Questions for a Digital Marketing Expert: What is the difference between website registration, website hosting and website code?
If you’re looking into building a website for your business or looking to hire an agency to do this for you, you probably have some questions about the functions of a website.
There are a few key terms that you should become familiar with. Especially if someone else is building a site for you, you’ll want to make sure that you understand the language they’re using in your agreement.
There are three components to a website appearing on the internet:
1. The website address or URL
A website address or URL is generated through a registrar, like GoDaddy. This refers to the specific web address that someone types into their browser to get to your website – for instance, TenGoldenRules.com.
You generally pay $10 to $15 a year for your website address, and if this is your main company website, we recommend pre-purchasing 10 or more years so you never lose this address by mistake (such as a missed email or an expired credit card).
2. Web hosting
Web hosting refers to the server that the website resides on. Web hosting makes the files – such as code, images, video – that make up the website available to be seen on the internet. So as not to be too technical, think of it as a landlord/renter situation in a commercial building. The landlord owns the property (the server) and rents the space on that server to a tenant (you). You pay to host your website on borrowed space. Or, you could host your website on your own server, but that requires a high level of technical expertise and backup plans, etc.
Web hosting can cost as little as $10 or $15 a month. Plus, website updates and security services are often included, and for large websites, it could cost hundreds of dollars based on expanded storage requirements and complexity.
3. The code
A website itself is made up of code. Bits and bytes, 1’s and 0’s. If you right-click your mouse on a website you can “View Page Source” and see the code that makes up a website. This code is HTML, and it can be generated by hand-coding, the old way, and through many software programs that create the code for you.
The key question is – who owns the code?
Many companies that outsource their web design to a marketing agency find themselves trapped in never-ending contracts that give all ownership of the web code to the agency, rather than the company that paid to have that code designed.
Do not make this mistake! Make sure you own the code an agency or web developer creates for you.
For more information on navigating this tricky situation, click here.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the backend of your website. Now, as you go forth to create your own, or contract a company to build one for you, you will have a handle on the technical aspects involved.
If you’re interested in hiring an agency to build your site, give us a call! We offer a free consultation and will work with you to design a website that’s fully yours (we won’t hold your code hostage).