This post is going to explain the difference between a domain name and web hosting;
the two things you need in order to have a website or self-hosted blog.
HERE'S AN ANALOGY TO GET YOU STARTED:
Think of a domain name like an apartment unit and web hosting like an apartment complex.
If you want to rent your own apartment, you first need to do some research to find an apartment complex (web host) that offers you what you want and with the best value for your money.
You then need to check to see if the specific apartment unit (Domain Name) you want is available.
When all of these things match up to your liking and you're ready to "move in," you should then be given the option to either pay the apartment complex (web host) month-to-month or get a year+ lease (the latter is usually cheaper.)
Once all of that is set up and you're on a payment plan, the apartment unit (domain name) is yours and yours only, for as long as long as you keep paying rent on it.
Now it's time to decorate it with your own style!
A domain name is the named address for your location on the internet. Think of it like the address to your own online apartment. If people want to head over to your online apartment, they do so by simply typing this address into the search field of their browser.
Why do you need to register a domain name? Because it secures that specific internet address to you so that no one else can use it (or rather, no one else can live in your online apartment; your name is the only name on the lease!)
TIP: I highly recommend that you get a private domain vs. a public domain. For just an additional $7.99-$14.99 a year, your personal information will be safely locked away and protected against identity theft, domain-related spam, and domain hacking.
For more info, click here.
Web hosting is the service that makes your website available to be viewed on the Internet. Think of it like the online apartment complex that your specific apartment unit is located in.
A web host simply provides space on it's server, so that other computers around the world can access your website through a network or modem. There are thousands of web hosting services available today, ranging from free services with limited options to expensive services with much more options. Which option you choose depends primarily on how you plan to use your website and how much you want to spend.
WANT SOME DISCOUNTS ON DOMAINS & HOSTING?
I've been using GoDaddy for all my domains and hosting since 2003 and have had nothing but great experiences!
Here are some coupons for you, in case you want to take advantage of my discounts! 🙂