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Domain Vs Website: What’s the Difference Between a Domain and Website?

A staggering 1.5 billion websites — that’s how many are online as of today. Keep monitoring that tracker, and you’ll see that it continues to grow every second.

In the second quarter of 2019 alone, there were 354.7 more million domains registered. That’s 2.9 million more domain name registrations than the previous quarter!

So, if you’re planning to put up a website, do it before someone else registers the same domain name you want. Otherwise, it may take years before you can “buy” and register that domain again.

The question now is, how exactly does a domain vs website differ from each other? What does one have to do with the other

We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

What Is a Website?

A website consists of many web pages that the public can access. Think of it as a digital address of related web pages. It’s like a central hub or storage of web pages owned by one website.

Let’s use Google’s website, www.Google.com, as an example. This site is a collection of many web pages, such as the Home page, About page, and Store page. Each of these pages has its own unique Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or web page address. 

If you visit the Store page, you’ll see that the URL is store.google.com. Head over to the Privacy page, and you’ll notice that the URL is now policies.google.com. Whereas the Advertising page has a URL of ads.google.com.

As you can see, each of these web pages has a slightly different URL. At the same time, they all have “Google.com” in their addresses. That’s because the “Google.com part is the domain name of Google’s website.

A Quick Look at IP Addresses 

Understanding websites require a better understanding of IP addresses too. Getting to know these “numerical addresses” better is also key to understanding domains. 

Let’s start with IP addresses. 

When you create a website, it receives a unique string of numbers assigned to it. These digits are what we call the Internet Protocol (IP) address. Think of these numbers as the numerical identification of a website.

This sequence of numbers connects website visitors to the server of the website they want to go to.

An IP address has four sections, with the first three being three digits each, and the last being a single digit. A dot separates each of these four sections. To give you an idea, a sample ID address is “170.81.40.131”.

As vital as IP addresses are, only computers can understand and remember them.
Think about it. If someone was to ask you “What’s your website?”, do you think they’ll remember it if you replied with “Oh, it’s 170.81.40.131”?

It’s highly unlikely that they will.

That’s why for you to have a website, you need not only an IP address but also an actual name. That name is what you call a domain.

What Is a Domain Then? 

The words that identify a website is the domain name. It’s the “Google.com” of Google’s website. These names are the words that you type in a web browser’s address bar.

After typing the domain name and hitting the enter key, your computer will then connect it to its IP address. 

As you can see, the most basic function of a domain name is to make an IP address easier to remember.

You can think of a website as a book, which is a collection of pages that contain information. The title of the book itself is the domain name. The page numbers could be the URL.

Another way to imagine the difference between domains and websites is to think of them as a place. The domain name, for instance, is the name of a hotel, such as the “Ritz-Carlton Hotel”. If you hail a taxi, you can simply give the driver this name, and he’ll know where to take you.

A website, on the other hand, is everything that the hotel contains — from the rooms to the amenities. Whereas the URL is the actual address of the hotel. If it’s the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco you want to go to, the URL would be “600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108”.

Domain vs Website in a Nutshell

Just remember that the domain is the actual name of a website and the website is more like a container or storage. You can’t have a website without a domain. You can have a domain, but that doesn’t mean you already have a website.

Domain Name Registration: The First Step to Creating a Website

Before you can start building a website, you first need to register your own domain name. To do this, you need to register with a licensed domain registrar.

From there, you can pick out a web host that will secure your website’s location on the World Wide Web. Your web host will give you access to the technology you need to store all parts of your website online. It’ll also provide you the services you need for your site to be viewable by the public on the Internet.

Once you’re done with all these steps, it’s time to create your website! Fortunately, there are DIY website builders that you can use for this. Today, you no longer need to be a master in coding or programming to create a beautiful website.

However, you should still consider working with website developers or designers. This is especially true if you want a website that looks professional, clean, and has zero bugs. They can also help you curate professional digital content, from text to multimedia.

What’s important is to register your domain name as soon as possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about someone else taking away that dream name from you. 

The Takeaway: All Websites Need a Domain 

There you have it, your ultimate “domain vs website” comparison guide. Now that you know that you need a domain to have a website, register your domain name ASAP! This way, you can start putting all those amazing web designs and content ideas to good use. 

Ready for more help on making an incredible website? Then head over to our blog’s Web Development section! You’ll find more guides and how-tos there to help you get started on website creation.