Web Host and Domain Explained (for Beginners)
We all know how to navigate websites. We type in the website name on the address bar of our browsers, or we type the name of the business we are looking for and click on the top search result and voila! The internet does its magic and the next thing we know, we are browsing pages and making purchases. But how does it work on the side of the website owner? What happens behind the scenes? How do you get your own site online? To answer this, we need to understand two important web concepts: the domain and the web host. We will get there, but for now, let’s discover how websites work in the first place.
How do websites work?
Here’s what happens once you press ‘enter’ after typing in a website name to the address bar of your browser.
- First, your browser translates the website name to the IP address associated with it.
- Then, it sends a signal to the server where that IP address is hosted.
- In response, the server will send the website elements and files to your browser. Your browser arranges these elements and displays them as a web page on your screen.
This whole exchange happens in seconds and the result is the typical web page viewing experience that we are all familiar with. During this exchange, the domain and the web host played major roles.
The domain is the registered address of your website. It is the registration key that makes your website uniquely yours. To people, the domain is the website name — unique and memorable — that they need to type in to get to your site. To computers, it is the key they need to locate the IP address of the server hosting your website. Without the domain, both your website visitor (the person) and their browser (the computer) will have no way to find you and identify you in the vast space of the internet. The domain gives your website a registered name in the digital space of the internet. Think of it this way: When starting up a lemonade stand business, you need to register and trademark your business name first. In the same fashion, in order to start a website, you need to register a name — or a domain — first.
The domain gives your website a registered name in the digital space of the internet.
The Web Host
The website host is simply the server that houses your website details. It is the digital space where your website exists. Without getting connected to a server (a web host), your website simply cannot exist in the digital space of the internet. Think of it like the lot you lease to situate your lemonade business. Without the lot, where would your lemonade stand?
The Web Host is the digital space where your website exists.
Setup your Website
Subscribing to a web hosting service, registering a domain, and designing your website elements are the three major checklists to starting up a website. While these concepts seem overwhelming to those who are new in the digital space business, there is nothing to worry about. More and more web agencies are emerging with services that make website creation and development an easier and more convenient task. We at 4LOOP do not only design great looking websites, we also process the domain registration and web hosting service so you do not need to sweat it.
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