People oftentimes mistake web hosting and domain name one for the other, but they are actually different.
You might find that top website hosting companies give you a domain name, but that web hosting is somewhat similar (as it may seem in their services page).
However, in this article, I will clear the air of confusion and give you the differences between the two terms.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is simply your website’s address or URL. Whenever a person wants to access your website, all they have to do is enter the particular URL of your page and they will be redirected accordingly. To have your own domain name, you will need to get one from a domain registrar.
In other words, a domain name is not something that is tangible or something that you can see, but rather, it is a string of terms that are used to find your webpage’s address over the internet.
For instance, if you go to www.google.com, you will be directed to Google’s own search engine. All of the domain names are unique, but you have to understand that free hosting services will usually add another string in the domain to denote that you are using their servers (such as mydomain.wordpress.com).
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the process of “hosting” a website so that it can be seen visibly over the internet. In other words, you can see it as a service.
A web host is a person or an entity that owns a server where the websites will be hosted. Typically, servers make use of powerful hardware that is able to run without turning it off. In other words, a server is made up of robust components that can last for a very long time.
When you go get a web hosting service, for example, you are actually just renting a part of their servers. A paid service provider would include your very own domain name, as well as the resources that they’re going to offer as part of your hosting plan as well.
The most common services that these providers will give you are website maintenance, server maintenance, routine backups, disaster recoveries (in case there is a technical problem with the server), and a host of many others.
Why Are People Confused?
The reason why people are often confused with the two terms is that most web hosting companies provide the same services (and they usually advertise such).
What used to be conventional web domain registrars back then are also provided by hosting companies these days, hence the confusion.
Should You Get Web Hosting Services and a Domain from the Same Provider?
Well, that actually depends. If your hosting service is not reliable anymore, then it would be best (in your case) to have them separate.
However, if you find that your particular hosting company has a good reputation for stability and reliability, then I wouldn’t see any point of getting these services elsewhere.