What is Domain Name and Web Hosting (Beginner’s Guide)

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Are you thinking of building a website but confused between “Domain Name” and “Web Hosting”?

If yes, then you have come to the right place. We have seen many beginners struggle to differentiate between a domain name and web hosting.

A person needs to have a good understanding of these terms to build a robust website. While these terms are nothing for a pro, a newbie can get stuck while getting the clarity of the two & their purpose.

It is why today we bring you this beginner-friendly guide that will help you understand the difference between web hosting and domain name in the easiest way possible.

Keep reading and get all your doubts cleared.

What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is an address on your website on the World Wide Web. It is what people type in their browser’s URL bar to access your website. And it is the only way to do so.

Ideally, a Domain Name has two primary elements, a second-level domain (SLD) and a top-level domain (TLD), isolated by a dot.

An SLD or second-level domain is the name of your website, whereas a TLD or top-level domain is the extension of it. For example, in XYX.com, XYX is SLD and .com is TLD.

You can choose both SLD and TLD for your website. Various online platforms allow you to purchase the domain name of your choice. All you need to do is make the relevant payment.

Domain names are so crucial because they are unique web addresses. No other person in the world can have a domain name owned by you.

Why There is a Need For Domain Names?

Like the real world, the Internet is a world of computers. As we all have names to get differentiated from others, computers also have names to get identified over the internet. And these names are named IP Addresses.

An IP Address is further a combination of numerals divided by dots. For example, 77.865.57.1.

Machines or computers have no problem in identifying & remembering these values. However, humans can not remember such complex numbers for more than one website.

This reason led to the invention of Domain Names. Instead of having a string of numbers separated by multiple dots, it has words that are easier to remember.

It is why when you want to load a website, all you need to do is write its name in words instead of a complex string of numerals.

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is a place where all the data related to your website is stored. It is practically like a home to your website.

In Layman’s terms, your web hosting is the house whose address your domain name shows or points to. One can not have a website without web hosting.

Web Hosting is nothing but renting a space. But instead of the human world, you are doing it in the virtual world.

Why is Web Hosting Needed?

Web hosting is like a giant computer that stores all the files, folders, and other data related to your website.

So, whenever someone tries to access your website via your domain name, its IP address redirects to your web hosting, and the giant computer at your hosting sends the files & data requested by that particular person.

Web Hosting smartly transmits only those requested files, keeping the other ones at bay. This boosts the quality of your website and makes it more user-friendly.

Thus, you require good web hosting to manage all the data of your website in one place & have easy access.

There are also free web hosting providers but I recommend you choose paid hosting. You can check here the difference between free and paid web hosting providers.

What is the Difference Between Domain Name and Web Hosting

Domain name & web hosting are required to build a website. You will find that most of the time they are bought together. It is why many people are unable to differentiate between them.

Below we have listed the crucial differences the two hold.

  • Your domain name points to the storage location of your website. Your web hosting is that storage location as it contains physically stored data of your website.
  • You can not have web hosting until you have purchased a domain name, whereas you can buy a domain name without buying web hosting or even creating a website.

Where To Buy Domain Name & Web Hosting?

You can keep your domain name whatever you like. All you need to do is find a domain registrar that will sell it to you.

Whereas for web hosting, one can create a server to store his website. But most of the people who own websites can not do it. To help such people, various hosting providers offer different types of hosting services like shared hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, etc.

Generally, a single service provider offers both domain names & web hosting. However, this is not mandatory.

You can purchase them from different providers if you want. But getting it all from one has the following advantages:

  • It is the more uncomplicated method, especially if you are a newbie
  • Connecting your domain name to your web hosting is more straightforward under the same service provider
  • Managing your domain and hosting is highly convenient under one provider after it is up & running.

Below we have listed some of the top web hosting & domain name providers.

Top Domain Name and Web Hosting Providers:

You can get both the domain name and web hosting from the same company as mentioned below.

Can A Website Be Moved From One Web Hosting To Another?

If down the road you decide to move your website to another hosting, you can do it without any interruptions. All you need to do is transfer all the files and database.

You do not have to change your domain name as you own it. However, you do need to change its settings and point them to your new web hosting server.

Summing Up

Websites are necessary to survive in the world of technology. And if you aspire to build one, there are some things that you need to clarify if you are not from a technical background.

We hope you are now clear on the difference between a Domain Name & Web Hosting. But if you still have any queries feel free to ask in the comments below.

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