According to Internet Live Stats (Elaboration of data by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Bank, and United Nations Population Division.), around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today.
In 1995, it was less than 1%. And since then, the number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013. As of July of 2016, the number of users reached almost 3.5 billion.
See table below as of July 2016 estimate:
* estimate for July 1, 2016
But despite that alarming number of users, which is almost half of the world population, most people don’t have a clue about how domain and web hosting work.
Though they have access to the internet, though they have some kind of account, either email address which they use for communication or any social media account that they use for interaction between friends and so on, their level of understanding about domain names and how it works, is very limited.
But how did we get to find out about their limitations?
Just a few days ago before writing this article, we decided to distribute some flyers locally about web hosting services. To our surprise, many people who had all kinds of accounts on the internet, had no clue of how domain names and Web hosting services worked.
Now I have decided to put some information together so people can understand in simple terms what web hosting service is all about.
First of all, we need to understand what a domain name is:
Domain name – according to Wikipedia, is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.
A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website, a person’s name or a country on the internet. In other words, whenever you access the internet and visit a website, say; EagleProWeb.com, the domain name will appear in the “address bar” of the web browser, which is EagleProWeb.
Some domain names are preceded by “www” (which is not part of the domain name), while others omit the “www” prefix. But all domain names must have a domain suffix, such as “.com, .net, or .org.”
The domain suffix helps identify the type of website the domain name represents. For example, “.com”, are domain names typically used by commercial websites; while “.org”, domain names often used by non-profit organizations.
Some domain names end with a country code such as “.pt” (Portugal), “.it” (Italy), while others may end with personal codes, such as “.me”, which in both cases, it helps identify the location and audience of the website.
So here is a more concrete example; say you have a company called XYZ LTD and you would like to have an online presence so other people who have access to the internet may see it.
Your first step would be to purchase or register a domain name from a company that sales it.
That name has to be unique, as it will be used to identify your company on the internet.
In your case, your domain name would be the name of your business “XYZ and whatever extension you decide to choose for it”, either “.com” or “.org” (xzy.com).
But the domain name by itself without content is practically useless.
You will need to let people know what your business is all about, meaning, creating a website for it with all the information about the business, whether services you offer or products you sell.
Once you have created the site – the domain name and webpage by itself won’t help much either – unless you have found a web hosting service provider to host your site’s content so it can be seen on the internet.
What then is web hosting all about?
Web host or web hosting is the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites. Those web hosting service providers provide the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Web sites are hosted or stored on special computers called servers.
Your domain name is the name of your site or your url (www.myxyzcompany.com) and can be purchased by going to a domain name registrar. Hosting Company, on the other hand, is like a storage facility for your website content. That site’s information (your site’s content) is kept there on their servers for a fee, either monthly or annually.
So, if you want a website, you need a domain;
And if you want to have an online presence for your business, you need some type of web hosting service provider. At EagleProWeb, we can help you have a domain name and web hosting service, both managed from one location.