Domain and hosting are the two integral parts of the website building process. A website is not entirely operative without the domain name and hosting. Since both the services work together, it’s confusing for beginners to understand the discrepancies between a domain name and website hosting services. A domain name is a specific address to locate the visibility of an online organization. Web hosting is a service that helps you run a website on the internet.
Before creating a website, it is essential to know more about the domain and hosting relationship, how they are connected and how these services differ from one another. Here’s a quick summary of the topics that we highlighted in this guide- how is a domain name different from web hosting and a website, how to buy a domain and hosting from the same company?
What is a Domain Name?
A Domain name refers to unique alphanumeric characters that identify a network domain or act as an internet resource name comprehended by web servers and other web-based organizations that communicate over the internet. A domain name is the website’s address that users type in the URL bar of a web browser to access the website. Domain names are associated with several networking contexts and are primarily used for addressing purposes on the internet. It consists of two parts characterized by a dot. The first section of the domain name is the brand name, and the second half is the domain extension, e.g., google.com.
Domain names are mainly classified into three categories TLD, ccTLD, and sTLD.
A Top-Level Domain is a generic domain extension placed at the highest position of a domain name system. There are lots of TLDs available on the internet, widely popular ones are .com, .org, .net, .info etc.
Country Code Top-Level Domain is specifically directed at a country’s name e.g.-.ind for India, .uk for the United Kingdom, etc. This domain name is restricted within the country.
Sponsored Top-Level Domain is another TLD category that represents a specific community or organization under the domain extension. For example, “abcd2021.edu” has TLD top-level domain primarily focusing on the educational spaces and institutions. Each domain has a unique web address. You can register a custom domain name to specify the nature of your website.
What Does a Web Hosting Mean?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to host a site that is accessible through the world wide web platform. It’s a storage place allocated by the hosting provider on a web server to store all your website files and contents. It’s a service that makes the website’s content (images, HTML codes, and other data) accessible for viewing online.
Web hosting is equivalently essential to a domain name for the online presence of your website. Suppose you are in the process of creating a site. In that case, it’s essential to choose a reliable hosting provider and appropriate hosting plan for the smooth functioning of your website, specifically for business organizations. It not only provides room to store the website contents but also regulates the bandwidth speed, optimization of the software, database management, server maintenance, adding plugins, and other issues.
With the development of technology, various types of web hosting services are available in the online market as per the customer’s website requirements. These are a few popular web hosting services mentioned here:
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
How Domain and Hosting Works?
Before elaborating on how a domain name works, you need to understand the basics of the internet protocol and domain name system.
Every server and website on the internet is denoted by a series of numbers connected to a network known as IP addresses that look like 220.127.116.11. So, we use the domain name as a map to locate the right web address. In this case, the DNS domain name system acts as the rig of specialized servers to connect the accurate IP address to the right domain name. That’s why a host or a website owner can use a domain name as an alternate IP address that will direct it to your website. The process by which an IP address is converted to the domain name and vice versa is known as Domain Name System (DNS). When you type into the domain name of the browser, it sends a signal to the DNS. Then DNS will search for the IP address related to that domain name and forward it to the system where all the files are stored and associated with the website. This way, it will fetch your website’s data and deliver it back to the browser, which will show your site to the user that searched with your domain name.
A website is a compilation of several files. To manage all the contents, such as media files, codes, software, and databases, you need storage space to render your website properly. Now, it’s the responsibility of the web hosting provider to provide the results to users. So hosting makes your website visible to the users over the internet, but the domain name system plays a crucial role that connects the web browser to the correct server that contains your web files.
How Domain Name & Hosting Are Correlated?
A domain name and web hosting share technical differences though they are relatively paired with each other. Without the coordination of both domain name and hosting, a website is not fully operational. By registering a website domain name won’t give you access to the website. In simple words, a domain name is a registered address of the place, and hosting is a location for your website. So without the home, your address seems to be meaningless. Thus, after buying web hosting services, you get access to store your web files on the server of that provider. Once you buy a domain name and register it with an approved domain registrar company under the certification of ICANN (Internet Corporation For Names & Numbers), you need to store everything in a location, i.e., a web server. It is evident that without registering a domain name, anyone can’t find your website address. Similarly, without hosting your website on the server, it won’t be visible to internet users.
