What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of your website and it is something your website visitors type in the browser’s address bar to get to your website. This address is something like the address of your home or office – a way to find a location (or in this case, a website’s location).
After you enter the URL of the website you are looking to visit, the computer will understand your request and find the server where the file you requested is located. The computer will need to know the web server’s address and its IP address. This IP address is the address that is used to identify a device on the Internet. This is an example of an IP address 191.164.00.2. As you could see, it is a string of numbers and it is not so easy to remember multiple IP addresses as they look more like random numbers. But this is not the case with computers as computers use these numbers to find the website or the HTML file you wish to access.
While humans use domain names to recognize a website, computers use these numbers to locate websites. Domain names were designed to make it simpler for humans to remember the names of websites.
Domain names have words that relate to the websites so that it is easier for humans to remember them. So, if you like to visit a website, you don’t need to type numbers, but rather you just have to type the domain name.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is where all your website content files are stored and is more like the home of your website. If a domain name is the address to your house, the server that hosts your website is the house.
You cannot have a website without a hosting server, which means all websites require web hosting.
When your domain name is entered, the computer will convert the name into the IP address of the server that hosts your website. This server will then respond by sending the files the user requested to the browser. This is when your website will be displayed on the website visitor’s browser.
There are many hosting companies that serve websites by storing their files. Likewise, there are different types of hosting plans. Website owners can choose plans based on their requirements.
How is Domain Name Related to Web Hosting?
Domain names and web hosting are two different things and the two are not the same. But they work together to make the websites work. The domain name is the address to the hosting service where the files of your website are stored. It is close to impossible to get to your website without a domain name. Likewise, it is impossible to build a website without web hosting.
Do I Need Both Web Hosting and Domain Name to Build a Website?
You will need both web hosting and domain name to build a website. Web hosting is required to store all the files of your website. Likewise, a domain name is needed to point your visitors to your website.
You can choose to buy the domain name and web hosting from the same provider. You can also get a domain name from a different domain name registrar and web hosting from a different company. Once you get your domain name and hosting, you can start building your website.
WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful hosting platforms. Check out our in-depth article on hosting providers to know more!
In simple terms, the domain name is your website’s address and web hosting is where your site’s files are stored. Now that you know the difference between the two, make sure you choose a domain name wisely that relates to your website. Similarly, you can get your domain name and web hosting services from the same company, or you can choose to go for two different companies.