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December 7th, 2012

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Often we get phone calls from business owners who are trying to get a better understanding of how their Websites work and what they are paying for. From this article I hope to help you understand the differences between your domain registration and your Web hosting

There are 3 main parts to Domain Names and websites

1. Domain Name – ie.
This is like having a business name, in which you pay an annual or bi-annual fee for the continued use of the name. Domain names are registered and renewed through a Domain Registrar.

2. Web Hosting
In the same way as your business operates from a certain location, or has a PO Box, a Domain Name needs a physical location to operate from. This is usually where you HOST your domain – for the purposes of running a website and or email services. This location is where you will go to upload the files that make up your website and generally you will connect via an FTP client such as FileZilla or CuteFTP, however, many Web Hosts will offer a Control Panel that can be accessed through a web browser, and these Control Panels can have built in file managers to allow you to upload your files directly.

3. Web Site
The physical content (data / files) stored at your Web Host are displayed when someone visits your website (or domain name – ie

If you are experiencing problems with your website or email, it is possibly due to either your domain name expiring and needing to be renewed, or problems with your web hosting provider. Quite often, due to the number of scam renewals that go around, it is a result of not renewing the domain name.

If you would like to know who your Domain Name is registered with, here is a helpful article on using a Whois search on a Domain Name.