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I secured domain on register.ca, and I have it in my account. How would I go about actually uploading my HTML & CSS files onto the website? Previously, I just used GitHub to host my sites, so I'm not very familiar with the whole site hosting thing.

I've tried googling tutorials, but they don't seem to work for me.

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    The first thing to understand is that registering a domain name and hosting its website are two different things. So if you just registered the domain you might still need to choose a webhosting provider. It can be the registrar itself (with a plan merging domain name registration and website hosting) or any other provider you wish, both cases have positive and negative consequences. So who is your webhosting company? If you have one, you should ask it directly on how to upload your content to their servers. Aug 25, 2022 at 17:49
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    You need a DNS provider too. Again, often the registrar also offers this, but again you can use whoever.
    – OrangeDog
    Aug 26, 2022 at 9:34
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    That "register.ca" also looks pretty expensive, 50$/year is almost 5 times more than the ~10-15$ that other registrars charge. You might want to look around for another company.
    – Manawyrm
    Aug 26, 2022 at 12:08
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    @lilsolar I'm always wary of those deals; will you be able to get that domain name via a not-ridiculously-expensive registrar once your free year runs out?
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 28, 2022 at 14:33
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    @lilsolar Will you want your domain for longer than 2 years?
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 29, 2022 at 22:04

5 Answers 5

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Rather that upload your files to your domain, you have to get website hosting and point your domain to it. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Find a web host. See How to find web hosting that meets my requirements?
  2. Find a DNS host. Usually both your domain registrar and your web host offer DNS hosting services included with your domain registration or web hosting package. It is also possible to choose a third party for DNS hosting.
  3. Edit your NS records at your domain registrar to point to the values given to your by your DNS host. If you choose to use your DNS registrar as your DNS host, you shouldn't have to change anything.
  4. Configure your domain at your web host. Every web host is going to have different instructions for doing this step. Some may ask for your domain name when you purchase hosting. Others may have you add a "custom domain" after the fact. Others use the terminology "Add-on domain." The web host will use this information to configure the web server to respond to requests for that domain, usually with files from a specific directory on their server. If you get a dedicated server, virtual private server (VPS), or are hosting at home, you will have to install the web server and configure it yourself.
  5. Edit your DNS records at your DNS host. If you are using DNS hosting from your web host, they will usually do this step for you. Your web host will give you values to put into DNS. You will need an A record for the domain apex (AKA, naked domain name like example.com) pointing to the IP address of your web host's server. You will also need a record for the www. subdomain which can either be an A record or a CNAME record if recommended by your web host.
  6. Upload content to your web host. Every host is going to have different instructions for this step. It is commonly done with FTP, SFTP, or SCP.
  7. Get a security certificate for your site so that HTTPS works. Most web hosts will now handle this for you with the click of a button by obtaining a free certificate from LetsEncrypt.
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  • Thx for the response! I think i get some of what you're saying, but it's a bit vague for me still. Not your fault, i'm just turbo slow. Is there a video or some sort of online guide that you know of? I think I learn from vids best
    – lilsolar
    Aug 27, 2022 at 0:13
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    @lilsolar For the analogy: domain (which you have) is like a home address. What you need now is a home itself (a server/hosting) and paperwork that links your home with its address (DNS records). Once you have them, you can move in (upload your files).
    – crueltear
    Aug 28, 2022 at 11:20
  • @lilsolar: Or another analogy, you're paying for an entry in the phone book that maps your name to a number. (DNS that maps hostname to IP address). But you also have to pay for a phone line so you have a number to list in that entry. (This is an imperfect analogy as virtual hosting doesn't need every "server" to have a separate IP address, but the basic mental model is that you need a phone line and an answering machine or fax machine for your DNS (phonebook) entry to point to. Or an answering service that has phone numbers for their servers, i.e. a web-hosting service.) Aug 28, 2022 at 21:01
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Since you've mentioned using GitHub Pages to host your site in the past, here's an answer that allows you to add the domain you've bought directly to your GitHub Pages deployment.

  1. Navigate to the settings tab of the repository. Settings tab
  2. Navigate to Pages > Custom domain and fill it out with your domain name. Save your changes. Saving custom domain
  3. Finally, visit your registrar and add a CNAME DNS Record to alias your domain to your GitHub site. You may need to delete existing records. Adding a DNS Record

More information available in the GitHub docs

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    For the domain registrar you mentioned, register.ca says you can edit your DNS records through the "advanced DNS manager" included with their "domain extras:" register.ca/local/html/domain_extras.htm Aug 26, 2022 at 11:05
  • Sorry for the really noob question, but where tf can i find the section with the CNAME records & everything? I've searched across each possible section & i can't find it., this is what le menu looks like
    – lilsolar
    Aug 27, 2022 at 0:29
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    My guess is that you click on "Host Records." What does it show if you click on that? Aug 27, 2022 at 14:54
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    Just for future reference, you can do this easily with GitLab hosting your site as well.
    – davidbak
    Aug 29, 2022 at 1:06
  • @StephenOstermiller this is what i get when i click host records. If I click "click here to modify your DNS Information.", I get this
    – lilsolar
    Aug 29, 2022 at 21:18
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The answers regarding using a webhosting to connect the domain are correct and are the usual way to go, although, you can use different solutions to save money, time and change to a learning area that you might already be involved in :

  1. To save money, you can use your own computer at home and connect the domain to, as long as that computer is running and connected to the internet it will serve your html and css or whatever site, you will have to install something such as LAMP stack, (Linux, Apache2, MySQL, PHPmyAdmin), can be a simple process.

