The Difference Between Website Hosting and Domain Name

For your website to be fully functional, you need three components: a domain name, a web host, and a completely developed website. Often, though, our clients are curious about what these components are. Aren’t some of these the same things? To better navigate launching and running a successful website, it is important that you understand the differences between all three things.

Website Hosting

What is Website Hosting?

Web hosting is “a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page on the Internet.” A host owns the server that holds all of the information for your website and ensures that all users need to do to navigate to your site is type your address into the address bar at the top of their screen. 

You can think of your website host as the house that stores all of your things. However, instead of knick-knacks and furniture, your web host stores all of your digital files! A word of caution: web hosting is different from a data center. Web hosting refers to the server that hosts your site, while a data center refers to the physical space that houses the servers. 

In many cases, companies that offer to host also handle server maintenance work, such as backup, root configuration, disaster recovery, and more. With managed hosting from LightHouse Graphics, for example, we perform all such maintenance work while also ensuring that your website receives all of the updates and development perks that you could dream of.

What is a Domain Name?

The Difference Between Website Hosting and Domain Name 1

A domain name is, quite literally, your website name. This is the address that users type in to access your website. Computers use IP addresses, or different series of numbers, to learn where to send users to access the accurate site?

Domain names must be purchased, or registered, in order for people to find your website online. This registration comes at the cost of fifteen to twenty-five dollars per year but is invaluable because it ensures that if someone types in the address to your website, they get to the home of your business and nobody else’s. 

Another reason for a business to register its domain is to protect copyrights and trademarks, and to build confidence in its branding. When your website’s name and look matches your overall company branding, it offers clients an unparalleled faith in your brand that cannot be found through other means. 

How Do I Register a Domain Name?

Curious about the process behind registering your own domain? Follow these simple steps to register your own domain name.

  1. Visit the domain registration website of your choice and type in your chosen domain name. 
  2. If your domain name is available, you can choose to add it to your shopping cart.
  3. After this, you will see the cost of your site and be allowed to select how long you’d like to purchase your domain name. Beyond that, you’d be able to select some alternate options such as privacy protection, depending on where you are registering. 

Can I Change My Domain Name?

Domain names are like the Internet’s phone book. You wouldn’t just change your number without updating your information! 

To change your domain name, you’ll log into the registration website through whom you registered. To change your domain name, you will locate the name you’d like to change through the registration website, and then select an option to the effect of “use custom nameservers.” You’ll enter your new server name and enjoy all of the perks of an updated domain name. Be sure to update your business cards! 

What are the Differences Between a Website Host and a Domain Name?

A domain name works like your address, while your website hosting is the actual physical framework of your home that holds all of your furniture. 

Rather than physical street names and numbers, a series of codes is used to define your website’s name. Your computer hard disk and computer memory store all of the files that layout your website.

How Can LightHouse Graphics Help Me?

Many people choose to register their domains with one website, and then host with another service provider. This can add a layer of work to your day that you don’t need. As a business owner, the bulk of your work should be in running the operations of your business, not in learning website development skills–that’s where we come in! 

You can trust LightHouse Graphics to build your website from the ground up. Part of that process involves selecting a domain name that will get you the most organic views for your business and then registering your domain name, to ensure nobody else is able to use it. 

Once your website is beautifully designed and contains content curated to appeal to new leads and current clients alike, our website development team can manage the hosting of your website. With our boutique managed hosting services, we can be sure that your website receives special attention to prevent downtime and ensure a strong, efficient experience for your clients. 

Additionally, our development team will offer you multiple hours per month to make any needed structural changes or updates to your website. Think about having a restaurant website created and want to add a store to sell catering services. You wouldn’t want to pay a development company all over again, would you? With a managed hosting service, our talented developers can jump in and make changes such as these with a monthly budget you can predict. We look forward to making your website dreams a reality–please don’t hesitate to reach out to LightHouse Graphics!