An Overview Of Domain Names
If youre looking to start your own website, youll first need to understand what domain names are. At its core, a domain is your sites address and what people will use to find it online. More specifically, your sites domain is its primary URL .
For instance, lets take a look at bbc.co.uk. This is a British news website and has a simple URL.
In this case, the domain can be broken down into multiple parts. The bbc part is the Second-Level Domain , while .co.uk is referred to as a Top-Level Domain .
If youre not familiar with these terms yet, dont worry. Well look at what they both mean in detail shortly.
Why You Shouldnt Register Domains With Your Web Host
There are a ton of options when it comes to domain registrars, resellers, and brokers. Trying to decide which one to use can be overwhelming, and it may seem natural to use your web host to keep everything in one place. However, registering domain with your host can be a horrible idea, for reasons Ill outline below.
Differences Between Domain Name Url And Website Hosting
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What is the name of your domain? What is the name of your website? What is your website address? Where is your website hosted? What is your URL? ? If youre just beginning to think you need a website, you should already know that you need a domain name to create it, but do you know the difference between all the previous questions?
The purpose of this post is precisely to answer your questions and explain to you what domain names, URLs, and hosting services are. So, without further ado, lets start at the beginning.
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What Is The Webpage
A webpage is defined as a single document or a solitary page of any website. Every webpage is attached to a unique URL address used to render or access that particular page. These URLs and webpages can be private or public, depending on how the developers have configured them. Any web browser can be used to navigate URLs, which can also be copied and shared by users. Viewing a website does not usually need any navigation if we have its URL address. However, most URLs are connected to a website that helps developers create a proper sitemap and structured user interface. This also helps with search engine optimization .
Can I Transfer My Domain Name Over To Hostinger
Absolutely. Hostinger offers a domain name transfer service for $11.99. Its a straightforward and quick process.
You simply need to access Hostingers domain transfer page and enter your domain name in the provided space.
Once you complete the payment, you need to insert the EPP code or domain authentication code from your current domain registrar.
Then, you will get an email that, once confirmed, will initiate the transfer process. The process usually takes from five to seven days to finish.
Anyone is eligible for the domain transfer as long as the domain doesnt have a Pending Delete or Redemption status, and its been more than two months since the last registration or transfer.
Keep in mind that to transfer a domain name, you need to have full ownership of it.
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Web Hosting Vs Domain Name
When it comes to the difference between web hosting and domain name, its actually quite easy to understand. Theyre two entirely different things that have to work together for a website to run properly.
For one, web hosting is the location where your website is located. The domain name, however, is the address of that location.
The web hosting is basically a storage that contains all the files of your website. The domain name, on the other hand, doesnt actually store anything. All it does is point a browser towards the web hosting server.
When it comes to hosting vs domain, its not possible to say that one is more important or better than the other. In fact, both need to work together for a website to run.
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What Exactly Is A Domain Name
In the simplest of terms, a domain name is the location, or address, of your website. For example, the domain for a site like Facebook is . This is what you type into your internet browser to get to Facebook .
Every single domain youve ever landed on also ends with its own extension, such as .org, .com, .io, or .net.
A domain name is always 100% unique and will only point to a single website. Its important to know, however, that multiple domains can be directed to point to a single website.
As an example, if you had the domain coolestsiteever.io, it would point to the website youve created: The primary domain where your site resides.
But if you also owned the domains coolestsiteever.com and coolestsiteever.net, you would be able to direct those domains to your chosen primary domain, coolestsiteever.io. This would mean that you now have three different domains pointing to your site.
As you can see, if youre looking to build a new website, or have someone else build one for your use, a domain name will be needed because it allows users to access the site.
Do I Need A Domain If I Have Web Hosting
It depends, but most of the time yes. Some web hosting providers include a subdomain name that you can use free of charge. However, these subdomains dont make your site look professional and cannot be customized.
Purchasing custom domain names allows your website to have its own branding and voice. It also makes it easier for your web visitors to remember your sites name.
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Should I Use Domaincom For Both Domain Registration And Hosting
Websites and domains are very different things, but both are absolutely essential to your online success. In order for your online business to thrive, you will need both. You can use Domain.com to host your website and to register your domain. This benefits you for a variety of reasons:
- Keep it simple: While you can utilize separate services and employ different platforms to host your website or register your domain, it is much easier to bundle the services. In such cases, everything is consolidated, and changes can be made instantly all in one place, rather than jumping back and forth between platforms.
- Link domains and websites: When you use Domain.com for both services, we make the linking of the domain to a website a seamless and hassle-free process.
- Centralize expenses: Both of these services cost money. By registering and hosting through Domain.com you can keep track of your accounting and other information all in one place.
Hosting Vs Domain: Can Each Be Purchased Separately
There are a few different reasons why you may choose to purchase your hosting and domain name from different sources.
For example, you might want to secure a domain name right now but youre not ready to choose a hosting plan yet.
Or, you may want to set up your own business email accounts with your chosen domain, but dont yet have a website with that domain.
Its good to know that youre able to register a domain name at a registrar your choose, but can later move or point that domain to a host you decide on later.
As an example, you may want to register your domain on Namecheap, but use iThemes Hosting for your web host.
Other hosts to consider include:
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Why Separate Domain Hosting From Website Hosting
As noted above, there are many companies that offer domain registration/hosting, as well as website hosting and email hosting too. This can seem like a great, simple solution, and often these companies offer these 3 things together as an inexpensive package.
This is not the process we recommend.
