Understanding the difference between Domains, Websites and Hosting can be helpful When your website designer start throwing around technical terms, sometimes it can sound like a different language.
Sometimes they use that as a sales tactic or sometimes they just forget that the average business owner doesn’t deal with this stuff day in and day out. Regardless, there are few terms you will need to understand in order to make smarter decisions and avoid being held hostage by some of the more dishonourable web designers and marketers.
What is a Domain?
A domain is a unique address that people can type in to view your website. It typically ends in .co.uk, .com, net or .org. An example would be www.google.co.uk.
It’s also called a website address or a URL. It’s important to understand that this is NOT your website. It is simply an address that a website can sit on.
You can think of a domain like a street address: 123 ABC Street and the website is the house that the address is assigned to.
You never permanently own a domain. You pay to register your domain each year through companies like Red Fifteen Media. It’s more like a lease than a purchase. Once it is registered to you, it will remain assigned to you unless you let it expire or sell it to someone else.
A lot of people get this confused with hosting, however registering a domain and hosting a domain are two different things. The confusion comes in because most companies will offer both domains and hosting.
What is Hosting?
If you have a website you will need to pay a hosting company to provide space on their server, this allows people to access the web site on the Internet. Hosting is just a space you are renting on the Internet so that your website can be viewed by everyone.
You can think of your hosting like the lot that your house sits on. The Hosting is the space you rent for your website to sit on.
What is a Website?
Ok, you know what a website is. We all look at websites every day. But how does it play into this conversation? It’s not the domain address, it’s not the hosting space. It’s all the words, pictures, videos, links etc. Its all the stuff people can see and interact with. As mentioned before, you can think of your website like a house.