“Where should I get my domain registered? and “where should I get my website hosted?” are two of the most common  questions people ask me all the time.

The Difference Between “domain registration” and “website hosting.”

  • Domain registration: It’s basically purchasing a domain name for your website. For example, websitecreationworkshop.com is my domain that I registered with (ie. purchased from) GoDaddy. godaddy-logoIt’s how you buy a domain name.
  • Website hosting: That’s the service you need to house the content of your website that will be connected to your domain name. Your web hosting company holds all the files, images, audio, PDFs, or any other kind of media you have on your website.  It also houses your web content, i.e. your web pages and blog posts. And most webhosting companies also hold your  email that you would get at your domain name.  i.e. “yourname@yourdomain.com”  vs. “yourname@gmail.com”

    My favorite web hosting companies for most non-techie people are 
    sitegroundlogoSiteGround
    (www.christinasresources.com/siteground)
    and 
    bluehostlogoBluehost
    (http://thebesthostnow.com/)

domain registration vs web hosting

Think of the Domain Registration as the “Sign” on the Store (house), and the Web Hosting as the “Building” that holds all the content of your website.  It’s the simplest visual that I can think of that conveys the situation.  If you want to change housing structures, you can take your sign and move it to another building.  So keep this visual in your mind when you are thinking about domain registration and website hosting.

While it’s possible to register your domain and have your website hosted with the same company, I choose not to do that. And here is why.

Changing Domain Registration

There may be an occasion when you want to change your hosting company in the future. Just like technology, things change in the hosting world very fast. And you want to be able to switch your hosting service provider very quickly should they fail to keep up with your needs. And if you have your website hosted with a company that is not your domain name registrar, changing a hosting company is relatively an easy and quick process.

However, if you already have your domain registration and web hosting with the same company, I don’t recommend going through a hassle of changing that now since switching domain registrars  is not a straightforward task. For now, I just wanted you to understand the differences between domain registration and website site hosting so that you can make an informed decision when building new websites in the future.

Registered Domain Name

screenshot of godaddy domain registration page

GoDaddy shows “parked free” message for domains that are registered but are not yet hosted

Hosted Domain

screenshot of the website creation workshop blog

Once hosted, website shows up when people enter the registered domain in the browser’s address bar

 

If all this sounds confusing, you are not alone, especially when you are new to creating a website!

To help my students start having FUN creating a website right away instead of having to deal with things like above, we provide practice WordPress website “Student Project” in my Website Creation Workshop. It’s a “playground website”; a safe place they can use to practice what they learn without having to worry about messing it up.

I’m planning on opening the doors to the next Website Creation Workshop in December 2015. Get on the notification list here!