It is easy to mess up your website if you dont have a basic understanding of the relationship between your domain, website and email servers. If you are not sure where your domain, website and email are hosted, contact your webmaster or IT provider. You can also look through your emails and bills to identify where your accounts are. Be sure to renew accounts so you dont lose your domain, website files or email.
Whats Hosting Any Why Do You Need It
A good way of thinking about hosting is that its sort of like the leased parking space for your website on the web. Hosting companies house, serve and maintain the files for your website, making them visible on the web to the public.
When building a WordPress website as an example, you would need to purchase a hosting plan, along with a domain in order to make your website live on the web.
However, when using a website builder to create your website, there is no need to purchase hosting separately because it is already included directly within the plan.
Many new business owners dont want to spend too much time or money on creating a website, so thats what makes website builders such an attractive option. Its a simple and highly-affordable way to get a website up quickly for your business.
For a detailed step-by-step instructional on how to create your website using your domain and a website builder, see How to Build a Website with GoDaddy Website Builder.
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How Web Hosting Works
Web hosting, on the other hand, is an account on a web server that hosts your website files.
If you do not have a domain pointed to your hosting account, you can access it with a string of numbers in an IP address.
While you can technically build your own server at home, most people buy a hosting plan from a web hosting service.
A web hosting company is a company that owns a bunch of pre-configured servers that they lease out with different options. They will usually include instructions on how to point your domain to your hosting account. Theyll also provide instructions for software to build & manage your website.
To learn more read What Is Web Hosting.
Web Hosting Vs Domain Registration Differences Explained
Hosting and domain names are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together! Both are critical elements of running a website. Its important to understand the difference between the two.
Web hosting and domain registration are frequently paired together. But its important to understand exactly what they do.
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Domains And Hosting A Few Basics
Owning a blog or website involves two separate pieces, your domain and your host. Its important to understand these elements for the most effective management of your site.
The domain is the address people use to get to your site. For example, this sites domain is andreawhitmer.com. You can register a domain with any number of registrars or providers basically you pay an annual fee to use that particular web address. If you stop paying, someone else can use the domain instead.
Website hosting is the service that actually stores your websites files. If you have a free blog through Blogger or WordPress.com, then your host is Google or WordPress, respectively. Self-hosted websites rent server space from a company that agrees to store your files.
Basically, you put your websites files on your hosts servers, then tell your domain to point to those files when someone puts in your URL. Its kind of like putting a SIM card in a cell phone the SIM card tells that phone, Hey, you work with this particular phone number now. Just like you can switch out a phones SIM card and make the phone work with a different phone number, your domain can be set to work with a different web hosting service.
What Is The Difference Between Domains And Hosting
This is the quick version.
Domain This is leasing a human-readable term which directs users to specific files on a website using a web browser.
A computer account that stores and serves website files over the Internet.
A domain can be thought of as an Internet address. Hosting is the place where your website files reside.
Web hosting and domain registration are not the only things that matter.
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What Is A Domain Name Explained
A domain name is simply a name used to locate a website on the internet. For example, you can enter themegrill.com on your web browsers address bar to visit our website. Here, themegrill.com is our websites domain name.
Similarly, when you enter www.google.com on your web browsers address bar, your browser will use that domain name to find out where the website is and open Google search engine for you.
It gets slightly more complex if you want to go into the details of how it works. When you enter a domain name on your browser , it sends a request to a database known as Domain Name System . This database will then provide the browser with a special IP Address.
After that, the browser will use this IP Address to go to the websites hosting server. From there, it will have access to the various files required to show you the website.
As you might have noticed, not all domain names seem to follow the same structure. For instance, www.google.com and www.hse.gov.uk are both domain names but you can see that theyre different in structure. To understand it better, various types of Domains are explained below.
Can You Get Web Hosting And A Domain Name Together
You can choose to purchase both your web hosting and your domain name together from the same place. Take a look at the table below to see the pros and cons of purchasing the two together.
- Easy to manage and renew both services under the same dashboard
- No additional configuration is required, e.g. pointing your domain to your hosting provider
- Bundled special offers and discounts are often available
- Can lead to a loss of personalization or specialist services
- Harder to leave and transition one or both to a new company
- Domain renewals are often pricier
Below, weve put together some of the most common questions and answers about domain names, web hosting, and the differences between them.
Can I host a website myself?
It is technically possible to host your website yourself from home, however, the process would require considerable time and effort, not to mention computer memory and space. Often, the cheapest hosting plans are much more cost and time-efficient.
Can I transfer a domain name to a different company?
Yes, once you own the domain name its yours to do what you want with it. For example, if you bought your domain name from company A, and your hosting from company B, but now want everything to run under company Bs systems and control panel, you can easily transfer your domain by following the individual step-by-step instructions that both companies will provide.
Can I sell a domain name?
Do I have to renew web hosting and domain names?
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Can I Move My Domain Name To A Different Company
Yes, you can. In most cases, generally, when you register the domain name, you own the right to use it and transfer it anywhere you want. For example, let us assume that you purchased your domain name from Bluehost and bought your hosting from Greengeeks.
Now, whenever you want to move your domain name to Greengeeks, you can easily do that as all the hosting provider gives the facility and detailed step-by-step instructions to move your domain name.
Best Domain Name Registrars
As with the website hosting, there are a number of options for domain names as well. Domain name registration isnt something to take lightly either.
When it comes to a high quality Domain Name Registrar, you cant go wrong with NameCheap.
NameCheap provides domain names at highly affordable pricec, with a .com domain available for just $8.88/yr. It is also backed by a bunch of helpful features like personal data privacy and 24/7 dedicated support.
For alternatives to NameCheap, here are some of the standout options.
For more options, you can take a look at our article on the Best Domain Name Registrars.
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