Domain Names and how they Work
The domain name is the address of your website. It is what people type into their browser’s URL bar to get to your website. Simply put, if your website was a house, the domain is its address.
The internet is a huge network of computers that are connected to each other through global networks of cables. Every computer on the network can communicate with another. In order to identify each computer on the network, an IP address is assigned. The IP address is what identifies a computer on the Internet. The problem with IP addresses is that they can be hard to remember. To solve this problem, the domain names were introduced. Instead of typing in the IP address of your website, you simply enter its domain name.
How they work
After entering a domain name into the web browser, the request will be sent to the global network of the server that forms the Domain Name System (also referred to as DNS). The servers will search for the name servers that are associated with your domain then forward the request to the name servers. For example, if your website is on Bluehost, the server information will look like this:
The name servers are computers that are managed by hosting companies. The hosting company will then forward the request to the computer where the website you are looking for is stored. The computer that stores your website is the web server. It runs special software (Nginx and Apache are the most popular web server software). The web server is what fetches the website that and the information that is associated with it. Thereafter it sends the data to your browser. This process takes milliseconds.
Difference between domain name and web hosting
A typical website is made up of website builder software, HTML pages and images. With the domain name being the address of your site, web hosting is your home. The web host is what stores all your web data. What this means is that for you to create a website, you must first get a domain name and web hosting.
Web hosting and domain names are two completely different services. You can purchase them from different companies. To merge the two, you simply edit the domain name settings and enter the name server information that has been provided to you by the web hosting company. The Name Server info will define where users will be sent when they enter your domain name in their browser.
There are different types of domain names: TLD, cTLD and sTLD. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN is the body that manages domain names system. The domain name you select will depend on the type of website that you are creating. It is best to stick with the .com prefix because it is the easiest to promote.