What is a web domain name and web hosting?February 28, 2011
What is the difference between a web domain and web hosting?
a.k.a. What do I need to get my darn website live???
Many folks come to ClarkeDesign for website design. Together we create a functional and attractive website for their clients and customers to visit. Once the site is designed though, I am often asked “what now?” The ‘now’ usually means you need to purchase a domain name and hosting so we can get their site live to the world. Allow me to break these two separate, but intertwined, requirements into laymen terms.
(also called Site Domain, Website name, url, www.sitename.com)
This is the information found on your business card, what you tell people to visit in a conversation, and eventually, what is typed into the web browser to visit your site.
A Domain Name is like the Internet’s version of a street address. A user-friendly way to find a location. ClarkeDesign.net is an example of a Domain Name.
When someone types it in, it is converted behind the scenes to an IP Address (i.e. http://188.8.131.52) that points to a server. As you can see, this series of numbers is not nearly as user friendly as a Domain Name. Consider the IP address to be the post office equivalent to the extended ZIP+4 code the post office has for a property and can efficiently direct mail to a location.
|Internet World||Domain Name ClarkeDesign.net||IP Address http://184.108.40.206|
|Post Office World||Street Address
1234 ClarkeDesign Street
|Extended ZIP+4 Code
The IP address points to a specific server where a website is hosted. And so begins the next part of this article…Web Hosting.
(also called web hosting, site host, web server, server space)
The website I design for you may look as you want it when viewed on a private computer, but for the world to see it, it needs to be hosted on a web server. This server (a powerful computer that serves files to web browsers upon request) is where we upload all your web pages. It is from a web server that web pages are publicly viewable to everyone on the Internet. When you buy Website Hosting it is the equivalent of obtaining file space on one of these servers.
In addition to your website being hosted when you purchase Website Hosting, you also obtain the ability to create email accounts and email storage that correlate to you Domain Name.
There are many companies to choose from when making a hosting company decision. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Amazon, are a few big names. Big does not always equal good though. As with any industry, the benefits of a big name company can be offset by poor customer service due to having so many clients. ClarkeDesign always encourages clients to do research on a hosting company before making a choice. Asking around about people’s experiences** and searching review websites online are important.
** Website Hosting Recommendations:
- www.WebHostingBuzz.com – This company offers a number of packages, great customer service, and affordable rates.
- ClarkeDesign offers Website Hosting to its clients to pass along savings and seamless service from design to deployment. www.SolidWebsiteHosting.com.