Hosting, Domains, and Websites – What are the Differences?

A website is a collection of web pages (documents that are accessed through the internet), which can include various formats of information and is identified with a domain name.

There are three key elements to a website. These are typically a web-hosting servers, domain name, and site files. Your domain name is what is used for visitors to view your page. From the moment your visitor types your address into a browser and hits the enter button, there is a process that occurs. This gets translated into your unique server IP address and the server then sends the visitor to your site files. Their browser then sees this and appears as a webpage to the user.

Web Hosting Servers

This is similarly like the office space you may be renting out to carry out your business activities, such as a shop in a mall. To open your business, you will need to lease a space and set your shop up in it. A Hosting company represents a space – but without office furnishings. Instead, it is populated by framework applications that store your website files, allowing your visitors to access and them.


Similar to how a phone number connects a caller to a phone line, computers communicate by using numbers which are called IP addresses. A domain name is very much like a number in a telephone book, and is a friendly naming system where it tells the computer where your business is located on the internet and enables you to directly communicate via a hosted server.

Domain names are organised from the right to the left, just like how we have surnames and Christian names, with a general descriptor on the right and a specific descriptor to the left.  A URL (Universal Resource Locator) name is a larger internet address which goes into much more detail than a domain name, including a specific page address, the folder name, the machine name (www), and protocol language. You can register a domain name directly through Hosting Australia

Site Files

These are what you visitors actually see once they hit your website. They can comprise of .jpg photographs, .pm3 music files, .php files, or .html files, which are essentially PHP scripts or html pages.

A web hosting server is able to read and translate these site files into a format that the visitor can see and this is how they see your products and services on your webpage.

by Stanley Lo

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