When we first started making websites in early 2003, we had to learn from the ground up. Today, there are masses of tutorials and companies to help you understand how to set up a website. But we wanted to give you a brief overview of what your monthly (or annual) hosting payments pay for when you’re a client of HeartCo or Media Sussex.

Perhaps not so commonly now, but a few years back a common misconception about websites is that all you need to purchase is the domain name and your website goes live. Sadly it’s not quite that simple. There are three main things and a couple of extra bits that make up a website. Let me try and illustrate them for you.

When explaining this – its best to think of a website as a document. Like a Word document on your computer. It’s a file that you can open, edit and/or view.

Ok so here are the elements to paying for a website:

  1. Assemble the file. This is paying someone to build the document (website). This is usually a one-off fee for a website developer to assemble your site based on your specification and unlikely to be an ongoing cost.
  2. The domain name. This is the name of your document (website). You will need to pay a recurring annual fee to own your unique name for your website. HeartCo will often purchase these domain names on your behalf to save you the hassle.
  3. The Hosting.Your document (website) needs a place to live. Imagine saving your file to a hard-drive. That’s where it’s physically located. You can access that document when you are at that location and can open the file. In the same way, your website needs to be physically located somewhere. When users type in the domain name, they will call upon the website files that are located on the hosting. This is an ongoing cost which can be monthly or annually.

That’s the big three. There are others that bolt onto these, but your web developer can help you understand these. For your reference, you can use this list to quote:

  1. Website Maintenance. Who and how will the site be updated?
  2. SSL Certificate. Will Google view your site as safe?
  3. Website Backup. How often is the site backed up?
  4. Emails connected to the domain name. How will emails be managed? How many inboxes are available?

If this is all a bit daunting, don’t worry – we’re here to help. We find that the best solution for clients who want to concentrate on their business (and not worry about their website) is to bundle the costs into a monthly cost and we’ll take care of it all for you. All our domain name and hosting packages are priced as a service rather than products. We don’t re-sell you hosting, you pay for us to look after your hosting as a service. This means all contact with the hosting company is taken care of for you.

Ask us for a personalised solution or further information about the services we provide. Contact us here.