One of the most common causes of confusion for the newbies is the difference between domain and web hosting. Nevertheless, it is very significant to be absolutely crystal clear with the two concepts before you go on to your very first website.
In a layman’s language, a domain is just like the address of your house whereas web hosting is the interior space of the house you are living in, the place where your furniture and belongings are stored.
Instead of your street name or the area code, several sets of numbers and/or words are used during the website’s naming. A similar thing happens with hosting where the computer hard disk and the computer memory are utilized instead of steel and wood for processing and storing different data files. A neat conception about these terms in your mind is a must. A clearer idea can be framed about these three topics, i.e. data files, domain and web hosting by drawing an analogy. Your house with everything inside it can be compared to hosting, your address might be taken as the domain name and the particular commodities inside your house like your furniture can be taken as data files.
A domain or a domain name
When you are registering a domain, it does give you the sole ownership and the rights to your website’s name. Thus, nobody but you have the access to your site and to the actual name of the particular domain.
Although just because you have a domain that doesn’t mean you are absolutely ready to offer your website to the outside world. To operate and run a website, you must have a domain name and a standard – configured server (hosting). Ultimately do remember that the domain is just like your home address which can be registered only through a domain registrar.
Web hosting usually refers to the different web servers that store a lot of data. Web hosting services and providers usually rent out the web servers and the network connections to various end- users and resellers. In most of the cases, the web hosting service providers are the parties that handle most of the server maintenance work like root configuration, disaster recoveries, back up, maintenance etc. However, in some cases, the end users need to get everything covered by them.
The basic differences and their workings explained
It is easily understandable that you are having a tough time while setting up your first website. You are most likely to be baffled by the concepts of a domain name and web hosting.
Your domain is the precious name of your own site or your URL which may be purchased by a domain registrar. Domains usually range from $ 10 – $ 50 per year depending on the kind of extension. Domain names may be purchased anywhere however it is convenient to buy the set-up hosting and the domain near the same location.
In order to make your website appear on the internet, the files need to be uploaded to a web server. They may be hosted in a hosting company which is normally billed either annually or monthly at about $10-$50 per month varying on what kind of server you might need and how much space you need or how much bandwidth you requires.
Many web hosting providers provide a domain name and hosting too, making it all the more convenient for you. However, you may purchase a domain and then host it elsewhere if you want to.
Once you have a domain name, you will be given the login details of your account so that it becomes accessible to you. Do remember to keep this invaluable information in your mind and forget not to pass it to your developer. If you have a domain name at a company and then you decide to host it somewhere else, you will then need to login to the domain registrar and modify the DNS. The DNS change lets your registrar know that the URL which you are now using is now hosted by some other company.
However before modifying the DNS, be mindful about your email addresses. If you have already set up an email address with your domain registrar, then you will have to set these again with your web hosting provider. So, before you make any changes it is best to contact the web developer or the IT department and be sure that the changes made do not incur email loss.
This entire domain name registration, as well as hosting, might seem to you immensely complex, but it is rather very simple once you are accustomed to it and have done it a few times. When you are setting up an entirely new site it is simpler to choose one hosting company which is purchasing both the hosting and the domain. However, if you have purchased the domain name somewhere else already just be sure that you keep all your login details with both the domain registrar and the hosting provider and let your web developer know of it.