What is the Difference Between Web Design and Hosting?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While both web design and web hosting are necessary tasks in the creation and maintenance of a web site, the two functions are very distinct in terms of how they are managed and what they accomplish. Often offered as dual services from the same vendor, some people have come to believe web design and hosting are one and the same. Here is some information about what is entailed with each task, and how to go about getting the right assistance with your web design and hosting needs.

Web designers create the look and feel of web pages.
Web designers create the look and feel of web pages.

Web design has to do with the creation of the web pages themselves. Much in the same manner that typesetters once arranged the elements on a template used to create the individual pages of a newspaper, a web designer will combine different elements to create the desired effect. Elements such as text, graphics, images, font sizes, and colors are all used to design and produce pages for a web site that are informative as well as attractive. In a very real sense, a web designer is the creator of the web site, in that each page is designed individually while still blending well with all the other pages that make up the site.

Web hosting is the process of making the fully designed web pages available to anyone who makes use of the Internet.
Web hosting is the process of making the fully designed web pages available to anyone who makes use of the Internet.

By contrast, web hosting is the process of making the fully designed web pages available to anyone who makes use of the Internet. A web hosting company will contract with businesses and individuals to provide bandwidth and space on a server where the web site can actually reside. As part of the hosting process, the web host will make sure there is enough bandwidth to sustain the amount of traffic that routinely comes to the web site on a daily basis. Some of the better web hosting companies include automated controls and notifications to let site owners know when traffic is coming close to exceeding current bandwidth restrictions.

Part of the reason some people confuse web design and hosting is that a number of hosting companies also offer web design as part of their service packages. In some cases, the design is structured as templates that site owners can use to create the web pages. Other hosts offer full time web designers who work one on one with clients to design pages from scratch. As a result, many business owners may choose to go with a hosting company as much for their web design services as for the quality of their hosting capabilities.

It is possible to purchase web design and hosting services from two different vendors. A number of designers can be found online today, with many offering the option of one free consultation session as a way of determining if he or she is right for the job. At the same time, web design and hosting companies are convenient, make it easier to ensure that the code used to design the site will work with the hosting company, and can often be purchased at a lower combined rate. Anyone interested in creating or reworking an existing web site should investigate both options, and determine which solution would work best.

A Web designer may be expected to be familiar with color theory.
A Web designer may be expected to be familiar with color theory.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Why I can't view my website? I bought a plan of hosting, domain name and web builder from godaddy.


At the same time, web design and web hosting are the tasks necessary to create and maintain a website, and function very differently in terms of how to manage and achieve goals. There are often bilateral services from a single provider, and some people have come to believe in web design and hosting, one by one.


@sunshined - That is a good point about the ads. The ads you are talking about are ads that the company chooses to put on your site and that you have not control over. They probably won't have anything related to your product or service, so this is something to consider when looking at free web site services.

Creating and hosting a website does not have to be a major expense. There are many affordable web designs that are available that are easy to create, look professional and don't break the budget.


There are many companies who will offer free website design and hosting all together. You still need to purchase the domain name which is good for a year, but then will need a place to create your website and make sure it gets online.

This can be a good way to go if you are just getting started and want to get your feet wet. When going with these free or cheap hosting sites, just be aware that you will usually have ads on your page that can be annoying or distracting.

If you do not want to deal with the ads, then you will need to upgrade to a package. Even then, most of them are reasonable and well worth not having the ads.


When I created my first website I used a company that offered the design and web site hosting all in one place. For a beginner, this was a perfect solution for me.

This company had several templates to choose from when designing the website and made the process very easy to follow for someone with very little website knowledge. You don't have to know computer code or HTML to create nice looking website with all the templates that are available.

Once the site was created, part of the package was the hosting that I would also receive for the year the domain name was good. If you are looking to create your own site, I would recommend this for beginners.

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