What is a Domain Registrar?

Understanding what a domain registrar is will allow you to provide a website design company with the information needed to launch a new website for your business. As web design experts, we understand all of the challenges that go into creating and launching a new website. That is why we always work closely with our clients to help them set up their domain name and web hosting.

WHAT IS A DOMAIN REGISTRAR?

A domain registrar, such as GoDaddy, is a company that sells domain names that you can purchase for your ownership and use. A domain registrar also holds Domain Name System (DNS) records, which provides information on the Internet where to find the website or where to send emails. Without a domain registrar, the rest of the Internet would not know which DNS server or IP address your website is located at, which means that trying to visit your website would cause an error to occur. In order to maintain access to a domain name on the Internet, an annual recurring cost must be paid to the domain registrar.

WHAT IS A WEBSITE HOSTING COMPANY?

A website hosting company specializes in storing and serving websites. This means that, when someone searches for your domain name on the Internet, the domain name will be translated into the IP address of the hosting company’s computer where all of your website’s files are being stored. Those files are then sent back to the users’ browser, allowing them to access your website.

HOW ARE WEBSITE HOSTING AND DOMAIN REGISTRARS RELATED?

While domain registrars and website hosting are two different services, they work together to make it possible for people to find your website on the Internet. To put it simply, a domain registrar works like a massive address book (those DNS records we mentioned) that is constantly being updated. For each domain name listed, there is also an address for the web hosting service storing the website’s files, so that the web browser knows where to go to get the information you need.

DO YOU NEED WEBSITE HOSTING AND A DOMAIN REGISTRAR TO BUILD A WEBSITE?

In order to build a new website for your business, you will need both domain registrar and web hosting services, as the domain registrar will give you the rights to a particular domain for a specific period of time and a website host will store the website files for users to access.

Domain names and website hosting services can either be purchased from the same company or from two separate companies. If you purchase a domain name and website hosting from two separate companies, you will need to update your domain name settings to ensure that it is pointing to your website hosting service provider; however, if you purchase both from the same company, everything will be easier to manage and renew.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHO YOUR DOMAIN REGISTRAR & WEBSITE HOST ARE?

When you purchase a domain, make sure to store the login details to your domain registrar account in a safe location. It can be difficult to recover this information in the future as domain registrars have strict procedures about recovering accounts. When you are setting up a new website host, they will require you to adjust your DNS records to point to that new hosting provider. This will be done from your domain registrar. Similarly, if you have an IT person setting up your emails, they will also need to access your DNS records to make those adjustments. Knowing where your domain is registered and having the information clearly recorded will make your life, your web developer’s life, and your IT person’s life easier.

If you are making adjustments to your existing website or are looking to launch a new website, knowing where your website is hosted is vital, as this is where your website developer will need to adjust the files. When signing up for website hosting services, the provider will give you a number of login details and information. Store this in a safe location for reference in the future and it will make your life easier!

Understanding who your domain registrar is and who is hosting your website will help make the process of launching a new website much smoother. To learn more about domain registrars and website hosting, get in touch with the website design experts today.