Domain Name vs. Hosting: What’s the Difference?

The two most important things you need when you are creating a website is a domain name and web hosting. But what are those two things exactly? What’s the difference? What happens if I don’t have them? Let us explain.

Think of your domain name and hosting as your home. You need a house to live in, to store all of your belongings, and other personal things. You couldn’t just walk around carrying all your belongings with you, you need a place to keep them, right? That’s your hosting.

Now, when you buy a house you have to have a way for your family and friends to find it, right? So you would use an address – that’s your domain!

Simple enough, right? Well, let’s give you a bit more insight into the basic backgrounds of domain names and hosting.

Domain Name

Your domain name is essentially the name of your website. It’s what people will type in when they want to go directly to your website. So your domain name would look like this:

yourwebsite.com

You can choose whatever name you’d like to, as long as it’s available(domain names are first to come, first served. So if the name you want is already taken, you have no choice but to pick something else, use it in another variation, or try and wait until it’s available again). Depending on what you choose, the cost will vary. For example:

yourwebsite.com

yourwebsite.org

yourwebsite.edu

But most domain names are fairly cheap.

When building your website, the first thing you want to do is purchase your domain name.

Web Hosting

As I stated earlier, the domain name is like your house. It’s where all of your website’s files are stored. Without web hosting, your website will have no home and it won’t be published on the internet.

When you purchase your domain, you will then be able to connect it to your domain name so that when someone types in your domain name it will go directly to your website. Just the same as if someone typed in your address in Google Maps and the directions directly to your house popped up!

NOTE: You never want to purchase your domain name in the same place that you buy hosting. In the case of a hack or if the web host’s system goes down, all of your hard work will be gone. Purchasing the two in different places will help you to add an extra layer of security to your website and make the transition easier in case you choose to switch hosting providers.

And there you have it, a sweet and simple explanation of the basics of domain names and web hosting! Once you get all this stuff, AKA the dirty work, out of the way, then comes the fun part – actually designing and optimizing the website! But you can cross that bridge when you get there ;).

Still confused by the difference between the two? Overwhelmed by the whole website building business? Just don’t really want to deal with it? We got you! Shoot us a message or call us at (662)586-1156 and we’ll be more than happy to take you step-by-step through the process, or, better yet, handle the whole thing for you! We’re just a call or a few clicks away!

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