The difference between web hosting and domain registration
What is the difference between web hosting and domain registration? For starters, the two go together like treasure and a map. Their differences work together to make a fuller picture.
Domain registration is when you purchase a domain name. After that, domain name registrars then point your domain name to an IP address. Like buying the map locates the treasure. This makes finding the IP address (or website) much easier on the internet.
Web hosting is when you rent space on a server to hold the files that will make up your website.
The domain name is the map and web hosting is the actual destination (or treasure). Neither is really effective without the other.
What is domain registration?
To understand domain registration, we need to know what a domain name is.
A domain name refers to the word(s) in a URL. In a URL like www.Google.com the domain name is “Google”. The idea behind the domain name is to use words to find a website instead of numbers.
Technically, the entire URL is the domain name, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
We attach each domain name to an IP address, which is a series of numbers. Computers talk to each other using numbers.
To make things easier for us, we attach a domain name to each IP address. This means we don’t need to speak computer language to find a registered domain.
You need a domain name to help people find your website online.
Like we said earlier, the entire URL is the domain name. It’s broken up into different parts that usually have three levels:
- domain extension
- domain name
We explain the a-to-z of domains in this blog.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the treasure to the treasure map we just explained. You use a web hosting service to get your website online. To do this, you need to find a web host.
Web hosts use massive computers called web servers to store tons of data. Each person gets to use a small part of the server to build a website. So, it’s the server that holds all your files and data that make up your website.
There are different types of web hosting you can use. Let’s briefly look at some of the common types of web hosting.
Types of web hosting
- Shared hosting – This is the most common type of hosting. Each person gets a piece of the server’s resources. It’s the most affordable.
- VPS hosting – It’s similar to shared hosting in that everyone is on the same server. The difference is that each user gets a piece of the server’s resources in a little virtual box. This is what we call virtual partitioning.
- KVM Cloud hosting – These are very similar to VPS hosting, except that they’re even more isolated. It’s like a mini server within a server. These are excellent if there are many moving parts on your website or if you have plenty of sites.
- Dedicated hosting – Dedicated hosting is when you own the server. As you can imagine, it’s quite pricey, but you make all the rules. It’s suited for large companies.
Theoretically, you can host your own website on your desktop or laptop. It takes a lot of skill and expertise to maintain, however.
That’s where web hosts come in. Web hosts like us have the expertise to set up and maintain a server, so you can use it for hosting. We make sure that the data, transfer of data, and general files are secure. We also ensure security is up to date.
What is the difference between web hosting and domain registration?
Now that you understand the map and treasure, let’s go over how they work together to get your website online.
Your domain name is the alphabetical reference to your IP address. They store it in the DNS (Domain Name System). Your website is the files and data that your web hosting provider keeps on their server.
When someone wants to access your website, they input the address (map) in the URL bar. The computer reads that map and brings them to the website (treasure).
So, like we said in the beginning the two need each other.
Without domain name registration no one would be able to find your website. Without web hosting your domain would point to an empty space.
How to choose the right web domain and hosting provider for you
There is good news for when you’re purchasing a domain or ordering a hosting package. A reputable hosting provider will make sure buying a domain leads to the treasure.
To start, you’ll need to know if your domain name is available for purchase. Use our domain search to see if the domain you want is available
Once you find a suitable domain name, you’ll need to choose a reputable web hosting company. Find out if a local or international web host provider is right for you in this blog.
These are some of the qualities you need to consider when looking for the right web host:
- Uptime and reliability – What guarantees do they provide that your website will always be up and running? Look for a minimum of 99.9% uptime
- Security – See what security options and protection they’re providing. DDoS prevention, malware protection, automatic backups, and security updates are all important.
- Customer support – Every person who hosts a website will run into a technical issue. You want experts available to help you quickly during those times.
- Cost and scalability – Cost and scalability are key components to an active website. If you can’t afford your domain name they eventually recycle it. If you can’t scale resources, how can you manage growth?
After you give these some thought, you’ll need to choose a suitable web hosting package. For an in-depth look at the different kinds of hosting, have a look at this blog.
Now that we’ve helped you demystify what the difference between web hosting and domain registration is, we hope you can make an informed decision on which one to get. The answer is both.
They work together, so you need to get both a domain name and web hosting.
We’re experts in making that happen, so reach out to us and we’ll take care of it.