I often get confronted by small business owners that want an explanation of why they must purchase hosting in addition to purchasing their business domain. I understand the frustration of purchasing something, just to learn you must buy batteries to get it to work. In their mind, they bought a www.mydomain.com and therefore should be able to put a website online with that.

Well, this isn’t how the web works, unfortunately. As much as it would be nice to buy a domain for $15 and get a website online in a couple hours, the reality is there are more parts involved in the process.

Buying hosting is much like buying land to build a house on. Imagine this:

Domain: Sign that say’s your business name.

Host: The actual land that you can build your house on.

Website Graphics: The home that you build on the land. You can hire a contractor (web developer) or do it yourself if you know how.

So, when you buy a domain, you’re really just buying a sign that says “Hey, this is my business name on the internet.” While this is great and all, it’s really not valuable until you buy space and build something on that space. Having a sign isn’t important if you don’t have space to actually build something on. Hosting is that space or “land”.

Fortunately too, hosting is much less expensive than actual real estate. Average hosting typically runs for $100/year, where low end (usually unreliable) hosting can be as inexpensive as $40/year. Top notch hosting that companies like eBay or twitter use runs as high as $5,000/month too. It really depends on your business. Choosing a good hosting plan for your business will be discussed in a future blog post.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about website domains or how website hosting works. Thanks for reading!

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