To get your website up and online, you need two things: domain name and web hosting.
While many people regard these two as the same, they are in fact, different things.
In this blog post, we will explain the key difference between domain name and web hosting, and other commonly asked questions.
- Domain Vs Hosting – A Beginner’s Guide
- What is a Domain Name?
- What is Web Hosting?
- The key difference between domain name and web hosting
- How do I get a domain name?
- Can I buy a domain without hosting?
- Can I buy a domain and hosting from the same provider?
- What are the types of Web Hosting?
- Is website design included in hosting?
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a unique address for a website.
In the Internet system, servers and computers identify each other with IP addresses, which are long string of numbers separated with dots, like 18.104.22.168. While computers can handle such addresses easily, it is difficult for humans to remember them.
To solve this problem, a human-readable address called domain name is created.
Today, when you want to visit a website, you just need to enter its domain name on your browser’s address bar. For example, if you enter lookafter.com into your browser, you will arrive at Lookafter website.
A domain name consists of two main parts: the first part is your identity, which can be your brand, business or company name, whereas the second part is the domain extension like .com, .my, .com.my, etc.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that stores your website content and make it available on the Internet.
When you buy a hosting plan, you are renting a space on a server where you upload all your website files, such as HTML and CSS files, documents, images and videos. The hosting server is a computer that connects other web users to your website from anywhere across the globe.
Anyone can create a website on their computer. However, the website files must be uploaded on a web hosting server to be accessible by other people through the Internet.
The key difference between domain name and web hosting
In summary, a domain name is how you find a website, and web hosting is where you store your website files.
For a better illustration, we can imagine domain name as the “address” of your website, while web hosting is the “house” that stores all “furniture”, which symbolizes your website files.
When someone search for your domain on the browser, it translates into an IP address of your web hosting server. The server then transfers all your website files necessary to load your website.
How do I get a domain name?
Once you have had a preferred domain name in mind, you can register it from any domain name registrar or hosting provider. During domain registration, you will be asked to provide certain information such as your company details and contact information.
Do take note that domain names are 100% unique. In other words, you can only register a domain name that has not been owned by other people yet.
The domain ownership generally lasts for one year once it is registered. On the following year, a renewal process is required to extend your ownership of the domain name.
If you need to register or renew a domain name, contact our team for more information.
Can I buy a domain without hosting?
Yes, you can. However, without a hosting subscription, your website will not be accessible through the Internet.
Can I buy a domain and hosting from the same provider?
Yes. If you buy both a domain and hosting from the same provider, the setup process is easier as you do not need to change the domain name settings. It is also more convenient for you to renew both services under the same provider.
If you have already purchased a domain name with another domain service provider, but choose to go with Lookafter’s web hosting service instead, you can either:
- Request the domain service provider to point your domain name to Lookafter by editing the domain’s DNS setting; or
- Transfer your domain to Lookafter.
What are the types of Web Hosting?
There are several types of web hosting services you can choose from, depending on your website and business requirements.
Shared hosting is the basic type of web hosting that is the least expensive. In shared hosting, your website will be sharing resources with other websites on a single server. It is best for small or entry-level websites that do not have a lot of traffic. Lookafter Web & Email Hosting comes with shared static web hosting and free landing page templates that provide immediate online presence for your business.
Check out the details and pricing >
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting utilizes virtualization technology to offer websites with dedicated resources on a server. Websites with complex or large files (like images and videos) should consider a VPS as the speed and performance will be much better than a shared server.
There are typically two types of VPS hosting: Managed VPS hosting and Unmanaged VPS hosting. Website owners who want to have complete technical control over the software and server configurations can opt for unmanaged VPS hosting, which should usually be less expensive than managed VPS hosting, where the hosting provider takes care of all configurations.
Lookafter provides both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting solutions for websites.
Contact us for more details >
This type of hosting is optimized for websites owners who want to build and design their websites using WordPress CMS (content management system).
Lookafter offers complete WordPress installation for WordPress hosting service so you can start building your website right away.
Find out more >
Is website design included in hosting?
Website design is a completely different service from hosting. To build a website, you need to hire a web designer who performs several tasks like layout design, content creation and graphic design.
Most web hosting providers like Lookafter also offer web design packages apart from hosting services. Check out our design plans:
If you are a start-up or small business who is looking for an affordable hosting and website design, you can consider our Web & Email Hosting plan that includes a free website landing page.
Find out more >