What's The Difference Between a Domain & Hosting?


I like to use the analogy of building a house when I talk about building a website. There are some similarities in the process and after working for a general contractor for years, the building analogies are working for me.


A domain name is like a home address.


A home address tells people exactly where you live.

A home address is not a home.

There are home addresses without actual homes on them. An address is just the description of where that home or plot of land is.

Likewise, a domain name such as megangodardcardon.com is just an address. It is not a website. After you register a domain name, you still do not have a website. Basically, you just have an address. 


Web hosting is kind of like your piece of land.


Web hosting companies have all these "servers" (aka all these specialized computers) that store your website and allow computers all over the world to view your website over the Internet.

When you purchase web hosting, its kind of like you're purchasing a little plot of land. You're purchasing a little space on a server. Think of your web hosting fees kind of like your property taxes. 


Once you’ve got a domain name and web hosting, do you have a website? No.


You need both a domain name and web hosting to have a website. But, once you get a domain name and web hosting you still don't have a website.

Just like when you have a home address and purchase a piece of property, you still don't have a house. A house needs to be built on the piece of property at the address.