Web Hosting vs Domain Name: Meaning and Difference

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

Building websites have become the prime step for any online business. The websites have much more roles to play than just displaying the business’s products and services. These days there are various simple ways available to build the website with the minimalistic cost. You do not have to possess any coding knowledge to develop your website. However, you must have the knowledge about the three essential things required to own a website – domain name, web hosting, and a developed website. 

What is a domain name? How is it different from web hosting? It is crucial to have the crystal idea of such questions if you desire to create and host your business website. The following sections will provide you with all the answers to these kinds of questions and let you have deep insights into a domain name and web hosting. Let us get started. 

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service provided to the website owners to store the computer files such as HTML codes, documents, images, videos, etc., and have Internet connectivity to let other users access your websites’ files and data. All the websites you have been browsing are hosted on different servers. Generally, web hosting companies rent out its servers to the website owners to host the websites. Hosting websites involve:

  • Storage facilities.
  • Making sites available for viewing online.
  • Utilization of various resources for the efficient working of the websites.

The amount and types of storage, space, and resources will depend on the web hosting plan you choose from the hosting provider to host your website. The famous types of hosting in the industry are dedicated, VPS, reseller, and shared hosting. The differences between them lie in the types of technology used for the server, management level, and other complementary services. 

How does Web Hosting work?

In web hosting, the files that build up the website get uploaded from your local computer to the hosting provider’s web server. Then the resources of the server are allocated to the website according to the requirements of the user. The resources include random access memory, hard drive space, bandwidth, operating system, etc. How the web resources of the server will divide among multiple users depends on the hosting plan. To opt for any of the hosting packages, you must examine your website needs and business aims. 

As discussed in the above section, a web hosting company service involves more than just providing your website’s storage space. The mentioned below are the services and resources that you can expect from any hosting provider. 

  • Domain registration – Apart from buying the hosting service, you can purchase and manage your website’s domain from the same provider.  
  • Website builder – Many hosting providers will provide you with the website builder application to create your website by just dragging and dropping web editing tools. 
  • Email hosting – You can acquire the option to send and receive emails from [email protected]
  • You can also get the necessary hardware (server setup) and software (CMS, server OS, etc.) support.

Related: SSL Certificate: What it is, Why do you need it, Where to get it?

What is a Domain Name?

Many times, beginners confuse the term domain name with a website name or the website hosting service. The domain name is the website’s address that appears in the browser URL bar when one visits the website. The Internet is a colossal network of computers that connects them through a global arrangement of cables. Every system can interact with all the other systems over the web. That is why each system requires a unique name to get identified amongst a vast number of computers. This unique identity is acquired by getting the IP address. The IP address is a series of numbers that recognize a system on the Internet. The IP address resembles, for example to this –,

Such IP addresses are difficult to memorize. This problem has been resolved by the domain name. The domain name resembles, for example to this – A domain name will work as your website’s address that you can directly type in the browser address bar to visit the website. Before setting up your website, you will require to register the domain name with a domain registrar. 

What are Top Level Domains (TLDs)?

The Domain Name System (DNS) consists of a hierarchy of names. The generic sets of names in the ranking are known as TLDs. The TLD is an acronym for Top Level Domains. It incorporates the extension of – COM, NET, ORG, EDU, INFO, BIZ, CO.UK, etc. Basically, the extensions are what we call TLDs. For example –,,, etc. 

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) maintains the authoritative list of all top-level domains. It keeps the TLDs at the root zone database.

Some TLDs that are ordinarily encountered –


Some TLDs that are less known –


Most of the TLDs are accessible for the public’s registration. But there are strict restrictions on some of the top-level domain registration. For instance, only the citizens of the corresponding country can access the country code top-level domains. 

Some specific extensions of these TLDs are used to define the ‘properties’ of the websites.

For example-

  • BIZ – for businesses
  • EDU – for education (schools, universities, colleagues, etc.)
  • ORG – for a public organization
  • Country-code top-level domain names are for locations, as discussed above.You will have to go through the long process of country-specific top-level domain registration that will determine whether you are a legal resident of the country or not. 

How Domain Name Registration Work?

Let us understand how the domain names operate by knowing what happens when a domain name is entered in the browser address bar. 

So, when a user enters the domain in the web browser address bar, a request will be sent to the global network of servers. It will create a domain name system known by the short form DNS. These servers find the name servers linked with the domain, and the request is forwarded to those name servers. 

Basically, the name servers are the system that the hosting company maintains. Your hosting company will further send the request to the computer where you have stored the website. This computer storing the website is known as a web server. The web server will fetch the web page and data associated with it, and then the information will be sent back to the browser. 

The domain names system is managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  The ICANN is a non-profit organization that designs and executes the policies for domain names. The Domain Name Registrars companies will have to take permission from ICANN to sell the domain names. They have the right to modify the registered domain names on your behalf. They are responsible for selling domain names, managing domain records, transferring domains to other registrars, and domain renewals. 

If you purchase a domain name for your website, you become responsible for renewing your domain registration. 

Domain Name vs. Web Hosting: What’s the Difference

The domain name represents the address of your website that distinguishes your website from the rest already available over the web. The web hosting represents the house of your website where the website and its all the data gets the storage space and various other resources.
The domain name has to be registered before you initiate setting up your website.The web hosting can be purchased whenever you are ready to bring your website online, available to all the users. 
It helps the users to acquire unique names to their websites. It enables users to store website files and get the support to manage those files. 
It signifies an Internet Protocol address, an URL that helps to find the website over the web. It makes sure that the website is working efficiently and is online all the time. 

Related: How to Find the Best Web Hosting Provider for your Website?


More than 300 million domain names are already registered over the web, and thousands of more are getting registered each day. There are free AI-powered business name generator tools available for you to create innovative domain names and know their availability status. Knowing the availability status will help you save your time and redirect you to think of the other word if the name you choose in the first place is not available.

Your domain name must be –

  • Shorter and easy to memorize
  • Simple to pronounce and spell
  • Free of numbers and hyphens
  • Creative and convenient

On the other side, while picking a web hosting provider, you must keep the following things in mind. Your hosting provider must – 

  • Offer maximum uptime
  • Allow bandwidth variations
  • Give upgradation options
  • Technical support from experienced and trained technicians 
  • Provide affordable hosting plans

That is all covered for you to comprehend about web hosting and domain name to get started with your business website.

Get in Touch

Arpit Saini

He is the Director of Cloud Operations at Serverwala Cloud Data Centers Pvt Ltd and also follows a passion to break complex tech topics into practical and easy-to-understand articles. He loves to write about Web Hosting, Software, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and much more.

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