Common Website Hosting Questions Part 1

The internet is a complicated thing, and our clients rely on us to successfully launch and maintain their websites so they can be a part of the digital world. Here are some of our most asked questions about website hosting.

What is website hosting? 

Every website we build contains photos, text, shapes, buttons, and other elements that make up a complete branded design. Each one of those elements is made up of code, which tells your internet browser the specifications that your developer has set for each of those components. On a basic level, the code behind a website is a strict guide for the shape, size, color, and placement of every component of a website.

All of that code is stored (hosted) on giant hard drives (servers) in a giant warehouse somewhere in the world. We work closely with the hosting provider during the initial setup and launch of a website.

Why do I need to pay for website hosting?

Because nothing is free. You pay a hosting provider to “host” your website files for you on one of their servers. This is usually a monthly fee that you’ll pay to your developer or hosting company. Between the security, operation, and electricity costs, a hosting provider has some pretty big expenses. It’s been calculated that an average server uses over 7,446 kWh per year. At 9.83 cents per KWh, it costs $731.94 to run ONE server for one year. GoDaddy has around 40,000 servers and Google has 2.5 million. That’s a lot of energy usage to keep the internet alive. Solar farms to power these servers are currently being developed to offset the costs of running these machines. By 2030 (8.6 years from now), Google plans to be operating on carbon-free energy 24/7.

What’s the difference between a domain name and hosting?

A domain name is what people type into google to get to your website (www.workwithsmart.com for example). That is a web address or URL. When we launch a website, we point that domain to the hosting (where the actual website files are located). You must have both a domain name and a hosting plan in order to launch a website. It’s important to note that some newer website builders like Squarespace are all-in-one platforms that let you purchase a domain name and host your files all right within that platform.