Domain name VS Web Hosting

I’ve had a few client issues lately regarding domain names and hosting. I offer both services to my clients as a convenience, and although I think i’ve touched on this blog topic before, I wanted to re-iterate the difference between domain names and web hosting.

In my 10+ Years of doing website design, you can imagine, in the beginning the idea of domain names and hosting was a lot more foreign than it is now. No one really could understand the difference or the relationship of the two, and honestly, really didn’t care. They just knew they wanted a website up and viewable to the world wide web. In some cases, that’s still the issue today; and who can really blame people. As far as some are concerned “domain names” and “hosting” are still “techie” terms and just plain gibberish. Still, i think it’s one of those things that is important to understand in order to protect your website presence and investment.


So, just like I did 10 years ago, i’ll explain in a way that most people understand.
(Website=”House”; Hosting=”Property”; Domain Name=”Address”)

Lets start with your website. In “techie” terms, your website is nothing but files on a server that’s accessible 24-7 to people browsing the net. All it is is files (images/code) all that fun nerdy junk that makes a website what it is. My non-techie explanation: It’s simply a “house”.. bricks and beams that are constructed in a way to make sure you have a nice place to show people that come over. Easy enough right?


Well, your house needs a piece of property to stand on. If it didn’t, it’d just be a bunch of bricks and beams that no one would ever get to see. Well Web hosting is merely a peice of property you rent to put your website (house) on. You with me? So you have a website, and now you need a place to put it that’s accessible to the billions of people browsing the web.. tadaaa!!!! Web hosting :)


Third, people need to figure out how to get to your house. Your house needs an address, it needs a URL. Therefore, your domain name is your houses easy way to tell people to get to your house.


Now, to clarify, you would THINK in this scenario your “property” (hosting), comes with an address (domain name).. well it doesn’t. They are 2 completely seperate entities in the sense that you dont have to buy property the same place you bought your address.


Before I go any further and kill the explanation. Let me just state it this way.. You have to maintain both your “Address” and your “Property”, they are two different bills, they are two different entities. Just because you have one, doesn’t mean you have the other.