13

Mar '24

Domain Vs. Hosting: Definition And Difference – Forbes

Published: Feb 20, 2024, 1:56pm
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Domain name is the address of your website that allows the visitors to easily access your website on the internet and web hosting is where all your data and files are stored. You need to have both things in place to smoothly run your website. 
You need to have a proper understanding of both, domain name and web hosting, to successfully make your presence on the internet. Here’s a deep dive into how they both are essential to create a website and their differences.  
Featured Partners
1
BlueHost
Price per month
INR 169 onwards
Features
Affordable hosting plan, free domain name, free CDN
Free trial
30 days
On BlueHost’s Website
2
IONOS Hosting
Average Uptime
99.9%
Price starts from
INR 82/month ($1)
Features
Free domain, free SSL certificate, daily backups
On IONOS’ secure website
3
DreamHost
Starting at
INR 216/month ($2.59) with WordPress pre-installed & Free SSL certificate available
Uptime guarantee
100%
Customer service
24/7 support
On DreamHost’s secure website
4
Hostgator
Price starts from
INR 219/month ($2.64/month) onwards
Uptime guarantee
99%
Benefits
Free SSL and domain for 1st year
On HostGator’s secure website
A domain name is none other than your website address, it consists of a name and an extension, for example, the domain name for Google is “google.com”. It helps the users or the audience to find your website easily instead of them using its internet protocol (IP) address. 
The actual website address is a compound numerical IP address for instance, 192.0.2.1 but because of the domain name system (DNS), it has become easier for users to enter friendly domain names and find the website they are looking for. This process is called a DNS lookup. 
A domain name helps internet users to search your website more effortlessly as they don’t need to memorize the IP address as it consists of a string of numbers. It also communicates your brand and its purpose to the users. 
A custom domain name gives a rich and more sophisticated look to your website and portrays credibility among the users. Also, having a domain name helps you create professional and unique business email accounts. A well-thought domain name with relevant keywords can boost your ranking on search engines. 
In the browser, if the users enter the domain name it will search through the global network of the DNS servers. The request is made for only one DNS server and if it is not found there, it will move to the other. The DNS server with the information of the IP address is then returned to the browser. The browser will then request the data about the website from the hosting server. 
Once the domain hosting server sends the website’s data back, the browser will turn it into a web page. There are different types of top-level domains, such as generic top-level domains (gTLD), country-code top-level domains (ccTLD), sponsored top-level domains (sTLD) and more. You can choose the TLD that suits your business ideas. 
Web hosting is an internet service that helps you to host your web application or a website online. After signing up for a hosting service, you first rent a space on a physical server where your data and files are stored for your web application to work on devices like mobile, tablets and desktops smoothly. 
Any website is generally made of folders like videos, text, images and code. Web hosting happens when all the files that happen to make a website are uploaded from a local computer to a web server. The hosting service provider configures, maintains and runs physical servers and also provides additional support like website backup, security and website performance. This allows you time to focus on the core functions of your website. 
Web hosting providers manage hardware resources for many websites and have greater purchasing power. It invests in advanced technology so that you can get high-performing web servers with internal memory, processing power and other computing resources. 
This helps to improve website performance and the users can swiftly load pages. Web hosting providers regularly upgrade systems to maintain a high standard of security. This frees up IT resources so that you can focus more on delivering your application rather than server management. They also provide technical support and an end-to-end approach to secure operational and physical infrastructure. 
Web hosting provider helps you create an account and allocates some space for your web application or website on its server. You can easily access and manage the space from your account’s dashboard. Access to other resources is also available for you such as a central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM) and bandwidth. 
The server resources depend on your choice of hosting service. Selecting a suitable hosting plan is similar to renting an office. You can start by getting free web hosting on a server, which you share with many other websites. Later you can opt for more exclusive hosting plans or can rent the entire server. 
There are different types of web hosting available like VPS hosting, shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated hosting. 
Read related article: Best web hosting services
