While building a website, people often get confused about web hosting and domain. Most of the time, people with inadequate knowledge perceive these two things as the same. But that is not true. 

Web hosting and domain are two different components of a website and there is a significant difference between them. However, they work hand-in-hand to ensure the proper functioning of a website. 

 In this article, we will be pointing out those key differences to give you a clear idea about both web hosting and domain. Plus, we will tell you how web hosting and domain work together to keep your site fully functional. 

And along with that, we will also cover other important topics related to these two that will help you. 

There is so much to know. So keep reading the article till the end. 

Web Hosting vs Domain – What is a Domain?

In the simplest words, a domain is your website’s address that allows other internet users to visit your website hassle-free. It has a name, known as the domain name, which users enter in the search bar to get the location of your website. 

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper. 

We all know that the internet is a huge network of computers connected to one another through cables. For better identification, each computer is assigned a series of numbers that form an IP Address. 

The IP address is a unique combination of numbers generally separated by dots (.) and stores the address of your website. In its original form, an IP Address looks like this;

22.435.678.93 

Although computers have no trouble identifying your website using these IP Addresses, we humans, however, find it hard to remember these numbers. This makes it difficult for us to find any website using its IP Address. This is where the domain name comes into play. Instead of numbers, it consists of words comprised of alphabetical letters, which makes it easy for us to remember and search for a website on the internet. 

With a domain, now you don’t need to type a long string of numbers into the search bar to search for a site. You can do it simply by entering the domain name there. 

Domain names are generally comprised of two parts – a second-level domain (SLD) and a top-level domain (TLD). 

Second-level domains usually contain the name of a person, company, or organization. While top-level domains are predetermined extensions that follow the SLD. 

Let’s take the example of our own, saaslustltd.com, to understand this. Here, the main name which is saaslustltd is the sub-level domain while .com is the TLD. 

Types of domain extensions or TLDs 

As we know, domain extensions or TLDs are the predetermined extensions that are attached to the end of the SLD of a domain name. 

There are tons of TLDs available in the internet DNS hierarchy. These extensions vary greatly in their use, features, and requirements. That is why the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) has categorized all these TLDs into four types. 

These are; 

i). gTLDs (generic top-level domains): These are the most commonly used domain names on the internet. This is because these can fit any purpose- from business to health. 

Example: (.com), (.org), (.net), (.xyz), (.biz), and (.tech)

ii). sTLDs (sponsored top-level domains): These are special sponsored domain names restricted to some particular organizations and groups. For example, the .gov domain is used by websites that operate under government provisions. Similarly, the .edu domain extension is by educational websites. 

iii). ccTLDs (country code top-level domains): These are used to indicate websites that either target or operate in a particular country. For example, .us for USA, .in for India, .uk for UK, .es for Spain and so on. 

iv). Infrastructure top-level domain: It consists of a single domain, .arpa, which represents the ARPA (address and Routing Parameter Area). Primarily, this domain extension is used for resolving infrastructure issues. 

Note: Ideally, TLD should reflect the purpose of your site. For example, if it is education-niched, it should have the .edu domain and if it’s a commercial one, then .com should be used. 

How to register a domain name?

In order to get a domain name for your website, you need to register it. You can register a domain name for your website through different domain name providers out there. Some well-reputed domain name providers include Hostinger, Godaddy, and Bluehost. However, there are many others in the market that offer great services as well. 

After registering the domain name for your website, you will need to renew it every year. However, you can pay in advance for up to years. 

Below, we have provided you with the basic steps that you need to follow to register a domain name for your website. 

  • Visit the website of the domain name provider you wish to get a domain from. 
  • Search for your preferred domain name and check for its prices. 
  • Select the domain name you like, if available, and add that to the cart 
  • Choose the period for which you want to buy that domain and then purchase it in a way similar to online shopping 
  • Now once you have purchased your domain name, it’s time for registering it. Head to the home page and click on domain setup and fill in the required details properly. 

Almost done! Now, verify the domain registration through your registered email address to successfully own that domain name. 

In this web hosting vs domain article, we have looked at what a domain is, how it works, and how you can register one for your site. Now, it’s time to shift our focus toward web hosting and see what it is and how it is different from a domain name. 

Web Hosting vs Domain – What is Web Hosting? 

Web hosting allows you to publish your website on the internet through a server. Also, it allows you to store your website’s files and database in a dedicated portion of your web host’s server. Every time an internet user searches for your website name on the search bar, that web host is responsible for providing them with access to your website’s contents which are public. 

In simple words, web hosting is like a digital storeroom where your website’s files and databases are stored. 

Let’s make it even simpler to understand. You would have visited a grocery shop ever in your life. Now, do you remember that big storeroom where groceries were stored in huge stocks by the shopkeeper? Every time you needed something, he would go to that storeroom and bring it to you. Web hosting is something like that stock-room, in a digital form. 

There are different companies out there that provide web hosting services. They are known as web-hosting providers or in short, web hosts. 

