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Domain vs Hosting: Definition and Differences

If you’re new to the website building scene, you must have heard the terms domain and hosting used in several articles and guides on how to create a website.

Both are essential elements of a website, and it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two before you move on to create your website.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about domain and hosting and how they differ. Let’s dive right in.

Get extremely fast, secure, and user-friendly hosting for your online projects with Hostinger.

Domain Names and Domain Registration

A domain name acts like an address people use to find your website on the Internet. People will type it in their web browser’s address bar to access your site.

Every website and server on the Internet is assigned a string of numbers called an IP address. However, since it’s hard to memorize numbers, domain names were invented.

A domain name consists of a second-level and top-level domain (TLD). Second level domains are the words or phrases that you come up with, while top-level domains are the extensions that follow.

For example, in the case of google.com, the second-level domain is google, and .com is the TLD.

To have the rights to a custom domain name, you need to register it to a domain name registrar – it is a company or an organization that sells and manages domain name registrations.

Domain registrars are listed under ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and they report back to it whenever there’s a purchase by editing the database with the information of the domain ownership.

You can check the availability of the domain you want and register it using a domain checker. For example, you can simply head to Hostinger’s domain checker and type in the name you want into the search bar.

It will show the availability of your chosen domain and various domain extensions along with the prices. If the domain is taken, the domain checker will offer you alternatives to that name.

Once you see the one you want, simply click on Add to Cart button and then select the registration period. In the case of Hostinger, we offer domain contracts from one to three years.

Types of Domain Extensions and Pricing

There are hundreds of domain extensions available and you might already be familiar with some of them, such as .com and .net, the two most commonly used TLDs.

If you want to register a domain name, it might be beneficial to know all of your options so you can find the perfect extension. Below are some TLDs Hostinger offers along with their prices:

Domain extensionsPrice range
.online$0.99
.store$0.99
.tech$0.99
.xyz$0.99
.live$3.50
.info$3.79
.org$11.49
.asia$12.99
.co$23.99

There are many more extensions to choose from that we haven’t listed here. To check out whether the extensions you want are available, simply use the domain checker.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting services allow you to publish your website on the Internet. Web hosting providers store your website data on their servers and sends that information to your visitors’ web browsers when they type in your domain name into the address bar.

Beginner-friendly tools are provided for all users, so you can manage your website with little to no technical skills. Most hosting providers provide customer support, server maintenance, auto-installers, and website builders to help you manage your website more easily.

That said, it’s important that you do thorough research when choosing a web hosting service. A few factors need to be considered.

First, it should have good customer support service, ensure fast loading speeds, offer great server uptime, all at reasonable prices. Luckily, Hostinger has all of it.

Signing up for web hosting on Hostinger is quite easy, too. Just sign up using your email and pick one of the hosting plans available. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with the service.

Hostinger landing page for Web Hosting vs domain

Types of Website Hosting and Pricing

We’ve learned about web hosting, now let us explore what types of hosting there are.

Hostinger offers various hosting plans that are suitable for anyone who wants to create a website – be it a travel blog or company site. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Shared hosting — starting from $0.99 to $3.99 per month, shared hosting is where multiple websites share the same physical server and have a set amount of storage and resources. It’s the cheapest option out of all and is perfect for small businesses or personal websites.
  • VPS hosting — in this case, all of the users still use the physical server but get their own dedicated server space, which means that your website will not be affected by someone else’s actions. VPS hosting plans start from $3.95 to $29.50 per month.
  • Cloud hosting — it acts as a private virtual server made of a cluster of different servers. You’ll receive allocated resources, a dedicated IP address, and complete control over its backend matters. Starting prices range from $7.45 to $37.50 per month.
  • WordPress hosting – if you want to specifically work with WordPress, you can get a dedicated plan for this purpose alone. It’s packed with useful features and optimization options. WordPress hosting plans start from $2.15 to $14.95 per month.

If you’re just starting out, we’d highly recommend going with shared hosting first – it’s affordable, fully managed, and easy to use. You don’t need any technical background as every backend technicalities will be managed by the Hostinger team.

On the other hand, if you have some technical background and want the freedom of managing a server that is dedicated to you, VPS and cloud hosting can be good choices as well. It all comes down to your budget and what kind of website you want to build.

How a Domain and Web Hosting Work Together to Create a Website?

Domain and web hosting work hand in hand – imagine that both your IP address and the domain name acts as an address of your website, and web hosting is the actual house. Without web hosting, your websites can’t exist on the Internet.

After you get a domain name, you need to synch and point it to your web hosting provider. To avoid too much trouble, we highly recommended buying all of it from the same place. You don’t need to worry about linking them manually and you can start creating your website right away.

Let’s briefly go over the steps of how building a website actually works:

  1. Pick your domain name and check its availability using the domain checker. If everything checks out, register it
  2. Create your account on Hostinger and pick a suitable hosting plan for your website
  3. Start building your website by using either a website builder or a content management system. With Hostinger, you have the option to use Zyro Website Builder, or such popular CMS like WordPress and Drupal
  4. Customize your website, add content, and when you’re ready – publish it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’ve learned about domain names and web hosting, here are some commonly asked questions that might help you understand more about their differences.

Do I Need Web Hosting If I Have a Domain Name?

Yes. A domain name is just the address of your website while web hosting is the storage that keeps all of your website data. Without web hosting, your website is nonexistent and your domain name would point to nowhere.

With Hostinger, you can get a domain name and a web hosting altogether. There are different plans and price ranges, too, depending on your website needs.

Do I Need a Domain If I Have Web Hosting?

It depends, but most of the time – yes. Some web hosting providers include a subdomain name that you can use free of charge. However, these subdomains don’t make your site look professional and cannot be customized.

Purchasing custom domain names allows your website to have its own branding and voice. It also makes it easier for your web visitors to remember your site’s name.

Can I Transfer My Domain Name Over to Hostinger?

Absolutely. Hostinger offers domain names transfer service for $10.99. It’s a straightforward and quick process too.

To transfer your domain, go to https://www.hostinger.com/transfer-domain – enter the domain you want to transfer and the EPP code that proves your ownership of the domain. For the latter, ask your current domain provider for assistance.

When the payment process is done, you will get an email that once confirmed, will initiate the transfer process. This process usually takes less than five days to finish.

Anyone is eligible for the domain transfer as long as the domain is not in Pending Delete or Redemption status, and it’s been more than two months since the last registration or transfer.

Can I Move My Website to Be Hosted at Hostinger?

Yes. All you need to do is transfer and move your website files directly to Hostinger’s server through an FTP client or the File Manager of your hosting control panel.

If your website uses the MySQL database, you will need to configure your website database details to the new database on Hostinger’s server.

However, if you have no technical background and are not sure how to do the steps above, Hostinger’s support team will take care of that for you. Users of shared and cloud hosting services can reach out to our Customer Success team and they’ll assist you with the process.

What Is Domain Hosting?

As the name suggests, domain hosting refers to services that host domain names for your website. They sell domains and register them to an owner for a certain subscription fee. This is very different from web-hosting providers, where you can purchase both a domain and web hosting from the same place.

Conclusion

Despite being completely different concepts, a lot of people still don’t know the difference between web hosting and domain names. Both are essential elements of website building and serve different functions

In this article, we’ve learned the differences between domain names vs web hosting along with their types and prices. We’ve also learned how they go hand in hand when it comes to website building.

If you still have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below.

The Author

Author

Emma Y. / @emmayoung

Emma is a content editor at Hostinger. She loves coding and learning new topics in order to better educate those in need. She enjoys hackathons and adventures around the world.

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