If you are thinking about building a website, there are a number of things that you will have to factor into your plans. For example, you will definitely have to make sure that you get a domain name. Your website will also need a home. That’s where web hosting comes into play. You may not be clear on what the distinction is between a domain name and web hosting depending on what stage you are at on your website development journey. However, we’re here to help and will illustrate the difference between these two things below.

Domain Name

A domain name is essentially the identity of a website. As the name suggests, this is the name of your website. This is what people will know about your website. Typically a domain name will end in suffixes such as .COM, .NET, or .ORG. These endings are referred to as top-level domains. In the past, these TLDs were usually industry-specific. For example the ‘COM’ in .COM stands for commercial, while the ‘ORG’ in .ORG stands for organization. Historically .COM sites were commercial while .ORG sites were usually sites for non-profit organizations. However, this isn’t strictly followed these days. 

To purchase a domain name, you will have to visit the website of a domain registrar, see if your desired name is available, and then purchase your desired domain name.  You should note that some web hosting providers also double as domain registrars, however, you aren’t required to purchase your web hosting from the same company that you buy your domain name from. 

When you buy a domain name, you are required to submit identifiable information that is stored in a registry such as ICANN’s WHOIS registry. You will typically have to pay a fee when you first register your domain name. You will also have to pay yearly fees to maintain your domain name. 

Read More: 5 Tips in Choosing a Business Domain Name

Web Hosting

Web hosting is where your website lives. Your domain name identifies your website. When you type in a domain name into a web browser, your browser is directed to the files associated with the domain. They are located on the server space which you rent from your web hosting provider. When you purchase a web hosting package, you will be provided with different things, depending on the provider you’re with and the type of package you purchase. At the very minimum, you will have storage space on a server. You may also be provided with services that enhance your websites like email addresses, protective features like firewalls, and access to customer support.

Read More: Why It’s Important to Compare Web Hosting Companies? 

Final Thoughts

Before you start the process of building a website, it’s important to know the basics of what you’re getting into. A domain name is essentially the identity of your website, and your web hosting account is where your website lives. Now that you know this information, hopefully, you’re more comfortable and feel more confident about carrying out all of the tasks that you will need to, in order to build your website.