  2. You can borrow from a friend or receive free support from non-profit organizations, that can connect your domain to their hosting, they can give you an FTP account that you access using FileZilla or sFTP, they can also provide you with database access, security, and upload your files, it's safe, as long as you trust the provider.

  3. If you won't be using anything other than HTML and CSS, You can link your domain name server to free cloud providers such as Google Drive. Every time the domain is opened it will be lead through by an XML or HTML index that handles the rerouting process, it's interesting to learn that.

In case you're wondering what is FTP, you can think of it, as your file manager at your desktop, not so different in the sense. Check the image below, this is an ftp program that opens the files of a website, the website is on the right :

Ushby Organization FTP support

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    If you're using your own computer, you likely have a dynamic IP address, and will need a DNS service that allows you to automate dealing with that.
    – OrangeDog
    Aug 26, 2022 at 9:32
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    The ISP. Your home router will also need configuring with some sort of port-forwarding, but you don't have to pay extra for that.
    – OrangeDog
    Aug 26, 2022 at 9:35
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    Your ISP configures your router to use DHCP which is a protocol that automatically gets an IP address from a pool available from your ISP. Your ISP can control how long of a lease that IP address has. Some ISPs set it to expire in a day or a week. Other ISPs don't put an expiration on it, so your IP address changes only when you reboot your router. Many routers support dynamic DNS services. They will send the new IP address to the dynamic DNS provider whenever it changes and the DNS host updates the DNS records based on that. Aug 26, 2022 at 13:06
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    In addition more and more ISPs use CG-NAT. In that setup your PC won't have an internet-public IP at all.
    – gronostaj
    Aug 26, 2022 at 13:09
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    " How often does the ISP change IP's, may I ask.." That depends on the ISP and it can be daily or even more. Not necessarily out of technical needs, but just because some ISP consider a fixed IP to be needed only for business uses, not individual uses (because individuals do not need to run a server that is accessible from the outside <= that is their train of thoughts), so they will make a fixed IP an option that is billed, and hence of course to lure people into that they need to make their default setup of dynamic IP really as dynamic as possible to have people see it is not fixed. Aug 26, 2022 at 14:11
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A domain name just gives you control over the DNS records that computers use to map a hostname to an IP address. (Connections over the Internet are always from IP address to IP address, not by name alone.) The servers that answer DNS queries won't also host your web site; that's a separate thing.

See other answers for details. An analogy may help understanding them:

  • DNS is like a phone book, mapping names to numbers.
  • A phone number is like an IP address
  • An answering machine is like a server; if configured to take calls, it will. But it's only reachable if connected to a land-line with a permanent phone number, and people know how to reach it by looking up a convenient name in the phone book to find that phone number.
  • A web-hosting service is like an answering service, with answering machines connected to phone lines ready to answer calls. You can pay them to take calls for your site by name, or even with a dedicated phone number (IP address) that isn't shared with any other site.

With just a domain registered, you're paying for an entry in the phone book that maps your name to a phone number. That's all you have so far, no phone number to point it at, and no answering machine that answers calls.

So you have nothing useful to list in your phone-book entry.

This is a fairly decent analogy. Virtual hosting doesn't need every "server" to have a separate IP address; it can sort out who the caller wants to contact by name after they call a shared phone number. (via HTTP headers in the request).


You could list your home phone number, i.e. home desktop computer, if your ISP happens to give you a stable IP address and allows hosting servers. But then you'd have to be responsible for being the admin of your own web server, keeping up with security updates. (In the analogy, using your home answering machine for this, making it the target of crank calls and spam, and people who fill up the tape, or try to break it.)

Many ISPs don't give you a stable IP address with port 80 (http) or 443 (https) open, or have rules against actually hosting a web server. But even if you technically could, with your level of experience you wouldn't want to. I mention this only for completeness of the analogy, and to maybe help understand what it is that a web-hoster is actually doing.

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For this you need hosting as a minimum After you buy a domain you have to bind it to the hosting by means of dns records Then choose whether you will install a cms on hosting or just host the files of a one-page site P.S. If you are not an expert in site building you can ask for help at your hosting to place files on your hosting and explain how to bind your domain to hosting

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  • How does this add anything to other answers?
    – Steve
    Aug 29, 2022 at 1:22

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