Domain Management and Website Hosting: Keeping your website online
There are many different processes involved in web development. Building a website alone is not enough – you need to have your own little plot of internet real estate that you can display your website from. This is where the services of domain management and website hosting come into play. In our quest to teach more website related information to the masses, this article aims to explain exactly what domains and web hosting is, and the differences between the two.
One of the things you will need to consider when getting your website online is the domain name. This will be the website name that users enter in their browser to access the website, typically something related to a business or its services. It’s important to know that a domain is not a one-off purchase – buying a domain name is simply registering it under your ownership for a set period of time (typically a year or two).
Most companies that offer domains also offer domain management services – letting domains purchased through them get hosted on their servers. This can mean that domain renewal and domain management costs are often bundled together into one cost that is sent out to the owner of the domain.
A website is made up of a bunch of files and code that – when loaded – displays your website to users. But like a domain, there is more to having a website than just the cost of getting the site made - this collection of files and code needs to be put online in order for users to access them. The common way to do this is to put your website on a server – a physical computer that allows users to access its data via an IP address.
Website hosting is another service offered by a variety of development companies, big and small. It works by giving the business your website files and letting them place those files on a server that is linked via an IP address. When that IP address is called, the server sends the website data to the device that called it, displaying the site for the user.
Website hosting costs more than domain hosting since having to keep files on a server costs more than having a domain name registered. Website hosting services also can vary in price depending on several factors, including server location, load speed, uptime (the amount of time the servers are online) and storage capacity (the amount of data storage required to keep the website files on the server).
What services are required to get my website online?
While domain registration and management are typically bundled together into one transaction, website hosting services are usually billed independently of domain services to better differentiate the two. However, it is necessary to have both domain and web hosting services to get your website online.
If you only have domain management and no website hosting, there will be no IP address for the domain you own to point to, and your website won’t load. If you have website hosting but no domain management, your website will be online – but not accessible since there is no domain that users can enter to access the site.
The two work in tandem with each other to keep your website online and accessible for users, and therefore you cannot have a website visible on the internet unless you have both. There can be some confusion between the two, however it is important to know how each service functions in relation to your website.
If you need domain or web hosting services, get in touch with us here at AB Web Developers today!