If you’re trying to launch your first website, you’re probably dealing with information overload. There are these things called domains you need to buy, web hosting services, website builders, and then HTML, CSS, and other coding languages are woven into this double helix of jargon that’s constantly evolving.
If you’re a bit confused, worry not. In this guide we’re going to:
When you rent a home, you’re paying for a piece of real estate to live in. Usually you fill this home with your own furniture and memorabilia, making it feel like your own.
Web hosting follows the same principle, except you’re paying for a home in what is called a “server,” where the data, content, and the information of your website will live. In order for you to claim this piece of real estate on the internet, you must pay to have it hosted. The bigger the piece you want, or the bigger your website, the more you’re going to have to pay.
But, at the most fundamental level, web hosting offers a plot for people to build websites on. When it comes to the debate of “web hosting vs website builder,” a website builder would be useless if not for hosting services — how can you build if you don’t have land, or a server, to build on?
If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a website builder?” you can think of it this way: it’s a tool that allows beginners and experts alike to build a website, without needing to know code. The pre-coded platforms work by providing a large variety of website templates and themes to choose from, which can then be customized and tailored to your needs. These tools are built to be user-friendly and often come with tutorials and technical support seeing as they’re designed to complement the DIY (do it yourself) method.
Since website builders exist on servers that users can access anywhere they have internet, they are in a certain sense also hosting your website. The sites are hosted on these servers regardless of whether or not a website is finished or launched. By returning to the real estate metaphor, think of website builder hosting like owning some acreage and slowly building atop the land. Once the home is complete and you’re done building, it’ll still be “hosted” on that land.