Web Hosting vs Website Builder, What's the Difference?

Web Hosting vs Website Builder, What's the Difference?
 
 
 
 

If you haven’t shifted your business online already, it's the smartest move to make right now considering that the world is migrating to digital. Nowadays, you don’t need technical knowhow to start a website. You’ll find countless software to help you create and design the kind of website that you want. That’s what we call a website builder. Now, all the websites you see whenever you browse are hosted by a service called web hosting. That’s just one of the main differences between web hosting and website builder. In today’s post, we dive deeper into the differences between these two terms.

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What’s Web Hosting?

Millions of websites make up the internet. Without web hosting, none of the websites you see today could exist. A website contains all kinds of files, which require storage space. Web hosting providers offer the storage space for websites to “live on”. Web hosting refers to the service of providing and maintaining the physical servers that store all the components of a website, such as files (content and images). The service makes these files accessible to everyone who uses the internet anywhere around the globe. Basically, you need web hosting if you want your business to be online. You’ll find various hosting providers, each with different subscription plans based on the specific needs of your website. Now, once you subscribe to a specific plan, your website will stay active for as long as you're paying for the “rented space”.

What’s a Website Builder?

A website builder is a platform that allows users to create a website from scratch. Back in the day, you had to be equipped with the technical know-how (coding language) to be able to create a custom website. But nowadays, thanks to the advancement in technology, all you need is a few clicks and you’ll well be on your way to building an awesome website. What's more, these tools are user-friendly and even come with tutorials and templates, making your work pretty simple, even as a beginner. Now, you’ll come across multiple website builders, each offering different products but the goal is the same – to create a unique and stunning website. Website builders also offer web hosting packages, giving users an all-inclusive package. There are two main types of website builders:

  • Online website builders – as the name suggests, this type of website builder is hosted on the same server as the website and since it's on the internet, one can access it on any device from any location. The user doesn’t need to download or install the software on their computers and can access their websites anytime as long as there is an internet connection.
  • Offline website builders – this is the complete opposite of online website builders. It's meant for expert users with the necessary skills. Users have to download the software and save the file locally on their hard drives. They will create the website offline and upload the “build” onto the server once it's ready for launch.
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Image: Shutterstock

Common Features of a Website Builder

Like we mentioned before, website builders offer different tools and features, such as:

  • SEO tools – your website needs SEO (search engine optimization) if you want people to find your content. Modern website builders now have this tool integrated into the platform to enable you to monitor, analyze, and understand how well pages on your website are performing.
  • Templates – website builders are already pre-coded, meaning that you only have to pick a template that you find most suitable and then customize the template according to your preferences.
  • Mobile formatting – almost everyone is using a smartphone and a high percentage of these users browse the internet using their mobile devices. That’s why mobile formatting is very important. It ensures that your website can load on a mobile device as well as it does on a computer.

Takeaways

As you can tell from the descriptions above, web hosting and a website builder are two distinct terms, each offering different services. Below, we separate the key differences between web hosting and website builder.

  • Web hosting is a basic requirement for anyone who wants people to find their websites online. A website builder, on the other hand, is optional and you can choose to create one yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
  • Web hosting hosts both websites and website builders, but you can't use it to design and create a website.
  • While a website builder hosts all the tools necessary to create a beautiful website, web hosting enhances the performance of your website.
  • Web hosting providers handle all the maintenance work so that you don’t have to deal with bugs or glitches but rather concentrate on creating content.
  • Most web hosting plans come with a website builder as a package. This makes it easy for a user to access all the necessary tools and launch the website conveniently via one package.

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