Many people want to initiate blogging as their side hustle, but they need to be aware of the commonly used terms in the industry. This article will explore Web Hosting and Domain, and the difference between the two. If anyone wants to create a website, the two key terms often come up are “domain” and “hosting.”

Without reliable hosting and a domain name, your website can never be transformed from just an idea into reality. Domain and hosting have different functions and purposes in site development. This blog critically focuses on the domain, hosting, and their differences.

What is a Domain?

A domain is a name you want to give to your website that will be used for its identification. For instance, if you want to open and access Google on your web browser, you only need to type “google.com” to reach the desired site.

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Similarly, to access any other website, you must enter its domain in your web browser. As you can see in the above example, a domain name comprises two parts which are explained as follows:

  • Top-Level Domain (TLD): The part after the dot in your site’s domain, like .com, .org, .net. 
  • Second-Level Domain (SLD): SLD is the part in the domain name that comes before the dot, like Google in the above example, iSkills in iskills.com

To create your site, you must first ask a domain name registrar to register a unique domain name. The domain name will give your site a unique identity. The domain registrars available out there include NamecheapGoDaddy, and others.

You must pay its annual fee to keep your selected domain name registered. Domain name registration costs vary from site to site depending on its TLD and domain registrar.

What is Hosting?

When you create a website, you need a server to store your site’s data on a server accessible over the internet. If someone wants to visit your website online, they will have to enter your site’s domain name into the web browser; the browser will then send a request to the server containing your site’s data.

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The server will respond by sending the requested files back to the browser to be displayed to the website user. Web hostings are of several types: CloudSharedVPS, and dedicated. Generally, people opt for shared hosting due to its affordability, as in shared hosting; a single server serves several sites on a shared basis.

A more advanced form of hosting known as VPS allows for dividing a single physical server into numerous virtual servers, each of which hosts a different website. A dedicated server is solely used to host your website. Hosting your website files on a network of servers, or “cloud,” offers greater scalability and stability.

Differences between Hosting and Domain

We hope you have attained a basic understanding of domain and hosting; let’s now dive into the details of their differences.

  • Function: Domain serves as the name for your site’s unique identification while hosting refers to how your site’s data is stored on the server accessible over the internet.
  • Cost: Domains are to be registered by registrars like GoDaddy against an annual fee, while hosting has both payment cycles such as monthly and annually.
  • Ownership: You can own your website’s domain name, but the hosting provider will provide your site’s hosting against monthly or annual rent.
  • Renewal: While hosting must be renewed frequently to keep your website running, domains must be renewed annually to maintain ownership.
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Here are a few brief points outlining how domains and hosting differ:

Domain:

  • A domain is a website’s distinctive name or address, such as www.example.com.
  • It is employed to locate and identify a particular website on the internet.
  • A domain registrar or a web hosting provider both sell domains.
  • Every year, the domain name is typically renewed.

Hosting:

  • Web hosting provides the storage space, processing power, and other resources required for an internet-accessible website.
  • It enables users to access the website’s files hosted on a server.
  • Depending on the website’s requirements, hosting might be shared or dedicated.

Relation between Domain Name and Web Hosting 

Domain and Hosting have different functionalities and offer dissimilar services, and collectively by working together, they can make the websites possible. A domain name system works like a sizable, constantly updated address book.

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Each domain name contains the company’s address that provides web hosting and stores the website’s data. Without domain names, no one can locate your website; you can’t even start one without web hosting. As a result, many trustworthy domain name registrars also offer web hosting services.

Domain and Hosting: Buying Together or Separately

You can buy your website’s domain and web hosting from the same company and different companies. If you plan to buy them from different companies, you must point the domain to your hosting provider by editing its DNS settings.

Another option is buying a domain and hosting from the same company offering both services, but in this case, you have to change the domain settings. According to our team of experts, purchasing them from the same company to manage and review the things under the same dashboard is better. To purchase a domain name separately, visit Domain.comGoDaddyNetwordSolutions, and NameCheap.

Moving Your Domain to a Different Company

Moving your domain to any other company is possible and permissible to the domain owner. During the domain name registration process following rights are given to the buyer:

  1. Right to use
  2. Right to transfer

For instance, you bought your hosting from Bluehost and your domain name from Domain.com. To make managing and renewing your domain name smoother, you now want to transfer it to Bluehost. That is simple to do. You can transfer your domain name by following both companies’ thorough, step-by-step procedures.

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Please note that you should wait at least 45 days after registering or renewing before beginning the transfer. Every time a transfer is started, ICANN, the global body in charge of domain names, requires a one-year renewal. You risk losing the renewal money for that year if you transfer your domain name before that time.

Moving Your Website to Another Web Hosting

Yes, it is possible, and the process is quite simple. You can transfer your domain to any web hosting provider as you own the domain name against annual dues or charges you pay to the registrar. For instance, you might have bought your domain name and hosting from Godaddy and now want to switch to Bluehost.

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Moving files and data from one host to another will allow you to migrate your website. The last step is to modify your domain name’s settings to direct traffic to your new web host. We hope you understand the distinction between domain names and web hosting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a domain name without web hosting?

Yes, you may register a domain name without having a website. You can do it to safeguard your brand’s identity or to reserve a domain name for later usage. Unfortunately, the website linked to the domain name will only be reachable online with web hosting. For a website to function, a server must host it.

Can I switch to my web hosting company and preserve my domain name?

It is possible to change web hosts while keeping your current domain name. The files and information on the website must be moved from the previous hosting company to the new one throughout this process. You must first make a backup of your website’s files and database, which you must then upload to the new hosting company.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a domain is a name that distinguishes your website, and hosting is putting your website’s files on a reachable server. Any website must have both a domain name and hosting to operate effectively. Unlike hosting, which has a monthly or annual price, domains have an annual fee. To ensure your website is reachable by your audience, it’s crucial to pick a trustworthy hosting company and a memorable domain name.