Web Hosting vs Website Builder | Things to Know

What is web hosting? What is a website builder? These questions are commonly asked by people who are confused about the difference between the two. Both website activities play an important role in building websites. To help you understand their difference, we will discuss what they are, their differences, and some things you should know about each.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is required in all live websites on the Internet. It is a service that provides and maintains the physical servers where all website files are stored, making them accessible to website visitors.

A web hosting provider also invests in thousands of physical web servers that are stored in a temperature-controlled room. These web servers allow websites to “rent” web space for all their files, so people can access the content of the sites online.

Web hosting firms typically employ technicians to ensure websites of clients stay up and running 24/7. In essence, most professional web hosting services ensure a hassle-free experience for business owners, so they can focus their time and energy on their business.

What Is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a software tool for creating websites without the need for coding. When the Internet started, only people who are versed in different programming languages like HTML, PHP, and CSS were able to build websites.   

As the Internet evolved, website building became more accessible, and even the tech-challenged are now able to build their sites using a website builder. The software comes equipped with templates people can choose from to customize their sites.

While features offered by website builders can vary from one provider to another, they share one goal in common: they want to make creating websites easy and straightforward especially for beginners. Most of these features provide a drag and drop function that allows people to move parts as they build their websites.

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Web Hosting Versus Website Builders

Web hosting and website builders provide uniqueness to their functionality and purpose. The following are primary differences between the two:

1. All websites need web hosting.

For websites to be accessible online, website owners need to hire a web hosting service. A website builder, on the other hand, is optional.

Website owners can hire a web designer or learn the programming languages required for website creation if they will not opt for a website builder.

2. All files for a website are kept using web hosting.

Web hosting has nothing to do with the appearance of a website, but it is where all files for a website are stored to keep it live. It also affects a website’s loading speed and traffic.

When you secure the files for your website through a web hosting plan, you have the option to add more resources to boost your site’s performance.

3. A website builder gives you control over your site’s appearance.

Aside from the fact that a website builder allows you to create a website easily, it also takes charge of your site’s text, images, and colour. It lets you identify the menus for easier website navigation, structure, and pages.

The software tool can help provide the best experience to all your website visitors.

4. Web design is easy with a website builder.

Website builders are created to help beginners build a website with ease. In other words, with a website builder, hiring a web designer is purely discretionary.

One of the most enticing advantages of using a website builder is you can design your own website without needing to spend time learning programming languages. Using the right website builder can help you create a website in just a matter of minutes.

Why Are People Confused with the Difference Between Web Hosting and a Website Builder?

Primarily, most people confuse the two because they are tasks related to website creation. The confusion is often prevalent among beginners who are not very familiar with website-related terms yet.

Web Hosting Plans: All You Need to Know

The right hosting plan is crucial to your site’s long-term success and performance. To help you figure out the best web hosting plan for your needs, we’ve listed down some key factors about web hosting you should take into account.

1. Web hosting is not a one-time purchase.

The service is an ongoing need for your website. Many hosting providers offer monthly plans or will give you an agreement for a few years of service. Because you will be needing the service long term, you can opt for paying your provider for a few years, so you will not worry about web hosting for a certain period.

You also have the option to subscribe monthly as you go, so you can cancel any time when you change your mind. Either way, you must understand that web hosting is an ongoing need that you need to spend money continuously on.

2. Web hosting influences the speed of your website.

Choosing the right hosting provider and plan affects your site speed. You need faster loading speed, so website visitors will stay longer in your site and will have a happy experience navigating your pages.

If your pages load slow, people will easily leave, and your search engine optimization performance will also be negatively affected.

3. Web hosting has different types.

Web hosting can serve a website differently, and here are its types:

  • Dedicated hosting – This type is ideal for large sites with huge traffic. It allows a website to rent an entire web server, letting the site have more storage space and resources and faster loading speed.
  • Shared hosting – This is the best option for beginners and personal websites as this can cater to smaller sites. It allows a server to host multiple websites, sharing storage space and resources.
  • VPS hosting – Virtual private server (VPS) hosting has the same concept as shared hosting where multiple sites share a single server. The only difference is there are fewer sites on a server, and the server provides dedicated resources to each site, ideal for websites with medium-level traffic.
  • Cloud hosting – This is ideal for websites that need more flexibility. Website owners can expect traffic levels and scale quickly when their site’s popularity is high.   
  • E-commerce hosting – E-commerce hosting refers to a web hosting platform that’s designed to serve electronic commercial websites. Compared to conventional web hosting, e-commerce hosting accommodates several functions required to operate a commercial website.

Depending on your needs, choose a hosting plan that makes the most of your budget.

4. Your web hosting provider controls your website’s uptime.

Uptime is the amount of time your website is accessible to people online. Web hosting providers perform regular updates and fixes to your website that makes your site offline.

When this happens, loss of revenue occurs. Web hosting providers understand this, so the more they can minimize downtime, the better.

5. Many web hosting providers offer additional features to enhance your website’s performance.

Additional features like domain registration, email addresses with your domain, and a website builder are what many websites need when their business grows. These features do not only improve the performance of your website but also boost your marketing efforts.

Hosting providers understand the increase in website needs, so they offer these additional features. 

What You Should Know About a Website Builder

Investing in a website builder can be a good option for beginners to make their lives easier. Like web hosting, there are also things you need to know about this software tool before investing in one.

1. You start with a template when using a website builder.

Using a template with website builders saves you from creating a website from scratch. It gives you less work when you choose a template that is reasonably close to what you aim for your site to look like.

In choosing the right website builder, make sure to consider the type of template you want for your website, so fewer changes should be made.

2. Website builders come with a drag and drop editor.

The easy drag and drop website editor allows you to move things around. This makes designing much easier than using codes.

On top of that, many website builders have intuitive menus that let you change colours and images, which is more convenient for users.

3. Website builders should help you create a mobile-responsive site.

Mobile browsing is a major element in determining a website’s performance. This means that when you opt for a website builder, make sure it allows your website to be mobile responsive, so user experience is maximized.

It is always best to pick a template that is compatible with many mobile screens, so your website looks good in these places.

4. Free website builders have downsides.

You can opt for using a free website builder, but there are downsides to it. Your website may have ads you do not need and may have limitations that negatively affects your marketing strategies.

To make your website look professional and legitimate, invest in paid website builders.

5. You need a domain and a web hosting service.

As mentioned earlier, web hosting is a necessity in building and running a website, along with your domain. A website builder, domain name, and web hosting are separate investments, unless your website builder comes with a package that includes web hosting and domain registration.

Conclusion

Web hosting and a website builder are both part of starting a website, but the former is a necessity, and the latter is optional. Understanding their differences and knowing the things you should know before investing in them help you decide which hosting plan is right for you and whether you need a website builder.

What matters most is you choose the path that makes your life easier and improves the overall performance of your website. So, start searching for a hosting plan now and look at the inclusions carefully to get the perfect fit!