What are the Differences Between a Domain Name, URL & Website?
A website consists of several files such as HTML codes, images, databases, and software. It reflects the online identity of a brand or organization. Whereas, Domain name is the URL or address of that website. Though URL and domain name look similar, still they are different from each other. Key considerations of URL vs domain name:
- A domain name is a specific address or actual name of a website, for example- “abcd2021.com”. On the other side, URL refers to the entire path of the web address such as https://www.abcd2021.com/blog.
- URL meaning an accurate internet address to find a specific webpage, and it contains the domain name. It instructs your web browser to locate the particular page with the help of certain protocols, i.e., HTTP & HTTPS, and the last section directs your web browser to land on the page you mentioned, such as Blog, About, & Contacts, etc.
Buying Domain Name & Hosting From The Same Company: Pros & Cons
Getting a domain and hosting the website on the internet isn’t difficult. There are various cheapest domain hosting companies available in the market that offer you free domain hosting and web hosting.
SiteGround is one of the considerable and trustworthy companies that offer an extensive range of web hosting and domain hosting plans at an affordable cost. If you purchase the domain and hosting from the same company, the setup method is comparatively easier. So let’s look at the major pros and cons of buying a domain and hosting from the same company:
- Undisputed support from one source
- No extra configuration
- Its less time consuming to set up the whole process
- Discounts and offers
- Problem with the backup services while switching to a new one
- Long term renewals are expensive
- Loss of specialization in hosting services
- No updates regarding the inactive domains
Buying Domain Name & Hosting From Separate Companies: Pros & Cons
Generally, buying a domain from a separate company gives the right to a domain name that lasts for a year. Many web hosting also comes with several drawbacks such as Bandwidth speed issues, up-gradation facilities, and advertising. Before buying a domain and hosting from two different companies, check these advantages & disadvantages:
- Easier to regulate additional domain names
- Decent long-term pricing
- Focusing on a premium domain along with domain extension alternatives
- Easier to switch and change the domain hosting packages
- Extra configuration costs
- Not beneficial like a single company
- Fewer discounts and offers
- Hard to manage the website credentials with two different agencies
At the same time, paying for web hosting services can reduce the obstacles to your website’s online presence. These are the crucial areas where you should focus before paying for web hosting:
- Reliability is the fundamental facet for both paid and free services. Before investing in hosting, it’s better to review the uptime history. 24×7 visibility of your website is essential to reach more consumers or visitors, which will not only increase the website view count but also gain revenue from it.
- Maintaining Bandwidth or Traffic is another essential factor you need to check before investing. If your website contains high-quality video, audio files, or other data, it’s better to plan a web host as per your requirements.
- Multiple Domain Hosting is very common and cheaper these days. With paid hosting, you can host multiple domains from a single account. Every additional domain hosted from the account is known as add-on-domain.
- Email domain hosting allows you to host email addresses on your domain. Domain hosting with email gives your website a professional outlook over the internet, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Technical Assistance is the foremost factor you need to check while buying a web host. In a time of urgency or website down issues, you need the assistance of an expert to operate your website.
What do You Need to Build a Website? Domain Name or Web Hosting?
To build a new website, you require both the domain name and hosting services. If you buy a domain, it only provides a specific domain for a limited period. Without web hosting, your domain name is inadequate and ineffective. Website hosting gives you a place where you can store all your website’s contents as per your needs. To run your website on the internet, it’s essential to update the domain name configuration with the hosting server. It depends upon you from which provider you will buy the domain name and hosting, but you need both the domain name and web hosting to access a website.
The website building process is dependent on two major factors- web hosting and domain name. In this blog, we have briefed some of the essential elements of buying a web hosting and domain from a third party. What are the factors you should consider before choosing a domain and hosting? What are the domain name meaning and the difference between domain and website? It depends on an individual to check these above-mentioned points and choose the right domain name and hosting for their website.