What is a Domain Name?
Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website. In other words, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.
Internet is basically a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called IP Address.
This IP address is a combination of numbers separated with dots. Typically, IP addresses look like this: 22.214.171.124. It will be like our ID Card.
Computers have no problem identifying and remembering these numbers. However, it is impossible for humans to remember and use these numbers to connect to websites on the internet.
To solve this problem, domain names were invented.
A domain name can have words which makes it easy to remember website addresses.
Now if you wanted to visit a website on the internet, you don’t need to type a string of numbers. Instead, you can type in an easy to remember domain name, for example, blog.xupxup.net.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives.
A good way to think about this is if the domain name was the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house that address points to. All websites on the internet, need web hosting.
When someone enters your domain name in a browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. This computer contains your website’s files, and it sends those files back to the users’ browsers.
Web hosting companies specialize in storing and serving websites. They offer different types of hosting plans to their customers.
How Domain Names and Web Hosting are Related?
Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites possible.
Basically a domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files.
Without domain names, it will not be possible for people to find your website and without web hosting you cannot build a website.
What do I need to Build a Website? Domain Name or Web Hosting?
To build a website you will need both a domain name and web hosting account.
Buying a domain name alone only gives you right to use that particular domain name for a specific period (usually 1 year).
You need web hosting to store your website’s files. After you get hosting, you need to update your domain name settings and point it to your web hosting service provider.
You can also buy both the domain and hosting from the same company. Typically a domain name costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.
If you are starting your first website, then this may sound like a lot.
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.
Once you have purchased hosting and registered your domain name, you can start building your website!