Domains and websites are intricately joined and, together, they are crucial for those of us who want to establish and maintain a presence on the web. They are pretty similar, but they are not the same thing. A domain and a website are different things with very different functions.
We’ll explain the differences and how your domain and website are tied together using web hosting services. We’ll also look at how to set up a free website and how to make your own webpage.
What is a website?
A website is what you see when you enter a domain name into your web browser. Put another way, a website is a collection of files, pages, images, etc. that is
gathered under the same domain. In sum, a domain is the name of your website. The website is the content people see and interact with when they enter your domain in a browser.
What is a domain?
A domain is often referred to as a domain name. But what exactly is it? It’s an address on the internet that’s used to identify email addresses and emails. The information you enter in the URL bar in the browser, when you are trying to find a specific site, is a domain. Monsterhost.com is an example of a domain. Discover cheap domain here.
How to obtain a domain?
If you want a domain, there are two main ways to go about getting it. You can either use a web host provider or a domain registration company. Let’s explain how they both work.
1. A web host provider
Webhost providers do just what their name suggests – they host websites on the internet. Web host providers usually offer supplementary services such as website monitoring software and web based backup plans. Their core role though, is to make the process of creating and maintaining a website, as hassle free as possible.
This simplicity makes them a convenient option when you are trying to get a domain.
2. Use a reliable domain registration service
Your second main option is to use a domain registration company, but like almost everything else in life, it has its advantages and disadvantages. The first disadvantage that comes to mind is the lengthy and time consuming process involved. Registration cost however comes in as an advantage. It may seem pricey at the initial stage, but the registration process may end up being cheaper in the long term.
But whether you opt to use a web host or a domain registration company, there are some of the basic things to be on the lookout for.
You want to make sure it’s:
- Accredited by a governing body
- Has an established reputation
- Protects your private information
- Provides great customer support
- Has no hidden fees
Registering a website
Registration usually comes after you select your site name and procure your domain. The next step is to launch your online presence, for which you will need to find a web host to register your site with. It’s after all that’s done that you get to create the actual site.
3. Setting up a website
You can go in with an idea of what you want your site to look and feel like, but this is where you get to bring all of those ideas to life. To do that, you’ll need website builder software with hosting included, like the easysitebuilder, to get your site up and running.
You can use the different free templates your web host provides or opt to buy a template from other sources and integrate it on your web hosting platform and onto your website. Match that with digital content and your unique and personalized website will be ready for launch.
Some types of digital content you may want to consider include:
- Images – A rule of thumb as it relates to image on a site is to ensure they are of high quality. Another rule is to make sure you have permission to use images that are not yours. Follow those rules and then start using images to tell stories, paint a picture or just enhance a post.
- Text – What you write on your website will be determined by the purpose and type of platform you have. But whether it’s a personal blog or an e-commerce space, ensure your text is clear, concise and grammatically correct.
- Videos – Relevant and relatable are the key words here and the same principles for photos, also apply to videos.
- Other media – There may be other forms of media that can help you achieve your objective for your site, feel free to use them.
Using website builder software is simple and stress free, but if you have the skills and time, you can code your site from scratch. If you don’t have the skill or time, but have the resources, you can opt to hire a website builder or designer to create one for you, from scratch, which can cost anywhere between $1000 – $5000 for a basic site. Whether you choose option one or two, make sure your site is user friendly and safe to use. Installing an SSL certificate is one of the surest ways of securing your site.
The aim is to ensure your site represents you and your business.
Can a domain name exist without a website?
Domains and websites share a sophisticated relationship, but it’s not necessarily an equal one. The fact is that one can exist without the other, but the other cannot.
What does that all mean?
It means that a domain can exist without a website, but a website cannot exist without a domain. So you can buy a domain name and keep it for years without ever setting up a website, but it would be virtually impossible to have a fully functional website, without a domain.
By now it should be clear that domains and websites, while similar, are very different things. Domains can exist without a website, but websites cannot exist with domains; they were not created to. However, if your goal is to create an online presence via a website, you will need both in addition to a web host provider.