What Is A Domain Registration And How Does It Connect To The Site’s Hosting?
When launching a new website, one question that most people ask is what is a domain registrar? Understandably, most people do not realize that their web hosting and domain registration are two distinct entities. This article will help you understand the difference and the connection between the two.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name simply refers to the URL or web address of a website, for instance, “facebook.com” or “google.com”. This should not be mistaken with the website itself. The domain name just stands for the URL itself that you can purchase from domain registrars like dynadot.com or moniker.com which are licensed by the main domain authority icann.org. As explained here in detail, you should always register your domain name by yourself and never delegate this task to someone else!
When you buy a domain name, you are officially registering the name so that it cannot be used by anyone else during the period of time that you own it. Domain names usually cost about $12/year (for the .com extension) or more for other extensions, however, they can be more expensive when someone is reselling them for a profit. You should always renew your domain registration before expiry to avoid it being snatched up by somebody else.
What is a Domain Registration?
The domain registration contains the domain names and the equivalent DNS records (nameservers) that are used to point the domain name to the IP address of the hosting server. In the DNS records, the name server directs traffic from the domain name to the web server where your website database and files are hosted.
But you can also register a domain name without having a website and related hosting, for instance if you just want to secure a domain name before designing your website. When your website is ready, you’ll just need to update the DNS records at your registrar with those of the hosting account of your website. Those references are always provided by the host when you purchase a new account.
What is a Web Host?
Your personal or business website has different files that contain images and codes that must run on a web server that has access to the World Wide Web or internet and allows your visitors to view your website. Your hosting company houses your website files on their server and assigns your site an IP address that can connect you through to the internet. This article will help you chose the right one.
What Is the Difference Between A Web Host And A Domain Name
A domain name is just like the address of your home, while web hosting simply means the space of your house where you put your furniture. Instead of using area code or street name, a set of numbers or words are used for naming websites. Computer memory and hard disks are used instead of steel and wood for storing and processing your website data files.
Most people get confused because web hosting and domain registration services are usually offered by the same company or provider. Conventional domain registrars that mainly offered domain registration services are now offering website hosting services but it is always strongly recommended using two different companies for each service (hosting and domain name registration) because we usually keep the domain registration with the same company for many years while we may change hosting often, depending of the market situation. Having registered the domain name with your hosting company will make it difficult to switch company.
Launching a New Website
So, now you understand that your domain name and the DNS records reside with the domain registrar while your website files stay on the web server of your hosting provider at a specified IP address. For you to launch a new site, the DNS records must be updated in the domain registrar’s control panel to help direct traffic from the domain name to your IP address on the web server. This is why having a web host and owning a domain name are necessary for visitors to find your site at your web address.
Regardless of the hosting service or domain registrar you choose, make sure you understand what they are providing. Know the charges and how your website will be affected in case you want to move. You may always think you can move stick with the current hosting provider for years, however, anything can happen in the future. It is better to always be prepared to avoid any issues with your website later on.