If your registrar has a feature to forward an address to another address, use it. Some have a way to mask the forward address, so your visitors will not see the IP address. Apache configuration might have to be tweaked when masking an address. Another way is to setup a DNS to handle second level, top level, and sub domain names easily. Your registrar should have a way for you to change the locations for a list of DNS. A domain name should have at least two, but more is better to minimize down time.
The /etc/hosts file is meant to be used on a private LAN or an address that you always access by the IP address a lot, but a name will make your life simpler. Though it can only be used locally.
If the upload bandwidth is not sufficient, it best to host the site at a web site provider.