What is the difference between domain and web hosting?
Last Updated on 13th January 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.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain is the address of your website on the internet, like google.com, 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 in 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 and known 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
What is Web Hosting?
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 of your website)
It is the home of your website.
A 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
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.
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.
Similarly, you can also buy a domain and hosting from different companies.
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 is a managed cloud hosting service provider that offers hosting services at a fair price.
They take away the complexities that come with setting up a website via their web host services that allow you to create and set up a website within minutes.
Read our article on siteground vs cloudways hosting review 2022
Cloudways, unlike other hosting services, offer a 3-days free 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.
Let’s say you bought a domain and hosting from siteground and now you want to transfer your hosting to cloudways.
What you need to do is to transfer your files and data from siteground 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.
Read our article on the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org
Finally, make an edit of your domain name settings on wordpress.com and redirect them to your new hosting provider.
Can I transfer my domain name to a different domain registrar?
Yes, you can, you own your domain name and the right to transfer it to a different company at any point whatsoever.
It is easy to do that, both hosting services would have a detailed step-by-step procedure that you can follow on how to do that.
Still have doubts! Read more differences
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 from. 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.
Q: I registered my domain name and web hosting account with two different companies. How can I make them work together?
A: You will need to set the same nameservers and DNS records for both accounts (your domain name and web hosting account).
Otherwise, your website won’t be able to show up on the web.
Q: Can I transfer my domain name from one hosting company to another?
A: Yes, you can.
You’ll need to wait until the DNS propagation for your domain name is complete, and then you can contact your new web hosting company and ask them to transfer your domain name to their account.
Q: What’s the difference between a domain name and a web hosting account?
A: A domain name is the address of your website, while a web hosting account is where your website’s files are stored. When you register a domain name, you’re basically renting that address from a domain name registrar.
And when you set up a web hosting account, you’re renting space on a webserver to store your website’s files.
Q: What’s the difference between a shared hosting account and a VPS hosting account?
A: With a shared hosting account, your web files are stored on the same server as many other websites’ files.
This means you might experience problems if any one of those sites gets too much traffic.
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting account is like having your own mini-server to run your website.
You can customize your VPS to meet your own specific needs, and you’re the only one who has access to it.
Q: Can I use my own domain name with a free web hosting account?
A: Yes, you can.
Q: I’m not sure what hosting account I need. Can you help me?
A: Yes, we can.
You can contact our support team and they will be more than happy to help you find the right hosting account for your website.
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.
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Ajmer Singh is the Founder & Author of Findmytricks. He is a Passionate Blogger, Content writer & WordPress developer. He loves sharing content related to WordPress and Blogging. He enjoys playing games in his free time.
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