How is Domain Name Different from a Website and Web Hosting?

How is Domain Name Different from a Website and Web Hosting?

A website is made up of files like HTML pages, website builder software, images, and more. It gives you and your business an online presence.

If the domain name is the web address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.

This is the actual computer where your website’s files are stored. Such computers are called servers and they are offered as a service by hosting companies.

To create your website, you need both domain name and web hosting. ou need both of them to make any kind of website whether its personal, small business website, or an eCommerce store.

However, it’s important to remember that they are two separate services, and you can buy them from two different companies.

Now you may be wondering, how would it work if you bought them from two separate companies?

You just need to edit your domain name settings and enter the Name Server information provided by your hosting company. Name Server information defines where to send user requests for your domain name.

We recommend getting both your domain name and hosting from the same company. This allows you to easily manage them under the same account.

For more details, see our guide on the difference between domain name and web hosting.

Different Types of Domain Names

Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and more. However we always recommend using .com domain extension.

Let’s take a more detailed look at different types of domain names available.

Top Level Domain – TLD

Top level domain or TLD are generic domain extensions that are listed at the highest level in the domain name system. They are also referred to as gTLD or generic top level domains.

There are hundreds of TLDs, but the most popular ones are .com, .org, and .net. Other TLDs are lesser known and we don’t recommend using them. For example, .biz, .club, .info, .agency, and many more.

Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD

Country code top-level domain or ccTLD are country specific domain names which end with country code extension like .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .in for India.

They are used by websites that want to target audiences in a specific country.

Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD

Sponsored top-level domain or sTLD is a category of TLDs that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension.

For example, .edu for education-related organizations, .gov for the United States government, .mil for the United States military, and more.

Second Level Domain – SLD

Second level domain generally refers to the name that comes before the top level domain or TLD.

For instance, in, the wpbeginner is the second-level domain of the .com TLD.

Domain registries use the SLDs to create a hierarchy for their ccTLD.

For instance, the .au ccTLD, which represents Australia, has,, and more. In this case, the .com is not the Top Level Domain but a sTLD of .au TLD.

Similarly, in the domains, .co is the SLD of .uk TLD.

Who is Responsible for Domain Name System?

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the domain names system. It is a non-profit organization that creates and implements the policies for domain names.

ICANN gives permission to companies called Domain Name Registrars for selling domain names. These domain registrars are allowed to make changes to domain names registry on your behalf.

Domain name registrars can sell domain names, manage its records, renewals, and transfers to other registrars.

As a domain name owner, you are responsible for telling the registrar where to send requests. You are also responsible for renewing your domain registration.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?

There are currently more than 350 Million registered domain names and thousands more get registered each day.

This means that all the good ones are already registered or will be registered very soon. This puts a lot of pressure on new users to come up with a domain idea for their website.

We’ve created a free AI-powered business name generator tool that helps you come up with creative company name ideas and check domain name availability status to help you save time.

Here are some quick tips to help you choose a domain name for your next website.

Stick with a .com domain name as it is the most popular, easy to remember, and easy promote.
Make sure it is shorter and easy to remember
Make it easy to pronounce and spell
Do not use numbers or hyphens
Use domain name generators to come up with clever domain name ideas
For more tips and practical advice, see our guide on how to choose the best domain name for your website.

How to Buy a Domain Name?
You can buy your desired domain names from one of the many domain name registrars. A domain name registration typically costs 14.99 per year. Some popular domain name companies are: (Use this coupon to get a discount)
Network Solutions (use our Network Solutions coupon code to get 25% off).
However, buying a domain does not automatically give you hosting service. For that, you will need a website hosting account as well.

Many WordPress hosting companies offer domain registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing name server settings for your domain.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting. Basically you can get started for $2.75/month.

Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Names
Over the years, we have helped thousands of beginners start their first websites. We have heard almost every possible question about domain names that you can think of.

Following are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about domain names.

1. What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is basically a child domain under the main domain name. For example, is a subdomain of

Once you register a domain, you have permission to create subdomains for it by yourself.

Websites commonly use subdomains to create child-sites under the same domain name.

For example, a business website can create a subdomain for their blog or their online store as or

2. Can I cancel my registration of a domain name?

Some domain registrars allow domain owners to cancel their domain registration at any time. If you cancel your registration, it will become available for others to register.

Other domain name registrars allow you to simply let your domain registration expire.

In most cases, you will not get any refund for the domain registration. However, some domain registrars do have refund policies which you may want to discuss with them before canceling your registration.

If you don’t have the auto-renew feature turned on, then your domain name will simply expire after the registration period you have paid for.

3. Can I move my website to a different domain name?

Yes, you can. You can point your domain name to your hosting server. You can also keep both domain names pointing to the same website.

However, search engines consider it duplicate content and that will affect your search rankings.

We have a step by step guide on how to properly move a website to new domain name and setup redirects, so you don’t hurt your SEO.

4. Can I sell a domain name?

Yes, you can sell your domain name. Domain names are like real estate for web. There is a huge demand for good brandable custom domain names.

Trading domain names is a multi-million dollar industry. Since domain names are so cheap, smart entrepreneurs are always looking for great domain name ideas to get their hands own.

If you want to sell your domain name, then there are many marketplace websites like Sedo, GoDaddy, and others where you can list your domain for sale.

Popular registrars like and Network Solutions also let you buy premium domains right from their domain search feature.

Related: See the best GoDaddy alternatives for buying domains.

5. What is domain privacy? Do I need it?

ICANN requires people registering domain names to provide an email, physical address, phone number, and other personal information to be made available publicly.

Domain Privacy is a separate add-on service sold by domain registrars. It allows you to show proxy information instead of your actual personal info.

You don’t need to buy domain privacy if you don’t want to. However, if you are concerned about privacy, then you can buy this service for a small cost.

6. Can I find out who owns a domain name?

You can use Whois lookup tool to find information about who owns a domain name. However, if the domain name is using domain privacy, then you’ll see the proxy information provided by their registrar.

7. Can I buy more than one domain name?

Yes, you can buy as many domain names as you like.

8. What is www? Is it a part of domain names?

WWW is the abbreviation for the World Wide Web. In the early days of the internet, some experts started using it to indicate that it is a web address.

However, it is not a requirement, and most websites don’t use www in their website addresses anymore.

Technically, www is a subdomain of your main domain name. Anything that comes before your main domain and is followed by a dot is considered a subdomain like

9. What is the Difference Between a URL and a Domain Name?

URL is short for Uniform Resource locator. It is a web address that takes you to a specific page or file on a website.

A domain name alone locates a particular website. If you entered a domain name alone (e.g. in your browser, it will convert it into a URL like and take you to the homepage of the website associated with that domain name.

Each page or file you see on the internet has a URL associated with it. For instance, you can see the URL for this page in your browser’s address bar above.

10. What is the difference between domain name and a website?

A website is made up of files like HTML pages, website builder software, images, and more. It gives you and your business an online presence.

If the domain name is the web address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.

11. What is HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP refers to Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the internet protocol technology used to access information on the web.

However, it is succeeded by the HTTPs which indicates Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTPs indicates that a website is using SSL, which is a secure protocol to transmit data on the internet.

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