If you are preparing to launch your first website, you are most likely dealing with an avalanche of information and options. First, you need to buy a domain. However, then you have to decide where to host it. Will you choose traditional web hosting or go for the sparkling features of a new generation web builder?
The choice is not easy to make at first because it will define the long-term performance of your website. Fortunately for you, we have a list of pros and cons for both alternatives. Before you pay for any of these services, take a few minutes to discover which one is the best for you.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the service of offering space on physical servers for web developers to build websites from scratch.
All the websites in the world, even those built on web builder software, require web hosting. Without it, your site will not be visible or accessible on the internet.
All the files that compose your website are stored on a physical server that a company rents to you. In exchange for a monthly rate, that company ensures that your site is secure, up and running at all times.
What is a Web Builder?
A website builder is a software tool that makes it simple for anyone to create and upload a website without having programming know-how.
Until a decade ago, if you wanted to have a website for your business or your monthly blog, you would have had to contract a web developer or learn how to build a site yourself. Nowadays, fun and creative web builders allow you to develop a website even if you don’t have the slightest clue about programming one.
Web builders offer a user-friendly interface and a myriad of templates and readymade web elements that you can just drag and drop to create a website in a few hours. If you can use a computer, you can probably figure out how to use a website builder.
Web Builders vs. Web Hosting: Ownership and Migration
There are many benefits and downsides to using either service, but the two aspects that differentiate web hosting from using a web builder are ownership and migration.
Web hosting is a service that you rent for as long as you want your website to be active. With it, you own your website, but not the space that it requires. It is similar to owning a car, but not owning the parking space.
The great part about web hosting is that you can always switch to another hosting provider if you do not like the services that it offers. The downside is that if you don’t have website development skills, you will have to hire a professional to ensure your site’s maintenance and migration from one server to another.
A web builder does not have the design of a web hosting server. It cannot host more than one website or function as a server for anything else than the website you’re building with it.
Most web builders advertise their services as “free web hosting.” However, that isn’t entirely true. You still pay for the web building software and the space that it requires at the same location. It’s like renting the car and the parking space from the same company.
The good thing about creating your site with a web builder is that you don’t require experience. Everything is visual and intuitive, so you don’t need to hire anyone to do it for you.
On the other hand, when you use a web builder migrating from its native server to a web hosting server is difficult. If you do not have the skills to do it, you will eventually have to employ the services of a web developer.
In terms of ownership, the “free web hosting” that web builders use to lure in customers generally comes with advertising space on your website, which they sell to third-party entities.
The Bottom Line
All in all, if you need a small website that is visually attractive and does not have high visitor traffic, a web builder should be right up your alley. This solution works especially if you lack the skills to create a website from scratch.
On the other hand, if you require a solid website for your business that you have more control over and be able to migrate to other servers, you should opt for traditional web hosting services.
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