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Domains vs Hosting vs Website

In this article, we will cover the differences between a domain name, a web hosting plan, and a website.

Here are the topics we'll discuss in this article.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address of a website. It is the URL that a visitor types on a browser. It also helps us navigate the internet easily instead of memorizing the IP address of the website. When a site visitor enters your domain name into a browser, the domain is then translated into a server IP address. The server sends that user your site files, which their browser represents as a typical web page.

A domain name consists of two parts: Top Level Domain (TLD) and second-Level Domain (SLD). For example, on the domain “hostgator.com,” the SLD is “hostgator,” while the “.com” is the TLD.

Example of TLDs: 

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .info
  • .info
  • .biz
  • .mobi
  • .name
  • .tel
  • .asia
  • .pro

Please refer to the following article for the list of TLDs and the prices that we offer.

How to obtain a domain name

To obtain a domain name, you must register a domain name with a Domain Registrar like Launchpad, which you can do so through your Customer Portal or https://www.hostgator.com/domains.

Please check out this article to guide you on registering your domain name.

Things to remember in choosing a domain name for your website:

  1. Evaluate the purpose of your website. Do you wish to create a website for your business? Is this for personal use? Or would you be creating a website for an organization?
  2. Make sure that the domain name is not yet registered.
  3. The domain name should be easy to remember and not too long. 
  4. Don’t buy domain names that are similar to existing sites or what we call trademarked domain names. 
  5. Avoid including numbers on domain names.

For more tips on choosing a domain name, please visit the following articles.

How long can I keep the domain name?

For domain name registration, you can register a domain name for a minimum of 12 months. There is no perpetual domain ownership. You have the option to register the domain name for multiple years. Then you will need to renew the domain name at the end of its term. You will have the ability to manage the domain you purchased from HostGator through your Customer Portal.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a technology that is needed for your website to be accessible online publicly or privately. The web-hosting or server is much like the space that you rent for your business. It's merely space itself. It does not include furnishings, like shelves, for your products, just as the web-hosting account doesn't add a site for you to sell your products.

Luckily, in the web-hosting world, it's effortless to furnish the space provided by your host because you can install many framework applications through the Softaculous icon within your cPanel.

Without the hosting services, you won't have a place for your files to reside, so your domain would become like a disconnected phone number in the phone directory, and your site files would have nowhere to stay. Without web hosting, your website will not have an online presence.


What is a website?

A website is a collection of pages related to the domain. It consists of texts, media, links, and other visual content and allows the public to navigate around it for information. The most common landing pages are google.com, yahoo.com, andhostgator.com. These pages constitute the World Wide Web (www). To access a website, a visitor needs to type the domain name in a browser’s address bar, and the browser will interpret and display the corresponding main web page or what we call, the homepage.

More info:

  • The Site Files are what your visitors and potential customers see when going to a site, such as your products and services. The site files are the same as any other file you normally use, like a .jpg image or .mp3 music file. Though, website files are also .php files or .html files, which are PHP scripts or HTMLhtml pages respectively.
  • The web-hosting server knows how to read these files explaining how the webpage looks or instructs the server to do a series of computations. These computations are things like figuring out what blog article or forum it's supposed to send back to the viewer.

Can you buy a domain from one company and use it at another web host?

You can register a domain name from a different domain registrar and point it to a server you purchased from another company. It is only a matter of pointing your domain to the correct server through the DNS records.


Can you buy web hosting without a domain name?

While many hosting packages offer a domain name as an inclusion, you can still choose to purchase only the hosting plan. However, to host a website, you still need a domain name. You can purchase a domain name separately with the same hosting company or through a different registrar. There is no definite rule to purchasing a domain name and a hosting plan from only one company.


What is the difference between a web server and a web host?

These two are always being used interchangeably; however, they have different functions.

A web server is a physical computer or machine where you can process, store, and deliver web pages. It distributes these web pages to viewers as they are being called out through a browser.

Managing a web server is a lot of work, and this is something a web host does. A web host is a company offering the service of hosting your sites through their web servers. They are also responsible for keeping the web servers running smoothly, maintaining and protecting them from malicious attacks, so the websites in these servers are up at all times.


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