What’s the Difference Between a Domain and a Website

Successfully launching a website is relatively simple and can be done easily by even the most nontechnical among us. However, navigating the digital world and its terms can be confusing for business owners new to online marketing. 

For those new to the digital water, terms like domain, website and website hosting may seem interchangeable but they are all separate elements needed for the success of your online presence. This article will explain the difference between a domain and a website so you can create and manage your digital presence with ease.

Launch your website quickly and easily with our Shared Hosting plans.

What is a Domain?

To properly explain what a domain name is, we must first briefly explain hosting and IP addresses. Web hosting is a service by a web hosting provider, like InMotion Hosting, who provides a home server for your website and allows it to be viewed by the public. An IP address is a long string of numbers that acts as your website’s home address and allows other computers/servers to find your website on the server. However, because it’s hard to remember a string of numbers every time you want to visit your favorite website, domain names were born to allow humans to quickly and easily search the web. Essentially, a domain name is a human-friendly address for a website. The domain name points to the IP address which then allows your computer to find and load the website you’re trying to view.

When purchasing a new hosting plan with InMotion Hosting, your first domain name is free. However, you can also register another domain or add a subdomain, an add on domain or a domain alias. You should also consider these four tips when registering a new domain name

What is a Website?

A website is the final destination of the IP address and the domain name. It is a collection of web pages with images, text, videos and other media, that provides information about a business, organization or topic. Websites can also be used to sell goods and services — including the sale and distribution of digital goods.  

Your domain name helps your potential customers and readers find your website, however, your website convinces them to engage with and trust your business. Your website is your digital storefront. It is your space to successfully design, build and promote your business and brand. 

Luckily, we have many resources and articles to help you with your web design journey. After you decide whether you want to build your website on your own or hire web a designer, explore our Web Design Education Channel to learn web design best practices or how to successfully navigate the web design process with a designer

Resources for Successfully Launching Your Business Online

Now that you understand the difference between a domain name and a website, it’s time to fully jump in and launch your web presence. Getting your website up and running is fairly simple and will increase your business’ reach tenfold. Below is a step-by-step guide with resources to help you establish your online presence. 

  1. Purchase a Shared Hosting plan
  2. Register your free domain name
  3. Set up your email accounts if needed
  4. Build your brand using free web tools
  5. Connect with a web designer or build your website on your own or with a builder
  6. Launch your website then monitor its growth

As you work to build your web presence, please let us know if there is anything you need to assist your growth. We’re here to help! Reach out to our 24/7 live support team or post a question in our community forum.

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