What is a domain name and web hosting?
When you are going to build a website you need a domain name and a web hosting. For some people who never build a website before usually they have questions ‘What is a domain name and a web hosting? How to purchase it?’.
A domain name is a unique name or an address of a website. In the physical world it is like the address of a house. Suppose you compare your house with your website, if someone wants to visit your house, he should know the address of your house. For the same case, if someone wants to visit your website, he should know the domain name of your website. So, website visitor uses your domain name to access and view your website.
The domain name and its corresponding IP (Internet Protocol) address must be a unique name, the one and only on the internet. IP address shows the server where the website is located, and it is the task of the Domain Name System (DNS) to match a domain name with its IP address. The network would be confused when it tried to communicate with the computers if there was more than one the same domain name. That’s why the naming system is strictly regulated in order to prevent duplicate addresses and confusion.
Computers contact each other and communicate by using IP addresses in the form of numbers. In physical world is just like you use a phone number to contact someone.
Domain name System (DNS) contains databases about domain names and the corresponding IP addresses. This system allows internet users to deal and having to remember domain names rather than a series of numbers. For example, without a domain name your site address would be located at a temporare url with a series of numbers at the address such as 123.456.789.123/~my site. It will make your site look unprofessional and impractical for your customers/site visitors.
How to purchase a domain name? You can purchase and register a unique domain name for your site or blog with a domain name registrar. You have to think and find a creative variation for your domain name because almost all domain names with common words have already been purchased and registered.
It is relatively cheap to register a domain name, but you must renew it every year or every few years. The domain name is yours until you stop renewing it and it will become available for other people to purchase it.
Domain name provides specific information on each part of it to enable web browsers to locate the webpage. When you are going to visit a website you have to type a domain name into the address bar of the web browser’s page from left to right. But the naming hierarchy of the domain name itself is read from right to left. For example: www.mywealthyworld.com
From the example above, ‘mywealthyworld’ is a sub domain of a domain name and it is a unique name and there isn’t the same domain name in the web.
Most domain names are preceded by ‘www’, which is a sub-domain prefix for World Wide Web. It is not part of the domain name. While some domain names don’t use the ‘www’.
The top level of a domain name is domain suffix which is separated from sub domain level by a dot. It helps to identify the type of website that the domain name represents. Domain suffix which is typically used by commercial website is ‘com’ and nonprofit organizations often use ‘org’, édu’or ‘net’.
Users also easily recognize the country code as a domain suffix such as ‘id’(Indonesia) or ‘uk’(United Kingdom) which helps identify the location of the website.
Expansion of the top level domains is also occuring, they are ‘biz’, ‘info’, ‘museum’, and ‘name’.
If you want to purchase and register a domain name, here is some popular domain name registrars:
If you want other people to be able to view your website then you need a web hosting. A web hosting is a space that you rent out to have your website files in, or a place for your website files to reside or to stay. It is only a space for your files and your domain to reside. It doesn’t include a site design for your business. Without web hosting your domain would be like a disconnected phone number.
You can purchase your web hosting from a hosting service. Hosting service is the business that offers hosting, serving, and maintaining website files to customers. Other than hosting files, hosting services can also be used for games, images and similar content.
If you have a website and you want to host your own website it would be expensive. Because you have to pay the cost for connections on T-carrier system lines, it is the fast connection to the internet. That’s why many companies prefer to use a hosting service to share the cost of fast internet connection on T-carrier system lines for serving files.
Hosting service providers, mostly offer three types of web hosting that people can rent out:
- Dedicated web hosting: The entire server reserved and leased for only one website.
- Shared web hosting: Many websites use the same hosting server.
- Virtual Private Server hosting: A mix or a hybrid of dedicated and shared web hosting. One website is hosted on its own virtual server, so other customers’ websites won’t affect it.
There are thousands of web hosting services available on the internet, from free services which offers limited features to the expensive one. Which one you should choose dependss on whether you want to spend much money for your website or you want the cheapest one or the free one.
Most domain name registrars are also offering web hosting and mostly their price is for yearly purchase. But you don’t need to purchase your domain name and web hosting together from the same company. You can purchase your domain name from one company and web hosting from another company.
Hereby is the screenshot of some web hosting services and their yearly prices. Choose one that you think will meet your needs: