Domain Name and Web Hosting: What’s the Difference
With the rapid development of website and tech space in Nigeria today, there has been a rising trend in the number of websites in Nigeria. To effectively build a website, there are two main components which serves as a starting point for developers, either as a new or experienced one. These components are known as the domain name and web hosting.
For developers who are at the beginner level, these two components may still seem a little confusing, so much that most confuse one for the other. This is due to the link and close relationship between both concepts.
As a result, We are often asked by our readers to explain what is the difference between a domain name and web hosting? Many beginners don’t know that these are two separate things. In this beginner’s guide, we will explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting.
What is a Domain Name?
Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website. In other words, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.
Internet is basically a giant network of computers connected to each other through cables. To easily identify them, each computer is assigned a series of numbers called IP Address. This IP address is a combination of numbers separated with dots. Typically, IP addresses look like this:
Computers have no problem identifying and remembering these numbers. However, it is impossible for humans to remember and use these numbers to connect to websites on the internet. To solve this problem, domain names were invented.
A domain name can have words which makes it easy to remember website addresses. Now if you wanted to visit a website on the internet, you don’t need to type a string of numbers. Instead, you can type in an easy to remember domain name, for example, Haelsoft.com
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives. A good way to think about this is if the domain name was the address of your house, then web hosting is the actual house that address points to. All websites on the internet, need web hosting.
When someone enters your domain name in a browser, the domain name is translated into the IP address of your web hosting company’s computer. This computer contains your website’s files, and it sends those files back to the users’ browsers. Web hosting companies specialize in storing and serving websites. They offer different types of hosting plans to their customers.
The Relationship between Domain Name and Web Hosting
Domain names and web hosting are two different services. However, they work together to make websites possible. Basically a domain name system is like a massive address book that is constantly updated. Behind each domain name, there is an address of the web hosting service storing the website’s files.
Without domain names, it will not be possible for people to find your website and without web hosting you cannot build a website. This is why many top domain name registrars also offer web hosting services.
What do I need to Build a Website? Domain Name or Web Hosting?
To build a website you will need both a domain name and web hosting account. Buying a domain name alone only gives you right to use that particular domain name for a specific period (usually 1 year). You need web hosting to store your website’s files. After you get hosting, you need to update your domain name settings and point it to your web hosting service provider.
You can also buy both the domain and hosting from the same company. Typically a domain name costs in the range of N25,000/ year, and web hosting normally costs N30,000/year. If you are starting your first website, then this may sound like a lot.
Thankfully, Upperlink, an official recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer users numerous packages on domain name that are cost saving and high quality. Users can get a domain name for as low as N450 and as much as N14,000. Also, for domain hosting, users can get their hand on one within the range of N5,000 – N18,000. These packages ensures that anyone can easily get a domain name and hosting for their website, regardless of their budgets. These Upperlink packages meet the needs of everyone willing to develop a website.
Do I have to buy them together? Or can I buy them separately?
You can buy domain name and web hosting from two different companies. However, in that case you will have to point your domain name to your web hosting company by editing its DNS settings. On the other hand, if you purchase your domain name and web hosting from the same company, then you will not have to change domain name settings. It is also much easier to manage and renew both services under the same dashboard.
At Upperlink, we offer you all the domain services you need with high quality, and cost effective options that help boost your journey into getting a good website running. Upperlink is definitely the place to be for all services related to domain name and hosting.
Can I Move My Domain Name to a Different Company?
Yes, you can. Normally when you register the domain name, you own the right to use it and transfer it anywhere you want. For example, let’s say you purchased your domain name from Domain.com and bought your hosting from Upperlink. Now you want to move your domain name to Upperlink, so that it is easier to manage and renew.
You can easily do that. Both companies have detailed step by step instructions that you can follow to transfer your domain name.
Note: We recommend you to wait at least 45 days after the registration or renewal to initiate the transfer. ICANN, the international organization that oversees domain names, requires one year renewal whenever a transfer is initiated. By transferring your domain name before that period you could lose that year’s renewal fee.
Can I Move My Website to Another Web Hosting Company Without Changing Domain?
Yes, you can do that as well. You own the domain name and can change its settings to point it to any web hosting company.
For example, you purchased your domain name and hosting from Godaddy, and now you want to move your web hosting to Upperlink. You can move your site from one host to another by simply transferring files and data. After that you need to edit your domain name settings and point them to your new web hosting provider.
Another example, you purchased your domain name from WordPress.com. Later you want to move to self hosted Upperlink website.
First, you will need to sign up for a Upperlink hosting account. After that you can move your site from WordPress.com to Upperlink.ng. Lastly, you will just edit your domain name settings on Upperlink.ng and point them to your new WordPress hosting provider.
We hope this article helped you learn the difference between a domain name and web hosting. You may also want to see our comparison of popular website builders for beginners with pros and cons.
If you liked this article, then please visit Upperlink Domains to get all domain name and hosting services today.