What is the difference between domain, hosting and web server?
This article will finally clarify one of the most common doubts when starting to introduce your business in the digital world. We will talk about what are the differences between domain, hosting and web server, and what is the function of each of them.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel regarding web knowledge, because for me it’s crucial. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a domain?
A web domain or Internet domain is a unique name (like a fingerprint) that is used to identify websites on the Internet. It is composed of two parts, a name and an extension.
In recent years new extensions have been created to identify specific sectors. That is why you can find apart from the famous .com, the .net, .edu, .info, .org, and many more.
It’s worth clarifying that when we say “unique”, we refer to the whole conformed by these two parts (name and extension). Therefore, there can be a page called bamboo.info and another bamboo.cr and belong to two different companies. By the way, the second one is the coolest, so if you have not visited it, I invite you to do so.
For example, if we search for Facebook.info or Facebook.edu, the browser will tell us that it can’t find the pages, because they don’t really exist. However, Facebook bought all the extensions related to its name to have exclusivity over it.
If you want to know about the availability of a domain for future use, you can check this link.
What is hosting?
Hosting or (web hosting) is a service provided by what we call hosting providers. It allows you to store all kinds of files (documents, texts, videos, images), together with the code and structure of your website so that they can be accessed through the Internet.
Owning a space in a hosting service allows you to develop your own business or personal brand.
To exemplify this concept, let’s go back to the example of Facebook. This company has a hosting space where all the posts, photos, videos and other information provided by its users are stored. This hosting space can be as large or as small as required by the needs of whoever hires it.
What is a Web server?
When we talk about web server, we refer to a software that is part of a physical server, and whose function is to deliver information in the form of web pages when it receives requests from users through a web browser.
In short, a web server is a computer or machine, most of the time physical, which is connected to the Internet and provides information through software.
Summarizing the concepts
- The domain is the unique and unrepeatable name of our website.
- The hosting is just a storage space and a group of services where the information of a web page is stored.
- A web server is a large computer (either physical or virtual) that is connected to the Internet and provides various resources.
- The domain does not work individually, since it is only the name of a web page, it needs a hosting in order to have a visible “body”. It is like a birth certificate without a person.
- The same happens with the hosting, it cannot be useful in an individual way either, since without a domain (name) it cannot be found. Conversely to the previous example, it is like a person without a birth certificate.
How much does hosting and domain name cost?
The prices of hosting are very varied, because they depend on the characteristics and services that need to be contracted. The space required, SSL security certificates, email accounts, number of websites, databases, bandwidth, are some of the features and services offered by hosting providers.
Their prices can range from a little less than a dollar a month to an average of 10 to 12 dollars.
The price of a domain name can range from $0.99/year for a .tech, .xyz or .online, to $12.99 for a .net. Although it is also important to know that most hosting providers will provide a free domain name for one year when you sign up, depending on the plan selected.
Currently, the most reputable hosting providers are:
If you are already “injected with excitement” and do not want to wait to create your new website, do not worry, because we here at Bamboo, will provide you with the necessary advice to choose together the option that best suits your needs.
Is it worth the additional services you provide?
When you hire a hosting service, they generally provide you with the following additional services:
- Anti-hacking site protection: if the page you are building is a very serious project and you want your site and your users to be protected, it is recommended that you use this service to be safe from hackers, viruses and any other attacks. The usual cost is about US $ 2 per month.
- Professional emails related to Gmail: Many hosting providers offer you similar services for around $5 per month. However, this service can also be obtained for free.
- Backup service: With this service, your hosting provider will copy your website to make sure that it can be restored in case of any mishap. The monthly cost is usually included in the price. Is it worth it? Of course, otherwise you risk losing all your work hosted on that platform.
- SSL Certificate: this service allows your website to use a secure HTTP connection (HTTPS), and with an SSL certificate, which is more and more important every day, especially if you plan to sell through the website. By using this service, you can ensure that all user data is encrypted and browsing your website is secure. It usually costs $1.67 per month. Although also, it can be included in the price of the hosting service. This is 100% necessary, you cannot and I repeat, you cannot skimp on this, because it also gives credibility to your website.
Remember, nobody liked Evenezer Scrooge, so think about your customers because the more you invest in providing them with a quality service, the more they will notice and prefer it.
Finally, we can conclude that for a web page to exist and be viewed by any user anywhere in the world, it basically needs to have a name, a website where it can reside and a program that allows to extract it from its storage, and transport it to the browser of the user who requests it.
As usual, I want to invite you to awaken your curiosity with us; in addition to continue reading our articles, encourage you to call us to start together this process that will definitely mark a before and after in your business.