All websites need to be hosted somewhere. This can be on your computer (or personal server) or on someone else’s server.
The host computer (or server) needs to be able to be found by other computers on the internet. In fact, every computer already has a ‘domain’ of sorts…it’s the IP address but since this is usually just a string of numbers it’s hard to remember.
So domain names were invented…they are, in effect, shortcuts. Easy to remember addresses which, when accessed, take you to that specific IP.
That a very rough and highly simplistic guide to domains (any inacccuracies are acknowledged).
Site44.com leverages your Dropbox account. It allows a folder in your Dropbox account (which is linked to the same folder on your computer) t operate as a virtual server.
It’s very handy for demos and test but I would not say it’s a platform for commercial websites.
If by “cloud” you mean independent of physical servers, you can combine that with domain names. Basically you need to setup the DNS to return different IPs for a single domain name based on server load (for load balancing) or physical location of the request (for serving content from the closest server possible, thus faster and lower latency). This is what CDNs do.
> Excuse my ignorance but surely the ‘cloud’ is never independent of physical servers?
I didn’t explain well enough. I meant independent of ‘one’ physical server. Like this domain name is hosted on a server in CA, and that domain name in NY and another domain name in Europe. However you can have one domain name hosted on several physical servers, based on location, server load and availability (when one server breaks, the domain is still accessible).