A website needs two accounts to run; a Registrar and Hosting account. When building a new website, taking over maintenance of a website or doing search engine optimization (SEO) for a website, our staff will typically need to create or acquire login access to one or both of these account.
Two Main Accounts
1. Registrar – where you buy your domain (ie. https://nelsonandco.net). In our case, the registrar is Network Solutions. This is not proprietary information, as anyone can use a Who Is Lookup to find a registrar for a domain name and learn more about the domain such as when it expires, DNS/IP addresses, account admin and technical contact (if privacy not turned on).
2. Host – This is where you physically host your website. It’s a server where your website files are posted (uploaded) and where they are accessed by anyone trying to visit mhprop.com. The typical process for posting website files is FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP is setup through the Hosting company’s admin login, so the hosting company should have given you a webs, username, and password so you could go in and administer various aspects of your hosting account (Database, FTP and email for example).
Note: Most Registrars also offer hosting, so sometimes your Registrar and Host are the same company.
3. CMS – Many sites have a content management system (CMS) which gives login access to do things like edit text, create pages and post pictures, but it does not give access directly to the website file folder like FTP does, or to something like a database which the host account would do
4. DNS & IP – Domain Name Service (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses work like phone numbers directing site visitors to the server, or server account, where your site files exist (at the Host). There are these server banks (nodes) around the U.S. (and world) that act as directories.
So, when someone types in a website address, this is what happens:
1. A Node looks up the registrar for that name (yours is Register.com)
2. The node asks Register.com for your DNS address (kind of a phone number for your host).
3. The node then pushes the request to that phone number (host).
4. The host has its own directory of phone numbers (IP address) that correspond to your specific account and file location and makes the final connection.
Note: Alternately, the registrar could have the IP address directly to your account
Tada, the person who entered your domain name, just saw your site