URL stands for Universal Resource Locator.
It’s the entry in the registry that connects your payment account to the ownership of a ‘domain name’. All domain names are owned by proxy by a registrar. This is why you go to a “registrar” to purchase a domain name – not your host. Some hosts also function as registrars so it can be confusing.
DOMAIN NAME is the name that you purchase annually from a registrar.
Your URL is connected with the IP address of your hosting company through a setting called “DNS”. It’s really not worth remembering the terminology behind all thost acronym because you will never hear anyone refer to them by their full English names.
Why is this important for me to know?
If you have a different hosting company than the company that your registered your domain name with, you will have to re-set the DNS yourself or hire someone to do it.
Why can’t I own a domain name myself?
That’s an awesome question. The system is set up so that regular businesses do not have access to the ICANN registry. The middleman (aka registrar) is built in.
WARNING: if you have a URL that is connected to a business, or you have just spent a lot of time building it up, always put it on auto-renew. You might think that a competitor will buy it if you let it expire. You’d be wrong. The danger isn’t from domain poachers that are lurking to snatch it up, but from the registrars themselves. They keep possession of the names for about 30-60 days offering you a ‘second chance’ to get your name back. The second chance often comes at an incredibly inflated price (a $12 renewal turns into a $250 purchase).