What is the difference between domains and web hosting?

Domains and web hosting - A Minecraft example

The basics of domain names and web hosting

If you aren’t familiar with setting up a website for the first time, then it may seem confusing to  start hearing about domain names and website hosting. The confusion arises because people often use the domain name to refer to the website’s URL (Uniform Resource Locator, also known as the website address).

Here is a quick analogy to help get your head round the terminology and what it all means.

Imagine you run a business called Alan’s Guinea Pigs. The business sells guinea pigs and to do that it needs two things. 1) A shop to sell things from and 2) a street address so people can find it.

Now in the case of a website, Alan’s Guinea Pigs sits on a server instead of in a shop. Instead of a street address, the site needs a domain name. Something like alansguineapigs.com would do.

So to recap the analogy, the website is the business, the web server (or web hosting) is the shop and the domain name is the street address. Here is a short video to help you visualise that.

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