Difference Between a Registrar and Registry
Posted by admin at April 16th, 2016
The words “registrar” and “registry” sound very much alike. In fact, if you read about domains on a regular basis then you’ll probably see them get used all the time. You will want to know what everyone is talking about when you hear these terms and that’s why I believe it’s important for you to know exactly what a domain registrar and domain registry is and how they differ from each other. Read below as I explain what their purposes are!
Anytime someone wants to a register a new domain they go out and do it at their favorite domain registrar. Registrars are the companies which bring in the customers, promote the extensions, and try to make that customer register something (they make revenue from each new registration). Once the customer wants to register a new domain the registrar will then connect and communicate with the registry in order to make that new registration official. The registry will then add the available domain into their database (zone file) and it will become unavailable to others. Popular registrars include GoDaddy, NameCheap & eNom.
Every domain extension (com, net, org, biz, info, cc..etc) is owned by a company (registry). The process of buying and setting up your own domain extension can be long and expensive (it can take years and cost around $200,000USD). Once a company owns a new domain extension they will then need to make it available to the public. That is where their domain registrars come into play. The companies above (domain registrars) signup with registries (paying a yearly fee) which gives them the ability to offer that extension to their customers. The registrar will handle all of the customer sales, while the registry will handle oversight on all the domains since they own the extension. Most country code domain extensions (such as NL, DE, NO..etc) are owned by completely different companies, while many of the newest extensions (.dance, .domains, .media..etc) are owned by the same company.
As you can see, both registrars and registries need each other in order to make the process of a new domain registration work. Registrars often get super cheap pricing from the registry which makes it one of their biggest revenue streams. At the same time, registries only need to deal with a few hundred (or so) registrars, while those registrars handle the thousands (or millions) of customers and domain registrations an extension receives. Now that you have a clear understanding on the difference between these two you will know exactly what people are talking about when you hear them use these terms in the future!