We are often asked to explain what is the difference between a domain name and web hosting? Many users don’t know that these are two separate things. In this article, we will explain the difference between the two, how they relate to each other and how important they are in order to be able to create a website.
What is a Domain Name?
Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website. In other words, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address. Now let’s get into the detailed explanation.
Internet is basically a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called IP Address. This IP address is a combination of numbers separated with dots. Typically, IP addresses look like this: 18.104.22.168
Computers have no problem identifying and remembering these numbers. However, it is impossible for humans to remember and use these numbers to connect to websites on the internet.
To solve this problem, domain names were invented.
A domain name can have words which makes it easy to remember website addresses.
Now if you wanted to visit a website on the internet, you don’t need to type a string of numbers. Instead, you can type in an easy to remember domain name, for example, webgift.org.
Check the process in case that you would like to register or transfer a domain name using our services!
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives. A good way to think about this is if the domain name was the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house that address points to. All websites on the internet, need web hosting.
When someone enters your domain name in a browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. This computer contains your website’s files, and it sends those files back to the users’ browsers.
Web hosting company specialize in storing and serving websites. They offer different types of hosting plans to their customers. See our web hosting plans for single website or VPS Hosting Plans for multiple websites!
How Domain Names and Web Hosting are Related?
Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites possible. Basically a domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files.
Without domain names, it will not be possible for people to find your website and without web hosting you cannot build a website.
Questions about Domain Names and Web Hosting services
You need web hosting to store your website’s files. After you get hosting, you need to update your domain name settings and point it to your web hosting service provider.
On the other hand, if you purchase your domain name and web hosting from the same company, then you will not have to change domain name settings. It is also much easier to manage and renew both services under the same dashboard.
We recommend you to wait at least 45 days after the registration or renewal to initiate the transfer. ICANN, the international organization that oversees domain names, requires one year renewal whenever a transfer is initiated. By transferring your domain name before that period you could lose that year’s renewal fee.
Yes, you can do that as well. You own the domain name and can change its settings to point it to any web hosting company.
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