Domain names, hosting accounts and DNS
What domain name is, what hosting is, and how the Domain Name Servers (DNS) make the things working together
Mon, 12 Jan 2009 10:49:17 +0200
When a web designer speak about your web site you often hear terms such as "Domain name", "hosting account" and "DNS". Have you ever wondered what exactly your domain name is, or what your hosting account means, and what this DNS is?!? Let me explain it this way:
Imagine you have bottle of a drink, let's say a bottle of Coca Cola. What we have here:
- The liquid itself
- A glass bottle
- A sticker
- ...and some gum which sticks the sticker to the bottle
Now your web site is something very similar to this bottle of Coca Cola, what we have here:
- The web site content - text, images, products, prices - everything you want your potential customers to see on your pages. This is your "liquid"
- A hosting account - in reality this is a computer server which keeps your web site content, represented by computer files, stored in it. As this server stays connected to Internet 24/7, your web site is always "online". This is your "glass bottle"
- A domain name - this is your name in the Internet, this is how people recognize your web site, this is your "sticker", exactly the same way "Coca Cola" has their own.
- And here the Domain Name Servers (DNS) come. This is a special Internet setting which connects your domain name with the server that keeps your web site content. This is how when people open a browser and write www.your-domain-name.com they get your web site displayed.
And now here is how you can change your hosting account, even your hosting company, by any reason - to switch to a server with different options which support different languages, or it is simply cheaper, ... and after all to keep the same domain name.
What would you do if you want your Coca Cola drink put in another bottle? You will probably get another glass bottle, you put the same liquid in it, and finally you stick the same sticker to the new bottle using some new gum.
Exactly the same way you can register for a new hosting account, with a new hosting company if necessary, you build your new web site there, or only move your old web site content to the new server, and finally just re-set the DNS to point to the new account. Now you have a new cheaper hosting with the same domain name: www.your-domain-name.com - it's that simple!