What is the difference between a domain and a website?
Domain name example: relaxingpictures.com
Compare a domain name to a house address and a website as the house itself. There are many changes that can be made to a house. You can change the color of the house or the theme of the website. You can change the design of the front yard or the landing page of your website. You can redesign the inside of your house or the navigation and pages of the website. However, you cannot change the house address from say 2784 to 2000 simply because you prefer it as the address is registered with the post office and is on numerous pieces of documentation including land parcels with the county. In comparison, domain names are registered and managed by a registrar and cannot be changed.
For example, just because www.naturepictures.com better represents what you do or are trying to sell better than www.relaxingpictures.com, which was purchased, does not mean you can change www.relaxingpictures.com to this other domain name. This is why it is extremely important to choose the domain name you want very strategically before ever getting started. There are of course always options even though a domain name cannot be changed. Additional domains can be purchased to replace the existing website or they can be forwarded to the original domain so both domains will pull up the same information.
The website itself is a series of documents making up web pages contained within a normal folder structure. Folder hierarchy sets the tone for the URL for each webpage. Websites can have many pages and the names of these pages can be changed at any time. The navigation, pages, design, color scheme, language, images, and theme can all be changed at any time. Listed below are examples of webpages for the www.relaxingpictures.com domain.
In a word, everything. Choosing a domain name is one of the most important steps you can take, regardless of what you are using the website for. Knowing what a domain name is, and that it cannot be changed at will, it is easier to understand why choosing the name carefully is so important. Domain names make it easy to remember how to get to specific websites if they are thoughtfully chosen. Obviously not even a domain someone wants or best fits their need is always going to be available, so it is always good to have a few backup domain names in case this happens.