Domains and Hosting
Domain Name – The Domain Name is your web address, typically in the www.yourdomainname.com format.
Choosing a domain is important, it’s what people will remember to get to your website.
DNS – Domain Name System (or Name Server) has a technical definition we won’t use, but the basics are that there is a huge global system that assigns names, such as www.apple.com, to numbers called IP addresses. It gives us the ability to type in a name instead of numbers to get to a website. When purchasing a website, anything having to do with DNS means messing with the text and the numbers associated.
Web Host – A company that “hosts” the files that make up your website. Also referred to as file host or web provider. These companies have warehouses filled with computers that do nothing but serve websites.
Registrar – A company that configures domain names and routes those names to a web host.
There are numerous companies that sell both domain names and hosting; some sell them separately, some sell them together. In order to streamline the process, I suggest buying both from the same company although it is common to point domain names from one registrar to a separate web host. This often happens during development or because of cost or situational events.
Migrations, Upgrades, Options
It’s normal to move hosts or registrars for several reasons.
You may be using a free service like Blogger or Yahoo and it’s time for you to look professional and leave the cookie cutter options behind.
You may already have a website host but you’re finding that you pay way too much for hosting. Or your host’s quality has degraded and you’re fed up.
People move hosts for a lot of reasons, just like people move their homes.
Moving hosting and domain names is not a fun process for most people. It involves contacting all the companies you’ve worked with and are planning to work with, then coordinating a transition process.
Often times your original host will not move your files for you, so you’ll have to master the technical aspects of exporting and importing files and databases. You typically want to leave this to a professional.