Every website needs both web hosting and domain hosting. It’s common to get confused between the two. They are in fact two different things.
Hosting services like Bluehost, Siteground, and GoDaddy offer both web hosting and domain hosting. When someone starts their first website, it’s common to buy both domain and web hosting from the same provider. That makes it easy to assume that the two services are the same.
Let’s take a look at what each service is for and why it’s best to keep them separate.
What is Domain Hosting
Domain hosting is a service that provides domain names for websites. A domain hosting service sells domains and registers them to an owner in exchange for a yearly subscription fee. Different types of domains have different prices, from as low as around 10$ reaching up to the $1000’s. Depending on how common or uncommon the domain is.
A domain is set up like this; www.YOURWEBSITENAME.com. It has different sections separated with dots. What a domain does is direct visitors to a specific website, much like the address of a house. Every domain has a matching IP address that sets its location on the internet. Of course, it’s much easier to remember and share a domain name than an IP address.
Domains are categorized into levels. The most common are top-level, generic top-level, and second-level. All web hosting providers that also offer domain hosting all have top-level domains, some generic top-level domains, and some second-level domains. The usual domain names are .com, .net, .org, .edu, .edu
There are also specialized domain hosting providers that offer all sorts of second-level domains, and generic top-level domains like .photo or .media.
Some top-level domains like country-code top-level domains are only used for websites in particular countries. In some cases, a country domain can be used outside of the country it stands for as long as the owner of the website has permission. For example, bit.ly, uses the country code top-level domain for Lybia. Bit.ly permission to use that domain even though they are in the US.
By buying a domain from a domain host, you gain ownership of that domain for as long as you pay the yearly fee. But you can’t build a website without web hosting, a domain only gets you an address.
What is Web Hosting
Web hosting is a service that offers space to keep all the files for your website. To be able to buy web hosting, the provider will require that you already own a domain. If you don’t already have one, the web hosting provider can sell you one. We’ll see later why that might not be a good idea, and why it’s best to keep them separate.
There are a few different types of web hosting, the most common are shared, managed, and dedicated. Depending on what type of web hosting you buy, you will have different tools at your disposal. Some web hosting offers services that help keep your website running without you needing much technical knowledge.
Other web hosting services
This article was written by Orana Velarde and originally published on Elegant Themes Blog.