What is Domain Name and Web Hosting
Complete and comprehensive guide
Are Domain name and web hosting two different things?
This is the most common question for anyone who is planning to launch their first website. And the answer is Yes...!!
They are two different things and you will be needed both of them to run a website.
A Domain name is the URL one types into a browser’s address bar to visit the particular website. Whereas Web Hosting is a place where all the files and data (content of your site) of a website is stored.
In simple language, a domain name is the address of your house and host is your house where you live. If someone wants to meet you they need to visit your postal address to get you from your house.
We will go into details later but first, have a look at the infographic below.
Topics we are going to cover in this guide:
1 What is Domain name
- What is Sub Domain
- Relation between Domain and IP address
- How domain works
- What is DNS
- How to get a Domain name
2. What is Web Hosting
- Type of Web Hosting
- How to buy web hosting for your website
3. Do you need to buy both of them together
4. Can you move the Domain name to other company
5. Can you move the Hosting to other company
1. What is Domain name
A Domain name is a website address one types into a browser’s URL bar to visit that particular website. E.g: www.elegantespace.com
Basically, the Internet is a giant network having numerous computers connected to each other. In order to identify all of them, each computer is assigned with a special series of number commonly known as IP address.
A typical IP address looks like 22.214.171.124. And for humans its really impossible to remember all the IP address, thus domain name was invented. It's like providing nickname to the each and every IP address.
So instead of remembering and typing this ugly string of number people can easily go with easy to type and remember a string of words [domain name].
Getting the right domain name for your website is really really important.
If you have chosen the best name for your website then you are good to go or else spare your 5 minutes to get an idea of how to choose the best domain name for your site.
What is subdomain
A subdomain is a child of the main domain followed by a period (.) and the main domain name itself.
Example: www.blog.elegantespace.com. Here "blog" is a subdomain of elegantespace.com
To host different section of your website you can create multiple sub-domain from the Cpanel of your web host and it's usually free.
For an example, if your website consists of a blog section you can make a separate web address by creating a sub-domain as shown in above example.
Like that, you can make:
Relation between Domain name and IP address
Technically Domain name and IP address of a website are same.
Each computer and website is assigned with a unique series of number commonly known as IP address. This IP address helps in identifying each and every computer all over the world. A typical IP address looks like 127.0.01
Computers can easily remember and identify this series of number however for humans its nearly impossible to remember all the IP address of the website.
To solve this problem domain name was invented. It's like providing nickname to the each and every IP address.
So instead of typing and remembering IP address (126.96.36.199), you can easily go with the string of words like www.amazon.com.
What is DNS
Domain name system (DNS) is internets' directory equivalent to the phone-book. It maintains all the domain and translates them to their unique IP address whenever required.
We, humans, access the website by typing the domain name in browsers but the computers or machines need IP address to interconnect with each other in order to provide the appropriate results.
Here DNS plays his role in translating the domain name into the numeric IP address to locate the website.
How domain works
When you type a web address say www.elegantespace.com, your browser sends a request to the global network of servers to look up for the name servers associated with the domain name you have entered.
Now your host provider will manage all the process and fetches the requested website from the server and send it back to the browser. That is why you should always choose the best hosting company for your website.
How to get a Domain name
You can buy and register a domain name from many companies. These companies are called domain name registrars accredited by ICANN ( Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers ). A domain name will cost you around $15 per year.
Few most popular and reliable domain registrars are:
However, registering a domain name doesn't mean you can run a website. To launch a website you will be needed a hosting account as well.
Many top hosting companies offer domain name registration service as well. And it will be a great move to get a domain name from the same company you have set up your hosting account.
I recommend using Fastcomet. Since it is the fastest SSD cloud hosting company and will offer you a free domain for the lifetime. It's amazing...!!
2.What is Web Hosting
Web Hosting is a place (server) where all the files and data [content of your site] of a website is stored.
Technically you can build your own server at home but getting hosting services from a renowned hosting company is highly recommended.
Because Hosting companies are specialized in storing and serving the website.
Hosting service is a giant beast which allows your website accessible via www (world wide web).
Your browser converts those codes into high-level languages (understandable by humans). So, that we can understand the content (images, text, videos, animations, color, buttons) of the website.
