- 19-02-2020 04:11
A domain name is a human readable address that allows people to visit your website or send you a email without having to memorise a series of complex server numbers. The domain name can be configured to point to a particular hosting provider via the DNS (Domain Name System). For example 'Panthur.com.au' is our domain name, which points to the host where the website lives '126.96.36.199'. Can you see how it's much easier it is for a human to remember and type in Panthur.com.au instead of 188.8.131.52 which computers favor.
It's possible to own a domain name without having a website or email host. It's a bit like registering a business name, useful for if your operating a business but you dont necessary need to be running a business to be able to own the name.
Hosting is needed for a server to host a website or emails or both. It's where your website files or email addresses exist ready to be viewed by your website visitors or email programs. A domain name will point to this host to send visitors and emails to the right server.
Like with the domain name example above it's possible to have hosting without a domain name, if you pretend we didn't own the domain 'Panthur.com.au' it's still possible to visit our website by typing in 184.108.40.206 instead. To continue the business analogy, you can run a business without the business name just it will make it hard for your customers to find you.
Do I need both?
The short answer is no. Many customers have their domain name and hosting go hand in hand but there are valid reasons to only have one, such as wanting to lock in a domain name before you're ready for a website to be built. Or building a website before you're ready to commit to a domain name.