What is the Difference Between a Domain and a Website

A domain and a website are closely related. Often, people confuse both as same terminology. But they are different in a larger perspective. A domain is a string of text that is essentially required to identify a resource or website on the internet. In short, a domain name is the address of the website. Whereas, a website is a group of web pages that are hosted on the internet somewhere on a web server. In a broader sense, a website is made up of web pages, domain name, and web host.

People often question – what is the difference between a domain and a website? To answer this question, it is vital to understand domain name and website in detail. So, let’s dive deeper.

What is a domain?

A website resides on a web server, which is provided by a web hosting provider. To access this server, you need the address of the website. As you know, computers communicate with the help of IP address. So, each website has a definite IP address, which looks something like this

There are billions of websites running on the world wide web (internet) and it is practically impossible to remember such a complicated number. That’s why domain name came into existence. Each domain name is associated with a unique IP address, which belongs to the website.

A domain name can be divided hierarchically into four parts as DNS root domain, top-level domain or TLD, second level domain name and third level domain name. The DNS root domain is nameless. TLD is nothing but the last part of a website address i.e. .com, .org, .edu, etc.

The second level domain is the main part which is highly customizable based on your choice. If you see the URL of Stemjar i.e. www.stemjar.com, then “stemjar” is the second level domain name.

Sometimes, people create sub-domains and that will look like forum.stemjar.com. Here, “forum” is the third level domain. Nowadays, it is tough to come up with a unique domain name since most of them are either used or available for resale. Yes, domain name reselling has become a lucrative business.

What is a website?

A website is a collection of web pages, images, codes, etc. All these files are hosted on a web server provided by a web host. Also, a website requires a domain name, so that people could open it.

So, three things are closely interlinked with each other and they are web files, domain name, and web server. All these components are required to run a website. So, whenever you type a domain name or website address, your web browser sends that request to the web server.

Web server returns with all necessary web files and the browser present them nicely in front of you.

Difference Between a Domain and a Website

In a bigger picture, a website requires a domain name to run on the internet. Whereas, a domain name is an address which points to the web server where all the web files are hosted. You cannot separate out domain name or web files or web host since all are required for a website.

You need a domain registrar to register a domain name. A domain registrar could be the same as web hosting provider. However, you can also choose separate domain registrar other than web host.

Whereas, you require web hosting provider to host your website. You can choose a web host based on your needs regarding monthly traffic, bandwidth, etc.

Final words on domain vs website

A domain name and a website are closely interlinked. You cannot separate out a domain name from a website. If either of a domain name or web server fails, your website will go down.