You should be looking at these two, not just your site’s function and design.
To understand what a domain and hosting is, let’s uncover some terms to get a better idea on what it does.
Please direct your attention at my Canva-made diagram below. There are a lot of things happening in a request-response cycle.
A client, which might be you or a certain user goes over to a web browser to type in your domain- e.g. www.domain.com. You are “requesting” a browser to get that domain that you have typed.
So, hosting is where your website is stored waiting to serve your clients. The files that made up your website are in a place called “server computers”. So whenever someone requests your website through your domain, a host will respond to your request. This is what “response” means.
All in all, the process mentioned above is what we call the request-response cycle. It goes over and over whenever someone wants to access your website.
Every website has a unique domain name. There are a lot of different tips on what domain name is suitable for you. The most important is your business name (and pray that no one has it owned at the registrar).
Sometimes, when you are flexible for your domain name, the popular tip is- it must be unique and catchy- something that’s memorable and reflects your cause.
Let’s talk a little bit about about domain extensions
Domain extensions or as the tech guys say, Top-level domains (TLDs), are those at the end of your domain name. These are:
.com – companies
.net – networks
.org – non-profit organizations
.tv – is actually for the country Tuvalu, but famous to many as ‘television’.
…so on and so forth.
Now that we have mentioned .tv as Tuvalu, domain extensions can also represent as countries. This can be:
.ca – Canada
.ph – Philippines
.au – Australia
.uk – England
.hk- Hong Kong
And many more! (Here’s a great look up for your country TLDs: https://www.worldstandards.eu/other/tlds/)
Note that domain extensions can make a difference between two identical domains. For example, emmanuelang.com is different from emmanuelang.org.
Where to get and how much is a domain?
Domains are valued based on:
- the number of traffic it gets,
- how short and memorable it is
- and its domain extension.
Long ago, domain extensions can have a great impact on domain value. But that’s not the case today.
Typically, a domain name can cost you USD$9 – USD$100 per year. Beware of genius developers that charge you $6000 for a domain and let you rent it for $700/year. That’s unscrupulous and crazy.
Most of my clients (and also my domain) are at Namecheap. You can go over to their website and check if the desired domain you want is available.
Other available domain registrars are:
All have different add-on offers when you register your domain in them. You can check these domain registrars and compare one from the other.
Like domain registrars, there are a lot of hosting out there that can serve your website. Although they might differ in interface, they’re quite similar in operability.
Most hosting ranges at $20-$500/ year. This might go higher depending on the usage and disk space that you might need. Meaning, this varies on how large your website is and traffic that it gets.
So the wise thing to do is buy it on a lower cost and upgrade it if there’s a need in terms of traffic and disk usage increase.
My clients are hosted on SiteGround. What I like about SiteGround is their customer support. You can ask the rookiest question and still they’ll be happy to assist you. They’ll even do it for you if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Response time is fast and the waiting time is almost none. The downside is that it’s more expensive than their competitors.
(I’m not even an affiliate, although I want to- country restrictions. Sucks.)
These are the popular hosting companies out there:
(Let me know in the comments if there are other hosting companies that I have not mentioned.)
…and many more! You can go check each of them and see what they can offer. Although features are kind of neck-and-neck today, you might want to check what’s best suitable for you.
Hosting and WordPress
Because of WordPress’ popularity, a lot of hosting companies are integrating WordPress in them. Meaning, you can install a fresh WordPress site within your hosting account.
Unlike before, you need to migrate native websites and put it in the public_html folder. Although it’s still a practice today, an easier way is offered by hosting companies by WordPress integration.
Domain and Hosting Packaged Together
Today, hosting companies now offer domain registration, meaning you don’t need to buy your domain and hosting separately. Likewise with domain registrars that offer hosting too.
This might be a good idea and less of a hassle. But some developer veterans don’t recommend it. Here’s why:
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket. If you have two important keys, will you put them in one place?
- If you decide to transfer your website to another hosting company, you can easily point your domain to your new host using the Domain Name System or DNS. (Which I’ll talk about later.)
- Should the company shut down, you’ll be losing both your domain and host, and retrieving it might be hard on your part. Imagine you lost everything because you put both your domain and hosting in one company.
That’s why, you need to be wise in choosing your hosting company and domain registrar. Make sure that they are well-known, stable and have good reviews.
There are a lot of scenarios that can happen in between things listed above, that’s just the broader view of it.
How to Point Your Domain to your Host
Through the use of Domain Name Server or DNS. All domain hosts have unique DNS for each of their servers. This is the one that your registrar uses to point your domain name to your server.
Simply get your server’s DNS and copy-paste it on your domain registrar.
On your cPanel inside SiteGround, you can see this Account Information box where you can see Name Servers. Copy this 2 lines and go over to your domain registrar.
(Some details are hidden)
Now, in any case, that you will be moving to a new host, you will change the DNS on your domain registrar accordingly to point it to your new server.
Domain and hosting are the two important keys to your website to go live. You cannot go live if one of these keys is missing.
Domain is the address of your website while hosting is where you website files can be found and stored in a server. Your host will respond whenever there is a request made by a client by calling your domain.
Also, your domain connects on your host using a Domain Name System or DNS. DNS will point the domain to your server where you’re stored your website files.
Please comment down below if you find any error or reactions on this blog.