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 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.
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.