I’ve given a detailed explanation of web hosting, domain registration and such elsewhere. Here, I’d like to provide a simple word picture that might help make it simpler to understand.
Imagine that your website is a camper. It’s like a camper because it’s got contents, it has a style, it can be moved from one place to another, and it needs somewhere to park. Let’s also suppose that you’ve given your camper a name: Roadrunner.
The name is like your web address, also called a domain or URL. (See the aforementioned article for more a more detailed explanation. We’re keeping things simple here.) So when someone walks up to your camper, or arrives at your website, they know it’s yours because they recognize the name.
(I haven’t created a graphic for it, but you could also change the name of your website/camper, everything else remains – it’s still your property.)
Maybe you start out with your camper in Monument Valley. But after a while, you get tired of the heat, so you decide to head to the Redwood Forest.
Same camper, new location.
In the same way, a website can be moved from one host to another. If you get frustrated with some aspect of one host — say, their customer service leaves something to be desired — you can move your website elsewhere.
Now, let’s say you get tired of the yellow color scheme and the font on your sign, so you decide to change things up a bit.
This is like changing the theme, fonts, color scheme, or other design elements on your website. It still has the same contents, the same name, and the same location, just different styling.
WordPress sites make it pretty easy to make small design tweaks. Depending on the theme you’re using, you may only be able to change a few things, or you may be able to make significant changes. Look under “Appearances” in the navigation on the lefthand side of your WordPress back end to see what options are available.
If you want some changes that are more complicated than you can do — or you’d just like some friendly coaching while you learn — I know someone who can help! 😉
See more help for beginning bloggers.