Welcome to the beginning of a new (possibly permanent) segment where I teach you tiny little morsels of goodness in order to help you hit the ground running. Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links, but as I say below, these are the tools I use and I wouldn't recommend them otherwise.
This one goes out to those I've run into on Facebook groups that are starting from scratch and don't know the first thing about websites. (First off: welcome!)
Let's talk about cake, okay? Cake is amazing. Cake is whatever you want it to be…bacon cake? SOLD. Cake with extra frosting? I want to go to there.
That's why I'm using cake as an analogy for a common question I've run into:
What's a webhost? Is that the same as a registrar?
It can be, but here's a simple way to remember
A registrar is where you go to get the domain while a webhost is where you go when you want to have the domain point somewhere.
My registrar is NameSilo and my webhost is Greengeeks (I know a lot of people use BlueHost, and I did for a long time, too. I outgrew them, and really love GG so would totally rec both of these hosts…it just depends on how big your biz is). I don't use GoDaddy mostly because I find them to be a PITA when it comes to customer service and NameSilo ends up being cheaper with privacy and renewals.
Now, let's turn this into a sweet, sweet cake analogy:
Let's say I'm baking a cake, and it's going to be totally unique and droolworthy.
NameSilo (registrar) is the service I use to tell the world my cake will be Megan's Awesome Cake (.com)
SiteGround/BlueHost is my cake stand. This is what holds alllllll of the ingredients + the finished cake.
Now, if you want to have your cake name and cake stand all together, you can do that. SiteGround, BlueHost, GoDaddy, etc all will register your domain and host your site in one package, it really just depends on what you want to do.
Should I use one company for both domain registration and hosting?
Personally, while the domain can sometimes be free when you open a new hosting account, I find that it becomes a little more difficult to control the domain…like if you want to move to a different host. But if you feel comfortable having another business control the registration, then it may save you $10 – $15. I've done both and the biggest challenge was trying to renew a domain that I let my webhost register for me when I wasn't with them any longer.
Make sense? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, but I hope this tiny tutorial helps get you started!