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What’s in a (Domain) Name?

What’s in a (Domain) Name?

Your domain name, and its all-important registration, is the life-blood of your organization’s online presence. If you’re the one responsible for your online presence, you better take responsibility for your domain’s registration, as well as understand who else is key to keeping your website active on the Web.

Most people who own a domain name, such as MyCompany.com, can be faced with a number of different providers to contact when it comes to their site. That said, there is usually confusion, angst and frustration associated with the technicalities surrounding anything involving their website. Understand who the following providers are for your domain, and you’ll be on your way to smoothing out your website issues if they occur.

A Quick Who's Who

The providers responsible for keeping a website online are:

  • Registrar
  • DNS Provider (Domain Name Service)
  • Website Host
  • Email Host (possibly)


The Registrar, such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions, holds the “title” to your domain, like a bank does with your mortgage.

DNS Provider (Domain Name Service Provider)

The DNS Provider may be the same as the registrar, but it may be your web host instead. The DNS provider is like the phonebook of the internet telling all of the computers where to find your website.

Website Host

Your web host is where your website actually “lives”, i.e. this is where all of the image, text and programming files reside.

Email Host

Your email host is the online post office for sending and receiving your emails, and it may also be the same as your web host, but many times it can be yet a different provider.

Do you have access to your registrar account?

If not, you better determine who does. Typically, the Number One (#1) reason for a website to go down/offline, or for email to stop functioning completely, is that the domain name registration renewal lapses. Without understanding who controls the registrar account, you may be doomed to miss a renewal, and pay the price of losing your domain entirely, or losing the confidence of your co-workers when your website goes down.

Has this ever happened to your organization?

About the Author

Todd Borris

This post was written by Todd Borris

Josh is agis' programming guru and general knight in shining armor. Josh can resolve any issue, no matter how obscure, and he does it quickly and with a smile. Like a master chess player, he anticipates issues and stays at least two steps ahead of problems.

Kelly is agis' dynamite developer. She can create, fix and troubleshoot like no other. Working her magic behind the scenes she ensures all parts on the front function as they should. Though she may not claim to be a designer she sure has great style!

Chris is agis' SEO genius. He has so fully mastered the art of Search Engine Optimization that he is a virtual "human Google." Not distracted by the design and whiz-bang elements of a site, he turns his critical eye to improving things "under the hood".

Todd is agis' president and primary project manager. He keeps the entire place running smoothly and efficiently. The smoother things are working for his clients and staff, the more time he gets to practice his backswing at the golf course!

Corey is agis' vice-president and lead sales representative. She wines and dines (and sometimes twists arms!) until clients just can't say no. She invests a great deal of time getting to know you and your business so your website works for you 24-7.

Donna is agis' office manager and little ray of sunshine. Her infectious laugh never fails to brighten the gloomy winter days. She's our motherhen and takes great care of client accounts and staff memebers alike. And you should try her homemade caramels!

Robin is agis' graphics girl and social media / email marketing whiz. Having recently broken free of the confines of the two dimensional print world, Robin is really having fun in the interactive realm of the world wide web.

Deb is agis' desktop publishing empress. Type styles, sizes and layouts are her specialties—positioning text and art elements from a variety of databases, just so. No publication is too small or too large for Deb…shoe catalogs welcome!

Nancy is the Marketing Coordinator at agis and has a passion for learning and teaching. She's been known to spend hours diving into new projects head first! When she's not knee deep in internet marketing stuff, she's mountain biking with her husband or playing Sudoku on her tablet!

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