Domain Name vs Web Hosting: The Difference You Need to Know

Making a website for a business to have an online presence is the first step to a thriving business, and we all agree that having a website is an intelligent move for reaching out to many potential customers. One needs a domain name vs web hosting to have an excellent and engaging website. At the same time, keeping up with this technical jargon could be troublesome, especially for beginners, but we are here to help you and make it easier.

Often people need clarification on domain names and web hosting. But after reading this piece, it won’t be a problem anymore. The domain name could be viewed as the website’s address and web hosting as the mechanism that supports the website online.

Having an online presence is requisite for having a successful business, but it also means that one has to understand a lot of technical stuff. We have tried making it easier by explaining each concept in the simplest ways. Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is an address for a website, and it is how users reach the website by using a particular address. A domain name is typed by a user in the browser search bar to reach the website. It is through domain names that people can access the website. In more straightforward language, a domain name is an address the website has, and the user types it into the browser search bar to access it. In short, a domain name is an address through which users can access a website.

For humans, remembering a domain name is much easier than remembering an IP address. For example, it would be easier for anyone to remember hubspot.com rather than some random numbers linked together. Therefore, domain names make it easier for individuals to remember a website’s address.

The domain names generally consist of the website name and the extension. In the example of hubspot.com, Hubspot is the website name, and .com is the extension. When both are written together, it gives us the complete domain name.

What is Web Hosting?

What is Web Hosting-Domain Name vs Web Hosting

Web Hosting is a service that enables people to publish their websites on the internet. Every website that we have ever come across is hosted on a server. Everything that goes behind making the website go live happens here, and web hosting providers are the ones that make it all happen. In short, web hosting plays a significant role in making a website go live.

Because of web hosting services, people from all over the world can access the website. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that web hosting deals with everything behind the curtain. There are numerous web hosting options available in the market; one can choose it according to their website requirements. Some are shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, managed hosting, etc.

Domain Name vs Web HostingDifferences

In terms of a website, domain name and web hosting are equally essential terms, and it is crucial to understand their difference. Now that we know what the terms mean let’s start with the difference.

  • Although, domain name and web hosting go hand in hand. But one can have a domain name without having a website, but it can’t go the other way around. It means one can have a domain name without having a website, but one cannot have a website without owning a domain name.
  • A domain name is an address for a particular website, whereas web hosting provides a server that helps users view the website online.
  • A domain name works on a subscription; the subscription taken by the business or individual could be monthly or yearly, depending upon their requirements. The subscription needs to be renewed from time to time, so it doesn’t expire. Whereas, in the case of web hosting, the web hosting provider will charge some fee and take care of everything, be it the website’s maintenance, time-to-time updates, etc.
  • A domain name makes it easier for people to remember the name of the website rather than having to remember a string of random numbers associated together (IP address). The website’s files and data are stored in web hosting for worldwide access.
  • The domain name will always be unique for every website and will be linked to an individual IP address. In contrast, web hosting is a server that stores the website’s files and data, and many businesses could use the same web hosting provider as the web hosting provider provides its services.
  • A domain name is more like something that happens at the front end; for example, there’s the domain name for a website, and we type it in the browser search bar and get access to a website. Whereas web hosting happens at the backend; for example, it gets everything done behind the scenes so that the users can access the website and the website’s data/files from anywhere in the world.

The above points are a few distinctions between a domain name and web hosting.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Domain Name vs Web Hosting

When it comes to domain names, there are many things to keep in mind before selecting one; however, the below-mentioned are a few that should be considered.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Domain Name vs Web Hosting
  • Keep something easily memorable so the users don’t have issues remembering the name.
  • Using ‘.com’ would be a wise decision as it is the most reliable extension for domain names.
  • Using keywords in the domain name, search engines will get to know what the website is all about, and there are higher chances of it ranking higher on SERP (search engine results page).
  • Choosing a relevant domain name is essential for it to be relevant to the business and what it deals in. The domain name should resonate with the business.
  • Avoiding hyphens in the domain name.
  • Researching the domain name before getting it registered is always a good idea. Doing this ensures that no other similar domain names are registered. This step is mainly done for copyright and trademark purposes.
  • Having a look at the competitor’s domain names. This will give an idea of how one should select their domain name.
  • Using a domain name generator will take some load off your shoulders and give some incredible suggestions that one can consider using for their business.
  • Ensuring that the domain name is mobile friendly as people visiting the website through mobile phones are highly likely to make typos. Therefore, the domain name should be concise and clear, leaving zero to no room for any mistakes.

