To provide you with a better understanding about domain name and web hosting we have compiled for you this article in which we will target the topic: domain name vs web hosting: what’s the difference. 

When launching a website, you might’ve heard the words domain and hosting. It is common to get confused between the two as they feel more or less similar. However, these are two entirely different entities, albeit both play a critical role in launching a website. In short, a domain name refers to the address of your website, whereas hosting is where the website files are stored.

Domain Name vs Web Hosting: What is a Domain?

The website URL that you type in the browser’s address bar in order to access a site is called a domain name. In short, a domain name is a convenient way for visitors to access a website. Each website possesses its own unique domain name that is composed of two main parts:

  • A second-level domain (SLD)
  • A Top-level domain (TLD)

SLDs consist of keywords or phrases, relevant to the website. Whereas TLDs are predetermined extensions that follow SLDs. Take as an example. The second level domain is toptengen whereas .com is the third level domain. TLDs are at the highest spot on the internet’s DNS hierarchy. You will be able to find hundreds of TLDs on the web. These TLDs are updated and maintained by an entity called IANA. IANA categorizes TLDs into the following four categories:

  • gTLDs or Generic Top-Level Domain
  • sTLDs or Sponsored Top Level Domains
  • ccTLDs or Country Code Top-Level Domains
  • Infrastructure Top-Level Domains

Domain Registration

You will have to register your domain name first before assigning it to your website. The processes of registering for a domain name is called domain registration. When you register a domain name, you get ownership of it for a certain period of time. If you wish to retain your domain name, you will have to renew the license every year or you can pay in advance for up to 10 years and retain the name for that time period. 

Domain Registrars

Top 10 best domain name registrars

Domain registrar is a company or organisation that helps you purchase a domain name. These domain registrars come under the authority of ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is an organisation that is responsible for the management and coordination of domain databases on the internet.

Domain Name vs Web Hosting: What is Web Hosting?


Web hosting refers to the digital place where all the files of your website are kept. In layman’s terms, it is like a home where your website resides. Think of it this way. If a domain name of a website is its address, then web hosting is the house where the address points to. The organization from which you buy servers to host your website is called a web host.

There are countless web hosts out there. Some even provide beginner-friendly tools that allow users to manage their website with little to no technical skills. Apart from providing hosting services, a web host also offers its users, website builders, server maintenance, customer support, and several other features.

Based on your preferences and requirements there a four major types of web hosting that you can opt for

  • Shared Hosting – Hosts different websites on a single server. In shared hosting websites share the resources like disk space and bandwidth of the server.
  • VPS hosting – Type of hosting that separates physical server into isolated virtual environments, each with its own allocated resources.
  • Dedicated hosting – Type of hosting in which a single client possesses the entire physical server, with all of its resources at their disposal.
  • Cloud Hosting – This type of hosting makes use of a cluster of different servers to host a website. 

Domain Name vs Web Hosting: What’s the Difference

Domain Name vs Web Hosting What's the Difference

Even though domain name and web hosting come in one sleek package and are purchased together, they are two completely different things. Domain name vs web hosting, let’s take a look at the main differences between these two:

Domain name vs Web Hosting – Definition: Domain name refers to the unique address of your website. Whereas web hosting is where the files of your website are stored, like a storage unit. Domain name vs Web hosting – Requirements: In order to create a website, you need to purchase a domain name first. However, you can possess a domain name without creating a website. 

Domain Name vs Web Hosting: How do They Work Together?

Web hosting and domain go hand in hand. A domain gives your site a unique address. This unique address can be used to open a website that is made accessible by web hosting. Therefore, it is of vital importance to sync and point your domain name to your web host. To avoid this hassle, it is better to get a domain name and web hosting from the same company. This way you won’t have to fret about linking them manually. 

Domain Name vs Web Hosting – Conclusion

We hope that after reading the Domain name vs Web hosting article you will be able to differentiate between the two. Even though they are entirely separate entities, they do work together to put your website on the digital map.

Frequently Asked Question

Do I need web hosting even if I have a domain name?

Yes, without web hosting your website is nonexistent. You need web hosting to store web files and make your website accessible to visitors.

Can I buy web hosting and domain from the same company?

Yes, companies like Hostinger provide both web hosting and domain as part of their services. 

How are website hosting and domain names related?

Web hosting and domain name work hand in hand. Without web hosting your site is nonexistent. Whereas without a domain name, it will not be possible for visitors to find your website.
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