The biggest question for any beginner is the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

What is a domain name? What is web hosting? Are they both the same?

As a beginner, it is important to understand the difference between web hosting and a domain name.

Because these two terms understand you, proceed further, as you will build your blog or work for a client, or you will hire someone for your website or blog.

Here, it’s important to understand the basics of a domain name and web hosting.

It is a beginner’s guide to understand the primary difference between a domain name and web hosting, and of course, they are not the same.

Many beginners have questions about whether we can buy a domain name before purchasing web hosting. So, there is no rule that you have to buy, first, a domain name or web hosting.

Let’s begin to understand the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

What is web hosting?

domain name and web hosting
What is Web Hosting

Web hosting is the computer where people store their files and folders on a server.

The server is the house for your websites or files, folders, or we can say where you store all your essentials stuff, but instead of the household things, you are storing their files, folders, and the documents.

The term “web hosting” refers to the rent out of their computers or servers from the various web hosting providers to store your website and provide internet connectivity so that users can access the data on your website.

There are thousands of web hosting companies worldwide.

Example of hosting companies: GreenGeeks, Bluehost, DigitalOcean

How Does Web Hosting Work

Web hosting companies do more than just storing the files, folders, and documents of your website. 

These servers have robust storage and computing devices.

The sever has physical devices like RAM, CPU, mechanical parts, and network or internet connections. It is like your computer. 

These servers answer the client’s request from their essential data store information in the servers.

These servers receive and send data when a browser or any mobile application meets their demand.

When you access a website, the browser sends a request to the servers and fetches the servers’ data to be shown to users.

All data of your websites stored on the server. The file may be audio, video, text files, images, and so on.

When you are buying web hosting so that you are renting servers to your store data.

There are five types of web hosting

  1. Shared Hosting: When your website is hosting on a single server along with multiple other websites. All websites share the same server; that’s what we called shared hosting.
  2. Managed Hosting: A managed hosting plan gets you zero server maintenance, faster servers with less load timing or sharing, quick support, and many other features. It’s a built for WordPress CMS.
  3. Dedicated Hosting: In a dedicated server or hosting, you get a single to host your website. There is no load sharing. It has very high RAM and processors. But you know the technical settings because, in a dedicated server, you have to manage yourself. Not recommended for beginners, it is also costly as compared to the first two’s hostings.
  4. VPS: The full form of VPS is Virtual Private Server, where you will get a private server; this is very highly configurable. You can scale a VPS; the speed and security setting you can see fit.
  5. Cloud Hosting: It is the hosting where you host your website on a cluster of cloud-based servers. This hosting is beneficial for developers and other users. You can add, remove, and optimize these servers.

We have seen the uptime – downtime of the hosting server, maintenance, customer support of the providers, performance, etc.

What is a Domain Name?

domain name and web hosting

A domain name is a web address of your blog or website. Before your set up a website, you will need a domain for your online presence. 

domain name and web hosting
the domain name and web hosting

To your own domain, you will need to register or buy a domain from domain registrar companies.

A domain name is not a physical thing that you can touch. It is string characters that give your website an identity. 

Your website is only connected through its particular IP address. 

Example: 192.68.272.1

But for remembering, it is utilizing alphabetical names by computer servers to send and receive the data packs. But internal computers are always using numbers.

This the address of your home, and web hosting is the home of your website.

Domain names are registered through various registrars, but every domain is regulated by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).    

Every domain name is unique. If a domain name is the same, then their TLD would be different.

If your selected domain is available, then you can buy that domain. Otherwise, you have to again search for a domain name. 

You will need to point a domain name to your selected web hosting( by changing its DNS record). 

If you bought a domain name and web hosting from the same company, then you don’t need to change the DNS record).

Some of the recommended and popular domain registrars are:

  1. Namecheap.com
  2. Godaddy.com
  3. Name.com
  4. Domain.com

Before choosing a domain name for your brand, blog, or website, you need to understand this will become your brand or company brand. 

What are Top Level Domains (TLDs)?

domain name and web hosting

www.google.com

www – subdomain

google – second-level domain

.com – top-level domain

Top Level Domains(TLDs) are a set of generic names in the hierarchy like COM, NET, EDU, ORG, GOV, INFO, BIZ, CO.IN, and so on.

Example: 

gmail.com, wordpress.org

Difference between Domain Name and Web Hosting

As discussed above, web hosting is your home’s space, and a domain name is like your home address.

You need this address to find the location of your home.

A domain name is used to find the server. A domain name is converted into the IP address using DNS( Domain Name System).

Instead of a house, street, and area code, set the words or numbers are used for the website’s naming. 

The newbie’s confused between a domain name and web hosting because the same provider offers both web hosting and domain name.

Most web hosting providers today have the facility to register a domain for their users.

And many web hosting companies are giving free domain names for a year with buying web hosting.

Tip: GreenGeeks and Bluehost are giving out free domains to their first-time customers.

Should you buy a domain name and web hosting from the same company?

Never buy your important domain name and web hosting from the same company.

I always register my domain name with Namecheap or Godaddy and host with a different web hosting provider. 

This site you are reading, for example, is hosted at GreenGeeks Hosting.

It is the safest side to buy a domain name and web hosting from different companies if anything goes awry with my web hosting provider to change web hosting immediately.

It is much easier to move to a new web hosting provider when you register your domain with a third party.

Otherwise, you have to wait for your web hosting company to release your domain name before winding up. It can be tricky since they are also losing your web hosting business and the customer.

But not everyone agrees….

Some customers agree to use one company for a domain name and web hosting because they do not know to point the name servers.

The choice is yours…

I would recommend you GreenGeeks hosting.

If you are starting, check this how to start a blog.

I hope you’ve understood the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

If you’ve any questions, let me know by leaving a comment below.