These days everyone can be found on the internet! Whether or not you own a business related blog, or perhaps have a good idea for a start-up, owning your own website seems like all the rage these days. Literally, everyone owns a website or wants to own one! Why you ask? People own websites for many reasons.
Sometimes people like to blog about aspects of their lives such as their professional life. Others own beautiful, intricate, well-organized websites dedicated to their business. You might be a blogger, and blogging might be your business too!
You won't believe the amount of work people put into their blogs about whatever interest they have, sharing content almost daily. Some businesses are doing much better thanks to their blogs (which of course are hosted on websites).
Perhaps you too would like to own your own website! If you are not very internet savvy, you may need to know some basic things like what a website is, and how it works. That's where our topic, namely 'The differences between Domain and Hosting' comes in.
To own a website, you need both, a Domain name and a web hosting service. It helps to have a developed website too. But what is a web hosting service? And what is a Domain name? Are both these things the same?
Here is a little more about Domains or Domain names, as they are commonly referred to. A Domain name is also known as the name of the website. It comes after the 'www' in a web address. If a person tried to find you online, they could do so using your Domain name. Did you know that buying a Domain name is how we create an online presence?
There are two kinds of websites, namely paid and unpaid. Some great examples of free websites that can be used to post your own content (or entire blogs for the enthusiastic ones, as mentioned above) are www.weebly.org, www.wix.com, and www.squarespace.com. These same websites also have additional paid-for features, that one can access if they subscribe to their paid plans. These websites allow you to create your own website using pre-designed templates, and add widgets and other elements to enhance it's functionality (for e.g. social media buttons, shopping cart, photo galleries). So the next logical question on anyone's mind is 'Do I need Web Hosting if I have a domain name?' or 'is it not enough to just own a Domain name?' To own your own website, you ACTUALLY need both. You need both a web hosting account as well as a Domain name. (While buying a domain name only gives you the right to own that particular domain. You need a web hosting account to store your website's files). Ordinarily one would think of Domain names and web hosting as two completely different services. However, it is important to note that both of them are required to create your own website!
To understand the connection between Domain names and web hosting consider the following example. If you happen to be opening a new store, for which you need a name, staff, location and products as well, remember that the same goes for a website.
The four basic things that are required to set up a website are its domain name, web server, maintenance staff and content. In the world of hosting the site name, which Is also otherwise referred to as the domain name, is the first thing that you need to decide on before moving on to anything else.
Domain vs. Hosting
To explain further, a Domain name system is quite similar to a huge address book. A Domain name system constantly updates itself and stores information related to various domain names that may be assigned to different entities.
Every Domain name has the address of the web hosting service behind it. Since a Domain name is said to only be the website's address, web hosting is said to be the storage that stores all the website's data.
Some of the advantages to buying your own domain name is that by doing so, your website will get its branding. You might have figured out by now that web hosting is essential to building a website. Also remember that without having a Domain name, a website cannot be found. Buying a custom domain also ensures that your website will have an official name that is easy for visitors to remember. After choosing a marketable domain name, you need to register it. Upon doing so, you need to find a good web hosting service. A web host provides the space where you share your website's content, like images, text and video. There are a variety of web hosting services i.e. free, shared, VPS, dedicated servers, and cloud hosting.
The concept of both Domain name and Web Hosting Service must be clearer now. All websites on the internet need web hosting. Web hosting companies serve and store websites. It needs to be mentioned that Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites work. While it is impossible to find a website without a domain name, it is on the other hand impossible to build a website without a web hosting service.
Consider then the key differences between a Domain name and a Web Hosting Service in a tabular form.
Difference Between Domain and Hosting in Tabular Form
|Parameters of Comparison
|A website is often identified by its domain name. In other words, a domain is an address where people can access your website.
|Web hosting does as the name suggests it hosts a website. In other words, it makes your website accessible to the world wide web.
|Domain names are known to recognize networks, services even computers. Web servers identify these names in the DNS
|Hosting is having an online space to house your website. It is what allows for website publication on the internet.
|It represents an internet protocol address, a URL to find a website on the internet.
|it makes sure the computer keeps working and the internet connection stays alive all the time.
|A good example of a website is www.Facebook.com
|A few examples of web hosting services are Blue host and Hostinger.
