Creating a website you require two parts to be able to have your site visible on the World Wide Web.
- Registering your website name
- Hosting space for your website
Firstly let’s explore the two services.
Registering your website name
Registering a website name so if a company “Give and Take” want to register their website name www.giveandtake.com they must register their website name with a domain name registrar. They can keep that name as long as they keep the registration for that name. Usually, it’s an annual charge to the Domain Name Registrar. If the company does not want that name anymore, or stop the registration that company website address becomes available for someone else to buy.
Hosting service is a service where your actual files for your website will be hosted. These files are required to be put into some space that the hosting service provides.
So now that you have a website name registered with a registrar for your website address and a hosting company that can host your website files you are required to tell the registrar to point to your website on the hosting server when a potential visitor type your URL in. Basically, hosting your website is like playing a “CD”; let’s assume the CD player or hardware is your website domain, and the CD represent your hosting company. When you put your CD in the player and press play the CD tells that player “hey this is the music I want you to play”. You can take the CD out and replace it and the new CD will produce the music on that CD. The hardware stays the same but the sound changes. This is the same way your website interacts with your domain name.
The way you ask your domain name to show the files for your website is by changing the DNS settings to point to your hosting site.
So why is it important to have separate Hosing and Domain name suppliers?
Many people find having everything in one place far more convenient than separate. However, I think there are some very compelling reasons to keep it separate.
- It’s difficult to transfer your domain if you fall ill with your hosting service.
- Security is a big issue, if someone hack’s your account, they have instant access to your name registrar, therefore, have very easy access to move your name over and actually “steal” it. I am sure you will be able to prove that you are the legal owner, however, for the cost of having two suppliers, I would prefer not to go down that route.
By keeping your domain and hosting separate not only do you add a layer of security but you ensure a very easy transition if you wish to take your custom to another provider.
Another benefit is that you can keep all your domains with the same registrar which means you only need to point your DNS settings to the new site.
My recommendation for domain registrar and hosting service
Due to their great customer service I always recommend Namecheap, they are brilliant. They also offer alternative names if the one that you wanted is taken.
For hosting I recommend Stablehost, their cPanel are very easy to use and their install apps like WordPress never fail. I will always recommend them.
Lastly, it doesn’t matter which domain registrar or hosting service you use, be sure to understand the cost of each and what you get from each of them