Domain and Hosting – The Journey of the Website onto the Web

Today, according to Verisign, there are over 351 million domains registered on the web worldwide. In this technical article, we’ll explain to you what you need domain and hosting for, what a domain is, and how it is registered and stored. Furthermore, we’ll cover topics such as Content Management System (CMS), webspace, and Transport Layer Security (SSL).

First, let’s briefly explain the terminology: After you’ve created a website, for example using the WordPress CMS (Content Management System), it needs to be stored on the internet. Hosting is one of the fundamental technologies of the internet. It refers to providing storage space for publishing websites. The provided storage space for websites, online shops, and blogs is stored on the server of an internet provider. A provider, such as 1&1 or Strato, is a provider of services in the communication sector. For example, they enable their customers to access the internet through specific services.

The term “webspace” refers to the storage space provided by the providers for data on a server. This space can be accessed permanently via the internet. Access is ensured through the so-called domain. This is the globally unique name of a website. Note that the domain is not to be equated with the URL of the website. The URL, Uniform Resource Locator, is a standard for accessing specific content (mainly websites). The individual URLs of the website, for example, access the homepage or the individual subpages.

Access to CMS

Before a website can be accessible on the internet, it logically needs to be created first. CMS stands for “Content Management System,” which is used for managing digital content collectively. A CMS is software designed for the collaborative creation, editing, organization, display, and management of digital content. Content can include text, images, videos, or other forms used for websites or other media formats. Generally, a content management system organizes and stores data while performing various other tasks. CMS makes the process of creating a website much easier nowadays.

CMS is used for operating websites. Examples of CMS include WordPress, TYPO3, Craft, or Joomla. There are many more web CMSs available, with some being relatively simple and others being complex and powerful. But how do customers find your created website on the internet?

What is a Domain and How Does Registration Work?

Every website is accessible via a unique IP address. For example, the IP address of the search engine Google is If there were no domains, all internet users would have to remember numerical combinations. It’s easier to remember a name embedded in a fixed structure. That’s why domains exist.
All domains and their associated IP addresses are part of the Domain Name System (DNS).
A domain is divided into three subparts:

  • Top-Level-Domain

  • Second-Level-Domain

  • Third-Level-Domain

Before the Third-Level-Domain, there is a security protocol. For example, the communication protocol Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) encrypts content on the web to transmit data securely. The third level is referred to as the Third-Level-Domain or Subdomain, which is always used to access a specific application. For instance, www. always directs to the web server. The second part of the domain is the Second-Level-Domain, which is the name of your website domain. The first level is the Top-Level-Domain (TLD), located at the end of the domain. The most significant group of TLDs are the generic Top-Level-Domains (gTLDs) such as .com, .info, or .org. The well-known .de TLD belongs to the group of Country Code Top-Level-Domains (ccTLDs). Additionally, new TLDs like .shop, .blog, .online, or .family have been introduced. There are a total of 280 Top-Level-Domains. Each Top-Level-Domain is managed by a registry. For the .de domain, for example, it is managed by DENIC, and for .com, it is managed by Verisign.

For customers, it is often difficult (or not possible) to register domains directly with the registries. Therefore, domain registrars handle the technical process. They provide tools to search for available domain names and extensions. Subsequently, they sell you the unique domain names. Additionally, registrars are connected to all registries.

The advantage is that you have a central contractual partner for all domains. Furthermore, you only have one fixed point of contact if you need help or other support. Various providers assist you in registering your domain name, which you will use for your website. Often, these providers also offer hosting automatically. In some cases, you may need to purchase hosting separately, but more on that later.

Why is Hosting Needed Afterwards?

To make your website visible on the internet, data and files of your website need to be stored on a web server. Hosting companies operate multiple web servers in a location known as a data center. Additionally, hosting companies provide software security, support, and network connectivity, without which your website cannot go online. Therefore, you can rent storage space on servers of a hosting company and store your website data there, making your website globally accessible.

Pros and Cons of Free Hosting

In addition to paid web hosting, there are numerous providers offering free hosting. The obvious advantage is that you have access to web space completely free of charge. Many providers also offer free extras and easy-to-understand instructions, such as how to upload the corresponding files and data of your website to the server. Many website owners use free web hosting to test their websites. The major drawback of free web hosting is the display of advertising on your website. Hosts generate their revenue through these advertisements. The displayed ads appear as banners or pop-up windows on the edge. However, too much or additional advertising usually does not sit well with users and negatively affects the user experience on your website. It also appears unprofessional to users if you do not have your own domain. Additionally, loading times worsen because you have to share the server with many other users. Another problem for large websites is that the free storage space provided is often too small.

Another risk of free hosting is that websites may be deleted. It is also possible for providers to discontinue free web hosting services. The result of both dangers is the need to move your website to another host.

Our agency recommends hosting providers such as Strato, Ionos, 1&1, United Internet, and for larger websites or online shops, Mittwald or Hetzner.

What is SSL and Why is it Important?

In the internet, a encryption protocol is used for secure data transmission. This standard technology is called “Transport Layer Security”, known by the previous designation Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is responsible for securing internet connections and protects sensitive data during transmission between two systems. Applications containing personal data, for example, cannot be read or altered. SSL ensures that transmitted data between users and websites or between two systems are not readable by others. Since May 25, 2018, SSL encryption of websites has been part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google also places great importance on websites using SSL as part of its ranking criteria.

What Should You Do?

The entire topic of hosting, domain, and webspace presents many challenges and hurdles. Without prior knowledge, difficulties can arise quickly. Our agency not only creates your desired website using WordPress, Typo3, or other CMS systems but also handles technical adjustments and necessary updates. We also assist you in choosing your unique domain and take care of its registration. Additionally, we are more than happy to provide professional advice on selecting the right hosting provider and ensure the security of your website. Your website is important to our advertising agency.

We look forward to your inquiry. Contact us today!