Tech Explainer: How Hosting, Domains, and SSL Work Together on the Internet

Hosting, domains, and SSL are three essential components of creating and accessing websites on the internet.

  • A domain is a unique address that identifies a website on the internet. It consists of a series of letters and numbers, and it is registered with a domain registrar. When you purchase a domain, you are essentially renting the rights to use that specific address for your website.
  • Hosting refers to the process of storing the files that make up a website on a server. A server is a powerful computer that is connected to the internet and able to serve up website content to visitors. When you purchase hosting for a website, you are essentially renting space on a server to store your website files. The hosting provider will also provide the necessary resources, such as bandwidth and storage, to keep your website running smoothly.
  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a type of security technology that encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user’s web browser. It helps to secure the connection between the two, protecting sensitive information from being intercepted by third parties. SSL is often used to protect sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

When a user types in a domain name into their web browser, the following technical process occurs:

  1. The user’s computer sends a request to a domain name system (DNS) server to translate the domain name into an IP address.
  2. The DNS server responds with the correct IP address, which is used to locate the server that is hosting the website.
  3. The server retrieves the website files and sends them back to the user’s computer.
  4. If the website has an SSL certificate installed, the data transmitted between the server and the user’s computer will be encrypted using SSL technology.

In summary, a domain is the address that people use to access a website, hosting provides the necessary storage space and resources to keep the website running, and SSL helps to protect sensitive information and ensure a secure connection between the website and its visitors. These three components work together to create and access websites on the internet.