What is the Difference Between a Registry, Registrar, and Registrant?

When it comes to domain registration, administrative procedures occur at the back end, though it may not seem like it. 

One of them is issuing a top-level domain (TLD) to your domain name by the registrar. Another is managing these domain names, so each website has a unique name and their available details on a WHOIS lookup by ICANN.

Apart from the role of the ICANN (which we’ll discuss further down this article), three parties are responsible for carrying out a domain registration—the registry, registrar, and registrant. 

This article describes their various roles and how they all fit in the domain name registration process. Let’s dive in.

What is the Role of a Domain Registry?

A domain registry is a centralized database with up-to-date information on domain names and their associated owners. This database is managed by a large organization that administers the top-level domain (TLD) on a broader scale.

This organization makes rules and decisions that govern the sale of domain extensions, domain registration, domain disputes, zone files, and settings.

The domain registry enforces some of these rules and requirements on the registrant alone. For example, you may have to live in a specific country to use a country code top-level domain. 

Thus, when you register a domain name, you’re bound by the terms of service for the registry and the registrar— in this case, ScalaHosting.

While there are domain registries like Verisign that:

  •  manage top-level domains (TLD) like .com and .net
  • registries like ZADNA manage country code top-level domains (ccTLD) like .co.za.

Verisign, for example, claims to register a total of 165.2 million domain names across the .com and .net TLD name base in December 2020. This is only possible because domain registries have a colossal internet infrastructure that enables them to manage internet security and DNS services worldwide. 

But even with this infrastructure, domain registries do not offer domain registrations for second-level domains such as example.net. Instead, accredited registrars like ScalaHosting perform those functions.

What is the Role of a Domain Registrar?

Domain Registrars such as ScalaHosting are the middlemen in the domain registration process. They sub-sell the services of the registry to an individual or company (registrant). 

As a result, the major role of a domain registrar is to make domain names available to the public and help the registry update its records when a client makes a purchase. To do this, they keep track of available domain names and provide the structure needed to maintain domain name subscriptions and renewals running smoothly.

Domain registrars are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and operate based on their guidelines and the registry.

They also play a role in domain dispute resolution involving cases like cybersquatting, where a registrant is accused of registering a domain they’re ineligible to, or in bad faith, intending to resell them for profit.

Though domain registrars and domain resellers offer domain registration services, the registrars are the only organizations with ICANN accreditation. 

Resellers are extra middlemen in the chain of command, found between the registrar and the registrant. Like the registrars, they too sub-sell domain registration services, but in this case, their only link is the domain registrar, not the registry.

Along with these, domain registrars like ScalaHosting offer web hosting services, too, making it an all-inclusive shop for businesses looking to set up a website and register their domains.

Who is the Domain Registrant?

A domain registrant is an owner or holder associated with a domain. 

The registrant (which can be a person or business entity) registers a domain with a registrar and manages their domain settings and information through them.

In essence, a domain registrant is you. Once you make changes to the contact or DNS information to your domain name, the registrar—ScalaHosting, sends the current information to the registry to update their records.

In another context, the registrant can be a website owner once they’ve set up their website.

How Do You Register a Domain Name on ScalaHosting?

Now, we’ve discussed the primary parties involved in the domain registration process, let’s take a brief look at the role of ICANN and how it affects you, the registrant. 

The Internet Corporation for Accredited Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees the global domain name system. 

At the very least, the ICANN performs administrative functions by coordinating domains and associated IP addresses, ensuring your domain name and IP address are unique to you. 

Of course, ICANN gets your information from the associated registry and updates the public WHOIS directory. Hence, your contact and domain registration information are available to the public. 

However, if you love some privacy, there’s still a way around this when registering your domain.

Registering Your Domain

The process involved in registering your domain with us is straightforward. The first step is to check your domain availability

If your preferred domain is available, it will take you to the Shopping Cart, where you can place your order. For a step-by-step tutorial on registering your domain, please go through this guide.

Domain Name Privacy

We’ll need some information from you when registering your domain. This includes, but not exclusive to, your:

  • Name
  • Mailing address and 
  • Phone number

If you run a big business, you might provide non-personal information for these parameters, and that’s okay. But this may pose some high-profile risk if malicious actors get a hold of your data. 

To curb this, we offer privacy protection to our clients and shield your information from unauthorized use.

If you need more information regarding this, please read our privacy protection policy or shoot us a message to request custom privacy features.

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Working in the web hosting industry for over 13 years, Rado has inevitably got some insight into the industry. A digital marketer by education, Rado is always putting himself in the client's shoes, trying to see what's best for THEM first. A man of the fine detail, you can often find him spending 10+ minutes wondering over a missing comma or slightly skewed design.