“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. When you ‘purchase a domain name’, you are ‘registering a domain name’. When you do this step, you are just buying the 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, text, images, audio, PDFs, or any other kind of media you have on your website. It also holds 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. “your[email protected]” vs. “[email protected]”
My favorite web hosting companies for most non-techie people are:
Short Video on “Domain Registration” vs. “Website 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. I use the metaphor of a store with a sign on it. 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…
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 your web hosting company is a relatively easy and quick process.
Changing Domain Registration
However, if you already have your domain registration and web hosting with the same company, I don’t recommend going through the 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.
Before and After Pics of Buying a Domain Name
See these screenshots below: The first is a registered domain name that has been purchased but the site has not yet been created. The second image shows the site that is built and hosted.
Registered Domain Name (BEFORE You Build Your Site)
Hosted Domain (After You Build Your Site)
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 the above things, I help you with domain registration and signing up for web hosting so that you can get started building your website the right way!
(This article was originally published on Oct 22, 2015)