Getting to Know Your Web Space

All members of the UMW community can have their own domain name and associated web hosting space, but what does that mean exactly? An easy way to understand what hosting, domains, and websites are is to think of web hosting as a plot of land.

graphic of house to explain domain and content

Web hosting is like having a plot of land or a physical space that can be leased. A website is like a house to be built on the land. And a domain name (the main part of a web address or URL) is like having a postal address.

UMW has a large area of land owned under Members of the community (students, staff, etc) are able to get some of that land during their time at UMW. You can build on that property and make your domain, as well as subdomains and subdirectories, which essentially act as multiple websites.

Houses graphic to explain domains and content

In the image above, imagine this is a plot of land delegated to you. You’ve decided to build a few houses on that land that each serve different purposes. There is your main house, or root domain (“”), a house specifically labelled for a blog, a space related to teaching, and a space related to history (whatever those may be).

These can all connect to each other or not, based on whether or not you post the specific link anywhere. 

If you were to want to take your site elsewhere, you can pack up everything (house and/or address, content and/or domain) and take it to a new web host. You can even choose select sites to take with you and others to leave behind. 

Learn more about creating subdomains and subdirectories here.

Leaving UMW? Find out how to migrate your site here

This page is a remix of a plot of land created by Lauren Heywood for Coventry.Domains. This page is shared under the same CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

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