What are domain registration & web hosting?

Owning a website can get confusing – especially when you’re first starting out. One of the first things that confuses people the most is when their web designer starts talking about domain registration and web hosting, so in this post I’m going to answer a few questions.
  • What is a domain?

  • What is hosting?

  • How are they related?

What is a domain?

A domain is basically just an alias. If you own a computer and you’ve ever connected to the internet there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “IP address”. Every computer has an IP address assigned to it and that’s what allows other computers to tell which computer is which and communicate with the correct computer when necessary.

When you buy a domain name you are essentially reserving the domain so no one else can use it. Then you tell your domain registrar (provider) what IP address you want the domain to point to. This information is then stored in a database for internet service providers (ISP) to reference.

When you type in a domain name in your internet browser like Internet Explorer or Safari your browser submits the domain name to your ISP and your ISP then cross references their database to see what IP address matches up with the domain. That’s where the hosting service comes into play.

What are domain registration & web hosting?