Apart from digital space, web hosts also provide their customers with a number of user-friendly tools that make website management easier and more convenient. For example, most website owners, including me, do not possess complex technical skills. It is these tools that allow us to manage our websites seamlessly even without little or no technical skills. Along with digital space and tools, web hosts also offer different assistive services like server maintenance, customer support, and more to make sure their customers face no trouble while managing their sites. 

Some web hosts even provide you with domain registration features so you can create your website quickly and easily. 

We recently covered the best web hosting providers in India in an in-depth article. Check that also!

Types of Web Hosting

Like domains, there are different types of web hosting as well. These are differentiated according to the purpose, requirements, and budget of a website. 

Primarily, there are four types of web hosting, these are;

  • Shared web hosting: As the name suggests, in shared web hosting, multiple websites share the same physical server. Each of them has limited storage access and resources. Shared web hosting is the most affordable web hosting out there and is good for small businesses or personal websites. Its pricing ranges from ₹69 to ₹649. 
  • VPS hosting: It stands for virtual private server and provides the users with a virtual private section of a bigger physical server. It gives the users a private space with their limited yet dedicated resources. Works best for websites with moderate traffic. Its pricing ranges from ₹199 to ₹5999
  • Cloud hosting: Instead of using one server, it uses a cluster of servers to make sure your website keeps running all the time. If one of the servers goes down, the others come instantly and prevent your site from going down. Most of the big sites with high traffic prefer cloud hosting. Cloud hosting plans start from ₹799 to ₹5999/month 
  • WordPress hosting: Dedicated to WordPress, it provides you with an optimized environment, seamless performance, and complete security for hosting your WordPress site. Features in this hosting are optimized according to WordPress to make sure your WordPress site faces no issues. You can get WordPress hosting for as low as ₹69/month 

There is fierce competition between web hosting providers out there and it makes it difficult for you to decide which one to go with. However, you can read our quick guide on how to choose the best web hosting for your site in 2022 to get a proper idea. 

How to buy web hosting?

Buying web hosting is quite a simple process. In my perspective, it is easier than buying a domain name. To buy a web hosting plan from your provider, you just need to select the kind of web hosting you want and then choose the tenure for that plan. And then enter the required details and make the payment. And yay! Here you have bought a web host for your website. 

Web Hosting vs Domain – How are They Different?

Throughout the article, we have got some basic information about a domain and web hosting and their respective features. 

This basic information gives us a clear idea about the differences between the two terms. However, it is necessary that we talk about it separately. 

A website is like a shop that provides its customer with the items of their needs, here in the form of information. Now, the domain of the website works as the address of the shop. Meanwhile, web hosting is about the products, in the form of information here, that reside there. 

While domain name helps other users to find your website easily, web hosting is the place where your website, along with its content, lies.

Web Hosting vs Domain – How do they Work Together?

Up to now, we have been looking at how web hosting and domain are two different things and that it is a mistake to consider them one. 

But now is the time when you learn that these two, different, entities must work together to ensure the proper functioning of a website. 

Domain name and web hosting work hand-in-hand. Without the other, one will not be as effective as it is when with the other. In fact, your website cannot function without any of them. 

Imagine the domain name and the IP Address of your site being its address and the web hosting being the house. Now, without the house, will there be any use of the address? Clearly not. This means that without web hosting and domain name, your website cannot exist on the internet. 

This is why it is necessary that you sync your purchased domain with the web hosting provider. 

However, doing this sometimes can be a hassle for some users. For this reason, it’s recommended that you buy both the domain name and the web hosting for your website from the same provider. In such cases, there is no need to do manual sinking and you can skip directly to the website-building part. 

Conclusion: Different but Together 

In this article about web hosting vs domain, we covered how web hosting and domain are two terms. At the same time, we also included that both of these entities must work together for the efficient functioning of a website. 

Despite being completely different things, these two are the basic needs of each other and one seems to be ineffective without the other. 

Through this article, we hope that now you have no confusion regarding the differences between web hosting and domain names. But if you still have some, read the FAQs section below to get more clarity. 

FAQs 

Can you have a website without hosting?

No! As we have seen that hosting serves as the home for your website, without it, a website cannot exist on the internet. 

Can I create a website without a domain name?

No! Without a domain name, internet users will not be able to locate your website. However, some website-building platforms like WordPress and Wix allow you to create your website without BUYING A PARTICULAR DOMAIN. In such cases, they provide you with basic subdomains. 

Can I buy domain from GoDaddy and host elsewhere?

Of course! It is not mandatory to buy both domain and web hosting for your website from the same provider. You can easily buy a domain from GoDaddy and web hosting from Hostinger. However, in this case, you will need to sync the domain with the web host to get your site up and running. 

Is there any difference between buying domain name vs web hosting?

Not at all. Both, buying a domain name and a web hosting plan for your website, are quite simple and non-technical processes. 

What is domain host vs web host?

The company that provides you with domain names is called a domain host while a company that offers web hosting services is known as a web host. 

Categorized in: