Difference between Domain and Website – Types of Domain and their Uses

Difference between Domain and Website

In this article, we will let you know what is difference between domain and website. What role do they play in your eCommerce business? 

Alongside this, also get to know what is website and domain, types of domain and their uses, How do domain works, domain examples, What is DNS and how it works, etc.

Technological advancements have enabled people to shop on the go within minutes. Thousands of businesses are moving from the offline space to eCommerce stores every day.

Since it is so convenient, people now shop online more than they shop offline, from the comfort of their homes.

Studies reveal that 66% of consumers prefer online shopping to offline shopping.

Especially since the pandemic, shopping behavior among people has drastically changed. 

So, if you have an offline store, it is now vital that you register your domain and create a website to sell your products. 

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What is a Website?

A website is nothing but a collection or a group of web pages assembled on the Internet that can be accessed by all Internet-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones, computers, etc. 

When you look up something on the internet, what loads is a website.

Here, you can access all sorts of multimedia such as texts, videos, songs, movies, etc.

They can be customized in various colors, texts, and graphics too. 

A website can even be used to represent an organization, or a game club, corporations and more. 

Each website has a purpose, be it for providing useful information or for selling products. 

When you access a website, the home page is the welcome screen that invites you to browse around and click on what you fancy, leading you to another page within the same website. 

Why are websites important? That’s how you connect with your customers, whether it is to buy needfuls, pay bills, communicate with people, or more.

What is a domain?

How would someone access your website? Well, by entering your domain name in the search bar.

Once you purchase a domain name, you have the option of using it for email services, web services, or both.

Hence, buying a domain does not create a website. It just creates a name that can be associated with an IP address and the eventual website. 

Just like how we interact with content we find on the Internet, Internet-enabled devices also communicate with each other using their unique IP addresses. 

Why are domains important? They are necessary for branding. When people attempt to access a URL, your domain will be the first thing they see.

Hence, if you buy a domain, the name should be catchy and memorable.

Plenty of domains can convey what the website is all about in a single word or phrase.

Users will know what to expect even before your website loads. For example, www.bestbuy.com or www.bookmyshow.com.

Domains are also great for SEO optimization, which is important for high rankings. 

Clearly, your domain and website function collectively; one does not exist without the other — not in a useful setup at least. 

You need a secure foundation to build and sustain an audience for which both a website and domain are important. We hope this helps!

Domain name example and how do domain works?

Every website has a specific address which is based on the location of the device it is being accessed from.

What is this address? Well, a series of encrypted numbers enables a network of computers to communicate with each other.

They are called the IP address and look something like this:

Now, it would be extremely difficult to memorize these strings of random numbers every time we wanted to visit a website.

So, we have domain names instead. To put it simply, a website’s address is called a domain. 

Unlike the IP address, the domain name is formed using coherent words which are easier for us to remember.

An example of a domain name is www.shopify.com or www.apple.com 

To make it simpler, think of latitude and longitude coordinates of a location to be the IP address and the direction to the location to be the domain name.

DNS Definition

When we type the domain name of a website on the search toolbar, it sends a request to a group of servers called the domain name system or DNS.

The corresponding IP address is located, and the website that we requested is displayed to us. 

All of this happens in a matter of milliseconds! 

So, a DNS is a system that matches domain names to their respective IP addresses. 

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Hosting services on websites vs domains

When we create a website under a domain name, the information is stored on a server computer.

The service that offers the storage space for the website is a web hosting service. An example of this is Squarespace.

On the other hand, domain hosting just gives a website its identity.

They will find the availability and handle the registration procedures. Keep in mind that domain names are rented and not owned.

One can renew it periodically to keep using it. 

An example of a domain hosting service is GoDaddy.

Most web hosting services provide domain hosting as well, and it is a lot more convenient to have both from the same service.

What are the types of domain names?

We often come across many extensions like  .com, .co, or .org. — these represent different types of domain names. 

The most common is the top-level domain or the TLD. They are the most commonly used extensions like .com, .org, .net, .info.

While picking a domain name for a general-purpose, it is advisable to stick to these as they are easier to remember and access.

The next is the country code top level domain or ccTLD. These are country-specific and have extensions like .in for India and .uk for the United Kingdom.

They are used when one wants to target a specific audience.

Sponsored top-level domains or sTLD are the last type which, as the name says, has a sponsor for  domain name hosting.

For example, .mil would be sponsored by a military organization and .edu would be sponsored by an educational institution.

Top 5 best domain service providers (registrars)

There are hundreds of service providers now, but some of the most popular and time-tested service providers are:

  1. Domain.com
  2. GoDaddy
  3. BlueHost
  4. HostGator
  5. DreamHost

Now that you understand what a domain name is, you can go ahead and select one for your website from a reliable service provider!

Types of Domains: A Quick Guide and Explainer

A domain adds value to your brand. Not to mention, it represents your business on the internet. 

As per a report by Statista, eCommerce sales in the US are projected to surpass 563.4 billion dollars by 2025.

This staggering growth points towards an imminent competition in domains, which might make it tough for you to find your preferred domain. 

So this may be your cue to get in the game and choose the best domain for yourself.

But before you register one, let us learn a little about domains,  their types, and their uses.

Domains Meaning 

Just like how every home has a physical address, domains represent online addresses for websites — consider it online real estate, if you will. 

Each domain corresponds to a unique name and indicates a specific website. How you secure a name depends on its availability.

More often than not, you create a fanciful name and get it registered — or buy a preferred domain from an online marketplace.

However, if the domain name of your choice is not available, you may have to convince the domain holder to sell it to you. 

Types of Domains and Their Uses

There are 5 main types of domains available, but not every domain will be right for your website.

Each domain has its own purpose. Let us take a look:

Top Level Domains (TLDs)

Top-level domains (TLDs) constitute a domain name’s final segment – the portion that follows after the dot.

They are considered to be top-hierarchy domains on the internet.

While there are thousands of top-level domains to pick from, the most common TLDs include, for example, ‘.com,’ ‘.org,’ and ‘.net.’

Country Code TLDs

CCTLDs are next on this list. These are technically linked to different nations, as the name implies.

While each country has its own TLD, you are not required to use one simply because you live there.

For example, ‘.co’ is technically for websites in Colombia, but you will see it being used by eCommerce businesses.

Generic TLDs

These are just different variations of TLDs. So, in a way, these are TLDs too.

They are referred to as generic TLDs as the domain extensions here can only be used for the purposes they are intended for. 

For example, non-profits use ‘.org’ while educational institutions use ‘.edu’. You do not need to meet any specific requirements to register generic TLDs.

However, there are exceptions when it comes to extensions like ‘.edu’ – these usually require you to fulfill a bunch of criteria. 

Generic TLDs are regularly updated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). 

2nd Level Domains

In ‘www.google.com’, the ‘google’ would be the 2nd level domain. In addition to this, there are also country-specific 2nd level domains.

For example, eCommerce businesses in the UK would use ‘.co.uk’, while government agencies in Australia would use ‘gov.au’.

3rd Level Domains

These domains constitute only a part of the domain name. For example, in ‘www.google.com’ , ‘www’ is the domain.

It is not really useful as ‘google.com’ would function just as fine without the ‘www’. 

3rd level domains are useful when you need to add subdomains to the main domain.

Other uses include hosting apps, adding blogs, or creating an online store. 

Understand Types of Domain Names To Find Your Proper Fit

As we have seen, while there are various domains available, only one can be a proper fit for your website.

The right domain will add face value to your website and brand. So, make sure you are aware of the different types of domains and their uses before you zero in on one for your website. 

Use of domain name in website hosting, how to buy a domain name?

The website you create needs to have a memorable name — one that people remember and associate with your services.

