It is very common for newbies to get confused between a domain name and web hosting. However, it is very important to be crystal clear on the differences between the two before you move on to your first website.
Domain name And Web Hosting Explained
To simplify: A domain name, is like the address of your home; web hosting on the other hand, is the space of your house where you place your furniture.
Instead of street name and area code, set of words or/and numbers are used for the website’s naming’. The same goes with hosting, computer hard disk and computer memory are used instead of instead of wood and steel for storing and processing data files. The idea is presented clearer with the diagram below.
What’s A Domain Name
When you register a domain, it gives you sole ownership and rights to the name of your site. No one else in the market has the access to the actual name of that particular domain besides you.
However, just because you have a domain does not mean that you are ready to serve your website to the world. To put up and operate a website, you will need a domain name, and a proper-configured web server (hosting). Details on domain name and DNS system were explained in Web Hosting 101 Guide so we are not digging any deeper on this here – just be clear that (1) a domain name is like your house address; and, (2) a domain name can be purchased / registered only with a domain registrar.
What’s A Web Hosting
A web hosting normally refers to the web server (big computer) that stores lots of data files.
A web hosting providers normally rent out web servers and network connection to the end-users or the resellers.
For most cases, the hosting providers will be the parties handling most server maintenance work (such as backup, root configuration, maintenance, disaster recoveries, etc); but for certain cases, the end users will need to get everything cover by themselves.