Domain and hosting are two different things but equally important to build a website. A domain name is a website’s digital identity that allows internet users to access your website easily. Whereas, web hosting stores your website’s data. 
A domain name generally needs a website name and a domain extension like .com, .net and .org. Also, there are types of top-level domains available and various alternatives from which you can choose to create an effective domain name. 
You can purchase a domain name and website hosting account from different providers or can stick to one. Many companies offer both domain registration and hosting services. 
Read related article: Best domain registrars
The most affordable solution for you is to purchase a hosting plan that includes free domain registration. You can also migrate the website to a new hosting, just need to make sure that the company supports your site’s structure.
Domain and hosting have an interrelationship. They work together, the domain name is the website address and web hosting is the actual house. Web hosting helps with the online presence. They both need to be in sync to create a website. 
To make it easier, purchase the domain name and web hosting from one provider, this will save you time as you don’t need to manually link them and you can straight up-create your website.  
Let us dig deeper into the steps to create a website. 
Step 1: For starters, select a domain name for your website and verify its availability by using the domain checker tool. Select the available domain name that matches your brand’s goals and requirements. Complete your order and domain registration process.
Step 2: Choose your choice of hosting provider and then select a suitable plan for your website. While choosing a hosting provider, consider factors like bandwidth, storage space or any other factors that work best for your website. 
Step 3: To build your website, decide on a platform: Content Management System (CMS) or an eCommerce script.
Step 4: Customize your site, add content and upload files and when it’s ready you can publish your website.
These are the general steps that you need to follow to create a website with a hosting provider of your choice.
To host a website you need both the element domain name and web hosting. You need to have both things to successfully make your online website. They together make a perfect balance to run a website. Domain name works as an identifier of your website and web hosting helps you to host your website and stores all your information. 
To build your website, the first thing you need is a domain name and then a hosting service that will help you host your website. Now, you can choose a single platform for both domain name and web hosting or choose two different platforms. You cannot create a website if one of them is missing. They are two different things just like tea and coffee but extremely essential to create a website. 
Check out how you can get a free domain name that serves best for your brand and productively launch your online presence.  
Featured Partners
1
BlueHost
Price per month
INR 169 onwards
Features
Affordable hosting plan, free domain name, free CDN
Free trial
30 days
On BlueHost’s Website
2
IONOS Hosting
Average Uptime
99.9%
Price starts from
INR 82/month ($1)
Features
Free domain, free SSL certificate, daily backups
On IONOS’ secure website
3
DreamHost
Starting at
INR 216/month ($2.59) with WordPress pre-installed & Free SSL certificate available
Uptime guarantee
100%
Customer service
24/7 support
On DreamHost’s secure website
4
Hostgator
Price starts from
INR 219/month ($2.64/month) onwards
Uptime guarantee
99%
Benefits
Free SSL and domain for 1st year
On HostGator’s secure website
A domain name and web hosting are two different things but similarly hold equal importance for building a website. A domain name identifies your website and makes it easier on the user’s end to find you on the internet rather than remembering your IP address. Web hosting provides you with a space on the server to store your website files, permitting it to be available online. 
When a visitor searches for your domain name, the web hosting service provider will immediately transfer the data to their web browsers. 
Yes, you need web hosting because a domain name is just the address of your website while web hosting stores all your data and files of the website.
Yes, you do need a domain name even if you have web hosting to create your website.
Yes, you can buy a domain and hosting from the same company or a different company as per your choice.
Yes, GoDaddy is a domain registrar.
I have experience across journalism segments including finance, fashion and entertainment. I have written short stories and assisted as director and cinematographer on a few projects in the past.
Aashika is the India Editor for Forbes Advisor. Her 15-year business and finance journalism stint has led her to report, write, edit and lead teams covering public investing, private investing and personal investing both in India and overseas. She has previously worked at CNBC-TV18, Thomson Reuters, The Economic Times and Entrepreneur.

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Joker
Joker

Joker has been buying and selling domains since the late 90's. He has worked with many portfolios and investors over the past decade as well.

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