Web Design and Hosting Explained
What’s the difference?
Web design and hosting are two very different aspects of web development, which confuses most beginners. It’s not enough to create a web page; you must
somehow get it displayed so others can view it on the Internet. So once your website is ready for viewing, what’s the next step?
Securing a web host should really be your first step unless your web designer will host your site for you. Let’s explore how hosting works and why it’s important to choose the right service from the start.
What is a Web Host?
A web hosting company provides space on the WWW for websites. The amount of space available varies from one host to the next, and generally speaking, you’ll pay according to the space and features received. This depends on how large your site is as well as the features you wish to have.
With most smaller sites, the basic hosting is enough; however, sites with shopping and log-in features, multiple forms, a large database of products or customers, etc. will have to choose a host service wisely. You may also pay more based on the number of visitors to your site. Companies that have millions of visitors per month versus a few thousand will likely need a server of their own, which costs much more than being simply added to an existing server with other sites.
Price versus Service
Don’t just choose a web host service because it’s cheaper. Make sure the company has been in business a while, is well established, and has good customer reviews.
This tip goes for both web design and hosting because once your site has been designed or once you select a web host, it’s difficult to change to another company. Switching web hosts can be a nightmare for larger sites that are already established!
What to Expect
Once you choose a web host, you’ll receive set-up information for your website. You’ll also receive information regarding access to your control panel (if available) with site traffic statistics, email and form set-up details, programming functions, etc. to manage your site.
Transferring Your New Website to the Host
An FTP (file transfer protocol) address and password will be sent to you so you can transfer your pages to the web once the design has been completed. If hiring someone for web design, and hosting through a different company, then you’ll need to forward all this information to your designer.
If designing the site on your own, you’ll have two options. You can use the host’s FTP features through your site management section to transfer pages to your site or download an FTP program to your hard drive, such as WS_FTP by Ipswitch. Downloading your own has its advantages.
One, you’ll be able to organize your site and view all pages at once while transferring them – it’s much faster this way. Also, you can manage multiple sites within the FTP program if you have more than one.
In a nutshell, you’ll want both your web design and website hosting company to be dependable and trustworthy while giving top-notch customer service. This is the single most important step you’ll take in starting a website, so take time to research all the options.