What is Domain Name and Web Hosting
Are Domain name and web hosting two different things?
This is the most common question for anyone who is planning to start a 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 (the content of your site) of a website is stored.
In simple language, a domain name is the address of your house and the host is your house where you live. If someone wants to meet you they need to visit your postal address (URL) to get you from your house.
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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, Amazon.com, Google.com
Basically, the Internet is a giant network having numerous computers connected to each other.
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 184.108.40.206. And for humans it’s really impossible to remember all the IP addresses, thus domain name was invented. It’s like providing nicknames to each IP address.
So instead of remembering and typing the string of a 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 on how to choose the best domain name for your site.
What Does A Domain Look Like?
A domain typically consists of two or three words separated by dots. For example, elegantespace.com is a domain.
However a URL (website address) typically consists of a protocol, domain name, and path.
We’ll go over each component of a domain name in full depth below. Let’s start with what is the use of domain.
What Are Domains Used For?
1. To Gain Ownership
2. To Solidify Your Brand Identity
3. To Establish Credibility
4. To Be Memorable
5. To Stand Out Against Competitors
6. To Build Authority
The Parts of a Domain Name
There are typically two parts of a domain: the second-level domain and the top-level domain.
For example, in elegantespace.com the SLD is elegantespace and the TLD is .com.
Second-Level Domain (SLD)
It’s the part of your domain that comes before “.com” or another extension.
The SLD is the first point of contact internet users have with your website. It’s the most memorable part of a URL and therefore the most important.
Consider purchasing a domain that reflects your company’s name if you’re creating a website for it.
Top-Level Domain (TLD)
The top-level domain is the extension, or the part of your domain that comes after your second-level domain.
The most well-known TLD is .com. Though it is the most popular, the new TLDs are being created all the time which are becoming more customizable and can be tailored to the needs of a specific website.
Types Of Domain
1. Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD)
2. Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)
3. Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLD )
4. Infrastructure Top-Level Domain
1. Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD)
The most commonly used domain name as it fits any website purposes. This includes the well-known .com.
.com TLD alone share 54% of market space.
2. Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)
It refers to a specific area of the country or location using ISO codes. Here are the most common ones.
- .in (India)
- .ru (Russia)
- .de (Germany)
- .br (Brazil)
- .au (Australia)
- .uk (United Kingdom)
3. Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLD)
These domains are restricted to certain organizations and groups. Top examples are.
- .gov for governmental sites
- .edu for educational institutions
- .post for postal services
4. Infrastructure Top-Level Domain
This domain name is primarily reserved to solve internet-infrastructure issues.
It consists of only one domain name, which is .arpa, representing the ARPA (Address and Routing Parameter Area). This domain name is primarily reserved for resolving issues with internet infrastructure.
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 sections of your website you can create multiple sub-domain from the Cpanel of your web host and it’s usually free.
For example, if your website consists of a blog section you can make a separate web address by creating a sub-domain as shown in the above example.
Like that, you can make:
Relation Between Domain Name And IP Address
A website’s domain name and IP address are technically the same things.
Each computer and website is assigned with a unique series of number commonly known as IP address.
This IP address helps in identifying every computer all over the world.
A typical IP address looks like 127.0.01
Computers can easily remember and identify this series of numbers. However, for humans, it’s nearly impossible to remember all the IP addresses of the website.
To solve this problem, the domain name was invented. It’s like providing nicknames to each IP address.
So instead of typing and remembering the IP address (220.127.116.11), you can easily go with the string of words like www.amazon.com.
What Is DNS
Domain name system (DNS) is the internets’ directory equivalent to the phone-book. It maintains all the domains 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 an IP address to interconnect with each other 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 DNS Work
To understand how domains work, we have to understand what happens when you enter the domain name in your browser.
When you enter a domain name (www.elegantespace.com) in your web browser, first it sends a request to the global network of servers to look up for the name servers associated with the domain name you have entered.
For example, if your website is hosted on Fastcomet, then the name server will be like this:
These name servers are managed by your hosting company. It will manage all the processes and fetches the requested website from the server and send it back to the browser.
It is a complex process so make sure you have chosen the best hosting company for your website.
How To Get A Domain Name
You can buy and register a domain name from any company.
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.
The 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 services 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 domain at a very minimal price.
What Is Web Hosting
Web Hosting is a place (server) where all the files and data (the content of your site) of a website is stored.
Web hosting services allow you to publish the website on the internet. If you purchase a hosting service from a provider, you will have access to a portion of their web servers to store the files and data for your website.
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 that 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, colour, buttons) of the website.
All the codes which make a website are held in a file that needs some space or place to live known as a server.
On your computer, it’s a hard drive, where you keep your important files or documents so that you can easily access all of them when you need them.
This is exactly what a server is.
It is a computer that keeps all your files and is capable of performing operations on them. So, your viewers can see the content of your website from their devices.
It has a CPU, it has memory, a hard drive as well as an operating system.
I guess you are confused between ‘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 companies provide you with 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 are 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 that share the server’s resources and one of them have lots of visitors which consumes 80% of the server’s memory, then the other 999 sites left with only 20% of the server’s memory (RAM). Which leads the website to go down and load slowly for the visitors.
Now the question arises is shared hosting a good choice?
Absolutely YES! It can be a great choice for a website having low traffic or a portfolio website or a new blogging site.
Don’t think too much if you are a beginner or you are at the 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, 100 GB of RAM and 2000 GB of hard disk space on the server, each user will get 10 GB of RAM and 200 GB 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 an 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 blogger 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 Best Hosting For A Website
Choosing the best suitable hosting plan for any website is one of the most important factors. And for newbies, it’s 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 requirement.
However, you should consider these things while choosing your hosting plan:
- Disk Space and RAM
- Bandwidth and Monthly
- Uptime and Downtime
There are plenty of 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 plan for your website.
If you need any help ask me in the comment section below.
FAQs On Domain & Hosting
Yes, you can buy a domain name and 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 account.
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 it 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.
Just like transferring the domain name, you can also switch your host provider at any time without changing your domain name.
For example, suppose you have purchased both domain name and hosting from Godaddy now you want to change your host provider to Fastcomet.
You can do it anytime just by transferring data and files 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.
Some domain registrar allows you to cancel the domain registration other allows you to simply let your domain expire. Once, cancelled it will be available for others to register.
In most cases, you will not get any refund for the domain registration.
Yes, you can sell your domain name.
Actually, the trading of domain names is a multi-million dollar industry. People buy a great domain name at a cheap rate and sell at a higher price.
Yes, you can buy as many domain names as you like.
Domain names and web hosting are both crucial to build a website.
Yes, you can buy web hosting services and domain names from different companies, but you will have to point your domain name to the web hosting company. You can do this by editing the DNS settings.