Difference Between Registering a Domain and Hosting a Website

When developing or planning the development of a website for the first time, many website owners have questions about domain registration and web hosting. As often asked, there are a lot of differences between each. To be able to effectively build a website and ensure it is done right, it is important to understand domain registration and web hosting individually.

Web host and domain

A domain, as often explained, is an address on the internet. Registering a domain means leasing out space on the web that directs people to a particular site via the browser. Web hosting, on the other hand, is an account on a server which stores and manages your website and its related resources. To make it simpler, let’s consider web hosting as a plot of land which has multiple houses on it. And your website domain is one of those houses with its specific address and location.

However, there is a lot more to these two aspects of a website.

How Hosting & Domains Work

Domain Registration

As we all know, internet addresses are technically called ‘IP Addresses.’ These are nothing but a series of numbers separated by ‘.’. While such numbers can easily be understood by a technical expert, they do not make sense to regular people, particularly those accessing the internet without any technical background. That is why, instead of numbers, websites are given a ‘domain name’ which is easy to read and remember. This domain routes the user to that address marked with the number. It’s like giving your house/apartment building a name. As a site owner, when you register a domain name, you are basically leasing it from Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN provides you with domains which are approved by registrars. Registering a domain gives you the right to make your business public on the internet. A domain is of no utility on its own. Only when you register it with a web host, can the website domain serve its purpose.

Web Hosting

Web hosting is used to store, manage, and distribute your website files. You can avail of space on a main physical server. This is where the role of a hosting company comes it. The hosting provider owns a set of servers which they lease out to different users. You can choose from dedicated hosting or cloud hosting, choose the server types, their operating system, and more. The hosting service provider assigns resources for your individual server. Depending on your website requirements, budget, etc. you can decide your service plan. And depending on your selected service plan and hosting environment, you can get the necessary services and support from your hosting provider.

Summing up…

Both domain registration and web hosting are integral elements of a website and yet are not the same. They might often be used in the same breath, but each has their respective roles in a website function. Without a web host, you cannot make any use of a domain name. And without a domain name, your web server can never find your website. To be able to build a website, you need both a domain name and web hosting account. All you need is a reliable and efficient hosting company which takes care of your entire website building and hosting process and save you from unnecessary hassles.