Domains, Hosting & Websites (What’s The Difference?)

One of the most confusing things when starting a website is trying to get your head around the techie stuff like domain names, hosting, the website itself and how they all relate to eachother.

Although it’s an important subject, this could end up being one of the shortest posts I’ll ever write. 

I can hear the sighs of relief from here!

So, What Exactly is a Domain Name?

 

In a nutshell, a domain name is the address of your website.

You home has an address right?

That address tells people where you live so they can visit you if they wish.

Well, it’s the same with a website. You need to purchase a domain name so when someone types it into their browser, they’ll be sent to the correct destination. That destination being your site.

For example; My website name is Website Builder Wars and so my domain name is websitebuilderwars.com.

Example of a real domain name

Your domain name could be something like yourbrandnewbusiness.com.

You can usually pick up a domain name for around $10-$15 per year which won’t exactly break the bank.

Web Hosting Explained

 

A website is made up of all kinds of files and content, these files can’t just be left to float around cyberspace and so they need to be stored somewhere.

This is what a hosting company does, they store or “host” them for you and finding one should be next on your to-do list once you’ve purchased your domain name.

Hosting can cost anything from a few dollars, up to $250 per month depending on the quality required and your individual needs.

Side note: Once you’ve purchased your domain, it then needs to be “connected” with your chosen hosting company.

It’s a pretty simple procedure, but if you’re brand new to all of this website building stuff, then it makes sense to purchase your domain and hosting together from the same company.

There are a ton of hosting options out there. Personally, I use Siteground.

Siteground front page

Doing it this way will save you time as well as some potential headaches trying to figure out how to connect them together.

That Just Leaves The Website Itself

 

For a website to be a website, it requires some kind of content management system.

I know that sounds quite “techy”, so think of it as a framework or an outer shell that’ll be used to house your website content.

WordPress is one of the most popular content frameworks available today and once you have your domain name and hosting in place, it can usually be installed with just a couple of clicks of your mouse.

There are plenty of other options available too, website builders like Wix and Weebly are very popular these days.

They may not be quite as powerful as WordPress, but they do offer you an “all-in-one” solution where you can purchase a domain name and they’ll take care of all of the other stuff like hosting and security making them an ideal choice for beginners!

How Do All Of The Pieces Fit Together?

 

Well, let’s think about how you arrived at this page.

I’m assuming that you probably clicked a link in either in Google or on a social media site.

This action told “the internet” that this was the website address (domain name) that you wish to visit.

At this point, my hosting company sprung into action and delivered all of these website components to you in a readable format, the end result being this page that you’re reading right now.

Pretty cool huh?

Over To You

 

I sincerely hope I’ve been able to help clear things up and that I haven’t just confused you even more.

If you have any questions about domains, hostings or building websites in general, then feel free to fire away in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

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