What’s The Difference Between Domain And Hosting? (Beginner’s Guide)
We usually get a ton of messages from our readers to explain what is the difference between a domain name and a web hosting ? Wondering why these two often come together? Most beginners have these thoughts, while some even don’t know that they’re separate things.
To run a website, you need three things: domain name, web hosting, and a developed website. But what’s a domain name? What’s a web hosting? Aren’t them the same? In this article, we’ll explain what domain and hosting are, how they work, and how they are different from one another.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is your website’s address on the internet where people can access your website. It is something that internet users type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your site.
Domain name is not something physical that you can touch or see. It is a string of characters that give your website an identity. Examples of domain name: Google.com, Alexa.com, Linux.org, eLearningEuropa.info, as well as abijita.com
All domain names are unique. This means there can be only one google.com in the world. You cannot register a name once it is registered by others (governed by ICANN).
Now let’s get into the detailed explanation.
Internet is basically a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called IP Address. This IP address is a combination of numbers separated with dots. Typically, IP addresses look like this:
Domain names serve to identify Internet resources, such as computers, networks, and services, with a text-based label that is easier to memorize than the numerical addresses used in the Internet protocols. A domain name may represent entire collections of such resources or individual instances.
Computers have no problem identifying and remembering these numbers. However, it is impossible for humans to remember and use these numbers to connect to websites on the internet. To solve this problem, domain names were invented.
A domain name can have words which makes it easy to remember website addresses. Now if you wanted to visit a website on the internet, you don’t need to type a string of numbers. Instead, you can type in an easy to remember domain name, for example, abijita.com.
What Is A Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives.
A good way to think about this is if the domain name was the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house that address points to. All websites on the internet, need web hosting.
When someone enters your domain name in a browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. This computer contains your website’s files, and it sends those files back to the users’ browsers.
Web hosting companies specialize in storing and serving websites. They offer different types of hosting plans to their customers. See our article on WordPress hosting to learn more about choosing the right hosting for your website.
More often than not, the term “web hosting” refers to the company that rent out their computer/servers to store your website and provide Internet connectivity so that other users can access to the files on your website.
How Both Are Related?
Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites possible. Basically a domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files.
Without domain names, it will not be possible for people to find your website and without web hosting you cannot build a website.