It is very common for newbies to get confused between a domain name with a web hosting.It’s easy to think a domain name and a website are the same. While they are closely connected, they are very different things. This video explains how they are different and why you must have a domain name to have a website.
However, it is important to be crystal clear on the differences between the two before you move on to your first website. To simplify: A domain name, is like the address of your home; web hosting on the other hand, is the space of your house where you place your furniture. Instead of street name and area code, set of words or/and numbers are used for the website’s naming’. The same goes with hosting, computer hard disk and computer memory are used instead of instead of wood and steel for storing and processing data files.
The idea is presented clearer with the diagram below.
The universal resource locator, or URL, is an entire set of directions, and it contains extremely detailed information. The domain name is one of the pieces inside of a URL. It is also the most easily recognized part of the entire address. When computer users type a web address directly into the field at the top of their browser window, it initiates a process of locating the page requested. To do so, the instructions contained inside the URL, including the domain name, must correctly point to that location. The IP address is a numerical code that makes this possible.
Domain Names and IP Addresses
An Internet Protocol, or IP, address is different than a domain name. The IP address is an actual set of numerical instructions. It communicates exact information about the address in a way that is useful to the computer but makes no sense to humans. The domain name functions as a link to the IP address. Links do not contain actual information, but they do point to the place where the IP address information resides. It is convenient to think of IP addresses as the actual code and the domain name as a nickname for that code. A typical IP address looks like a string of numbers. It could be 126.96.36.199, for example. However, humans cannot understand or use that code. To summarize, the domain name is a part of the URL, which points to the IP address.