All the codes which make a website are held in a file which needs some space or place to live known as a server.
On your computer its hard-drive, where you keep your important files or documents so that you can easily access all of them when you need it.
This is exactly what a server is. It is a computer which keeps all your files and is capable of performing operations on them. So, that your viewers can see the content of your website from their devices.
It has a CPU, it has a memory, hard drive as well as operating system. I guess you are confused in “hosting” and “server”, not to worry I will make things clear.
A host is a company that owns the server where the content or files of your website are kept. In addition hosting company provides you additional services like malware scanning, backups, server management, support, web builder and so on.
These services depend on the hosting plan you have selected as well as it varies from companies to companies.
Types of Web Hosting
Basically, it is of three types.
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
Shared hosting - A hosting service where several websites hosted on the same server and share the same resources ( like RAM, disk space etc ). It is extremely cost-effective but also not a good choice for a website having high traffic.
Suppose on your server there are 1000 websites which share the server’s resources and one of them have lots of visitors which consumes 80% of server’s memory, then the other 999 sites left with only 20% of server’s memory (RAM). Which leads website to go down and load slowly for the visitors.
Now the question arises is shared hosting really a good choice?
Absolutely YES! It can be a great choice for a website having low traffic or a portfolio website or new blogging site where uptime is not an issue.
Don’t think too much if you are a beginner or you are at learning stage go with shared hosting plans. Later on, you can upgrade to the other hosting plans according to your site performance and need.
Even I did the same thing. Almost every blogger starts with shared hosting.
VPS hosting - Virtual Private Server (VPS) share one physical server but acts like multiple separate servers which are limited to 10-20 users.
If there are 10 users, 100GB of RAM and 2000GB of hard disk space on the server, each user will get 10GB of RAM and 200GB of hard disk space. Unlike shared hosting, the resources in VPS are distributed equally.
When you will start getting 100,000 visitors per month switch to VPS.
Dedicated hosting - Dedicated hosting means you are renting one physical server from a hosting company and having full control over it.
You will be able to install operating system along with other tools like a web server, security scanning, malware scanning and so on.
To do all setup you need to know about server technology with computing and a little knowledge of programming languages.
However, dedicated hosting is not for the small website or a blogging website it is actually meant for the website having lots of traffic ( like banking website and e-commerce website having millions of visitors per month).
If you want to get more information about hosting services check out our exclusive post on different types of web hosting.
How to buy hosting plan for a website
Choosing the best suitable hosting plan for any website is one of the most important factors. And for newbies its really difficult to get the best one.
Most of the time new users make the mistake of paying lots of money for web hosting which they do not even need.
So before buying any hosting plan, first identify your website need.
If it is a blogging website or a small website it's a good idea to get started with the shared plan. Later on, you can upgrade it as per your website need.
However, you should consider these things while choosing the hosting plan:
- DiskSpace and RAM
- Bandwidth and Monthly Traffic
- Uptime and Downtime
- Upgrade options
There are plenty host providers out there who promise all these things but whom should you believe? and whom should you choose?
Don't get trapped. Analyze it carefully and get the best hosting company for your website. If you need any help ask me.
3. Can I buy both of them separately
Yes, you can buy a domain name and a web hosting from two different companies.
However, if you buy it separately then you will have to point your domain name to your hosting company by editing DNS settings.
If you ask my choice, I prefer buying both of them from the same company. By doing this you will not have to change any DNS settings. And it's also easy to manage both of them under the same roof.
4. Can I transfer my Domain name to other company
Of course, you can transfer your registered domain name to any company.
Let's say you have purchased a domain name from Godaddy and hosting from Fastcomet. Now you want to transfer your domain name to Fastcomet itself. Since you found its really easy to maintain both of them under the same account.
To do so you can contact your service provider and follow the instruction to get your domain transferred successfully.
5. Can I transfer my web hosting to other service providers
Just like transferring the domain name you can also switch your host provider at any time without changing your domain name.
You can do it anytime just by transferring data and file to the new service provider. Once your account is transferred you need to edit your DNS setting and point your domain name to your new host provider. Simple as that.
I hope this detailed guide has helped you in understanding between Domain name and Web hosting.
If you have any doubt, you can ask me anytime. Just leave the comment below I will definitely get back to you.
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