I don't know much about encryption and how internet work in general, so my question might be ill-defined... but I guess I will still try to ask a question here.
When you connect to a website directly through your standard ISP routing, the ISP will know that you connected to that website. The exact content of the connection is encrypted by say https. When you connect to a website through a VPN in between, the ISP will not fully know where you are connecting, but the VPN serve will know where you are connecting. The exact content of the connection is encrypted by https.
The difference is only whether you are giving the metadata of your connection to your ISP or a random VPN company. (so it is even more unsafe to use VPN, since ISP is probably more reliably confidential) The use of public key encryption means the website server needs to know the original connecters' public key... so the identity of the original connecter will be known by the website serve, regardless whether VPN is used or not. Is the above correct?