What's The Difference Between A Domain Name And Web Hosting?

Posted on 20/03/2018 by Neil Skoglund

We are often asked what is the difference between a domain name and web hosting? Many WordPress beginners don’t know that these are two separate things. In this guide, we will explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

 

What Is A Domain Name?

A Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website. 

The Internet is basically a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called IP Address.

This IP address is a combination of numbers separated by dots. Typically, IP addresses look like this: 66.249.66.1

Computers have no problem identifying and remembering these numbers. However, it is impossible for humans to remember and use these numbers to connect to websites on the internet. To solve this problem, domain names were invented.

A domain name can have words which makes it easy to remember website addresses.

Now if you wanted to visit a website on the internet, you don’t need to type a string of numbers. Instead, you can type in an easy to remember domain name, for example, FreshSites.co.uk.

 

What Is Web Hosting?

 

Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives.

A good way to think about this is if the domain name was the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house that address' points to. All websites on the internet, need web hosting. When someone enters your domain name in a browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. This computer contains your website’s files, and it sends those files back to the users’ browsers.

Web hosting companies specialize in storing and serving websites. They offer different types of hosting plans to their customers. Have a look at some of our WordPress hosting packages we offer our customers here at FreshSites.

 

How Are Domain Names And Web Hosting Related Then?

Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites possible.

Basically, a domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files.

Without domain names, it will not be possible for people to find your website and without web hosting, you can't build a website.

 

What Do I Need To Build A Website?

To build a website you will need both a domain name and a web hosting account. Buying a domain name alone only gives you right to use that particular domain name for a specific period (usually 1 year).

You will need web hosting to store your website’s files. Once you get hosting, you need to update your domain name settings and point it to your web hosting service provider. It is possible to buy both your domain name and hosting from the same company. Domain names typically don't cost a lot of money but your hosting expenses may vary due to the type of hosting you require.

 

Can I Move My Domain Name To A Different Company?

Yes, you can. Normally when you register the domain name, you own the right to use it and transfer it anywhere you want.

For example, let’s say you purchased your domain name from Godaddy and bought your hosting from FreshSites. Now you want to move your domain name to FreshSites so that it is easier to manage and renew.

You can easily do that. Both companies have detailed step by step instructions that you can follow to transfer your domain name.

You are also able to move your website to a new hosting company if you wish. You own the domain name and can change its settings to point it to any web hosting company.

We hope this article helped you learn the difference between a domain name and web hosting. If you liked this article visit our Facebook and Twitter for more WordPress related content. 

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