If you want to build a website, you need domain hosting, right?
Well, no. Not exactly. ‘Domain hosting’ isn’t actually a thing. What it is, however, is a combination of the two things you DO need to start a website: a domain name and web hosting.
Before you move forward in the process, it’s important to understand what each one is and how they differ.
In this quick guide, we’re going to go over web hosting, domain names, and why you need them both.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is a domain name?
Domain hosting might not be an actual thing, but a domain name is.
A domain name is the address of your website – and it’s what someone types into the search bar on an internet browser when they want to visit it. For instance, when someone wants to access our website, they can type in www.inmotionhosting.com.
While you can create a website without a domain name, you won’t be able to finish setup, and no one will be able to access your site via the internet.
It is important to note that every website has a unique domain name that no one else can use. For example, because we own inmotionhosting.com, no one else can claim that exact domain name until we give it up. When you are choosing your own domain name, there is the chance that someone else may already own the one you want – so it’s helpful to have a list of backups.
To get a domain name for your website, you need to register it with a domain registrar. Often, this will be the same company that you use for your web hosting – although you can use a third party if you desire.
What is web hosting?
If a domain name provides the ‘address’ for your website, then a hosting service provides the actual space where your site ‘lives.’ A web host rents out space on a special computer called a server, that is used to store all of the data and files (HTML, images, videos, etc.) necessary for your website to run.
Typically, the hosting company that operates your server will handle routine maintenance and updates, backup, security, disaster recovery, and more.
There are several different types of web hosts, including: shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud. Each type of hosting has its own merits, so it’s important to research the options and really understand which service you need.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting means that you’re sharing one physical server with several other users – in fact, some companies host hundreds of users on the same machine. In other words, there are a whole bunch of websites all sharing the same resources.
The main downside to shared hosting is that your website’s performance is almost guaranteed to be affected. Why? Because when you share resources with other websites, anything that affects them can also affect you. For example, if one website on a shared server gets a virus, it’s quite easy for all of the others to catch the same virus.
Despite any potential problems, shared hosting is a great choice for those just starting out or those with small audiences.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting falls at the opposite end of the spectrum: an entire physical server is dedicated to your website (or websites) and their needs. Other users don’t affect your site’s performance. You can customize the server with a custom operating system or software, and the environment is far more secure. Unfortunately, the cost can be quite prohibitive for many small business owners.
VPS Web Hosting
VPS is often considered a happy middle ground: It allows some of the customization and security of a dedicated server, while still operating in a shared environment. While you still share a physical machine with other users, you get your own dedicated portion of the resources – and the price is much closer to that of a shared plan than a dedicated one.
Cloud hosting is quite similar to shared hosting services, only instead of sharing one physical server, it uses an entire bank of servers. The upside to this is not only that resources are virtually unlimited but that there is virtually no chance of ever losing service: if one server goes down, another will immediately take over. In addition, you only pay for the service you use in a given month, rather than being tied to a static monthly rate.
Basically, Domain Names and Hosting Is What You Need
Domain hosting might not be a real thing, but it manages to get the right idea across: Domain names and web hosting are VERY real and you need both of them to make your website run.
At InMotion, we offer both web hosting and domain names to meet all of your business needs. Reach out today to find out which plan might be right for you.