Domain, Hosting, Website – What’s the difference?
When it comes to getting your company online, you will hear the words “Domain”, “Hosting”, and “Website.” This can be complicated because to be brutally honest – us nerds are bad at explaining. What we are going to try and accomplish is going over the difference between Domain, Hosting, and Website, without boring or confusing you.
Let’s start off with an easy one, Website. A website is what your customers interact with. In fact, it is made up of a Domain and a Hosting plan. Think of a website of what you see on the screen, which in reality is a bunch of files in a folder. Your computer turns these files into colorful, pretty pages, (hopefully.) Websites are built by pages and pages of code that is displayed online for the world to see. Your website is your digital business storefront, and today it is how a majority of customers will determine whether to do business with you.
Next, we have Domain. I like to think of a Domain as a name tag. It’s how customers remember your name and business. The internet is kind of governed by a group called ICANN. They keep track of the domain names, and what’s been purchased, what’s available, and what’s for sale. Something to consider is though they maintain the records, there are no laws regarding who can legally own what. For example, if your company is “Joe’s Plumbing” you have no legal right to own “joesplumbing.com” This is because domains span across the world. ICANN (along with similar international organizations) can’t determine and choose not to determine who deserves it.
As the internet grows, choosing the right domain is something to strongly consider. This doesn’t mean to have a crazy unique name, it means to remember that the customers are who visits your site. Pick something simple and easy, such as “plumbingbyjoe” or “joeplumbshouston.”
I should only by a .com, right?
Now you may ask, “but I can’t find a simple .com available?” A .com website is important, but it is not the end all be all. In fact, many other domain-endings are becoming more popular, such as .net, .co, .me, etc.
So a Domain is the name tag to your site, and a website is a bunch of files that are pretty pages – so what the heck does Hosting do?
Hosting simply is the computer that holds the files for people to access. You can actually host websites right from your own computer (this is how the internet was started.) The problem is you would have to leave your computer on at all times, have a more expensive business internet line to support access, as well as maintain the computer with updates, virus protection, and so forth. Large hosting companies (like who we work with!) offer hosting to those that want to only maintain the files. These larger companies have warehouses of computers dedicated to hosting and facilitate millions of online interactions daily. Hosting is rather cheap, and if you are on one of our plans here at Galaxy Web Team, it’s included in your plan!
So to recap
Website – Folder and files that turn into pretty pages
Domains – Name tag to find the pages
Hosting – Computers that allow people online to access the pretty pages.
We hope this helps, and if you have any questions feel free to call, text, or email us anytime! Contact