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A domain name gives you a way to identify a website and provide a positive, memorable name for people to pull up your website. Sometimes, you need a domain name for your web hosting to function properly. However, domains are just names that you register to "own".
It's essentially the same as trademarking your business's name. Of course, you want to own that name, so people know who you are. But buying just the name doesn't give you the "business location". Instead, you need to have a place to describe your business, have a way for website visitors to find you, and tell your story to the world. That's where Web Hosting comes into play.
You need somewhere to keep your images, descriptions of your website using text and website pages. You can't do that with just a domain name registration. It would be best if you had a place to store this information. In the case of Hostwinds, this is in one of our data centers on a server. To do that, you buy "Web Hosting" plans. You are essentially renting a computer to communicate with the World Wide Web.
Our Shared, Business, VPS, and Dedicated server hosting plans come with dedicated "IP" addresses. What are IP addresses, though?
Think of it like this. You want to have your friend over, but they don't know where you live. They need your address so that your friend can find their way to you. So they put it in their maps app to find the best route to where you live.
If you didn't live anywhere, though, you wouldn't have an address for your friend to go to. Every place has an address, and every address requires a place. So if you don't have a place, you can't have an address. This is how hosting works. You rent a location, and the location comes with an address or an "IP" that points to where that location is.
Say you have a phone. What does it have that we care about?
You own the phone. It has a number. People associate that phone number with your name. To better remember who owns that number and that phone, people put your name as a contact, then put in a way to contact you, your number. Now when they want to contact you, they can look up your name instead of your number. Your phone knows that your name has that number, it needs the number to call you, so in place of the name, your phone uses the number to communicate with your phone.
Written by Hostwinds Team / June 5, 2021