JARGON BUSTER: What is ‘Hosting’?

People often talk about ‘hosting‘ or ‘website hosts‘. But what is hosting, and why do you need it?

A host provides storage for your website, so that it can appear online. All websites must be hosted. You can choose to self-host, or use a publishing platform that takes care of hosting for you.

Hosted Websites (Free)

If you use a free website building or blogging service, such as WordPress.com, you don’t need to pay for hosting, because they provide it for you.

Free options are fine, but offer less freedom than a self-hosted website. Your domain name is likely to contain the name of the platform, for example: theuncommonwriter.wordpress.com, or theuncommonwriter.wix.com.

However, you can often upgrade these sites to make them more professional.

Self-Hosted Websites (Not Free)

To self-host, you will usually buy a domain name, pay for hosting, and build your website using a publishing platform such as WordPress.org. Then you need to link all three!

For most businesses, self-hosting is the best option.

How much does hosting cost?

Hosting should be reasonably priced – starting at around £60 for a year, depending on the company or serivce you choose. It’s not going to break the bank.