Domain vs. Hosting - What is the Difference?

Domain vs Hosting

A domain name represents the address of a website, which visitors can access quickly on the internet. However, web hosting is a storage service where all files and data are stored.

For a website to run smoothly, its owner has to keep both things in place. Website owners must get reliable hosting from a web hosting provider like VPS Server. You will get everything under one umbrella at affordable prices.

Understanding web hosting and domain names can make your internet presence successful.

In this blog, you will deeply understand how domain names and web hosting work.

Domain Name

Website vs domain vs hosting

A domain name is a website address that is easily readable to humans and can be recognized by machines when a person uses it to access the website on the internet.

Each website has a distinctive domain name that delivers an easily recognizable identity.

There are two main parts to a traditional domain name. These are:

  • The actual name of the business or brand, like "vpsserver."

  • The domain extensions like ".com," ".org," etc.

Domain vs hosting vs website

Jointly, they form a comprehensive and specific web address, such as ""

The preceding function of a domain name is to decode human-readable text into machine-readable IP addresses.

Behind the scenes, the Domain Name System (DNS) simplifies this translation by associating domain names with interrelated IP addresses, permitting users to access websites using user-friendly names rather than numerical IP addresses.

Domain names play an essential role in designating an online brand and individuality.

They can remember the essence of a business, institution, or personal identity, making it easier for users to determine and discover a website.

However, domain names of a brand website are elementary for email communication, serving as part of email addresses (e.g., "").

Usually, large-scale companies use their domain name for communication through email.

A domain registrar is the one who is responsible for registering a domain name for an organization or a business.

Different domain extensions like ".org", ".com", and ".net" etc are usually offered by domain registrars to choose from according to the suitability and budget of the user.

They also offer domain extensions using country codes like ".us" or ".uk."

Once the domain registrar registers the domain, the domain name becomes an exclusive digital address, allowing the owner to build a website and establish a unique online presence.

Working of Domain Name

Having a domain name is critical but easy. Every website is authorized to use a specified domain name that cannot be used for another website.

Several components are responsible for the smooth functioning of a domain name, involving procedures to work together to authorize a user for website access.

Let's see our step-by-step description of how domain names work:

User Input:

A user should have a reliable internet to research a domain name. Open a browser you like to use and enter the domain name in the search. Ensure that there are no spaces or typing mistakes in the domain name. Otherwise, it can give an error.

DNS Resolution:

After entering the domain name, the browser will ask for DNS or Domain Name Server details to convert the name of the domain into an IP address that the machine understands.

Root Domain Name Servers:

Registering domain vs hosting domain

The domain name server will automatically send a request to one of the 13 DNS servers if it is unable to retrieve the associated IP address for the requested domain.

All the top-level domain server data is stored and managed by these servers.

TLD Servers:

Domain vs hosting keeping ownership

The request is sent to the TLD server in charge of that particular domain extension (such as ".com" or ".org") by the DNS server.

TLD servers store information about second-level domains within their domain extensions.

Authoritative DNS Servers:

Buying a domain vs hosting

Subsequently, the authoritative DNS server for the ordered domain receives the submission from the TLD server.

The top-level domain servers hold the most up-to-date details and data about the domain, including its associated IP address.

IP Address Retrieval:

In response to the query, the authoritative DNS server uses the domain name's associated IP address.

Browser Access:

Register a domain vs hosting

Now that it has the associated IP address, the browser may connect to the website server and request the desired webpage.

Web Server Response:

The web server accepts the request, recovers the requested web page or content, and transmits it to the browser where the user entered the domain name.

Rendering the Web Page:

The browser accepts the web page and generates it on the user's device, authorizing them to interact with the content easily.

Web Hosting

Web domain vs hosting

The infrastructure and resources needed to compile, arrange, and distribute the files, information, and content that make up a website to users across the globe are provided by web hosting.

It is a service that lets people, companies, or groups make their websites available to all internet users.

Many web hosting assistance providers are on the market, offering VPS, shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting.

Each web hosting type offers different resources, control, and scalability for the web hosting account.

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Several significant web hosting components help users maintain their work circle easily. Critical elements of web hosting include:

Server Space:

Web hosting companies maintain potent servers and specialized computers to store and process large amounts of data.