What is a Domain?
A Domain, rather a Domain name, is a computer's unique name on the internet. This name is what differentiates it from other systems on the network. It cannot be shared between different websites. Every website has a URL, which is also called a Uniform Resource Locator. The Domain name is the part of the website address that identifies an organization, a computer, or anything else on the internet.
To explain simply, a Domain name is the website's address that is typed into the web browser's URL bar. If a website is a house, then the domain name will be the address of the house.
Again, a domain is the address of your website. Before setting up a website you need a Domain. A Domain name is not something physical that you can touch or see. It is a string of characters that give your website an identity. Some examples of Domain names are Google.com and Linux.com.
For example, consider the website www.weebly.com. Most Domain names are in a server.organization.type format. The name of the organization falls in the middle of the Domain name. The first part constitutes the server which holds and transfers files for the address. This is also the 'www' or worldwide web part.
The last part is the top-level domain, which denotes the organization. There are many types for e.g. 'com' for commercial entities, 'edu' for educational institutions, and 'org' for non-profit organizations.
A Domain is a name that is registered in the DNS (Domain Name System). It is universally identified by web servers and online organizations through the Internet. For potential customers, the first reference they have to a business or organization’s online presence is its domain name.
Some of the advantages of using a well-chosen Domain name are:
- A properly chosen Domain name has improved search engine rankings.
- Besides being easier to remember, well-chosen names are not likely to be misspelled by users, resulting in fewer errors during a web search involving the use of your chosen Domain name.
- Properly chosen Domain names can help tell people about your business while helping to establish a brand identity.
- Well-chosen Domain names can help to add professional credibility to your business.
- A well-chosen Domain name might help to establish your business as forward -thinking and provide visibility for your brand.
- Appropriate domain names also serve as a great call to action, for both new and established websites.
What is Hosting?
Web hosting can be best described as the business of providing access and storage for websites. A web hosting service is a type of internet hosting service. It allows people and companies to make their website available on the world wide web.
Companies that provide web hosting are often referred to as web hosts. Hence a web hosting service is a type of internet hosting service that hosts websites for people. These clients store their website on the server. The server in turn feeds web pages to the internet.
A web hosting service also provides all of the services required for them to create a website and maintain it. The web hosting service also makes the website accessible on the world wide web. In short, web hosting is the business of maintaining files, as well as housing and serving them for one or more websites.
Good examples of web hosts are Bluehost, DreamHost and A2 Hosting. These hosts make the files that make up a website (images, code, etc.) available for viewing online.
A basic example can be used to explain what a web hosting service does. A web host is a computer where people store their websites. Think of it as a house where you store all your stuff. But instead of storing clothes and furniture, you store computer files such as images, videos, documents etc.
Some of the functions of a web hosting service
- Domain Registration- so you can buy and manage domain and hosting from the same provider
- Website Registration- Drag and Drop web editing tools to easily create websites
- Email Hosting - to send/receive emails from email@your domain.com
- Basic Hardware (server setup) and server setup (CMS, server OS etc.) support
Main Differences Between Domain and Hosting In Points
- The address of the website that is typed into the URL bar of the web browser is called Domain Name. Alternatively, web hosting is a place where all the files of your website are stored.
- Web-hosting is the place where the files are stored physically whereas a Domain name is the address of the location of that file.
- A website cannot be created without buying a Domain name. On the other hand, if you are doing it for free, it is possible to own a free domain name (you don't have to create a website in this case)
- To build your own website, both a web hosting account and a Domain name have to be created.
- A good example of a website is www.facebook.com, whereas a good example of an online web hosting service is Blue Host and Hostinger.
Most people are aware of what a website is. Most people, however, are not aware of what Domain names and Web-hosting are. It is a fact that they are two different things. People who own their own websites, blogs and other content on the internet are however likely to find these concepts familiar.
They might also be aware that purchasing a domain name and a web hosting service is very advantageous to entrepreneurs and others (like blog owners mentioned above) seeking to publicize their business.
Bloggers who use free blogging services like Blogger.com are usually compelled to make their own Domain name. Web hosting, on the other hand, is not compulsory. Apparently, Domain and Hosting are two different services that work together to keep the website running.