Of course, that depends on your branding but deciding a unique domain name is the first step to doing that! 

So, it’s important to know how to buy a domain name. This would then set you off on your journey to create a website, blog, or store. Regardless, it is a very simple process.

Let us take a look at 5 quick and easy steps to buying a domain name.

5 easy steps to buy a domain name

Lookup the availability of your desired domain

This is the first step! Here, you need to find out if the domain you desire is available for purchase.

If it is not, you could either try different extensions or go for a longer version of the desired domain name. 

Alternatively, you could reach out to the person who owns the domain you want, but that will cost a lot of money. 

Run a name search for your domain

The next step is to check the list of extensions available for your domain.

This is an important step as each extension will have different pricing. Pricing also varies on the website hosting company.

For example, it may cost anywhere between $0.99-$8.99 a year.

 ‘.com’ extensions will be costlier since it is a top-level domain whereas second or third level domains like ‘.co.uk’ or ‘www.’ will be comparatively cheaper. 

Purchase your domain

The third step is to finalize the domain that suits your needs and budget and purchase it. Before you make the final payment, you can still experiment with the domain extensions to see which one works the best for you. 

Complete the registration

Once you finalize the payment, you will be redirected to the registration page to complete the registration of your domain.

It is imperative to fill out these details correctly. This is because the information you fill-up will be available to anyone who looks you up via WHOIS or a similar service provider.

Verify ownership

This is crucial for obtaining your SSL certificate. The domain marketplace might verify your control of the domain through an HTML page or DNS record. Once you do that, you will own the domain name. 

So, there it is! You have bought your domain name for website hosting! 

The real challenge lies in deciding a name everyone can easily remember.

So, think methodically and the impact your domain name can bring to your business.

It will not just lay the ground for stellar branding but also drive organic traffic to your website.

What is DNS and how DNS works? 

Domain Name System or DNS is the Yellow Pages of the Internet. It is how a website you search is matched to its address. 

Regardless of the device or internet browser you use, there is an Internet Protocol or IP address associated with a domain name (for example,) that constitutes a set of unique numbers.

Think of the DNS in terms of a street address – in order for a device to “locate” another device, it’s important to know its number.

Simply put, the job of the DNS is to translate the domain name to its respective IP address.

This way, Internet browsers can load the website you are trying to access.

DNS servers are automated and, thus, memorize all the complex IP addresses so we do not have to.

After all, remembering www.google.com is way easier than remembering!

Therefore, we need the DNS to identify these unique connections through traceability when connecting to other devices.

How DNS works?

As we know, every device with internet connectivity is assigned an IP address. When your computer needs to locate an IP address for a domain name, it first goes to a recursive DNS server, also known as a recursive resolver.

Then, it locates a root server that stores information of all the major domains such as ‘.com’ or ‘.uk’ for example.

Since root servers are all over the world, it finds the one closest to you geographically. 

Once a connection with the correct root server is established, it goes to the TLD server.

This server then sends it across to the Domain Name Server which stores information about the website you are trying to visit and your IP address. 

This way, you can access a website. What’s more, all of this happens in a few milliseconds! 

The DNS directory that comprises domain names is distributed and stored on a number of domain name servers; they aren’t located in one common place.

Each of these servers communicates with each other regularly to keep systems updated.

Types of DNS

To understand further how DNS works, we must learn about the four types of DNS servers that are involved in loading websites:- 

Authoritative server: This is a crucial server that makes the website load if it is able to access it.

TLD server: Short form of Top Level Domain, this server hosts the last section of a website i.e., the “.com” 

Root server: This server translates host names into IP addresses. 

DNS recursor: This server receives inquiries from client machines via web browsers and other programs. It is similar to a librarian being asked to locate a specific book in a library by a customer.

DNS plays a big role in how we access the internet. Through a series of complex processes which happen in a few milliseconds, DNS makes it possible to access any website you are looking for.

Because it is so effective, we have been using the same method to access the internet for over 30 years now!

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