These servers store the data and files linked to and uploaded to the website.

Domain Hosting:

What is domain vs hosting

Web hosting often includes associating a domain name with the website.


Bandwidth is the quantity of data sent over the internet between a user and a server.

The bandwidth allotted to hosting plans usually determines the traffic volume a website can handle.

Server Maintenance and Security:

Web hosting providers maintain server hardware, software, and security.

This includes regular updates, monitoring for potential issues, and implementing security measures to protect websites from threats.

Technical Support:

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Hosting providers tend to have excellent customer support and do have a good support team to help answer clients with their technical needs.

Email Hosting:

As well as purchasing a hosting plan, you can also have your very own mailbox dedicated to your domain name which will make your business professional, as opposed to using the standard Gmail or Hotmail.

Functions of Web Hosting

There are different web hosting plans with the smallest starting from 1GPU and 2gb of RAM. It just all depends on the website use and the different factors such as traffic, demand, intensive resources used and storage. Hosting providers have large infrastructure which includes server rooms and data centers that handles and allocate the resources.

Here are some step which are followed by system for a smooth working web hosting.

Step 1 - Server Setup:

Domain vs hosting server

Powerful servers and specialised computers that store and process website files and data are supported by web hosting providers. These servers are kept in data centres that have cutting-edge security and power backup systems installed.

Step 2 - Hosting Plans:

Buying a domain vs hosting a website

Companies that want to enable online website access select a hosting plan according to their requirements. Plans for hosting differ in terms of features, costs, and resources.

Step 3 - Domain Registration:

Hosting domain vs hosting website

Through a domain registrar, a user registers their domain name for website. Users are required to enter domain name as a memorable address to access website.

Step 4 - Linking Domain to Hosting:

Domain name and hosting service are interlinked and accomplished by pointing the DNS settings to the web hosting server's IP address.

Step 5 - Uploading Website Files:

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Including HTML, CSS, images, and other content, the website owner or developer uploads the files to the server. The hosting service's web-based control panel, or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is usually used.

Step 6 - Server Management:

Server security, software, and hardware are all under the web hosting company's control. This covers doing routine server maintenance, updating software regularly, and putting security measures in place to ward against dangers.

Step 7 - Domain Resolution:

When a user types a domain name into a web browser, DNS converts the human-readable domain into the hosting server's IP address. This allows the browser to find the server that hosts the requested webpage.

Step 8 - User Access:

Domain vs hosting control panel

The hosting server receives the request of a user and retrieves the relevant website files. Then it sends them back to the browser allowing user to display the content that is easily readable and understandable for humans.

Differences between Domain and Hosting

While domain names and hosting are essential for setting up an online presence, they serve distinct purposes. Here are the key differences between domains and hosting:


A domain serves as the unique identifier for a website, translating easily memorable names into machine-readable IP addresses. It's used for navigation and branding. Web hosting stores and manages the actual content of a website, including files, images, databases, and other data.

Renewal and Fees:

Domain names are typically registered annually, and owners must renew their registration to maintain ownership. Registration fees vary based on the chosen domain extension. Hosting plans often involve periodic payments, which can be based on a different schedule. The plan's cost depends on the hosting provider and the features included.


Ownership of both are different form each other. A domain name is directly owned by the user and he is responsible for all the settings and content once it is purchased. But, a web hosting servier is purchased on rent for a specific time to manage and store the data of a website.


Hosting services are distinctive to the provider, and moving to the host requires migrating the website content to a new hosting provider. Meanwhile, domain names can be transferred easily from one registrar to another, allowing owners to change registrars if needed.

Role of Domain and Web Hosting in Building a Website

A website requires two key components: domain registration and web hosting, each of which serves a specific purpose.

Domain Registration: You can register a domain by visiting any domain provider's, and there will be a huge selection of domain's to choose from with your acquired top-level domain (TLD)

Working Together: Your domain and hosting work in tandem. The domain directs users to the hosting server, facilitating the retrieval of your website's content. This collaboration is fundamental to establishing an online presence.

Choosing a Hosting Plan: It is cheap to start a website online, as now we see hosting starting from as little as 2, which makes it easier for uploading contents to the web. Of course, there are several hosting plans which caters for everyone needs, depending on the size and traffic of the website.

