What’s the Difference Between Domain Names and Web Hosting?
We are often asked by our new clients to explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting.
Many clients don’t know that these are two separate things and how they work together.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the computer’s browser to visit your website. It’s also referred to as your URL. If your website was a house or physical business, your domain name will be the address.
Our domain name or URL is www.happymonday.co.nz.
What is an IP address?
The internet is a giant network of computers connected to each other. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called an IP Address.
This IP address is a combination of numbers separated with dots that look something like this: 105.235.765. Computers can identify this but we can’t remember these numbers so we have domain names with words which makes it easy for us to remember the websites.
What is Hosting?
Web hosting is the place where your website and all the code sits to make it live. They sit on big computer servers. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives and stays so people can find it.
When someone enters your domain name into their browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. (We use companies like WP Engine)
This computer contains your website’s files, and it delivers those files back to the users’ browsers so your site shows up.
How do Domain Names and Web Hosting work together?
Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make your website live and available for people to visit.
A domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files on their servers.
If you don’t have an address (Domain name) or an actual house to live in (website hosting/servers) then no one will be able to find you.
When we ask for access to your domain we need this to jump online and tell your domain name to talk to the website hosting.
To have a website you need
– A Domain name
– An awesome company like Happy Monday to build the site
– A hosting company with servers for the site to physically live
We hope this helps explain what these are and how they work together as it can be quite confusing.
Drop us a line if you are still confused, have any questions or need any help.