Your domain is simply the primary URL that someone enters to find your website. For example, one of mine is rachelzampino.com
But it doesn’t have to be a .com, it could be a .org, .net, .design, or tons of other possibilities.
You can own as many domains as you want, and you can point several domains to the same website if you want to!
The easiest way to describe hosting is: how and where your website’s files are stored online.
When you pay for hosting, you are essentially renting storage space from a hosting provider (i.e. Flywheel, Godaddy, Bluehost, etc).
In hosting, and in life, you get what you pay for. Avoid cheap “shared” hosting; they can cause your site to load slowly, and don’t give you any of the other tools & benefits that “dedicated” or “managed” hosting does.
3. SSL Certificate
An SSL (or Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts information that is submitted to & from your website.
SSL’s are especially important for sites that collect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or medical data.
Google will penalize your site’s search rankings if you don’t have an SSL certificate, so just get one! (A good hosting provider will include it with your plan.)
The DNS, or Domain Name System, is essentially the directory of all things on the internet. It tells your browser how to find websites.
It points your domain to your hosting files, and directs your emails as well if you have a custom email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org rather than @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, etc).