The difference between a domain name and a web host
If you have a website, you there are two things that you have to pay for, your domain name and your hosting site. I'll use my own website BradHallArt.com as an example.
The domain name, which I've had since 1999, costs me about twelve dollars a year these days. This is just the name, not the website files themselves. The pages are hosted, which means that there is a company that I upload the HTML files to, and that makes them visible on the web. Hosting a site costs costs considerably more than just having a domain name.
Problems can arise when a domain name needs to be renewed. And since the domain name can be registered with a different company than the hosting site, nowadays I beg my clients to have their domain name and host with the same company. Bluehost.com is what I use, and they're great. No, they don't pay me to say this, they just do great work, and that's more than enough for me.
If you have a domain name, it's wise to keep an eye on it. Domain names expire after a year, and if you don't pay to renew it, it will go back on the market, and anyone else who wants it can have it. Not a good thing! Of course, if you've registered your domain with the company you host your site with (as I recommend), they will send you an email in plenty of time. So make sure they have your correct email, and check it regularly!
Posted by Brad Hall