Our readers frequently ask us to explain the distinction between a domain name and web hosting.
Many newcomers are unaware that these are two distinct concepts.
We will explain the distinction between a domain name and web hosting in this beginner’s guide.
What exactly is a domain name?
The address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website is referred to as the domain name.
To put it another way, if your website were a house, your domain name would be its address.
Let us now move on to a more detailed explanation.
The Internet is essentially a massive network of computers linked together by cables. Each computer is assigned a series of numbers known as an IP Address in order to be easily identified.
This IP address is a string of numbers separated by dots. IP addresses are typically formatted as follows:
These numbers are easily recognized and remembered by computers. Humans, on the other hand, are incapable of remembering and using these numbers to connect to websites on the internet.
Domain names were created to address this issue.
A domain name can contain words, making it easier to remember website addresses.
You no longer need to type a string of numbers if you want to visit a website on the internet. Instead, enter an easy-to-remember domain name, such as Your Blog Master.com.
What exactly is web hosting?
Web hosting is the location in which all of your website’s files are stored. It’s similar to your website’s home page, where it actually resides.
If your domain name is the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house to which that address points. Web hosting is necessary for all websites on the internet.
When someone enters your domain name into a browser, it is translated into the IP address of the computer at your web hosting company. This computer stores your website’s files and sends them to the users’ browsers.
Web hosting companies specialize in the storage and delivery of websites. Customers choose from a wide range of hosting plans.
What Is the Relationship Between Domain Names and Web Hosting?
Domain names as well as web hosting are not even the same thing. They do, however, collaborate to make websites possible.
A domain name system is essentially a massive address book that is constantly updated. Each domain name is followed by the address of the web hosting service that stores the website’s files.
People would be unable to identify your website if you do not have a domain name, and you will be unable to build a website if you do not have web hosting.
As a result, many of the top domain name registrars also provide web hosting services.
What do I require to create a website? Is it better to have a domain name or web hosting?
To create a website, you will need a domain name as well as a web hosting account.
Purchasing a domain name only grants you the right to use that domain name for a limited time (usually 1 year).
You’ll need web hosting to keep your website’s files safe. You must update your domain name settings and point it to your web hosting service provider once you have obtained hosting.
You can also purchase both the domain and the hosting from the same provider. A domain name typically costs $14.99 per year, and web hosting typically costs $7.99 per month.
This may appear to be a lot if you are just starting your first website.
Fortunately, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to provide our users with a free domain name and up to 60% off web hosting.
You can begin building your website once you have purchased hosting and registered your domain name.
Would I have to buy them all at once? Will I get them differently?
You can purchase a domain name and web hosting from two separate companies. In that case, you’ll need to point your domain name to your web hosting provider by editing its DNS settings.
If, on the other hand, you get your domain name and web hosting from the same company, you won’t have to change your domain name settings.
It is also far more convenient to manage and renew both services from the same dashboard.
If you want to buy domain names separately, you can do so from reputable companies such as Domain.com, Network Solutions, Godaddy, and NameCheap.
Can I Transfer My Domain Name to a New Company?
You certainly can. When you register a domain name, you typically own the right to use and transfer it wherever you want.
For example, suppose you bought your domain name from Domain.com and your hosting from Bluehost. You’d like to transfer your domain name to Bluehost so that it’s easier to manage and renew.
That is a simple task. Both companies provide detailed step-by-step instructions for transferring your domain name.
We recommend that you wait at least 45 days after registering or renewing before initiating the transfer. When a transfer is initiated, ICANN, the international organization that oversees domain names, requires a one-year renewal. If you transfer your domain name before that time, you may forfeit the renewal fee for that year.
Can I Transfer My Website to a Different Web Hosting Company Without Changing the Domain?
Yes, you can do that, too. You own the domain name and can point it to any web hosting company you want.
For example, suppose you bought your domain name and hosting from Godaddy and now want to switch to Bluehost. Simply transferring files and data will allow you to move your website from one host to another. Following that, you must modify your domain name settings to point them to your new web hosting provider.
As another example, suppose you bought your domain name from WordPress.com (See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org). Later on, you intend to migrate to a self-hosted WordPress.org website.
To begin, you must create a WordPress hosting account. Following that, you can transfer your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Finally, on WordPress.com, edit your domain name settings and point them to your new WordPress hosting provider.
We hope this article has helped you understand the distinction between a domain name and web hosting.
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