Web Hosting Vs. Domain Registration: A Simplified Analogy

Web Hosting Vs. Domain Registration
Newbie webmasters might get confused when it comes to understanding the difference between domain registration and web hosting. Techspirited explains the difference between them in simple, non-technical language.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Did You Know?
Facebook shelled out a whopping USD 8.5 million for acquiring the domain name fb from The American Farm Bureau.
So, you have decided to get your own website for boosting your business, or for showcasing your quality work. And now, you have comes across these unfamiliar terms―'web hosting' and 'domain registration'. Well, don't get confused. For now, you only need to understand that web hosting and domain name (which you'll be registering shortly) complement each other. You need both of them for taking your website online.
What exactly is web hosting?
Network server connected
In simple words, a web hosting is an entity which hosts a website, like our very own buzzle.com, or any web service like facebook, pinterest, twitter, etc. A website is made up of resources like multimedia content, CSS and Java scripts, compressed archives, .php and .html files, databases, etc. These resources will have to stay somewhere on the Internet, accessible to anyone using certain web protocols.
Why you cannot use free cloud storage for building a website?
Networking concept
You cannot upload the resources required to build a website to free cloud storage service like Dropbox, or Google Drive, OneDrive, etc., and then use them as building blocks for your website. Web hosting is much more than mere online storage. It employs the use of many Internet protocols like HTTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, etc., and also has a powerful CPU to process the requests for resources made by visitors to a website.
Why do you need to register a domain?
Laptop screen with domain names
Technically speaking, you can build and take your website online even without buying a domain name. This is contradictory to what I mentioned in the beginning of the article, but let me explain it first. Your web hosting company will give you an IP address (for e.g., 209.18.117.5) for accessing your website. With this address, you and web crawlers can access your website, but what about other people? We humans are not very good at remembering numbers. Compare the amount of cell phone numbers you remember with the number of websites you visit on a daily basis (Facebook, Google, Buzzle, Twitter, and Gmail included). For most of the cases, the latter number will overshadow the first one. And, this is why you should mask the IP address of your website with a domain name. That's why you should register an appropriate domain name for your website.

An easy to remember and relevant domain name will increase the chances of it being remembered by your audience. A domain name can be yours for only a certain number of years. Of course, you can renew it for as long as you like, but you cannot pay for it for the next 100 years in one go. Domain names are unique. No two websites on the Internet can have the same domain name. Also, a quick tip is to always register a domain name relevant to the topic of your website.
If you still have any doubt related to domain name registration and web hosting, then please do sound off in the comments. Our expert community will be happy to help you.