I have recently been helping some clients manage their domain names and the question has come up once again:
“Tom, what is the difference between domain hosting and web hosting?”
This got me to thinking that what might be needed is a real world analogy to picture the relationship between the two. Something like the computer/real desk ‘desktop’ analogy we are all so well familiar with these days.
I think one could find the domain/hosting analogy right in your own backyard.
In your car!
After you purchase a car (this could be analogous to your internet project, i.e. website) you need two items to take it for a spin (legally, at any rate).
One is a driver’s license and the other is a vehicle registration.
On the web, domain names act as a type of registration. They tell the whole world that this unique identifier, your .com, belongs to only your vehicle (website), and your website alone.
The Registrar keeps track of the billions of domains and makes sure that the correct owner matches the correct domain name.
The registrar also keeps track of the “driver” that currently houses this unique domain, the web hosting location.
Because, now that you have this unique domain name (registration), there is still the necessity of having a license (hosting) to ‘drive’ that 4 wheeled domain where as many eyeballs as possible will see your cool new wheels.
As with a driver’s license, you need to have a hosting account if you want to put your website to work. This is the place where you put all the files that make up your website. Like your license, you can even have your smiling face on your website!
As in license and registration, domains and hosting are items that need to be maintained in good order and recurring fees paid if you want to keep your site “on the road.”
I almost forgot about insurance, which is also something you need to stay on the road. I guess that would be the ‘insurance’ of having a good developer driving your internet marketing efforts!
So, next time you are in the market for a solid web presence that was previously owned by a little old lady that only took it out to do occasional local marketing, come on down to tomstier.com and kick a few tires!