Hosting vs. Domain: What’s the Difference?

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by Adam Wright

Outside of the group we may call “nerds” (it’s okay, I’m one of them), not many people know the details of how websites work. Specifically, I’m talking about website hosting and domain names.

For those non-tech-savvy individuals, I’m going to explain the difference between the two so the next time someone asks, you can be a nerd too 🙂

Web Hosting

First, let’s talk about website hosting.

Compare website hosting to renting a house. Website hosting, in this case, would be the place where your website lives – your house. Without a place to live, your website (or house) doesn’t exist.

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Now within your hosting is where all of the files and folders reside that make your website function and look pretty. This would be your furniture, carpet, walls, etc. within your house. Without these things, your website would be visually plain with nothing to look at.

So, as you can see, website hosting is essential to having a website. Without it, you have nothing.

A few reputable sites to purchase website hosting are: Bluehost, SiteGround, or HostGator.

Domain Names

Domain names are much like your home address.

Imagine if your house didn’t have an address. How would you tell somebody where you live?

“Yea, I’m the house next to the brown house on the left, over there.”

That’s not going to work, and nor does it work with your website.

Just like someone needing an address to find your house, you need a domain name for someone to find your website.

For example, our domain name is: When you type this in to your internet browser, the internet recognizes this domain name and pulls up our website.

One thing to know, domain names must be purchased separately from your website hosting. They do not come together, unlike how a house already comes with an address.

It is also good practice to purchase your domain name and your hosting from separate websites. It adds extra security in the case of your website getting hacked, as well as making easier transitions if you want to change hosting providers.

Some popular websites you can purchase domain names are: GoDaddy or Namecheap.

Feel like you understand the difference between website hosting and domain names now? Let me know if you have any other questions! Comment below, or contact us here.

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Adam Wright

Adam is a California native, now living in Middle Tennessee. A long-time creative at heart, his passion for design and growing his small business, AWD, is always evident. When he's not writing code or sketching logos, he enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball, or watching just about any motorsports. Find him on LinkedIn.

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