Domain vs Web Hosting: Check the Difference in Simple Words!
Last Updated on 1st December 2022 by Ajmer Singh
Most beginners are confused about the difference between domain and web hosting. They often think they are the same.
This article on the difference between domain and web hosting should guide you.
Before I dive deep, I will love to give a brief definition of some terms.
Domain vs Web Hosting!
Web hosting is the business of housing, keeping safe and pushing out websites over the Internet.
They’re basically servers (enormous computers) that store your website files so you can access them from anywhere in the world by typing in your website’s web address.
Domain names are like street addresses: they tell people and computers where to find your website.
When you type in a domain name, the Internet figures out where that address is and sends you there.
They are two separate processes that should not be confused with each other.
“Domain is the service you get from a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy, Bluehost etc. where they host your domain’s DNS records and email forwarders.
For a cheap option, Bluehost is best. You can get a free domain with any hosting plan.
Hosting is when you rent space on a company’s servers to store your website files and send/receive emails”
Both of these are essential if you plan to create and run a website.
Domain names are purchased for various periods of time, depending on the provider.
Afterwards, you can purchase an extension in order to renew your registration so that nobody else can register the same name.
Web hosting is when you pay a web host to store your website files.
We are using Cloudways hosting as it provides the best performance.
The basic differences between domain & web hosting include:
-A domain name is bought from a domain registrar, while web hosting is bought from a company that specializes in website hosting.
Or could be done directly by the user instead of going through a website host if they choose to use free websites like wordpress.com for example.
However, companies like Bluehost will provide both domain and hosting.
-The domain name could point to different locations where your files are hosted,
while web hosting is more of a one-size-fits-all service that will send your website files to different locations depending on how you set up forwarding.
-A domain name is more about owning the rights to a name and having it point where you want it to go,
while web hosting is more about paying for access to files stored by a server that handles lots of other website files as well.
-A domain name is a way to access your website, while web hosting is the actual location where your files are physically stored and sent from.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain is the address of your website on the internet, like google.com or facebook.com.
It’s the name internet users type into the search query that leads them to your site.
Internet addresses are a long series of technical numbers like 192.68.249 that makes no meaning to humans.
Computers do not have difficulty identifying and memorizing these numbers.
However, humans have difficulty remembering these numbers.
To avert this situation, Domain names were invented.
A Domain name is made up of two main parts;
The first part is called the brand name.
It can be a mixture of numbers and letters.
While the second part which is denoted by a dot is called the domain extension like .com, .org, .net, .xyz, .com.ng, .co.uk. etc.
Your domain name is a unique web address and is restricted to only you.
Like findmytricks.com, there can be only one findmytricks.com in the world.
It then means you cannot register a name once it is registered by others.
After acquiring the domain, it is possible to create domains within the main domain name and they are referred to as subdomains.
You can also build complete websites under these subdomains and one domain can have multiple subdomains created.
A typical subdomain will have the name followed by a period and the domain name.
Read our guides to select a domain name and check why domain names are a google ranking factor.
What is Web Hosting?
A web host is a company that provides space on a server they own for their client’s websites.
The client can then connect to the server and add, edit or delete files on the server using C-panel provided by the host or a tool like FileZilla.
From any computer with internet access anywhere in the world as long as they have the login information provided by their web hosting service provider.
Web hosts like Bluehost usually offer additional services such as domain name registration, email accounts and specialized toolsets to help build websites.
They may provide statistics of visitor activity on your website, store database information for you, and run scripts written in languages such as Perl or PHP.
Which are used for creating dynamic sites, maintaining backups of your website and protecting it from certain types of attacks via firewall settings at a very low monthly or yearly cost.
In simple words, web hosting is a service that allows you to house your website on a remote web server, which is connected to the Internet.
With the help of a hosting provider, you can upload all files for your site and manage them from a web browser.
When looking for a website hosting service it’s important to consider support availability, speed, uptime, and security features.
Any good web host should offer 24/7 technical support via chat or phone in order to address any issues promptly.
Lastly, the safety of your website’s data should be of primary concern to you.
It’s important that all files are secure via SSL encryption and any web hosting provider worth their salt will have site backups available.
So if something does happen, they can easily restore everything.
With these three main factors in mind, it will be easier for you to choose an appropriate hosting company that offers exactly what it is that you need at a price that suits your budget.
My recommendation – Cloudways
If you want a cheap and beginner-friendly host then go with Bluehost.
Web hosting is the place where you store all of your stuff. (or like the place where you can store all of your content and files on your website)
It is the home of your website.
Web hosting can be described as the house or home of your website and the domain, as the address leading to your home (web hosting).
Web hosting serves as the warehouse of a website, it’s a place where all the files and data of your website are stored.
Difference Between Domain And Web hosting (In simple words)
The domain name and web hosting are two different things, however, they are interrelated.
Without a domain name and web hosting, a website cannot be created.
To get started visit a domain registrar to choose and register your domain name like Bluehost.