Setting Up Your Website: Once the domain and hosting is selected, all there is left to do now is getting used to the hosting providers dashboard and uploading the content to the web server, which will make the website live.

Email Services: Using your domain for emails adds a professional touch to your brand. You can create email accounts associated with your domain with either a domain or hosting.

Maintenance and Security: Both name and hosting providers contribute to the upkeep and security of your website. Regular updates and security procedures ensure that your internet presence is safe and dependable.

Similarities in Domain Names and Web Hosting

While domain names and web hosting serve independent tasks, there are significant parallels that link them in the process of creating and managing a website.

Essential for Website Presence:

Domain and hosting work hand in hand, you can't have a website presence without leaving either one out of the mixture.

Digital Identity:

Domain names and web hosting collectively contribute to a website's digital identity. The domain serves as the recognizable and memorable address, and hosting ensures the storage and delivery of the website's files.

Integrated Services:

Many web hosting providers offer domain registration services, simplifying managing both aspects. This integration enhances user convenience and streamlines the overall website setup process.

Branding and Professionalism:

Both contribute to the branding and professionalism of a website. A well-chosen domain name aligns with the brand, and reliable web hosting ensures a professional and seamless user experience.

Scalability Options:

Both domain names and web hosting services often have various plans catering to different needs. Users can choose scalable options based on the growth of their website, accommodating changing requirements.

Email Services:

Both domain names and web hosting can be utilized for creating email addresses associated with the website's domain. This integration adds a cohesive and professional touch to communication.

Maintenance and Security:

It is important for hosting providers to maintain security and maintenance of their platform, as well as their infrastructure and websites that they manage. It is important to employ different cyber security measures such as Firewalls, Intrusion and prevention systems, regular updates, audits are up to date, and more stricter policies.

Ownership and Renewal:

Both domain names and hosting services involve ownership and periodic renewal. Domain names are typically renewed annually, and hosting plans may have monthly or yearly renewal options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How web hosting providers differ from each other?

Various web hosting service providers suggest distinct services. They offer various services, like features, services, and pricing. Some web hosting service providers directly offer WordPress hosting.

Can I get a free domain name with a hosting plan?

Some hosting companies provide a free domain name for their hosting plans. This is a standard offering, especially for those signing up for extended hosting periods.

How does domain registration relate to a hosting company?

Domain registration is the procedure to secure a web address to get it registered again. Many hosting companies offer domain registration assistance, facilitating the administration of both strategies.

What distinguishes a web hosting service provider from a web hosting company?

A web hosting company offers web hosting assistance. A hosting service provider generally highlights its role in delivering hosting solutions. Ultimately, a web hosting company and a web hosting service are related and interchangeable.

What is WordPress hosting, and do I need it for my WordPress website?

WordPress hosting is just hosting that has been tuned to better satisfy the security and performance requirements of WordPress. While it is not obligatory, having a hosting service can improve the overall experience for WordPress users.

How to choose the right hosting plan?

Consider factors such as the expected traffic, the type of website you own, and the features offered in various plans. Most hosting companies provide different techniques to accommodate diverse requirements.

How to use duplicate domain name with separate web hosting companies?

If needed, you can transfer your domain name between distinct hosting companies. However, the procedure involves distinctive steps to ensure a hassle-free transition.

Why is it necessary for me to get a web host?

The importance of web host is equally the same as getting your website on the internet. Your website will not be published and live on the internet without selecting a web hosting provider.

What services does a reliable web hosting service provider offer?

Factors to consider include:

  • server uptime

  • customer support

  • security measures

  • scalability options

  • user reviews

Evaluating these aspects helps ensure a reliable and efficient hosting experience.

Are there web hosting companies that offer both domain registration and hosting services?

Yes, many hosting companies provide both domain registration and hosting services. This integrated approach simplifies management for users, offering a one-stop solution.

Bilal Mohammed
The author
Bilal Mohammed

Bilal Mohammed is a cyber security enthusiast passionate about making the internet safer. He has expertise in penetration testing, networking, network security, web development, technical writing, and providing security operations center services. He is dedicated to providing excellent service and quality work on time. In his spare time, he participates in Hack the box and Vulnerable By Design activities.