What is the difference between domain name registration vs website hosting vs a website?
When a visitor accesses your website, they type in your domain name which is a pointer to your actual website. This is similar to a block of land – there are vast amounts of land located across Australia however, without an address, it would be near impossible to locate a specific piece of land. A domain name is similar to your home address in that it tells the internet, where that specific website resides.
When a visitor types your domain name into their web browser, a split second check is performed on the internet via a “Domain Name Server” where the domain is then translated into a server IP address (the IP address of the server where your website files are stored). It is at this point that the web browser makes a connection to the server that hosts your website and asks the server – please give me the website files for domain: xyz.com. These files are then transferred back to the browser and the browser then formats and presents them to you on your computer.
Computers connected to the internet communicate with each other by using numbers or “IP addresses”. Like your home has an address which is registered with Australia Post so people know how to find you, all domain names are registered and managed by the auDA (auda.org.au) and are configured with an IP address to tell the world where to go if they are looking for your website.
If we did not use domain names, users would be required to remember a numbered sequence such 212.323.322.222 which is far more difficult than remembering a word or name such as oleymediagroup.com.au.
Web hosting is a lot like the block of land that you secure to build a house on – It’s simply s dedicated section of a hosting server rented to the website owner. A block of land is merely that and nothing more, just as space on the server is a blank canvas for you to create and promote the products and services that you want visitors on the internet to find.
Without a website installed on your hosting server visitors to your domain name would be presented with nothing. In most cases a “coming soon” message will be presented but it will be a default page indicating that nothing exists.
The website files are the files that have been created and built by a website design company that present your products and services in a friendly pleasing way that visitors can connect with. Website files are generally built in HTML however, there are many programming languages that can generate this output for you such as PHP or ASP or platofrms that can do the same, such as WordPress, Joomla, etc.
The hosting server is configured in a way that when a visitors connects to it and asks for the files for domain: xyz.com, it returns the information in a format that the browser can read. The browser then takes this data and presents it in colour with pictures to make it shine.