Websites and Domains are two important sides of the same coin. To have a fully functioning online site you will need both. Below are a few examples to help you discern the difference.
Simply put, a domain name (or just a 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.
Examples of domain names are:
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 (see below), finding a name no one else is using, and paying an annual fee to own it. You can also choose from various domain name endings (or “TLDs”), like .com, .coffee, or .photography.
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 site.
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.