).

We hope this article helped you learn the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

Luis Montealegre
Sr. Web Designer and Brand Architect

Designing is my passion. I care deeply about creating world-class, useful and beautiful products that help people and make a difference. User experience is central to everything I do. I like to be involved at different stages of a digital project, from the seed of the idea, through to sketches, design and even the front-end and WordPress build.

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