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Domains FAQ


What is a Domain Registrar (or Registration Service Provider)?

A Domain Registrar or Registration Service Provider is an entity that registers domains on behalf of clients. A Registrar will also manage a domain's registration while it remains under their purview, which includes:

  • Dealing with renewal requests.
  • Dealing with transfer requests.
  • Dealing with WHOIS record contact updates.
  • Changing the DNS hosts for a domain.

What is a WHOIS record?

Every registered domain has an associated WHOIS record which contains information specific to that domain, including these important elements:

  • Registrar / Registration Service Provider Name: The name of the Registrar who the domain was registered through.
  • Domain Status: The current status of the domain's registration.
  • Contact Information:
    • Registrant Contact: The entity or person who 'owns' the domain. The Registrant has full authority over the domain.
    • Administrative Contact: The administrative contact generally has the authority to make and/or approve any changes associated with a domain's registration. This includes updates to the existing WHOIS contact information, domain renewals and transfers, DNS host updates, and DNS record changes.
    • Technical Contact: The technical contact's role is generally restricted to changes of a more technical nature, such as changing the DNS hosts for a domain or having its DNS records updated.
    • Note: The above contact information is hidden if domain privacy is enabled.
  • DNS Hosts: The DNS Hosts section of the WHOIS record lists the DNS servers that are hosting (or responsible for) all of the DNS records for a domain.
  • Expiry Date: The date that a domain's registration will expire.

What is a DNS host?

The DNS host is the entity responsible for hosting all of the DNS records for a domain. The DNS hosts (or servers) listed in a domain's WHOIS record are the servers that house all of the DNS records for that domain. It is these DNS servers that inform the rest of the internet where e-mail for a domain should be routed to, where the website for a domain is located, etc.


What is a web host (web hosting provider)?

A web hosting provider is a company that provides customers with access to a web server where they (the customer) can upload their website content so that it can be viewed by others on the web. Web hosting providers will also usually provide access to tools and applications that can aid with the website's design and management, such as Content Management Systems, databases, and various programming languages.


What is a DNS record?

A DNS record lets the rest of the internet know where to go to access specific services for a domain, such as its website, e-mail servers, etc. In some ways, a DNS record is analogous to an 'Address Book' or 'Contact List' entry on a phone. While an 'Address Book' or 'Contact List' entry on a phone associates a contact name with an e-mail address and/or phone number, a DNS record associates a domain or sub-domain with a corresponding host name or IP address.


What is a subdomain?

To put it simply, a subdomain is a domain name with an additional host name (followed by a '.') tacked onto the front. For example, ftp.execulink.ca, mail.execulink.ca, and subdomain.execulink.ca are all subdomains of the execulink.ca domain. Subdomains can also have more than one level. Thus, one.two.three.execulink.ca and web.hosting.execulink.ca are also subdomains of the execulink.ca domain.