Website Hosting vs Domain Name Hosting:  What’s The Difference?

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Every website out there needs both website hosting and domain name hosting.  And although most people usually buy their domain and hosting at the same time, they are in fact two different services.  Let’s quickly go over the differences between website hosting and domain name hosting.

What is Domain Name Hosting?

In my previous articles, I covered what a domain is and why it’s important to buy one for your business

In that first article, I explained how your domain name is like your street address in the real world.  It’s the address that people use to find you. 

What is Website Hosting?

Website hosting on the other hand is like your physical property.  It’s a place where you can build your house and store all your stuff! 

In internet terms, this would include all the code, files, pictures, videos, etc that you use to build your website.  All your files are stored on physical servers. These servers are similar to your computer at home in that they have different resources allocated to them depending on what type of hosting package you buy.

Related: What Is Website Hosting? Plus 5 Web Hosting Options Explained

When someone wants to visit your website, they type your domain name into their browser.  They are then pointed to the website host who is storing all your website’s files.  The website host then sends these files to the visitor in the form of your website. 

Because your domain hosting and website hosting are two different services, it is completely possible to use one company to buy and host your domain name and an entirely different company for your website hosting.  It is also possible for you to own as many domain names as you like without any website hosting at all!

An Example!

Imagine it this way, your domain name is like a brand new cell phone that you bought from Company A. It is great to have but you really would like to use it in the big wide world.  In order to do that you need to sign up with Company B where you can buy things like airtime and data.   Company B is like your web host. 

Now say you find out that Company B has really bad customer service or their data is always on the blink and you would like to move to Company C.  You can do that and your cellphone goes with you. 

Likewise, if you are unhappy with your hosting company for whatever reason, you can buy web hosting from another company and simply point your domain to the new host. This means that you are never bound to a bad hosting company just because of your domain name. Awesome right?!

Now back to our cellphone example.  Just like companies that sell airtime and data sometimes offer free cell phones in their packages, web hosting companies do exactly the same thing. 

They bundle their services into convenient packages that usually include a free domain name if you buy website hosting. They then become the host of both your website and your domain name. 

Of course, buying your domain name and website hosting from one company makes things a hang of a lot easier and far less complicated than buying them from two different companies.  Doing it this way means that all the admin for your website is in one place and if you need help or support you can contact one company instead of two.


I really hope that all makes sense! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments box below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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