Domain Names

What is the difference between Web Hosting and Domain Registration?

Your domain name is simply the text in the url between the http://www. and the end of the .com or .org or .net or whatever ends it. You register the domain name at a registrar like or or wherever you want (we recommend pairnic). Once registered, your registrar reserves your name so that it cannot be used by anyone else in the world, and points it to your webserver where your site is hosted.

Think of your webserver (we are a webserver provider) as your house, and the domain registrar as the local town registry of deeds. You can go the to registry of deeds to find out where the house is, but you don't go there expecting to see the house.

Another way to think of these two is the difference between your phone number and your phone. The number gets a caller to your phone, but you don't need to buy your phone from the phone company that registers your number (in an ideal world).

Please contact us with further questions about domain names and hosting on

How do you claim a domain name?

The trick to acquiring the domain name you want is to use a trusted registrar to (a) find out if it is available, and (b) to register it for yourself.

It is important to use a legitimate registrar, such as, so that you don't inadvertently alert scammers that you want that particular name. Scammers have ways of tracking which domain names are desirable and will pounce on ones that are searched. To avoid losing your domain name in that way, stick to the trusted registrar sites to do all your research.

Once you have determined that the domain name you want is available, then you can use that same trusted registrar, or the registrar with whom you already have sites registered to claim it for yourself.

Why did my Domain Registrar email me?

Did you receive and email from your domain name registrar that looks something like this?:

"Dear Customer,  
This notification is being sent to you as a regulatory requirement of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) WHOIS  policy.  When you registered your domain with us, you agreed to keep your contact information in Account  Manager   current, and WHOIS policy mandates that we ask you to verify and/or update this information periodically.  Further, ICANN requires us to remind you that providing inaccurate or dated contact information may be grounds for domain name cancellation..."

But what does it mean?

Domain Registrar companies are required to periodically remind their customers to update their information to keep the data current and accurate.  When you get an email like this, we suggest that you take the opportunity to check in and make sure your information is correct.  The emails usually contain instructions on how to do this, and it is important that you keep that data current so that you won't miss renewal reminders and so that your domain name remains protected.  

If you can't remember which company you used to purchase your domain name and are not sure if the email is legitimate, you can go to any domain registrar and look up your information (we recommend and look up your registrar there; pairnic is a competing domain name registration company and will list where your domain name currently lives.  It's kind of like how you can look up someone's phone number using different kinds of yellow-pages: they all have the same information listed even though they are different companies.  Once you are sure the email is legitimate, go ahead and follow the instructions provided.