Most domain companies allow you to register a domain name for a year, after which you renew once it expires.
Once your domain is registered, you can buy a hosting plan from a hosting service provider like Cloudways and link your domain with it.
You can choose to buy a domain and hosting from the same hosting service provider like Bluehost.
Note that getting a domain and hosting from the same company makes the setup process easier as you don’t have to alter anything on the domain name settings.
Cloudways, unlike other hosting services, offer a 3-days free trial without requesting your bank details.
They also offer a “pay as you go” billing for their hosting plan which makes it easy for you to unsubscribe if you become dissatisfied with their services.
Migration from a different hosting provider to Cloudways is entirely free.
They have a total of 4 different hosting monthly plans to choose from depending on your budget.
Their hosting plan ranges from as low as $10 to $80 per month and each price has its RAM, processor, and storage.
findmytricks.com recently migrated to Cloudways and from what we have observed, I will advise you subscribe to it.
Can I retain my domain name while I migrate from one hosting to another?
Yes, you can, the domain name belongs to you and you can transfer it to any hosting service you want,
by changing the DNS settings to point to the hosting service you are migrating to.
(Cloudways migrate for free)
But in case, you want to do it manually,
What you need to do is to transfer your files and data from Bluehost to Cloudways,
edit your domain name settings to point to your new web hosting provider.
Another instance is that you bought your domain name from wordpress.com, and you now want to move to wordpress.org.
The first thing that needs to be done in this instance is that you should sign up for a WordPress-hosted account.
After which you transfer your site from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.
Finally, make an edit of your domain name settings on wordpress.com and redirect them to your new hosting provider.
More differences between Domain and Hosting!
A domain name is an identifying label that defines your place on the internet, just like your street address defines your location in the real world.
Web hosting is a service that hosts websites for customers or clients.
A web host provides space on a server it owns or rents to customers who want their website to be accessible via the Internet.
When customers visit their website, they are routed through the host’s servers so they don’t have to worry about finding,
and paying for another server elsewhere on the net where their site would be hosted.
Some providers offer additional services, such as domain name registration and e-mail boxes.
In comparison, a domain name is an online identifier that can easily be matched up to an actual computer or server that is hosting a specific website.
So, if you were to visit Amazon.com, the domain name www.amazon.com would actually be mapped to an IP address,
that locates Amazon’s servers on the internet so visitors can access its website.
The term “domain” refers to the alphanumeric characters after the last dot in a URL (such as http://www.example.com).
Domain names are managed through registries and are available for registration by anyone who wants one for any purpose requiring one
— including websites, e-mail addresses, etc…for example,
www.facebook.com is a domain name that points to Facebook servers where its website is hosted.
A web host provider owns or rents out computers that are connected to the Internet, and it offers various kinds of web hosting services.
These services include website building, file storage, shopping carts, e-mail accounts and databases.
The host’s server keeps the files for your site so you do not have to maintain your own computer that is always turned on for delivering your site contents.
A domain name is an exclusive address that you purchase from a registrar company in order to establish an online identity.
The main difference between them can be summed up as follows:
Web Hosting is where websites physically exist (on the internet) whereas Domains are addresses used to access those websites.
In fact, some companies provide both these services as a combined package deal which they refer to as Domain Hosting.
In a nutshell, it can be said that a domain is an address where you house your website online,
and web hosting services are the ones that let you access those websites on the internet.
FAQS about domain and web hosting!
Q: Where should I go to register my domain name?
A: There are many places you can get your domain name registered. But here are a few popular domain name registrars you can try:
Q: What is a domain extension?
A: It’s the part that comes after the dot in your web address, also known as your website’s domain name.
The most popular domain extensions are .com, .net, and .org. But there are many other domain extensions to choose from, like .info, .co.uk, etc.
Q: How do I point my domain name to my web hosting account?
A: This process is called DNS (Domain Name System) propagation.
To point your domain name to your web hosting account, you’ll need to change the DNS records for your domain.
This can be done through your domain name registrar’s website.
Q: How long does it take for my website to show up after I’ve registered my domain name and pointed it to my web hosting account?
A: This is called DNS propagation.
You can’t expect your website to appear on the web immediately after you’ve pointed your domain name to your hosting account.
It usually takes about 24 hours for your website to show up on the web,
but it may take longer depending on your registrar’s settings and how the internet feels that day.
Q: Where do I set the nameservers for my domain name and hosting account?
A: In order for your domain name and hosting account to work together, you will need to set the same nameservers in both accounts.
You can contact your web hosting company or domain registrar and ask them what the correct nameservers are for your hosting account and domain name.
Q: How do I know if my website’s up and running?
A: You should be able to type your website’s domain name into the browser and get to a page with your website.
If you’re still having trouble, try going to http://www.google.com/, searching for your domain name, and seeing what comes up.
If nothing shows up, then that means that there might be something wrong with your domain name or web hosting account.
I hope you have been able to learn the difference between domain and web hosting from this article.
Have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions? kindly use the comment section.