Here's what this post covers in brief:
- What Web Hosting is (and why you need it)
- Domain names
- The different types of hosting
- Finding the right hosting (and avoiding the wrong)
So if you're already fairly knowledgeable in the above, then you can safely close the tab (or take a look at some other pages on this here website).
1. What Web Hosting is (and why you need it)
Web hosting can be generally explained as the 'place' where your website sits on the internet. It is the foundation that actually allows your website to be seen by the world.
If your website isn't hosted online, then it can't be found by anyone - in the similar way to how a picture taken on your phone isn't usually visible to anyone online until you've posted it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter etc.
If you're not looking for too much technical detail then the above should suffice. If you are, then; web hosting is effectively the server on which your website files are kept. The (IP) 'address' of this server is then combined with a domain name, to form a route to the website that allows your website to be shown on computers, phones and devices with an internet connection & browser.
2. Domain names
Purchasing a Domain Name(s) is, in a way, completely separate to web hosting - but many hosting providers allow you to buy one when setting up the hosting - for good reason. While a website is technically online and (depending on configuration) visible with just web hosting, people would need to remember an IP address to find it. Something like 22.214.171.124 isn't really memorable, and it's not going to stand out on a business card.
Domain names like, cheeseshops.co.uk or balloonsforsale.com, are pointed to wherever the website files are kept (web hosting). You can buy multiple different domain names and/or variations of different endings such as devetecho.co.uk and devetecho.com. However, you need to pick one 'main' one for your website; you shouldn't have the same website showing for multiple domains as it will hurt your Google rankings, but you can have them all forward to the 'main' one.