Being done with the domain name, now let’s see the points that should be kept in mind before choosing web hosting.

  • Deciding which type of web hosting the business requires is essential as every business has different requirements and web hosting should be chosen accordingly.
  • Having a look at the budget as the charges should be such that they can be handled easily by the business and don’t get heavy on their pockets.
  • Checking in for the features the web host is providing. Along with providing all the necessary features, what are the other features they provide the business?
  • Considering how responsive their customer care team is. One will always need a customer care service that responds immediately and helps solve the problem.
  • Considering how secure the web host is. Security plays a significant role when selecting a web host, as the website’s precious data and files are available with the web hosting provider.  
  • Considering the uptime. This is an essential factor to consider when choosing a web host, as it can directly affect the website’s chance of showing up on SERP. It is an excellent option if the uptime is greater than 90%.
  • Considering the monthly traffic that the particular web hosting service allows. This is an essential factor to consider, as traffic is a crucial component of having a thriving business. Suppose the web hosting provider doesn’t allow more traffic or visitors over a set standard without charging extra or stops displaying the website after a determined standard is reached. In that case, it will directly affect the business and its engagement and sales, and nobody wants that.
  • Taking a free trial never hurts. By taking a free trial, the business or company will come to know if the particular web hosting provider is the right fit for them or not. After a trial, one will also know whether investing money in that specific web hosting provider is a good idea or not.

Where to get a domain name and hosting

There are many options available for purchasing a domain name and hosting, Here are a few popular ones –

1. Bluehost:

Bluehost, a well-known web hosting company, offers domain names as well as hosting services. Their interface is user-friendly and they offer many plans.

2. HostGator:

HostGator, another popular hosting company, offers both domain names as well as hosting services. They offer 24/7 support and many plans to fit different budgets and needs.

3. Namecheap:

Namecheap offers domain registration at affordable prices. They offer a wide range of domain extensions. Although they offer hosting services, they aren’t as well-known as their domain registration services.

4. GoDaddy:

GoDaddy, a well-known company that provides both hosting and domain names, is well-established. Their domain name registration services are well-known for their user-friendly interface. They also offer 24/7 support.

5. Google Workspace:

Google Workspace, formerly G Suite, offers domain names as well as hosting services. You can get a full suite of productivity tools like Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar along with 24/7 support.

Final words

Many things go behind the perfect website you see on the screen just by typing a few words in the browser search bar. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that the terms ‘Domain name’ and ‘Web hosting’ go hand in hand. One wouldn’t have a purpose without the other one. Without a domain name, one can never access a website, and without web hosting, there wouldn’t be any website for the user to access. Investing in selecting a domain name and web hosting for a business is a crucial step as it plays a significant role. Therefore, one shouldn’t do it in haste and take all the time one needs.

Now that we have reached the end of this article, specific terms such as ‘domain name’, ‘web hosting’, and ‘IP address’, which looked pretty tough and technical in the starting, must have started making some sense now. But, at the same time, these terms are the ones that play a significant role in providing us with the smoothest and hassle-free experience while surfing the web. 

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FAQs

Should I buy a domain and hosting separately?

Yes, it is generally recommended to buy your domain and hosting separately. This gives you more control over your website and allows you to switch hosting providers if needed without affecting your domain registration.

Can I buy a domain before hosting?

Yes, you can buy a domain before purchasing hosting. In fact, many people purchase a domain first before deciding on a hosting provider. However, you will need to have hosting in place in order to launch your website.

What happens after buying a domain name?

After buying a domain name, you will need to link it to a web hosting account to launch your website. You can typically do this by changing the domain name servers (DNS) to point to your hosting provider’s server. Once this is done, you can start building and publishing your website. Keep in mind that it may take some time for the DNS changes to propagate and your website to become visible to visitors.

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