What’s the Difference Between Domain Name and Web Hosting?

Hosting TeacherHosting Expert
domain name and web hosting

A lot of beginners need to learn that domain name and web hosting are two different things. If you want to create a functional website, you need to learn how to purchase a domain name and reliable web hosting services.

To understand the difference, you must learn about these topics in depth.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address of your website that users will enter in their URL bar to visit your website.

The internet is a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To be able to identify each system an IP address was assigned to a computer.

An IP address is a combination of numbers that is separated by dots. A computer system will have no problem in identifying and recognizing an IP address. However, people cannot do this as effectively as computers.

This was a big problem and domain names were invented to solve this problem.

A domain name will have words instead of numbers which makes it memorable. Imagine if your favorite brand was not made up of words but numbers. Will you be able to remember it?

No right? That’s why domain names were significant development.

An example of a domain name is Facebook.com. Big companies often buy multiple domains related to their company name. So that no one else can buy it. Once they buy these domains, they redirect the user to the website.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is the place where all the files associated with your website are stored. It is like the home of your website. To ensure that your website keeps running perfectly, you need to ensure that web hosting is done correctly.

If the domain name is the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual physical location of your house.

If you want to start your own website on the internet, you cannot do it without web hosting. When someone enters the domain name in a search bar, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer.

Remember, computers interact with each other through numbers and the domain name exists for human beings.

The hosting server computer contains all the files related to your website and it sends those files to the user’s web browser.

There are a lot of web hosting companies that provide hosting services. Hosting companies provide different plans to their customers which include shared hosting, VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, e-commerce hosting, and more.

Some of the most common hosting companies are GoDaddy, HostGator, AWS, Bluehost, WP Engine, Hostinger, etc.

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Hosting Plan 2023

How are domain name and web hosting related?

A website can only work if they have both a domain name and a web hosting service.

Although these two services are different, you will need both of them to have a functional website.

A domain name is like a huge address book that is constantly updated. Each domain name requires an address of the web hosting service storing the site’s files.

Getting a web hosting service is the first step to building a website. However, a domain name is how people find and get to know your website.

If you do not tell people your address, how will they get to know about your house?

To build a functional website, you need both a domain name and web hosting services.

Buying a domain name gives you ownership over the domain name for a particular amount of time.

You need web hosting so that you can start storing your website’s files. After you choose a hosting provider, you need to update your domain settings and point it to your web hosting service provider.

There are a lot of companies that provide both domain names and hosting services together.

If you are thinking about creating a website on WordPress, you should choose a hosting service provider that is recommended by WordPress.

WordPress recommends service providers like Bluehost, Hostinger, and Hostgator. When you are selecting a service provider, you should always think about your budget. If you can design your website yourself, then you can spend more money on buying a domain and hosting services. However, if you will get your site developed by a professional then you have a tight budget.

Can they be bought separately?

It is possible to buy a domain name and web hosting services from different companies. However, if you do so then you will have to point your domain name to your web hosting company by editing its DNS settings.

You are saved from all this trouble if you decide to buy both these things from one service provider. Then you can start building your website from scratch instead of worrying about editing DNS settings.

It will also be easier to renew the services next year. If you purchased them separately, you will have to renew them separately. However, if you brought them from one single service provider then you can renew your services under one dashboard.

Is it possible to move a domain name to another company?

When you purchase a domain name, you own the right to use it and you can transfer it anywhere you want. Let’s say that you brought your domain name from Go Daddy but hosted it on Bluehost.

If you are considering moving your domain name to Bluehost so that it is easily manageable. Then that is something that can be easily managed.

You can easily do that. Both companies can provide a step-by-step guide to do the same. Check out the FAQ section of either Bluehost or GoDaddy.

Can you move your website to another web hosting company without changing the domain?

Once you purchase a domain name, you own it and can redirect it to any web hosting service. Let’s say that you chose to host your website on GoDaddy but now you are thinking of changing things.

You think that managing your WordPress website will be easier if it was hosted on Hostgator. You can move your site from one host to another by transferring the site’s data. After that, you need to edit your domain name settings and point them toward the new service provider.

Another example could be that you purchased a domain from WordPress.com. Later, you want to transfer it to a self-hosted WordPress.org website.

First, you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. After that, you have to transfer your account from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Then, you have to edit your DNS on WordPress.com and point them to your new WordPress hosting provider.

Is it possible to change your domain name or move the website to a new domain name?

Once you have purchased a particular domain name, then it is not possible to change its name or even modify it. You already have brought the rights to the name.

However, sometimes a business can change and the old name may not suit your new business model. In that scenario, you may want to move your website to an entirely different domain name. First, you will have to purchase a new domain name and then link it to your website.

Doing this is a risky task and that is why it should be done with careful precision. If you make any mistakes, you can lose all the search traffic that you worked so hard to get.

You may have to start all over again with SEO and it can take years to get the same amount of traffic.

You can find a tutorial on WordPress on how to move a WordPress site to a new domain name without losing the SEO progress. It includes step by step instructions for creating backups, creating 301 redirects, informing Google about your new domain, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *