When you decide to bring your business or brand online, you’re going to start seeing a lot of terms like domain name, website, URL, domain registrar, and more. While they’re all related to having a website, they don’t all mean the same thing. Luckily, they’re simple to explain, and we’ve spelled out the basics right here. Once you understand the differences between each term, you’ll be ready to navigate the web with confidence.
Simply put, a domain name (or just ‘domain’) is the name of a website. It’s what comes after “@” in an email address, or after “www.” in a web address. If someone asks how to find you online, what you tell them is usually your domain name.
The first step in creating an online presence is purchasing a domain name. Anyone can purchase a domain name by going to a domain host or registrar, finding a name no one else is using, and paying an annual fee to own and register it.
You can also choose from various domain name endings (or “TLDs” – Top Level Domains), like .com, .coffee, or .photography. If you’re thinking about buying a domain name, check out, we can help you review the tips to purchasing a great domain name.
A domain name, website, and URL are not the same thing.
A URL (aka Universal Resource Locator) is a complete web address used to find a particular web page. While the domain is the name of the website, a URL will lead to any one of the pages within the website. Every URL contains a domain name, as well as other components needed to locate the specific page or piece of content.
Examples of URLs:
Though one leads to the other, buying a domain name doesn’t mean you have a website. A domain is the name of a website, a URL is how to find a website, and a website is what people see and interact with when they get there.
In other words, when you buy a domain, you have purchased the name for your site, but you still need to build the website itself. However, to build your website it must be hosted. Read What is Website Hosting in simple terms?
In digital terms, a website is a collection of content, often on multiple pages, that is grouped together under the same domain. You can think of it like a store, where the domain is the store name, the URL is the store address, and the website is the actual store, with shelves full of products and a cash register.
Luckily, building a website is much easier, faster, and more economical than building a physical store or office. Today, there are many great companies, like cariDOTcom | Web Design Services, who make it possible for anyone to build a beautiful, professional-looking website in just a few weeks — navigating and managing all the tech aspects for you.
In order to create a website, you need a few things:
- A domain name (such as yoursite.com)
- A domain license (minimum 1 year)
- A do-it-yourself website builder, like SquareSpace or Wix, or Caridotcom for a more robust and Caribbean-centric website
- Digital content—the text, images, videos, and other media that visitors will see when they come to your site.
Our website design packages, provide you with your very own domain name for FREE up to one year! We manage website hosting for up to three months, and all the tech details needed in between, such as SSL certification etc. Schedule a consultation for website design.
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