What is Domain Registration, What is Web Hosting? What’s the Difference?

Domain Registration and Web Hosting are two essential services that are required to keep your website functioning properly. It’s important that you understand what both services do and what company you need to pay to keep each active. Be sure to keep both paid up at all times - if you don’t then your website won’t stay alive.

What is Domain Registration?

Domain Registration is one of the initial steps in the process of making a website, and usually costs about $20/year.

To register a domain, you need to decide on a name for your website i.e; ‘joesplumbing.com’ and pay a domain registrar to reserve it for you.

You can also purchase the registration from KWR. The price for domain registration varies depending on the TLD you choose i.e: .com, .org, .edu. Registrars usually charge annually for domain registration. We charge $20/year for .com domains. You have to make sure that your account stays current; if you forget to pay the renewal fees for your domain, you could lose it. We recommend renewing your domain for at least a period of 5 years, to reduce the risk of loss.

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is usually a $20/mo service (with KWR) that keeps your website up and running and is needed in order for your website to be available to the internet.

Web hosting means that you have an account on a web server that stores all of the data necessary for your website to function properly, and serves your website to visitors. Technically, you can have a web hosting account without domain registration, but your website won’t really work unless you have a domain registered and pointing to your web host. So, the two are separate services, but each is required in order to publish a website.

What’s the difference between domain registration and web hosting?

Domain registration is pretty simple. All it does is tell the rest of the world where to go to find your website. It does this by maintaining DNS records . Domain registration will function almost exactly the same with just about any provider you choose. Web hosting can be much more complex. It can include a wide variety of services including hosting any type of website imaginable, nameservers, email servers, and almost any type of online software that you can think of.

Where should I register my domain?

Our standard KWR hosting package ($20/month) includes registration of 1 domain. This means that we will purchase the domain for you and manage the registration including annual renewal (as long as you are paying the agreed upon monthly hosting fee).

If you choose to register your domain with a third party (such as Godaddy, name.com, etc...) we can configure it for you if need be. You can add us as an authorized user to your Godaddy account so that we can manage your domain: How to Add an Authorized User

Domain registration transfers

If you registered your domain with another web hosting company and you want to transfer your hosting to KWR, you might want (or need) to transfer your domain to our registrar (name.com) or another registration account under your own name.

What does it mean to transfer domain registration? How do you do it?

Domain registration transfer only means that you transfer the registration account to a new provider. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you change your web hosting or anything about your website at all. The standard process for this is as follows:

  1. Log into your account at the losing registrar (your current registrar), unlock the domain and request your EPP (authorization) code. Some registrars will want to email this to you and some will show it to you directly in the control panel. This email will usually go to the ‘registrant’ email address. If this address isn’t yours then you will have to get a hold of the person who owns that email account and ask them to forward it to you.
  2. Purchase an incoming transfer at the gaining registrar and enter the EPP code when prompted.
  3. The losing registrar will most likely send a verification email to the registrant (you will need to access this account or have it forwarded to you), and you will need to follow the link in this email in order to initiate the transfer. The gaining registrar may also send a verification email.
  4. Log into your control panel at the gaining registrar and look up the status of the transfer. If all of the verification emails went through successfully it will show you a status of 'transfer submitted'.
  5. Some registrars may enforce a 5-7 day waiting period on domain transfers, so you may have to wait a few days for the transfer to go through. Check back at the end of the waiting period and you will most likely find that the transfer is complete.
  6. You should then log into your your control panel at the gaining registrar and make sure the contact info (WHOIS) is up to date and that your name and email address is listed.

What does it mean to transfer your web hosting?

A web hosting transfer means that your website’s data (and sometimes email) is copied and moved to a different server. Your domain registration can stay with the same registrar, but your DNS records (NS or at least A records) will have to be changed to accomplish the transfer.

How do you transfer your website to a different hosting company?

If you are transferring to KWR, you just need to make sure that you have an account active at both hosting companies (KWR and your current host) and let us know. We will ask for your cPanel username and password so that we can copy your current website. The process that we follow is then to copy the data from your current web server to your new web server, install and test the website, and switching your DNS records (NS or A). If both hosts provide cPanel and there isn’t a lot of custom configuration then it’s usually pretty easy. Sometimes there are issues with different versions of PHP and other software, so it can take some time to work out the kinks. At KWR we always make sure that we test your website on the new server to make sure it’s working properly before we actually switch your DNS records - this guarantees that there won’t be any downtime during the transfer process.

Domain Transfers into KWR

If you would like to transfer your domain into KWR, we can perform the transfer for you if you provide us with your login information for your account with your current registrar. Or, you may log in yourself, unlock the domain and retrieve the EPP key (as described above) and we can then handle the rest of the transfer on our end. Also we will most likely need you to forward a couple of verification emails to us so we can complete the transfer process. This is usually all it takes. There can be a 7 day waiting period (see above) before the transfer is complete.

Domain Transfers from your Current Web Host to your Godaddy Account

If you are transferring your hosting from another hosting company to KWR, and at the same time you would like to transfer your domain registration from that web hosting company to your Godaddy account, we can help! Usually we will just need to get your login info for your current web hosting company and your login info for your Godaddy account. As usual, there will be a few verification emails that we may need you to forward.

Domain Transfers out of KWR

If we are currently providing your domain registration, you are free to transfer to a different domain registrar at no additional cost.

If at any point you would like to transfer your domain away, we will unlock the domain, provide you with the authorization key for transfer, and confirm the transfer request with the registrar so that you will be able to transfer the domain to your new registrar.