We have thousands of websites on the Internet today. In order for a website to be visible or accessible, it must be uploaded to a web server. Each website has a web-space that is referred to as a virtual directory on a web server. To distinguish each virtual directory, they have their unique IP address, which is a 12-digit string containing the location and other key details of the website. Since the IP has so many digits which were difficult to memorize, it was necessary to develop a modified name for the IP address; the domain name.
In this article, you are going through the difference between a Domain name and Web hosting.
What Exactly is a Domain Name?
A domain name, also referred to as URL is a string of alphabets that can be used to access a website instead of a complex IP address. This is the name that we type on the address bar to access the specific website. The domain name structure consists of the name and the preferred extension, which is used to identify a website. A good example is that if .gov is a government affiliated website, .edu is used for educational institutions such as the school website. However, the .com extension is universal and available to any person or company wishing to host a website.
Recommended Domain Registrars –
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is essentially a web service that aims to upload / post a web page or website online. Hosting companies offer web space to host the website. They provide the services and technology necessary for the website of an individual or a company to be viewed on the Internet. The web hosting company ensures that your website can be easily viewed through your domain name on the internet.
There are various options of web hosting services you should understand to make a wise decision for your website needs –
- Shared Hosting: This is a very affordable service because it means that you share a variety of factors with other website owners. These are the server software applications and the server itself. You’ve got to share the operating costs of the physical server.
- Website Builders: This web-hosting service is specifically intended for industry beginners. By using the word beginner, we refer to a person who lacks the knowledge and skills necessary to build one. They provide you with an online interface where your website is built and hosted with no additional setup.
- Collocated Hosting: This is a more advanced option mostly preferred by IT companies. Here, you buy a server. This means that you have the full and legit control of the server. In this instance, you are the one to decide what applications and scripts to install.
- Dedicated Hosting: In a dedicated hosting service, you also have control of your server, which means you can fully control its features. However, unlike other web hosting services, you are responsible for the operation costs of the server. Companies that go for this service are those which are in need of a number of system resources and a very high website security.
Let’s scrutinize the difference between a domain name and web hosting.
Is There Any Relationship Between Web hosting and Domain Name?
Actually, the two are quite different. A Domain name is simply a gateway or a route to a specific destination which is the server where your website is hosted. It stands for the IP address which in return directs online users to the exact location of your website files in the server.
A web host is a computer or the server giving accommodation or space to host your website.
Web hosting companies are responsible for managing online space/computer/server. They charge you to keep your company website hosted or uploaded for viewing by users. Web hosting companies are firms with pre-configured servers waiting to be leased out to persons/companies willing to host their websites.
However, web hosting and Domain name are linked or brought together by the sense that most web hosting companies will require a domain name from you when registering so as to be able to host your website. In fact, some companies will offer you a platform to create and register your domain name and later host it for you.
In Web Development, which is necessary – Domain Name or Web Hosting?
Among the many necessities when building a website, Domain Name and Web hosting are very crucial. This is because these are two different but interrelated entities. What do I mean? Any website must have a unique identification. You must have a name/alphabetical string that is unique distinguishing your website from the others. This is the Domain Name. This is the main reason why you are advised to seek expert advice when drafting/choosing a domain name for your website. These experts are Domain name registrars that will offer you a platform to create your name. They also give you recommendations on the unique domain names available to make your Domain name unique, simple but cover a broad function of your website purpose.
After creating your Domain name, you will require the services of a web host to give you/lease you some space in their server. You choose the web host services according to the type of website you want to be hosted. Some of these services are Dedicated hosting, Collocated, Shared hosting and Website builders. The domain name and web hosting become two inseparable entities because of the fact that some web hosting companies will help you purchase a domain name that will sell your company website in case you have none or have a poorly constructed Domain Name.
Is it Mandatory to Purchase a Domain Name and Web Hosting Together?
The answer is no. You may prefer to purchase a domain name from one company then hire a different web hosting company to host the website for you under the Domain name you provide. This is mostly when you have two companies that you trust on specific services may be because of special issues or affordability.
Nevertheless, most web hosting companies today offer hosting services and at the same time guide you in purchasing a Domain name. Since they are the hosts, they are in a better position to advise you on the best Domain name to market your company website.
Can I Relocate My Domain to another Company?
Usually, when you register the domain name, you possess the right to utilize it as well as transfer it anywhere you desire.
For instance, let’s say you bought your domain name from GoDaddy and also bought your hosting from Bluehost. Now you wish to relocate your domain name to this new host, you can simply transfer it by following some specific instructions.
Can I Change Web Hosting Company Without Changing the Domain Name?
Let’s explain it with an example, GoDaddy offers domain name and web hosting services, so that you can buy both from them. Later, you decided to change your site’s hosting to Bluehost. For the purpose of changing the hosting, all you have to do is transferring your site’s data and files. Once it has been done, you need to configure your domain name settings to point it to your new hosting server.
Now, you might be able to know the difference between web hosting and a domain name. If you have found article useful and informative, kindly share it on social media platforms and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.