The Difference Between A Domain Name And Web Hosting

It is very common for newbies to get confused between a domain name with a web hosting. However, it is very important to be crystal clear on the differences between the two before you move on to your first website.

Domain name And Web Hosting Explained

To simplify: A domain name, is like the address of your home; web hosting on the other hand, is the space of your house where you place your furniture.

Instead of street name and area code, set of words or/and numbers are used for the website’s naming’. The same goes with hosting, computer hard disk and computer memory are used instead of instead of wood and steel for storing and processing data files. The idea is presented clearer with the diagram below.

Web Hosting and Domain Name Explained

What’s A Domain Name

When you register a domain, it gives you sole ownership and rights to the name of your site. No one else in the market has the access to the actual name of that particular domain besides you.

However, just because you have a domain does not mean that you are ready to serve your website to the world. To put up and operate a website, you will need a domain name, and a proper-configured web server (hosting). Details on domain name and DNS system were explained in Web Hosting 101 Guide so we are not digging any deeper on this here – just be clear that (1) a domain name is like your house address; and, (2) a domain name can be registered only with a domain registrar.

What’s A Web Hosting

A web hosting normally refers to the web server (big computer) that stores lots of data files).

A web hosting providers normally rent out web servers and network connection to the end-users or the resellers. For most cases, the hosting providers will be the parties handling most server maintenance work (such as backup, root configuration, maintenance, disaster recoveries, etc); but for certain cases, the end users will need to get everything cover by themselves.

Going Further: Understand Types Of Different Web Hosting Services

Understanding the differences between web hosting and domain names is the very basic start of your venture. Moving on, you should have a brief idea on how each type of hosting works. Get yourself clear on Shared Web Hosting, VPS Web Hosting, Dedicated Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, as well as Cloud Web Hosting.

For advance readers, our article on inodes should be your next stop. I bet most hosting shoppers have not heard about inodes – It is an (almost) abandoned topic in hosting industry that reveals the secrets behind unlimited hosting offers.

38 Comments

  1. Very nice explanation. Now I could understand What is the difference between a domain and web hosting

  2. Very good explanations! I read through all of your links from this page. I feel much more comfortable about choosing a web host now. Thanks a million!

  3. The way you have explain the concept of Web hosting and Domain Name its amazing. I think everybody will get benefit by going through this difference.

  4. This was a great explanation! I am taking a Dreamweaver course in college right now, and literally just got done with our first quiz. I wasn’t sure how to answer the question, but now I understand it perfectly!

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