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The Difference Between Web Hosting And Domain Hosting
When launching your website from scratch for the first time, you need to conduct some admin before getting started. You need to find and reserve a domain name with a domain register first. Once you have a domain name, you need to set up domain hosting and web hosting services with a provider of your choice.
A domain name reservation is relatively straightforward, and most people understand it's the first step to any business. Domain name reservations require you to find a domain name, not in use or purchase your preffered domain name from a reseller. Once you have the rights to that domain name, like ours, for example - nichemarket.co.za
The domain name will be the location on the internet where people will find your website. It is your website address.
Once you have a domain name you want to use, hosting for both the domain and web will be paramount. Many providers package these together; that's why it's often confused with one another. However, web hosting and domain hosting are two different services.
- Web hosting focuses on storing content, like a website, on internet servers.
- Domain hosting provides domain names, which are the addresses that help visitors access website content.
You can have domain hosting without web hosting, but you cannot have web hosting without domain hosting.
What is domain hosting?
A domain host provides a domain name, like www.yourdomain.com; this is the address visitors can use to find your specific website. The domain name is like a street address that directs people to your website's location. However, the content the users would see when visiting a website is not tied to the domain.
The domain hosts only store domain names and facilitates their registration; they are like an address book with a bunch of names and addresses so that everyone knows which domains belong to which person. You can own several domains of different names or variations of the same name.
Many website owners also purchase localised versions of their domain name to ensure they own all the brand names; for example, if your website is yourdomain.com, you may want to acquire
- yourdomain.co.uk for your UK clients
- yourdomain.ca for your Canadian clients
- yourdomain.com.au for your Australian clients
- And so on.
If you're using a domain registered through a third-party provider, like
Then one of those companies will be your domain host, and you'll manage your domain through them.
When you create a website with closed source CMS's like Wix and Squarespace site, you're automatically assigned a built-in domain that runs on their register as a subdomain.com. You can also transfer supported domains or register and use a custom domain.
What is web hosting?
A web host refers to the place where the files that render your website are hosted. A web host provides the space to display your site's content, like text, images, files, videos and more. When you see a web page or a file with the domain name of your choosing, these files come from your web host; they just use your domain host as the address reference.
A web host doesn't necessarily provide the address visitors use to reach your site, like www.yourdomain.com.
When you have a web hosting site, they will host your web pages with your domain and, in most cases, your files and assets too. If you're running a hosted site, you can have your files stored on your domain or on any subdomain that you own. You could store your files on files.yourdomain.com instead of the main domain; it is all up to your preffered setup.
Some web hosting providers like could Azure or AWS will often use their content distribution network or CDN to act as your web host and store your files instead of using your custom domain.
In some cases, hosting providers may use content management systems to store your assets on their domain instead. When you build a site with certain site builders like Wix, Webflow, Squarespace, they will be your web host. This means that in addition to providing tools for creating and managing your content, they provide a place on the internet to display your content.
How do both hosts work together?
You can connect one or more custom domains to your site by registering with a hosting provider to have localised sites or mimic a site or have a particular site for specific customers. No matter who hosts your domain, you are not tied to them as a web host and can migrate to other providers if you get a better deal or you're looking for improved performance.
Once you have a domain registered, you are free to move between web hosting providers. Many website owners find it easier to use the same service out of convenience, but it's not a requirement.
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on web hosting.
- HTTPS Migration Check List For The Best Results
- WordPress Migration: How to successfully move your website to a new host
- Everything you need to know about web hosting
- How To Decentralise Your Blog
- Does Web Hosting Affect SEO?