What is domain name and what is web hosting?
During our discussions with clients who approached us for web development or eCommerce development as well as web-hosting and eCommerce hosting, and in our attempt to explain the total cost of building and maintaining a website, we have noticed a confusion in terms domain name and web hosting. Some people believe that domain name and web hosting are the same. Some people know that they are not the same, but they don't know exactly what domain name and web hosting are.
In the following article for novice internet users, we will try to explain the importance and utility of each.
What is a domain name?
Domain name is the address of your website. This address is typed by internet users at the URL bar of various web browsers (eg Google Chrome) to visit your website. To put it simply, assume that the domain name is the address of your business. You give your business address to your customers so they can locate your business and visit it.
But let's look at a more realistic explanation.
Because you should be already confused, we'll break things down a bit. The internet is a huge network of computers that are connected to each other by cables. To be possible to locate each computer, each one has a unique identity called an IP address. The IP address is a number in the form e.g. 96.67.523.133.
Computers don't have a problem to store or remember these numbers. But because people can't remember these numbers and use them for navigating the Internet, domain names were created.
This way, if you want to visit a website, you do not have to remember and type a number. Instead, you can enter a name eg. cloudoe.gr.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the place where the files of your website are located. Each website consists of files, usually HTML or PHP, for static and dynamic websites, respectively.
In the example mentioned above, where the domain name is the address of your business, web hosting is the seat of your company, that is, the place where your business is located or where you store your products.
Internet users type the domain name in a browser, which automatically translates to the IP address of the web hosting company's computer that hosts your website. This computer, which contains the files of your website, in turn, sends these files to the users.
What does domain name have to do with web hosting?
The domain name has nothing to do with web hosting. They work together, however, to make your website accessible to users. The domain name is the address of your website and web hosting hosts the files of your website.
If, for example, the domain name expires, firstly means that someone else can take it. It also means that your website no longer has an address, so no one can find it.
On the other hand, if web hosting expires means that your website has an address, because you have a domain name, but your website's files will not be there.
Do I need to have a domain name and web hosting for my website?
Yes, every website must have both domain name and web hosting.
You need web hosting to host the files of your website. Once you have your website hosted, you need to buy a domain name and configure it to show the web hosting company provider where your website files are located.
When you buy a domain name, you acquire the right to use it for a specific period, usually one or two years. The cost for a domain name is usually about 25€ for two years.
There are web site hosting packages with paying per month or per year. Web hosting can cost from 40-50€ per year and can be upgraded depending on your website's requirements. You should be careful to choose the right web hosting even if you need to spend a few euros a year more.
Do I need to buy a domain name and web hosting from the same company at the same time?
Domain name is independent of web hosting. So the answer is no and no.
You can, for example, buy web hosting for as long as it takes to build your website, without having to have a domain name. You could access your website through a subdomain set up by the web hosting company and customized to show the files of your website.
Once your website is built and you want to promote it, you can buy a domain name from the web hosting company that hosts your website or from any other company.
Usually, of course, a common practice is to buy a domain name and web hosting at the same time from the same company, so you don't have to worry about, almost, the same thing twice.
Can I move my domain name or web hosting to another company?
As we said above, the domain name is independent of web hosting. You can move web hosting to another company and keep the domain name. You can move the domain name to another company and keep the web hosting. You can move them together at the same time, to any company you want.
But beware! There is a practice by web hosting companies, where once you decide to stop doing business with them, they try to make your life a little harder. In what way; They continue to show your domain name in the previous files of your website, even though you have now moved your website to another company. This way there is a domain name that points to two different sites, which confuses the search engines and acts against the authority of your domain name and therefore your website.
What you can do to avoid such situations is to work with a company that inspires you with confidence instead of making your choice just from the web-hosting cost.
Can I have two or more domain names?
Yes, you can have as many domain names as you want, which will point at the same or a different website. The right thing to do is to have one domain name for one website. The domain name, along with the content that you will develop on your website, acquire an authority, the so-called website ranking, which you should constantly try to increase if you want your website to appear on the 1st page on search engines.
You should particularly pay attention to the domain name and the content of your website as they will play an extremely important role throughout the route and SEO of your website, regardless of the times you will change your website's design.
If you own a website and would like to change your web hosting provider, you can see our web hosting products.
If you need any other information, please feel free to contact us.