Web Hosting and Domain Registration are two elements of running a website. But it’s important to understand the difference and use cases.
How Hosting & Domains Work
Web hosting and domain registration are frequently paired together. But it’s important to understand exactly what they do.
Internet addresses are technically “IP Addresses.” IP addresses are a long series of numbers that make no sense to humans. So instead of typing in 192.168.0.1.1 to access a website, the website owner can register a domain that will route to that specific IP address. When you register a domain name, you are leasing it from the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN provides domains via approved registrars. A domain does not do anything on its own. Registration provides you the right to “point” your domain wherever you want. You can tell it to redirect to another website, or you can direct it to your hosting account.
Web hosting is an account on a server that “hosts” your website files. A hosting company is a company that owns a bunch of pre-configured servers that they lease out according to different plans. Website hosting stores website files to be delivered to whomever asks for them via the Internet. Everything that you access on the Internet is ultimately made up of files delivered by a server. Website hosting refers to the server or section of a server where the files that make up a website are “hosted”. Hosting almost always refers to space on a leased pre-configured server that has a high-capacity connection to major Internet network.
How To Get Started
So how do you get started with domain registration and web hosting? It depends on what you want to do. There are a lot of options that you can mix together to create different setups.
Buy Domain & Hosting Separately
You register your domain at a domain company of your choice and your hosting at a hosting company. You then “point” your domain to your hosting account. I personally use this path.
Web Domain Registration Sites
Web Hosting Sites
Buy Domain & Hosting Together
Buying your domain and hosting together from a single company is the most common. Most domain providers sell hosting and most hosting providers also sell domains. Its convenient and simplified with support from one company with bundled specials and discounts.