What is the difference between domain registration and website hosting?

This stuff can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if this is your first time creating a website. The first thing you need to know is that to have a website, you must have both a domain name and domain registration.

So what is the difference between a domain and a host?

Here are the descriptions of those and other related terms:

Domain Name

A domain name is an address (URL) for your website. It is what visitors type into their browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer etc.) to go directly to your site. For example, this domain name is websiteenvy.com.

Domain Registration

A purchase of a domain name is called domain registration. Your domain registrar is the company where you register a domain name. If you need a registrar, we highly recommend Hover.

Website Hosting

A web host provides space on a server where your website is saved. Hosting allows users to access your site via the internet by typing your domain name into a browser. Email requires a host too, and some website hosts allow you to host email with them and others you have to do it separately.

WHOIS Privacy for Your Domain

This setting hides your personal information online and helps keep spam and junk mail out of your inbox. Hover includes this automatically & you can read more about why this really matters here.

Searching for Domain Names

If you’re about to start searching for domain names, do not use GoDaddy! I’m not sure how they do it, but people who buy names and try to sell for a lot of money seem to know what you search on GoDaddy. If you don’t register a name that is available, it is highly probable that it will be registered by someone else the next day. What’s the solution? Search for domain names on Hover.

How domain registration and website hosting work together

The easiest way to think of domain registration and website hosting as 2 separate things: because they are. The reason these often get confused is some companies offer both domains and hosting, like GoDaddy.

While the domain is the address in the browser, the hosting is what holds and delivers your website to the web. Let’s look at an analogy for a better understanding.

Say you purchase a plot of land. This land doesn’t have an address, so you have to buy an address too. Then, you have to tell the post office, this address is now assigned to this plot of land. Finally, you have to build your house.

The domain name is the address, the plot of land is the hosting and finally, the house is the website.

Your domain name must be pointed to a web host and then your website must be built on that web host… and then, your site will be live on the web.

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